You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
And if you try sometime you find
You get what you need
-- The Rolling Stones
You know the scene in The Sting where after the con is sprung and the mark is hustled from the betting parlor and Paul Newman turns to Robert Redford and asks, "Well kid, was it worth it?"
Redford kind of shakes his head no and then with a wry smile responds, "..but it was close."
That's kind of like how I feel about last night. Mrs War Planner and I had the champagne on ice and were enjoying some good vittles as race after race fell into the Republican column. We were anticipating the eight o'clock closing of the California polls and the agonizing wait as the votes rolled up for Brown v. Whitman and Boxer v. Fiorina. And then -- at the appointed hour -- Fox News, almost as an afterthought, called those races for our enemies.
There it was: the volunteer work of almost two months, walking precincts and innumerable telephone calls, up in smoke, a casual offhand comment before they cut to one of those countless Lexus commercials they run. We're sitting there with the pâté de foie gras on our lips and the Moët et Chandon dribbling down our chins as a pall descends upon the proceedings.
Captain Bringdown hath spoken.
For the rest of the night, through wave after wave of good news, we deal with the painful tidbit that the 73-year-old hippie who guided California's fortunes incapably into the first years of the Reagan revolution would again have minion over our lives and would be consorting with the scheming Democrats, lobbyists, and neutered, go-along Republicans in Sacramento, spending and shoveling largess at constituents until the coffers of this great state are bereft of funds. And there would be six more years of that shriveled up old hag sitting in judgment of Army generals, insisting that they genuflect and address her by her proper title.
Ungracious thoughts -- calculation of their ages and contemplation the delicious prospect of either or both vapor-locking in harness -- passed through my mind.
Sometime later that night, I wandered into the bedchamber and launched myself into an ambiguous slumber to awake to a bright, unseasonably warm day; it's amazing how one's perspective changes after a night's sleep.
I am sure you have heard the litany of the good, bad, and the ugly of yesterday's events. There was a lot of good, almost no bad and, of course, the ugly will soon be winging their way back to their home towns for a not-so-well-earned sabbatical. I would include in this group, of course, the turd-studded personages of Nancy Pelosi and Alan Grayson. The former is rumored to be retiring rather than suffer the indignity of serving as a privilege-deprived back-bencher in the House and the latter is just crawling back under that algae-encrusted rock from whence he emerged two years ago. I personally wish that man the worst, hope he contracts a pernicious STD from mating with lower forms of life, and dies a shrieking, agonizing death while watching his member ooze green puss as it shrivels and falls off. And no, Grayson, in this case this Republican will NOT want you to die quickly.
But the real gem of this election is that the Republicans have gained just enough power to affect events in Washington for the good and not enough to be overtly held accountable for any failures of bad governance. By any measure, the Democrats have their hands on two out of the three throttles of this nation's government engine; they must responsibly maintain that grip, not releasing it to point fingers.
Of course, the 240-plus seats in the house are a thing of beauty and a joy to behold and it was almost universally acknowledged that soon-to-be-speaker-Boehner's remarks late last night set the correct tone.
Moreover, while remaining in Democrat hands, the senate will be comprised of [at least] 46 republicans and no less than 21 Democrats who come up for election in 2012. With the memories of this blood bath -- those who blindly obeyed the Child Emperor's wishes perishing -- still fresh in their minds, then they will be much more amenable to suggestions from the minority party. There is even talk of some Dems converting and becoming Republican. It ain't a rubber stamp but it'll do 'til the real thing comes along.
Yes sir, it seems that the Stones got it right..
..you may not get what you want, but sometimes get what you need..
UPDATE: Here's a very upbeat summary of what I was trying to express above. Be prepared to split your sides with laughter. Happy days are here again!