Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Republicans and the Five Stages of Grief

We bounced around Downtown Athens Ohio last night, first at Stephen's On Court, then hit the early stages of an election party at The Pigskin. MSNBC and CBS local were on the big screens, and Ball State/Toledo was nowhere to be found.

It was early and the action was slow, so I got to texting some of my conservative friends, simply asking (needling) "which stage of grief are you in?"

1. Denial and Isolation

The first response told me not to gloat yet, that you can't believe the polls. I can imagine him now in front of Fox News in his sweatsuit shaking his Magic 8-Ball until he gets the right result.

Nate Silver told us all along exactly what was going to happen, but like on climate change and evolution, deniers will just deny.

2. Anger

"I feel bad for this country, having four more years of your boy!" The truth is this friend's life (or mine) isn't truly affected by whomever was elected. And he recognized that projecting his sympathies for the country (he even mentioned the 53% - ouch!).

Donald Trump was obviously the bellweather for anger, calling the election a "sham" and calling for "revolution." He actually hit Stages 1 & 2 there, but he'd get to all 5 quickly enough if you kept an open mic in front of his piehole.

3. Bargaining

"At least I still live in a red state" was one I heard more than once, as I live in one too. Or "at least we still have the house." That's good, all of us are still bargaining with the same Executive/Legislative split, who have been unable to bargain with each other the last two years.

4. Depression

Surprisingly, I haven't seen a lot of this one yet. It was more evident during the coverage when Obama's campaign staff was appearing on every network with a bounce in their step, and nobody in the Romney camp was to be found.

It's hard not to be depressed when you work for months or years on something and then it's over. The silver lining for these retread political operatives is that we live in the land of opportunity (yes, it still is) and they're only a few months away from another election cycle and their next gig.

5. Acceptance

This one is the hardest to grasp. Mitch McConnell's #1 goal was to make Obama a one-term President, so now what? Making sure a GOP gets elected next time? That would breed the same obstructionism we've seen for the last two years. So you have to wonder whether this defeat will ever be accepted and anything will be changed. And one day I guess I'll have to accept that.

Yesterday, I predicted that 11 PM would be the hour this would be decided. Unfortunately I nodded off at about 11:05, and popped my eyes open at 11:25 to see that Obama had won. It was called at 11:12, when Iowa and Ohio were put into the winner's column. Naturally, Karl Rove didn't accept it.

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