Sunday, June 01, 2008

I am happy

On this bright, but not too hot Sunday, I am taking a moment to acknowledge all I am grateful for at this very moment:

1) The Cubs. I love them. I have always loved them. I always will love them. (Kerry Wood is pitching as I begin this post. I love him particularly if not exclusively.) They bring me joy and break my heart and give me a sense of continuity and community. I feel sorry for people who don't have a similar passion that can lift them from their day-to-day lives.

2) My independence. After watching what my friend Kathy has been struggling with, and the toll it's taking on her, I am pleased and proud and grateful that I can make my bills each month and have a reserve.

3) My health. Oh, time is taking its toll on this ol' Gal. I do not deny that. Scratches and bruises don't heal as quickly as they used to. Pounds don't come off as easily they used to. Let's not forget the high cholesterol and allergies. But after hearing the hospital tales of my mom and my former boss, I realize I'm lucky to have such run-of-the-mill maladies.

4) My cats. Healthy, happy and as individual as snowflakes, they are so cool and I love them so.

5) My friends. A diverse crew, for sure. But mine own. And I realize I'm stronger for knowing them. Especially during the difficult month of May.

Laundry. No, I'm not happy to have loads of wash ahead of me. I'm just psyching myself up for it.

About that battered donkey on the day after

"Republicans fall in line. Democrats fall in love." Chris Matthews

"I am not the member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat." Will Rogers

Back in the winter, back before a single vote was cast, the DNC announced that Michigan and Florida would be stripped of their delegates if they went ahead with their renegade primaries. I live in Illinois, and I heard that announcement. I was also aware that Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards (he was still a factor) all supported this DNC ruling and agreed not to campaign in these states.

How was this Chicago Gal so well-informed about her party's politics? No, Commissioner Gordon didn't call me personally on a bright red phone. I read the paper and watched TV. I saw it in Newsweek and Time.

If I knew about all this before a single vote was cast, certainly the voters of Michigan and Florida had access to this same information. It undoubtedly received even more coverage in their local media. So here's why I'm confused:

1) If the good Dems in Michigan and Florida were all in favor of voting early in violation of DNC rules, and knew their votes effectively wouldn't count, but felt their rebellion was worth it, why are they upset now?

2) Or, if the good Dems in Michigan and Florida were NOT in favor of voting early in violation of DNC rules BECAUSE they knew they their votes wouldn't count, why didn't they do something back in 2007?

Here in Illinois, I know who my party's powerbrokers are. (Sometimes because they are being investigated by Patrick Fitzgerald, but that's another post for another time.) If I knew I was losing my role in the nominating process entirely, and I cared, I would have contacted Mayor Daley and Danny Davis and John Madigan and my senators … Dixon and what's his name? Oh yeah, Obama. And, while I was at it, I would have contacted Clinton and Edwards. (Trust me -- as a campaign worker and contributor to Senator John Kerry's 2004 campaign, they were contacting ME all the time.)

If the electorate doesn't read the papers, doesn't watch TV, doesn't read news magazines, and doesn't get involved, that's their choice. Ignoring what your representatives are doing on your behalf comes at a price. Pay it.

If the electorate does know that their rebellion will have negative ramifications and proceeds with it anyway, that's their choice. Civil disobedience has always come with penalties. Accept them.

So what happened yesterday seems entirely fair to me. More than fair, in fact, because the voters in Michigan and Florida are receiving greater representation than they were promised at the beginning of this process. But I'm happy about that, because Michigan especially can be a very blue state and I want Barack Obama to win in November.

In all, this messy process makes me glad to be a Democrat. It was televised in all it's noisy
glory. Our inner workings were on display, and that's always a good thing.

Yesterday told me a great deal about our candidates. One was willing to live with the ramifications of his agreement regarding these states. One chose to don her Norma Rae facade and fight the consequences of what she agreed to.

The candidate I find most interesting is John Edwards. No, not because of the shiny hair and blue eyes that are set off so nicely when he wears blue ties. Fortunately he didn't appear anywhere yesterday to distract me from the subject at hand with his physicality.

John Edwards had the greatest claim to those "hardworking white Americans" (a phrase Hillary coined that I hate) that the NY Senator won over after he dropped out. If he had stayed in, kept campaigning, I have no doubt many of those good ol' boys would have stayed with the millworkers son, siphoning votes from Hillary. Edwards would never have had enough votes to WIN, but he could have/would have accumulated enough delegates to remain a player all the way to convention in Denver.

Instead, he dropped out. Putting the interests of the party ahead of his own ambition (and no one has ever accused John Edwards of NOT being ambitious). He hoped that by suspending his campaign, the nominating process would go more smoothly, less divisively.

Alas, it didn't work out that way.

She gets me every time

I was channel surfing just now and came upon Olive Hoover as she prepares to do her big "Super Freak" number in the Little Miss Sunshine pageant.

I adore this little girl. Abigail Breslin is so natural and sincere and reminds me bit of my favorite niece when she was that age. In her every scene, she nearly breaks my heart. Same in Definitely … Maybe.

I wish she could be in every movie.