It's Not Over!

"Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!"
-Bluto, Animal House

While those of us who follow the American Political Ritual obsessively are spiraling into a melancholic withdrawal, thankfully Election 2008 is still a bubbling cauldron of Weirdness. For two and a half years we compulsively stored and regurgitated ridiculous amounts of minute campaign detail of flubs, faux pas', position papers, voting records, polling data, statistical anomalies and dirty, dirty dirt on the dirty dirty lives of those crazy and egotistical enough to run for public office. But like a dog's ear perking up at the sound of a squirrel rustling in the Autumn leaves, It Is Alive and the chase may be on.

Like a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream on a slice of hot out of the oven pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving season has blessed Drunken Politics. A frothing, teeming horde of Blackberries attached to lawyers has descended on Minna-soder for the Coleman-Franken recounted recount bonanza of Magical Ballots. New Mexicans chuckle with appreciation as Prince-conjured votes keep poofing out of nowhere. Divine Retribution could be in a Southern stocking this Christmas. Saxby Chambliss, the Rat Bastard who won his Senate seat by blistering triple-amputee veteran Max Cleland as a terrorist sympathizer, is in a December 5th runoff against a dude of the unknown called Jim Martin. Will disabled Veterans let Chambliss' bile go unpunished? Will Ted "The Convict" Stevens win reelection and make all of Alaska proud? Missouri has taken off their socks and shoes to finish counting up those pesky pseudo-ballots. And the Lieberman soap opera twists in the wind, what would Prince Machavielli do? Will Turncoat Joe go unpunished?

Will a few hundred votes from North/South/East/West Buttlick determine the shape of the United States Senate and US policy for the next generation? Dam straight. Now go find someone who didn't vote and smack their ignorant nose with a wet newspaper. Spiked with thumbtacks. And hot sauce.

The Bourbon Gods need to be appeased and they're demanding a turkey leg. Hopefully, they will shine a gravy-soaked Thanksgiving smile upon us during America's Overtime.

note: All I want for Christmas is a bag of fresh mixed metaphors.


Looking Forward

J: OK, enough with the facts. Let's get down to business. It's time for rampant speculation on the makeup of President Obama's Cabinet.

Secretary of State: As much as I think Bill Clinton would be a brilliant choice in this position, I don't know if Slick Willie would do it. Prior to the Democratic Party convention, I thought Biden was a lock for it. If it's not Bill Richardson, I will have to scrape my jaw off the floor with a putty knife.

Secretary of the Treasury: This might be the most important selection Obama makes, at least for the first few months of his administration. My dream pick would be Warren Buffet, but Paul Volcker will end up in the seat.

Secretary of Defense: Always a tough one for Democrats, because the party is seen as being soft on defense. Looking within the party, the obvious choice is Sam Nunn. If this is a seat Barack wants to offer a Republican, Chuck Hagel would be a nice fit. I think Obama defies conventional wisdom, and keeps Robert Gates in place, for continuity of command.

Attorney General: John Edwards screwed his way out of this slot. Arizona governor Janet Napolitano is the front-runner, and unless she declies, the spot is hers. Massasachusetts governor Deval Patrick may get some late consideration here.

Secretary of the Interior: Well, again, I have a dream choice. In an ideal world, there is only one choice for this slot, and that's Al Gore. I don't know if he'd accept the demotion.

Secretary of Agriculture: Someone like Tom Vilsack would fit in just fine here.

Secretary of Commerce: Gary Hirshberg, CEO of Stonyfield Farms, would be a nice fit. Senator Olympia Snowe could also garner some bipartisan interest here.

Secretary of Labor: Norman Mineta? I really have no clue.

Secretary of Health and Human Services: In a perfect world, Hillary Clinton would be a great fit here. She's too smart to give up a seat in the Senate, and so is Barack.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Michael Bloomberg. Seriously- that's my prediction.

Secretary of Transportation: Hell, I don't know. I never can predict this one.

Secretary of Energy: Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius would get my vote.  Arnold Schwarzenegger would be a great selection as well.

Secretary of Education: See "Transportation".

Secretary of Veterans Affairs: GEN (Ret.) Wes Clark.

Secretary of Homeland Security : If Chuck Hagel doesn't get defense, this job would be a great one for him.

