1994. November. In the U S of A election day is past. A seismic shift the pundits are calling it. A tsunami. The death knell of the Great Society. Last gasp of the New Deal. Welcome to the Newt Deal.
The Republicans overthrew a longstanding Democrat congressional regime, running on a miniplatform they called the Contract with America. (They even published it in a full page ad in Reader's Digest -- a favorite of Ronald Reagan and anyone else with a short attention span.) How lame the way all the Dimmycrats called it a contract on America. What blistering rhetoric. What a buncha hacks. The contract was a shopping list of highly positive poll data. Where's Tsongas when we need him, creaking about Sanity Claus?
But who voted after all? Angry white males, says USA Today. Wealthy, educated, European-Americans and struggling, blue-collar Euro-Americans, descendants of DWEMs one and all. Voting against, not for, as Alan Simpson put it recently. (Speaking of Simpson, isn't it funny how yesterday's neanderthals become today's moderate Republicans? Think of Goldwater. Hell, even Nixon's presidency seems positively liberal in retrospect, compared with what was to come.)
Well, I'm a young, educated white male, cept I'm not so angry I guess. And I did vote for. I voted for Dellums, the lame-duck chairman of armed services. There were others. My recollections are hazy. But I voted "wrong" on most of the Propositions here in Cali.
And who voted, I wonder, in the San Franciso Bay Area, where I live? We reelected our neoliberal Democrat mayor in Oakland against a Perotista challenger. San Francisco itself swung hard to the left (Berkeley to the right, though!) here in through the lookingglassland. But who voted? The pro Feinstein pro Brown anti anti illegal immigrant progressive activists (many of whom of course are wealthy educated euro-ams)?
I don't feel so bad after all. I'm used to voting on the losing side. A realignment that's been de facto for years just became de jure. Republicans are out of the closet in the Congress, especially the pretend Democrat ones like the recent turncoats.
It's about time there was a realignment, a spring cleaning. That's why we went with that used car salesman from the Outs, and put him in. Since we don't have real politics in America (entrenched two-party system), all we get is this symbolic changing of the guard.
Wasn't it corrupting for one party, even a shabby and impotent coalition as the Dems have been my entire lifetime to have such absolute imperial control in the Congress? Sure, I don't trust the Reps any further than I can hawk them up and spit them, but the people are in a sour mood now and the ideologically fractious Rs could be out on their collective arses again before they know what hit em.
The game is afoot.