Orange Gearle

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Friday, November 10, 2006

election reflection

Whew! What a ride. Tuesday night as the returns were coming in, State Senator Elect Rob Hogg said (loose quote):

“What a night for Linn County Democrats. What a night for Iowa Democrats. What a night for America’s Democrats. More importantly, what a night for America and Americans!”

I agree with those statements. Who cares that he was wearing his usual white tennis shoes with kaki pants and a dress shirt? You don’t have to have a good sense of fashion to be a great senator.

As I’ve mentioned a hundred times before, 2006 has not been the best of years for me. In fact, I’ve been through more than my share of losses this year. My dog died, I lost my one true love…you know, the basic Top 40 Country Song crap. It was nice to experience more than a few wins. Last spring when The Soul Mate broke up with me I lost the people that I talked most with about politics. He and his family are what my brother calls ‘commie pinko liberals’ as am I. My mom is more of a moderate democrat (my father doesn’t think so, but I do). ☺ Anyway, when I lost him, I lost them too, basically. So how is this an election reflection?? Well, it’s relevant, stay with me.

I had the Daily Kos community, but I needed a political outlet with real people once The Soul Mate and his family were ripped from my life suddenly (gotta have drama, don’t I?). At the same time I read the book, Crashing the Gate and I decided I was sick of whining and doing nothing about it. I like wine not whine. So, to fulfill my political void, I decided to do a bit of ‘gate crashing’ myself and volunteer with The Linn County Democrats….and I took my daughter along for the ride.

The last five months have been amazing! I’ve made phone calls, canvassed, met congressmen, written letters, met presidential hopefuls, knocked on many, many doors, met other democrats, had a date that I didn’t know I was going on (seriously, I’m that dumb), made new friends, watched my daughter become politically aware, and I’d like to think we helped, in a small way, get a few good democrats elected. And as it turns out, Hollyanne took me along for the ride!!

Carrie and Adam -- our fearless leaders. They ran the show at the Linn County Democrat Headquarters. At barely 24 and 19 respectively, they had a big job and did it well. The canvassers that were there all summer had more than one rubber band fight. In fact, this summer at the office reminded me of Fridays at the Tech Office -- fun, childish, fun, crazy, and fun. Carrie will head back to Florida just in time for winter, and Adam, an Iowa Citian, will head back to New York for college. We will miss them both.

The candidates, most of which have added “elect” to their titles, were all so amazing. It was so interesting to meet them all in person, have conversations with them about many things; political, personal, and just fun. Being on this side of the process is a real eye opener. If you ever thought any political ad on TV had any truth to it, you are completely wrong. I used to think that there must be at least some truth to it, but most of the time, it’s so much more than spin...frankly, out and out lies. Anyone that is political at all, should get involved with at least one election. It’s an indescribable, revealing experience.

The last week of June Hollyanne started interning with the Linn County Dems and I attended my first Linn County Dems Central Committee meeting. We spent much of the summer at headquarters. Once school started, we were down to about 2 evenings per week. Until about October.

Throughout the summer we met many, many people. Living in Iowa has its advantages. I don’t mean the fact that on Monday of this week I was wearing flip-flops because it was so warm, and today it is literally snowing. An advantage of living in Iowa is that people even thinking about considering to run for president, make an appearance in our state. Most of them would show up at headquarters, and we’d try our best to be there. We met the likes of Biden, Warner and Obama, Edwards made a few appearances too. Pretty nifty opportunities for us.

We walked in many, many parades. Seriously. I even wore a rowboat. Yes, a rowboat. For Ro Foege. And SANG. “Ro, Ro, Ro’s my vote on election day, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, register and say….Ro’s Ro’s Ro’s my vote…..” IN FRONT OF PEOPLE. I know. Cheezzzzzyyyyy. But he got re-elected. And our entry even WON in the Mt. Vernon Parade (did I mention that Ro is from Mt. Vernon?).

When I agreed to become a “Precinct Captain” I had no idea what I was in for, or, more importantly, what the f&@k I was doing! We made it through, though. Hollyanne had her own precinct to deal with, so we have both been extremely busy, especially the last 2-3 weeks. I will repeat in ’08. Now that I know what’s going on, I will be happy to do it again.

Iowa is now BLUE. Navy Blue. We went from 1 out of 5 Democrats in the US House to 3 out of 5. Our State House and Senate will now have a Democratic majority, and our new Governor is also a Democrat. Amazing.

Now what? Now the Dems in Washington get to get their sh!& together and get’r’done. We evicted the Republicans on Tuesday. America has spoken. We now have the next two years to prove ourselves as leaders in domestic and foreign affairs, among other things. Then maybe, just maybe we will elect a Democrat for President in ’08.

As things stand, over the first few months of ’07, I hope to see things like a minimum wage increase, stem cell research resume, and a plan put forth to get the f*@k outta Iraq. Democrats need to become the party of ideas and action. We won this election because The People are fed up with what this administration has done to America and Americans. We were losing the heart and soul of Americans. Checks and balances will be restored. Civil Rights of all Americans now have a chance of reaching fruition. And maybe, just maybe some of the people that have led America astray will be accountable for their actions. But let’s not make that our first priority. So, even though when you open my cell phone the words “Impeach Bush Now” are written on the face of it, I don’t want that exactly…..maybe I should say, it’s what I want but not what I need…it’s not what Americans need. Hope is what we need. Tuesday brought Americans hope again. And now Democrats need to use this opportunity to restore what this administration has broken and get on with it.


Blogger ccfunsis said...

you are amazing

10:09 PM  
Blogger Donnie McDaniel said...

Congrats!! We sure clubbed them in a bad way. I am still in full gloat mode. :)

6:42 PM  

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