On election night 1980, I attended Ronald Reagan’s victory party at a Washington DC hotel. I was still a registered Democrat, but my girlfriend was a Republican and her mother had contributed to the campaign for which she had received two tickets. I was sufficiently anti-Carter to accompany my girlfriend.
The presidential race was over by the time we arrived, so much of the partisan fun consisted of watching Democratic lions of the Senate fall one-by-one. I was happy enough to see the likes of Frank Church, Birch Bayh, and George McGovern go down to defeat. However, I was taken aback by the demeanor of the crowd. As the old lions gave their concession speeches, some of the partisans shook their fists at the television screen and yelled not very nice things.
Thirty years on, I wonder whether I will be doing any fist-shaking tonight. If Alan Grayson loses, and appears on television, I doubt I’ll be able to resist. I will also be tempted to show get a bit nasty if Senators Reid, Boxer and/or Murray lose. Sen. Lincoln will lose, but her defeat will be so anti-climactic that, despite my long obsession with her, I doubt I’ll get too carried away.
One Senator I definitely won’t be shaking my fist at is Russ Feingold. I’ll be happy to see him lose, especially to Ron Johnson, who seems excellent. But Feingold is, I think, a thoroughly decent and honorable guy. In a more just world, if only one of the four of Reid, Boxer, Murray, and Feingold survived tonight’s election, it would be Feingold.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the Liberty Bell