C: Game on. Time to percolate some speculate.

State: Richardson. He just shaved off his beard. And he'll be rewarded for dissing Bill Clinton at their Super Bowl watching party. It doesn't hurt that the Axis of Weasels fear the Giant Hispanic.

Treasury: Bob Rubin has the brains and the Clinton Administration juice and Wall Street respect.

Defense: Hagel is a good choice but a realistic outside shot to Jim Webb who has solid credentials. Or Oprah.

AG: The MA governor Deval Patrick, a longtime Obama brother in arms, is a good call. New Jersey's John Corzine has a shot.

Commerce: Clueless. But someone from his new Economic Advisory Board is a good place to look. Lincoln Chafee could use some love. And he's a smart dude.

Labor: Will Robert Reich get any play?

HHS: Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill carried water for Obama from early on in the show.

HUD: Andrew Cuomo has up and coming written all over him. And he had the gig under Clinton.

Transportation: US Rep Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). He's been a longtime Transportation geek with green ideas coming out his ears. His bowtie is the perfect neckware for this gig.

Energy: This one is huge. And I don't have a clue...Would Al Gore come down off his throne?

Education: Caroline Kennedy. She oozes character.

VA: Wes Clark, is there a better place for a General with a heart?

Homeland Security: Another gig I think Jim Webb would be well suited for.

Interior: Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. Zing! Bam! Pow! Oh sweet justice!

UN Ambassador: Colin Powell needs to redeem his soul. Bill Clinton is too massive for such a lowly water carrying post.


J: Well, it's been a few days since the election. I can finally try and give my initial thoughts on what we've witnessed. I've tried twice before, but got way too emotional.

First off, it still boggles my mind that we can have an orderly transition of power. The people speak, the winners celebrate, and the losers accept it and move on. That's mind-boggling if you think about it for more than a second- people willingly relinquish power. The President just says "I'm good. Your turn. Have fun with it" and moves on.

But that's Drunken Civics. Not our gig. I want to look at the three turning points in this campaign. These were all tipping points- where the election could have taken a radically different turn.

First and foremost was January 26th- the South Carolina primary. To narrow it down even more, the 17 minute victory speech that Barack made. That set the standard for what C. refers to as "Shock and Awe" speeches by the President-Elect. Prior to that moment, Obama could have been just another winner of the Iowa Caucus- like Tom Harkin, Dick Gephart, and "Uncommitted". After that speech, we really saw the blossoming of the Obama movement.

And, good lord, that was a good speech.

The second moment came in Denver, at the Democratic Convention. Senator Hillary Clinton could have engaged in a long and drawn-out fight for the nomination. She most likely would have lost, but instead, she chose to have Senator Obama nominated by acclamation. That seemingly simple move allowed her supporters the freedom to support Barack. If she would have fought tooth and nail, she could have possibly thrown a ton of voters into McCain's camp. I don't know if it would have mattered in the long run, but it could have been the difference between a landslide/mandate and a narrow victory.

The third moment wasn't an instant- it was a period of almost a month, and that was John McCain's bizarre September. The Palin selection excited a ton of people... for a few days. Then, we got to hear her speak. Even though we can be a bit reactionary as a Nation, we instinctively understand some things. One of these apparently is "If you get eviscerated in an interview with Katie Couric, you're not ready to play politics at the major-league level". By the 26th, when the McCain I'm-Going-to-Suspend-my-Campaign play had failed, and he stepped on the stage at Ole Miss... the writing was on the wall.

If this race was a prize fight, it would have been called.


America the Beautiful

C. On October 6th, 2008, Drunken Politics was the first major media entity to predict an Obama Landslide victory. Here's our President Elect giving his victory address to an America starved for a thoughtful, daring and powerful restoration. One of what will be many Shock and Awe speeches:


Enough with Carrots, More Stick

Enough with this pleading for Americans to pretty pretty please please go vote. Ever want stand in a voter line in Haiti? Or name a random central African country. Or let's bring up a visual for our denser American citizens, the Purple-thumbed of Bagdad. You, in the most putrid state of willful ignorance, don't have the 'time', or you whine it doesn't really matter because THOSE politicians are all corrupt, etc., etc.. Guess what? The reason your job got shipped overseas, the reason why your house is going bye-bye, gas prices up, food prices up, the Chinese are poisoning your kid's Robo-former, is simple to understand. You are pathetic and lazy and you let it happen because it requires thinking and being an active participant in the true American Way of Life. And maybe you've heard, some of your fellow citizens get shot at for a living to protect your Rights.

