I was hoping to avoid this, but I guess in my heart I knew it would probably have to happen. And anyway, it was the least I could do for the future of the country. But, at the same time, when you possess a magic connection to a particular beverage you don’t always know what to do with it. This whole situation didn’t exactly come with an instruction manual. Anyway, for the first time since the Nats World Series victory some twelve-plus months ago, I busted open a Chelada on Wednesday. I won’t say if it was Wednesday morning or Wednesday evening, and really what difference does it make? It was “time.” To get things turned around. And thank the good lord Chelas, we did. That is my victory lap.
This is my hectoring lament:
As inspiring as the Obama victory in 2008 was, the celebration went on far too long. It felt to me that for endless halcyon months following Obama’s triumph, sophisticated progressives patted themselves on the back even as the administration appropriately apportioned their political capital to the country-saving stimulus and the ACA. All the while Republicans ranging from the self-dealing to the psychopathic organized in earnest, formulating the beta version of what would become the belligerent worst-American-episode-ever Trump coalition.
I say this as a songwriter and a musical theater geek: let’s not interpret a Biden administration as an opportunity to indulge in cultural and political comfort food. Let’s not feel reassured or validated. There is nothing validating about 70 million votes cast for Donald Trump. Let’s not mistake watching Broadway hagiographies for direct political action. This is not the time for upbeat “I knew we’d prevail!” indie rock. Four years ago, a cabal of variously competent criminals broke into our house, stole anything not nailed down and then set everything else on fire. The ringleader has been caught, but his accomplices run amok.
The anger should feel more acute now than ever. Per the GOP’s proven system, Trump will hand Biden a terrible economy and quite possibly an exaggerated winter of I-Don’t-Give-A-Fuck-How-Many-Die response to the pandemic. Biden will be pilloried, vilified and obstructed from the moment he takes power. Let’s push back harder than ever. Per the Mekons: “The seed of the devil lives on in men.” We’re never at the end of the fight for justice, we’re always, over and over, just entering the arena.
I’m so relieved, relatively to where we were Tuesday night. I am so grateful. But the GA runoffs loom in January, and the midterms lurk just 24 months out. I implore us all: don’t get complacent. As Elvis Costello once put it: “You think it’s over now/ but this is only the beginning.” One way or the other, that is sure to prove true.
Chelady In Blue