Four years ago today I was a complete wreck, and I wasted a lot of calories in stress and tension over Kerry vs. Bush. But after our economy imploded on September 15th, I pretty much stopped worrying about this election. An economy in the tank is an economy in the tank for Obama, and when you combine this with the fact that John McCain's long career in government means that he has passed his expiration date, I was able to more or less unclench and turn politics into a spectator sport. (Jonathan Rauch is the man who determined that American politicians have a 14 year expiration date.)
None of this, of course, kept me from calling in sick to work and spending the evening glued to MSNBC. I realize that, it being the 21st century and all, I should have just been hitting endless "refresh" on dKos, but let's face it: being hunched over the desk peering at my laptop was just less fun than curling up on the couch and watching Chris Matthews call Tom DeLay "a man who knows how to hate." Keith Olbermann had a pink tie. Rachel Maddow was dreamy. Good times.
I was pleasantly surprised this morning to also learn that Bill Hendrick, whom no one outside of Riverside will have ever heard of, upset 15 year incumbent Ken Calvert, who was a real tool. I mean that in the most literal sense: when the Bush-Cheney administration needed to ram some piece of crap raping of the Constitution through Congress, they reached into the tool box and wrapped their fleshy hands around Ken Calvert's long, cool, handle. In 1993 he was arrested for trying to hire a prostitute. He's been named one of the 20 most corrupt members of Congress for three years in a row. The only time he's broken with Bush on a significant issue was to oppose Bush's immigration reform efforts -- which is one of the few things that Bush did right. Despite all this, Ken had one big advantage running for office in Riverside: he's a Republican. We had token candidates opposing him in past elections but this year Bill Hendrick and the folks at Democracy for America rode the Obama wave and worked their asses off and they deserve a huge heaping bowl of delicious praise. Congratulations to Representative Hendrick.
Unfortunately, not everything came up roses for us last night. Homophobes in California were convinced by homophobes running the Mormon Church to amend the California constitution to ban gay marriage. There's nothing I can say that can top Andrew Sullivan's eloquent and heart-felt thoughts on a matter has fought so hard on, so I'll just say: what he said.