Well, I say enough is enough. Go ahead, blame greedy corporations. Who let the line get blurred? Do you know your Congressman's views or voting record concerning anything? You non-voters revoke your right to citizenship. Gitmo could be put good use, what's that? I can't you hear you with your head underwater. Who are your two Senators? We'll let you out when you can recite The Federalist Papers verbatim.The Chinese had an interesting approach to re-education camps. Heck, we don't even have to deport you. We own our own version of Siberia, that's right, Alaska has lots of room for you and your buddies. Fresh air and meat just wandering around. Sorry though, no more socialist oil checks. See, you are no longer citizens. Besides, we don't want or need you sucking up valuable and scarce commodities, clogging up traffic and prisons, driving up the cost of healthcare and drinking our clean water. Bad news, you and those who scoff at participation in the process are no longer welcome.

But you, Joe Don't Vote, have been given every opportunity to be patriotic. Do you really want Citizenship Revoked with Extreme Prejudice stamped on your driver's license? It's Election Eve. You've still got a couple of hours to dig up a newspaper, (the tree-thing with words), go stand in line, pull a lever or touch a screen and end what shame and guilt you carry with you every day. Wait what? You might not even be registered to vote? Pssst. Remember that oopsy, little Patriot Act thingy THAT YOU IGNORED that only spied on pesky terrorists? Should have paid attention. We're watching you.

Just go vote, save us the trouble of tracking you down.



Insert Appropriate Cliche

(Cue keyboards. Annnd flashpots.) It's The Final Countdown...

C: Top of the ninth. Two minutes to go. No timeouts. The last Sticky Wicket. Matchpoint.The Nineteenth Hole. The Horse Race. Swing States. Ground Games. Ground chuck. Hamburger Hill. Battleground States. Undecided Voters AKA the Mentally Challenged.GWB. Mmmm...Bush. 401K. Market's up. Down. Wall Street. Main Street. Douchebags. Derivatives. Debt swaps. Wife Swaps. Greenspan befuddled. Gallup. Zogby. Quinnepac. Margins of Error. Tracking. Lip-smacking. Winking. Robocalls. Oprah. Hillary. Billary. The Left. The Right. Red. Blue. Purple. Pitchforks. Percentages. Shock. Awe. 911. Going Negative. Millions of dollars. Millions of promises. Smear, slash, fabricate, imaginate, burn. Early voting. Bailouts. Absentee voting. Long lines. Bread lines. Record turnout. GOTV. Mortgages. Fraud. Suppression. Racism. Hussienism. Healthcare. Hoopla. War? Wars? What wars? Wardrobe Malfunctions. Too old. Too Black. Too Mavericky.The Million Lawyer March. Billions of gallons of Campaign '08 jet fuel. Gasoline. Green Jobs. No Jobs. Hand Jobs. Iowa? New Hampshire? Ummm...whatever. Must win Pennsylvania. Or Florida. Or Nevada. Or West Bumfrick County, OH. Or France. Landslide. Slip 'N' Slide. Mudslide. Mudslinging. Muckraking. A-rabs. Terrorists. Taxes. Chainsaws. Slackjaws. Nieman-Marcus. Lenscrafters. Snowmachines. Moose meat. Bob Barr. Ralph Nader. Ron Paul. The Blimp. The Economy. We'll know in the first hour. No wait, it's going to be a long night. Circular firing squad. Circle jerk. Turnouts. Turncoats. Socialists. Communists. Patriots. Pinkos. Exit Pollists. Magical Thinking Wildlife. And uh...Godless Lesbians. Joe Lieberman. Joe Biden. Joe the un-Plumber. Sloppy Joe Sixpack. My Friends. And That One. Popular vote. Electoral College. Hope. Fear. Change. Loose Change. Under the Bus. Loose Change Under the Bus. Historical history. Conventional Wisdom.

Check please. And put two more Bourbons on our tab. Better keep it open.

J: You forgot Poland.

C. *headsmack* SNOW MACHINE. (Sounds so nice you gotta say it twice.)