It's SuperBowl 2006 - a bit late this year, but with all the networks copying Fox's Terry, Howie, and the gang-style coverage (Chris Matthews as Jim Brown, the pundits as cocky, witty sportscasters) it's hard to avoid the comparison.
After all, we're voting for teams here. Blue, red, mascots in donkey and elephant form, balloons and confetti, 3,000 soldiers dying by halftime.
The replay comes in every ten minutes or so, with the Dems picking up more and more points as the night goes on. You think your hometeam's quarterback getting booed is bad, imagine facing an electorate that's suspicious instead of cynical.
It's, perhaps, a statement against a Head Coach that governs to only 49% of his team, offense and defense - kind of like being on the wrong side of an oncoming blitz. When your pre-game speech ignites "Uniter, not Divider" statements, and the team finds out you lied through your silver-spoon teeth, well, don't be surprised when the nation finds blood - not Gatorade - on your Starter jacket.
Balance is a good goal to have. The Framers knew this - in fact, most of the source of the tea-party rage was England's all-encompassing power. Rubber stamps are bad, protection of rights against a government that's bound to fail you is good, and we've got a big boot ready if you don't agree. One governing party is like Bill Parcels running the front office, marketing, concessions in the stadium, and still getting off his old, fat, angry ass to coach a team. It's too much of a bad thing.
But not the ball is in the Democrats court, and the game plan doesn't look promising. A dispatch just reported that they've officially taken the House, and with Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania (good bye, asshole Santorum), and Rhode Island falling into the Blue Column, the American people have placed an immense amount of maybe-misplaced trust in a party who hasn't had a great idea since LBJ. Good ideas, sure, but not planet-shaking.
We're still waiting for our Immaculate Concession.
Locally, our own Dems Stabenow in the senate and our Governor Granholm keep their seats (Granholm got lucky on that one, mostly because DeVos couldn't outline a plan of any detail or nuance) - and the states around us, those Big Ten burrowing-mammal states, head farther left.
Republicans tried an experiment with more African American candidates, but it's kind of like Terry Bradshaw calling a soccer game - it just doesn't look (or sound) right. The experiment has failed.
The idea of total control has failed too, but I wonder if anyone is listening. The swing back and forth - liberal and conservative, Dem and GOP - wears thin if all you can do is "get out the base," a bunch of loonies I don't trust at all. Call them out of their holes with issues like gay marriage and flag burning, and then hide them away while you give away the treasury to your corporate backers. It's bullshit, and I wish someone had the guts to actually Get Something Done around here. My grandma still doesn't have a job, my city's manufacturing base is crumbling, the media is joining forces into Alliances of Evil (I'll copywrite that one), but some out West still feel like keeping gays from suffering from a lifetime of each other is still issue number one.
Everything is moving Right, it would seem, with candidates like Harold Ford, Jr. in Tennessee appearing as a conservative dressed as a Democrat. Lieberman holds on, Republicans go Neo as it leaves its historical supporters, and no one is looking back at liberals, fearing they'll turn into a pillar of unelectable salt. Christians are all of the sudden caring about the poor and environment, Democrats are touting state's rights, and everyone is trying to bash NAFTA and CAFTA harder than everyone else. Nixon would have loved it, had he not been so fucked up in his paranoid skull, but Bush only has two more years to reap a movement he isn't smart enough to study and understand.
Who knows who to vote for anymore? And who knows who Montana will offer?
I just hope good, responsible governing - not revenge - is in store for the next two years, until we start this whole Hairspray-and-Handshakes Hairball rolling again, but for bigger stakes.
Will we have the gall to fill in the bubble in another presidential election? Jesus, I'm losing sleep over this one - what will I do two years from tonight?
Lose more sleep, and a bit more of my soul, and this gridiron doozie drools on.