Sunday, June 06, 2004

Old Mother Reagan went to heaven and at the pearly gates she was stopped

It's crunch time for me, 52 hours till the polls close, and it's just now that I have time to reflect on Reagan's death other than the lyrics I tossed up yesterday.

This shouldn't be a big deal, he's been gone in Alzheimer's hell for a decade. Some might say he couldn't hurt anyone anymore. But his policies and his political heirs continue to hurt people and I'm not gonna pretend to be sad.

I was up till 4 AM last night, working on my stuff for my little local candidate. And I wouldn't have been doing that with my life if it weren't for Reagan. He was the most influential person in my political lifetime. At the critical moment when I started setting my course, he scared me and made me want to fight back.

He was the first president I ever voted against. The 1984 campaign was a masterpiece: they made it absolutely unpatriotic to be a Democrat. We tried to keep a Mondale sign in our yard back at "720," our semi-infamous college house, and it kept getting trashed.

We all trod up to the Eau Claire County Courthouse to pull those old fashoned lever machines for Mondale, all of us except the Polish guy. He was a Solidarity refugee disguised as a grad student. He was pretty keen on Reagan.

So the guys and my girlfriend all gathered around the TV set to watch the landslide go down. They called it for Reagan at some unbelievably early hour like 5:30 in the afternoon. Somebody went and got a large amount of beer (this was several months before I sobered up). We were watching North Carolina. We all knew Mondale was a goner, but we wanted to see Jesse Helms go down.

There weren't a lot of bright spots. Some guy named Harkin beat that nitwit Roger Jepsen down in Iowa. We probably said something about going down to Iowa City to party with Berke Breathed, that was an ongoing far fetched idea, little did I know...

About 11:30 they called it for Helms. We threw the beer cans at the TV and went to bed.

Here's a few more songs for the playlist

  • "Bonzo Goes To Bitburg" by the Ramones
  • "Five Minutes" by Bonzo Goes To Washington. Samples and plays with the "we begin bombing in five minutes" soundbite
  • "We've Got A Bigger Problem Now" by the Dead Kennedys
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