November 6th, 2008

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(no subject)

You know, I'm a Philadelphian, a Jew, and a Democrat. We're not used to good things happening, and we can always come up with some sort of inferiority-complex framing of any topic. We look for the black lining of the silver cloud, or something like that.

I'm very excited about President-Elect Obama! More so than I've let on in this space. He's the most exciting Democrat in my lifetime, and while I fully expect him to be a solid and respectable president who will do a lot to move our country in the direction it needs to go, his ceiling is much higher than that. My hope (there's that word again) is that he's a transcendent, transforming president, doing more for this country than any elected official since FDR or any individual since MLK. It's incredible to me that, for at least a couple of days this week, I can ride public transportation or sit in a polling place in an area where I'm one of the only non-Black people around, and look at the folks around me and have them look at me and see that we're really, truly equal. It's an illusion, of course; we still have a ways to go. But right now, just for a bit, it's lovely how easy it is for everyone to forget that.

(The Onion weighs in.)

And yet, my excitement is tempered. That's who I am. This was not a historic election turnout-wise. The Democrats are a long shot at best to hold the Republicans to 40 Senate seats. And the worst of all, California took a huge step backwards in civil rights. I'm shocked that Prop 8 probably passed, and I'm upset with myself, even having donated more than I ever have to a political campaign, that I didn't do more. As folk so eloquently put it, there's still hope both in the current state of things and via other legal avenues. But still, in this historic and exciting moment in American history, I'm less than fully happy.

And it's about time for me to send more money to the ACLU.

Hopefully I'll have a report of the most thrilling week of my life coming soon...
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From Broad Street to Broad Street: The Most Exciting Week of My Life

Monday October 27th ended in disbelief. This entire city, focused on one goal, suddenly had to stop and wait for what was to become 46 hours. The pitcher's spot was due up in the bottom of the 6th, what was to become the most analyzed at-bat in baseball history.

Tuesday never happened. Philadelphia was frozen in time as the nation watched House.

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And after President-elect Obama once again said "Yes we can" (and once again in the present tense), and after I typed a few dozen more curse words and a few hundred more exclamation points, I was getting tired and still had to move my car. So I went outside and fired up the engine. But instead of driving straight for the places where I park, I decided to take a little detour. I drove down to Broad Street. The crowds weren't the same as they were 6 days earlier, but they were definitely there, jumping and cheering and playing the impromptu drum. And I drove by, air-high-fiving and smiling, and honking my horn the whole way.
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