It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE ELECTION AFTERMATH.
1. Jose has been thinking about what to write in this space for days now. Jose had a plan for what he was going to write. He was going to write about how John Kerry’s victory had made Boston Winnerstown, USA, about how Boston was home to The Super Bowl Champions, World Series Champions and President of the United States of America. Jose was going to guarantee that the New England Revolution would take the coveted MLS Cup and lament the fact that only the second place finish of Boston Rob in Survivor All-Stars had kept us from sweeping every competition in the country. (Note: And perhaps Jose would have mentioned that by marrying Amber, the winner, Rob had cleverly hedged his bets…winning by losing.)
But that set of KEYS will never be written. Nor will Jose write one of those woeful self-pitying pieces about how the Kerry defeat was a rejection of the entire region. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, Jose doesn’t really care. We conquered the rest of the country in both baseball and football; they don’t have to like us—they need only fear and envy us. So Jose will not be writing victory KEYS, nor will he write self pity KEYS. Instead, Jose is writing these KEYS…these right here.
Jose though hard about writing these KEYS at about 5 AM the morning after the election when a certain nameless right wing propaganda organ called Ohio, and thus the election, for Bush. Jose had gone to bed at about 12:30 fearing the worst and hoping for, well maybe not the best, that seemed unrealistic, maybe hoping for a long drawn out legal battle. He woke up at 5 AM, and saw the sad news. He really did think about writing right then and there, but he delayed. He thought about writing after Kerry conceded too, but again he delayed. Jose delayed because frankly what he was feeling at the moment was not funny, and certainly unlikely to appeal to Jose’s many readers who have political views quite different from his own. (Note: Libertarians, Republicans, Greens, Stalinists, neo-Stalinists, post neo-Stalinists, etc.)
Jose could have written about how the country had voted for increased elderly poverty, for tax cuts for billionaires, for poison in the air, for the persecution of gays and the rollback of women’s rights. Yes, Jose could have written about any of that, but he didn’t, because it is simply not funny. (Note: Maybe air pollution is a little funny if the pollutants have silly, rhyming names like chlorofluorocarbons. Elderly poverty, by contrast, is rarely funny.) And as a liberal all Jose has left is funny. It’s not that President Bush is some buffoon who is an easy subject of fun (Note: He may or may not be said buffoon, but that is not the point). Rather, since the Republicans have seized the presidency, the Senate, the House, the Supreme Court and most governorships, all liberals are left with his humor. That and the Governor’s Office in New Hampshire. Whooppee!!!
The simple fact is that impotence, both political and sexual is the mother (Note: Or would impotence be father? Or is it just a completely inapt metaphor?) of all humor. Why are there so many Viagra jokes? Impotence. Why does Poland possess the world’s greatest store of Russian jokes? Impotence, of the political variety. When one is completely powerless beneath the thumb of a political oppressor, jokes must often substitute for guns. (Note: An example from Jose’s father’s travels in Poland is "As we drink our Vodka, let me honor it with a traditional Polish toast…Here’s to the Russian Navy…Bottoms Up!!!) (Additional note for Jose’s many Russian readers: You guys are great sports. And of course your Navy would not build the bottom or "hull" of a boat on the top or "deck." Jose both saw and read "Hunt for Red October," and he knows you guys are badass.)
So Jose will refrain from vicious political attacks about the Republicans’ cronyism, hatred of the poor and fiscal irresponsibility. Instead, he will stick to lighthearted humor about the Republicans cronyism, hatred of the poor and fiscal irresponsibility. Also more jokes about the fact that the President and Vice President and named "Dick" and "Bush" respectively, those have a certain quiet, dignified causticity. But seriously, you Republicans won fair and square (Note: If viciously), and you are great sports. Now please don’t tap Jose’s phone.
2. There has been a lot of talk about whether President Bush’s 51% tally in the popular vote constitutes a "mandate." Everywhere Jose turns he hears people asking "Did President Bush win a mandate?" "Does President Bush now have the mandate that he lacked four years ago?" Frankly, Jose is a little confused. Why does President Bush want a man date? Jose was almost sure that Bush won all of those "moral values" voters by campaigning explicitly against homosexuality.
3. So let’s see, George W. Bush got elected in 2000 (Note: Sort of) running against peace and prosperity. Then in 2004, he got reelected running on war and economic stagnation. So what does this mean? The way Jose sees it, if this trend continues, by 2008 we’ll be at war with France, China and Freedonia and using box tops from Cookie Crunch Cereal as our official currency and George W. Bush will be elected President for Life with 115% of the vote. In fairness, since the Democrats don’t seem to be able to win by presiding over piece and prosperity or opposing war and economic stagnation, it seems likely that if a Democratic President were to usher in world peace and give every new baby a Rolex and a case of 18 year old scotch, he would still lose in the electoral college. As best, Jose can tell, we Democrats are simply not that good at this whole "running for office thing."
(Note: So those are Jose’s election KEYS. They’re over with now, and Jose is glad. Jose needed to write on the subject, but at heart he is truly a uniter and not a divider, particularly not a long divider, so look forward to tripartite commentary in this space on unifying subjects like the designated hitter, arbitration and the Rule V draft.) (Additional Note: If President Bush proposes something called the "Rule V draft" in Congress, don’t be fooled. It will have nothing to do with minor league prospects.)
I’m Jose Melendez and those are my KEYS TO THE ELECTION AFTERMATH.