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11/08/2006 Archived Entry: "Still a political junkie/Jim Webb"

I CONFESS, I'M STILL A POLITICAL JUNKIE. Not a voter; hell no. Not since the betrayal of 1994. But sitting up late to watch election returns is better than birthdays, Thanksgiving dinner, and sex.

I got my love of politics from my Mama; when I recall childhood, those election-night sessions before the TV stand out as far more exciting than Christmas. We kids would sit there 'til we couldn't keep our eyes open. If we finally had to crawl to bed with key results stil pending, Mom might even wake us up in the middle of the night with breaking news. (The most memorable of those mid-night wakeups was a surreal one: the assassination of Robert Kennedy moments after he declared victory in the California presidential primary.)

No TV at Cabin Sweet Cabin. But last night the weather gods relented and I had a clear Internet connection for the first time in six days. And the radio was working without its usual crackles. Praise be and glory hallelujah. I sat there listening to NPR and monitoring the election returns simultaneously on abc.com, the Washington Post website, and npr.com (I did say I was a junkie, right?).

I was delighted when the Dems took nearly twice as many seats as they needed to rule the House -- not because I favor the ghastly D's, of course. But because the Busheviks need the hardest possible smack. (Let's hope the D's understand that's what happened; heaven forbid they should decide they have a "mandate from the people.")

Best of all, though was the suspense of those four tight Senate races -- Missouri, Tennessee, Montana, and Virginia. Boy, that beat -- and is still beating! -- any thriller ever run in a movie theater. I want to see Montana's creepy and corrupt Conrad Burns go down in flames. But to my surprise, I found myself watching the Allen-Webb race in Virginia and actually wanting Webb to win rather than merely wanting Allen to lose.

Two weeks ago, I wouldn't have cared. Aside from thinking Allen was a bloated buffoon, I had no opinion. But then came Allen's embarrassingly desperate attempt to try to portray Webb as some sort of kiddie pornographer, based on out-of-context scenes from Webb's novels. WTF? And looking closer at the rather larger-than-life Webb, what freedom lover wouldn't be impressed by this speech given at the Confederate memorial? And how about this honesty about history?

Webb, like his party affiliation or not, seems to be one high-caliber man -- the sort of renaissance man who's a fitting heir to notable Virginia statesmen of the past. No, I'm not claiming he's sheer, libertarian perfection (even Ron Paul isn't that). Just that he's far above the gutter-slime that fills Congress now, and incomparably above the grease-oozing Allen. He's ahead by the slightest of margins in a race that's likely to go to a recount. I hope he pulls it off.

And Ron Paul, of course, is still -- with no post-election suspense -- comfortably with us.

Posted by Claire @ 07:51 AM CST

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