By way of quick preface, this is less organized essay than it is demi-ramble. But it matches my state of mind, so:
I’ve been wondering when exactly I would fully hit a wall in this whole campaign and right now, I’ve hit it. Big time.
Last night, while many were feverishly checking and rechecking vote counts and projections and delegate pledges and the like, I was going on a bit about NIN and Ghosts I-IV, and that was entirely intentional — not simply due to the timing of its release, but because it gave me something else to think about, at a convenient time. I could have written about a slew of other things if I was in that kind of a mood, or just gone out and done something else, but in any event, some idle checking of a relevant thread on ILX aside, I avoided the news and concentrated upon other things.
Now personally I’d’ve been more than happy with some clear Obama victories; some other part of me is amused by the calculating and Machiavellian plotting that both sides will think they are engaged in (I say think because I think they’re both adept students on this front but not necessarily masters). And Huckabee’s departure after having spent a few months as a brilliant spoiler, allowing McCain’s campaign to complete its comeback, makes sense, and while the anti-McCain crowd on the right still seethes at him, he’s laughing all the way to the bank (he’s probably set for lecture tours for life, should he so choose).
But right now, coming off of a full few days in my life in general, I just feel exhausted, even more so at the start of the year when I was just antsy for the whole campaign to finally begin on a formal basis. Two months later and a lot of twists and turns along, the fact that there’s no final resolution is kinda annoying, but at the same time some part of me likes the stasis and that people are still trying to figure this one out. I’ve withdrawn from much in the way of political blog viewing at the moment — Balloon Juice is about the only thing I’m looking at for now, and even John’s feeling the blahs (his post title sums it up even better):
I already hate being a Democrat. The other party is united around a doddering old warmonger who they swore just a few weeks ago they would never vote for, and the Democrats are busy tearing the party apart from the inside out so that we can continue the 28 year old Bush/Clinton dynasty.
And I forgot the worst thing- I am in the Pennsylvania television markets. I am going to have to suffer through weeks of Clinton commericals lying about Obama.
It’s the latter point I feel more than the former, though, in terms of the fretting regarding a party bent on self-destruction. More than anything else, the sheer self-loathing and despair on display from a wide variety of left and/or Democratic voters is making me roll my eyes. Having pointed out endless times regarding the time left to go and the out-of-anyone’s-hands factors at play in terms of the mood of the electorate, why people insist on the worst possible scenario being the only one escapes me, and that line of thinking is a step I’m not interested in pursuing.
I say this well aware why people can feel this way, but I have to ask people to take the long views — and to step back if and as they can, if they need to. John’s point about the TV coverage where he’s at is well taken, for instance — it’s not something I’m going to be suffering from at all — and if you’re a committed party voter with some big state campaigns coming up, or are planning on donating or otherwise arguing points with friends and family members on a daily basis, there may be no easy way to step back. So my advice can’t be universally applied — but if you can apply it, you might want to, if you’re feeling like you’ve been pounding your head against a wall all these weeks as the picture’s become clearer but the final result remains out of reach.
Use the time, meanwhile, to learn more about other issues far and near — I’ve got the June votes coming up and the signature-gatherers are in full force on campus to make the deadlines for that — or else concentrate on those things which can be dealt with right at the moment. That political campaigns can be brutal shouldn’t surprise anyone, that we can and should call out horrible things is a necessity, but there’s still more going on right now than just that. Months to go yet, folks — eight total. If you’re living your political observational life at high-speed right now still, you’re going to be even more of a wreck later on.