Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Year Ago This Week

Ah, the first Tuesday of November. Where were you at this time last year? I just dug up the story, posted below, of my election-night celebrating in downtown DC. An edited version of this actually got printed in my hometown newspaper, in a county where 60% of the votes went to McCain/Palin... Oh snap!
Last night Katie and I literally danced in front of the White House, on Pennsylvania Avenue, with thousands of other people. It was about 2 am. There were drums. Flags. Chants. High fives with strangers. If George was home, he heard us. If he looked out a window, in any direction, he saw us.

We sang to the president:
"Na na na na, na na na na, hey-ey-ey, goodbye!"
"Hit the road jack, and don't you come back no more..."

All over northwest DC, from the Capitol to the White House, even deep into residential areas, drivers layed on their horns. People on the sidewalks jumped up and down. An unceasing ringing of horns and shouts, a constant rhythm of chanting and drums echoed down the streets. And it went on and on. Intersections near the White House were blocked. People were standing on their cars, hanging out windows, waving flags. The police were smiling.

When we finally started heading home, we thought we had left the celebration area, only to drive upon a spontaneous parade of several hundred people marching down 16th Street. Again, drums pounding away. Jubilation. The marchers took up all the southbound lanes, heading toward the White House to join the thousands already there. They stopped for a while to dance in the tunnel under Massachusetts Avenue, where the drums were thunderous.

The size, scope, and duration of the celebration was impressive. Fox News described it all as a couple hundred kids from George Washington University who had "texted, so to speak," their friends from Georgetown. No, it was EVERYONE from at least Capitol Hill to Dupont Circle. We were there around 2 am. The party had been kickin' for a while and showed no sign of slowing when we left.

Did George Bush look out his window? Did he see the entire city dancing, euphoric at the thought of him leaving office, excited to have a president we can be proud of?

George Bush and Karl Rove tried to create a "permanent Republican majority," an alliance between big business and social reactionaries that rested on a foundation of greed and fear. Instead they learned that you can push the people around for a long time, you can knock them down, rob them, deceive them, turn them against one another. You can push people around, but eventually...



delaine said...

Now, that was an exciting time ! In years to come you and Katie will tell your children about living in DC and witnessing AND taking active parts in bringing about the first African-American President. What a breath of fresh air after the Bush-Cheney years.

Becky said...

Man, that was a great night. Waking up the next morning, and remembering what had happened--that felt like Christmas does to a child.