Sunday, November 2, 2008
The election year mimosa tirade breakfast
This weekend was the Annual Grouse Kill weekend at CampO in Iron County, Wisconsin. One of the great traditions of this event is the election year mimosa breakfast, designed to provoke political tirades from the wide ranging political backgrounds of the guests in attendance. We even had a representative of the Commonwealth there, advocating replacement of the Federal system with a parliamentary form of government. Everyone agreed that the 6 week election campaign sounded wonderful but that we'd kinda miss having a president. One of our most passionate bleeding hearts (almost hemophiliac, actually) could not make the event due to Halloween activities and our token religious right guy didn't show either, balancing the absences. That still left us with a wide variety of views with right wing redneck, rock ribbed Republican, yellow and blue dog Democrats, Libertarians, and at least one guy whom I believe voted for the irrelevant Ralph Nader all represented.
I must confess that the event is not without its detractors. A member of the CampO ownership group, the WoodFondlingBarrister, feels that drinking mimosas and then heading out to grouse hunt, work on roofs, roll kayaks, or pull docks out of the water is not only a questionable order of events but also saps any ambition that might be present in a group that is normally lacking in that quality anyway after Friday nights welcoming festivities. In the final billing letter for a momentous timber and property matter that he represented me on, the Counseler wrote, "I am making an additional generous reduction in an already too low bill with the proviso that the resulting savings may not be used to fuel political rants or otherwise incite the guests at CampO". I felt that this was a blatant bribe and an attempt to limit political debate and discussion. To prove that I was not susceptible to special interest money, I purchased a large magnum of champagne (key ingredient in a fine mimosa, of course) and a gallon of orange juice with part of the nebulous 'savings' referred to in the letter.
It was a spirited discussion. Publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal to The Onion were cited, candidate voting record claims were shouted down, voices raised, tables pounded, and everyone pretty much got their point across. And, like the flurry of political ads this time of year, no ones mind was changed one iota. The best comment from anywhere on the political spectrum was regarding Gov Palin; "She's like a turtle on a fence post. Its not real sure how it got there, has no idea how it will get off, and you gotta question the judgement of the person that put it there". Unlike the congress however, when its time to get something done the guys at CampO pull together. That was illustrated by the weekend roofing project. It was also pointed out that all of us have friends across the political spectrum. I've noticed that many people, especially in urban areas, seem to have an unspoken political litmus test for friendship. We all agreed that not only was that complete bullshit but that it also makes it difficult to develop any empathy for other views, which is the key to working together.
Go vote tomorrow. I have my candidate picked out but go pull the lever whether its for a Republicrat or one of the fringe parties. Its called participatory democracy and everyone needs to particpate. And please, PLEASE don't go into a three year old-like sulk if your candidate loses. You'll get over it, especially if you look for a bit of common ground. The country is in desparate need of a new roof. Now go vote.