Tag Archives: Midterm Elections

Once, Twice, Three Times A Loser, Lady

3 Nov

What’s the likelihood that we’ve finally seen the end of Christine O’Donnell? After losing the Delaware Senate race three times, I think even the Little Engine That Could would probably say fuck it, I give up. Fingers crossed, little Miss Not-A-Witch moves on to a more appropriate career (my advice: look into medical transcription, it’s steady pay, relatively easy to learn and requires no knowledge of the Constitution).

I am so grateful that I was able to travel to Washington, DC to participate in the Rally to Restore Sanity. Even though I wasn’t pleased with all the outcomes of this midterm election, the day I spent on the National Mall with sensible and (mostly) sexy Americans gives me hope that so many (over six billion, according to Stephen Colbert) of our citizens still believe that critical thinking, rather than ranting from the media and the nutters, should guide their decisions.

The message of the Rally was to take things down a notch–stop shouting and calling names and start listening and thinking (a message I was politely trying to pass onto those border police, but they were having none of it). The placards that many people carried were perfect: clever and funny, as you know, are two of my favourite characteristics.

This is partly why I find Jon Stewart so delicious. However, I do have a slight bone to pick with him. On the big screen, he showed cars merging as they entered the Lincoln Tunnel:

“These cars — that’s a school teacher who thinks taxes are too high…there’s a mom with two kids who can’t think about anything else…another car, the lady’s in the NRA. She loves Oprah…An investment banker, gay, also likes Oprah…a Latino carpenter…a fundamentalist vacuum salesman…a Mormon Jay Z fan…But this is us. Everyone of the cars that you see is filled with individuals of strong belief and principles they hold dear — often principles and beliefs in direct opposition to their fellow travelers.

And yet these millions of cars must somehow find a way to squeeze one by one into a mile-long, 30-foot wide tunnel carved underneath a mighty river…And they do it. Concession by concession. You go. Then I’ll go. You go, then I’ll go. You go, then I’ll go — oh my god, is that an NRA sticker on your car, an Obama sticker on your car? Well, that’s OK. You go and then I’ll go… Sure, at some point there will be a selfish jerk who zips up the shoulder and cuts in at the last minute. But that individual is rare and he is scorned, and he is not hired as an analyst.

Because we know instinctively as a people that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light we have to work together and the truth is, there will always be darkness.  And sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land. Sometimes it’s just New Jersey.  But we do it anyway, together.”

New Jersey is not the promised land? Mr Stewart, use those sexy fingers to dial my number and I will personally escort you to the Shangri-La that lies within the borders of the Garden State.

But he’s right about that tunnel, it is a bitch. Especially when you’re in a hurry, it’s tempting to slide up that shoulder, wiggle your bumper and smile at the lonely businessman in the Beemer to push your way in. But it doesn’t work when drivers do that. Sometimes things take time. Sometimes you have to wait more than forty five minutes to get through that tunnel. Sometimes you have to wait more than two years to clean up the messes the previous administration and a global financial crisis left behind. America elected (kind of) George Dubya for eight years, yet so many have expected Obama to get it all sorted so quickly. I know he’s younger and ever so fit, but be realistic—he may not have accomplished everything yet, but he’s made a start.

The election is over and choices have been made. I beg all winners to remember the lessons the Rally taught us. Stop gerrymandering, filibustering and all those other five-syllable words that cause a bottleneck on the road to our recovery.  Reach across the aisle, stop shouting and calling names and start listening and thinking.

You go, then I’ll go, you go, then I’ll go. It’s what gets us through.

Miss Whitt-Wellington Goes to Washington

29 Oct

Advance apologies for my upcoming absence. I am traveling to Washington DC this weekend.

The first reason for my trip is to attend the Rally to Restore Sanity (or to Keep Fear Alive, depending on my mood). After reading about the crazies who have been gathering in our nation’s capital, like bloody snot after a blow to the nose, I wanted to check in with the saner Americans I know are the backbone of the country. (I forgive the rest of England for being unaware of this fact; it makes sense given the fact that in the UK, being anti-American is seen as both “big” and “clever.” After all, even our dear Auntie tolerates, nay celebrates, it.)

Jon Stewart’s rally is being held to help restore a little sanity to the country. It’s there to remind us that it’s not only those with big, fat mouths and stupid ideas who count; those of us who know how to use indoor voices and our critical thinking skills deserve to be heard as well. Thousands of Americans will be taking to the National Mall to make a point on a variety of issues—national, political as well as “other.”

Note: I’m impressed with the creativity and true commitment displayed in the signs many attendees have prepared for the event. However, I have a number of harsh words for the brainbox who made this one:

My second reason for visiting is to cast my vote in the November election. Just because it’s not about the presidency doesn’t mean this election isn’t important. Alas, I cannot be sure that my absentee ballot would be fairly counted after recent years’ debacles so I’m afraid I’ve got to make the trip over.  Attention all Americans living in Britain: do the morally right thing and catch a quick transatlantic flight so you too can participate—remember, voting in America is a privilege not a right, and if you’re privileged, your vote matters even more. Yes, doing so may add almost 300 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but if you care about our world, you’ll make the sacrifice. (Luckily, I’m flying by private jet which, according to Sting, actually helps the environment.)

Christopher has never been to Washington DC, so I’ll also be taking out a little time from my busy schedule of shaping America’s political landscape to show him a few of the sights. Actually, I’d love to stop by the DC Zoo to see the area where I first became a woman; I know Christopher would like to get some photos there.

Don’t miss me too much while I’m gone. And to any would-be burglars: don’t get smart. Although Christopher and I will be away, the house will not be empty. I’ve arranged for my dear friend Alice Wintergarden to stay here: she may be small but she does pack heat. (Her house, on the other hand, will be vacant, though keep in mind her taste in jewellery is appalling.)

Christopher informs me that this is our one hundredth post on Everyone Needs An Algonquin. Thank you to the fans who have been there since the beginning—while we cherish all of you, the truth is your first loves always hold a special place in your heart (sometimes lodging themselves dangerously near the aortic opening). Happy 100th to us all.