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2 November, 2004 / Erik

The Night Before So, here it is. The night befo…

So, here it is. The night before. The show starts in a few short hours. I am a Political Junkie and the first Tuesday in November is the pure CIA stash. My first memory of politics was, oddly, in 1984. I remember a campaign add that implied a Mondale presidency would end the world. I also recall the eighth graders saying the same thing of Regan. We subsequently watched the inauguration, but it was without context, so Reagan’s speech made little sense to my six year-old mind.

In ’88, I understood the world better. I learned about the hostages and the complicity of the government in bad deals in the third world. I saw Dukakis blink when Bush the Elder called him a liberal and damned near nutered the party. For the next four years, with Dana Carvey, the Father became one of my favorite topics. I was still in elementary school.

’92. The riots, Iraq I: the Phantom Menace. Bush the Elder’s fading chances, Bubba’s saxophone stunt on Arsenio and, of course, H. Ross Perot. He was the crazy Texas billionaire you could get behind. A spoiler with the sort of entertaining insanity one needs in these races. Smart to a fault and determined, I wish I had tapes of his half-hour specials where he explained the deficit with his monkey’s paw pointer. I’ll admit I wasn’t fond of Bubba, but hey … I was still an election away from voting, so what did it really matter what I though?

’96. Bob Dole needs your support. This is the election you nearly forget. Forbes and his flat tax platform, like he had a chance against Bubba, who would soon be the master of Linguistic Kung-Fu. Dole didn’t stand much of a chance, either. The he took that stage dive.

2000. Remember that you where there. You saw McCain consumed by the machine and zombified. You saw Nader lose his mind. You knew Bill Bradley was there only to make it seem fair. The Party was in control of the people who made Bubba the winner. If Gore was the loud, shouty, smart aleck he is today, his margin would’ve made the irregularities a footnote, but now’s not the time for that discussion.

I remember the also-rans. Paul Tsongas and his power ties. Jessie Jackson’s weird attempts in a country clearly not ready for that. Paul Simon. Gary Hart. Footnotes in the game. Weird variations with little hope of succession. That simply the nature of power. These guys need to be kindling for those that get the center seat.

I’ve been on the ride the longest this time, since Dean made himself known at the end of 2002. I’ve actually watch this run closer than any other, as I’m sure most of you have. I’m afraid of the withdrawal that I’ll feel when the counts are in and the tone of next handful of years is decided.

but hey, there’s always 2008, right?

Not that you possibly could, but don’t forget to vote in the morning. Politcal Junkies actually need to force of the electorate to make things interesting now and again.


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