Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Free coffee in the free world

Here in Wichita, the lines started forming as soon as the polls opened, so it's probably going to be a long day for those poor election officials. I'll just laugh when I drive by on my way to claim my free Starbucks coffee and free Krispy Kreme donut. I laughed at the wife too, when she suggested we stand in line to vote early last week, but now it seems like a stroke of genius. The coffee's free and so is the day. Tonight will be the first presidential election in 30 years that I don't have to work through the night at a newspaper. I'm taking it easy. It's the Super Bowl, and I'm making nachos.

Last night everybody talking about the election on TV seemed giddy, even those who lean Republican. But why not? It's been two years of endless campaign blather and eight years of specific ineptitude at the top. Everybody needs a break once in awhile. The good news for Republicans is that they'll have a lot less to be embarrassed about. I get the sense all of us believe everything will be different with Obama in the White House, just as we believed as kids that everything would be different when we got that new bike under the Christmas tree.

Problem is, there's no new bike -- just an envelope containing a bill for the one we got last year, and the year before that. Obama's first challenge as president, as the nation's new old man on Christmas morning, will be explaining to the kids that there won't be any more new bikes for awhile. This will be hard news for certain of the siblings, the tight-lipped idealogues with tears of joy in their eyes and lengthy wish lists in their pockets. But if Obama's half the president I hope he his, he'll tell it to them straight.

If he's not -- well, it's hard to see how he still wouldn't be twice the president we have now. He's a messenger of hope arriving with a dump truck full of disappointment, and his great task will be to spread it around in a judicious manner.

But that's for tomorrow. Today, we congratulate ourselves for having voted, and sip our free Starbucks, and witness the autumn miracle of certain red states turning blue.

7 comments:

yvonne dennis said...

Very well said, Dave. It's too bad that instead of taking the hard news from the president and Congress like big kids, too many folks will begin first thing tomorrow morning throat-stabbing. We have become a nation of sore losers and selfish entitlists. The vitriol I heard spewed on the radio last Wednesday on a convervative show where the hosts seemed resigned to an Obama win was spouting propaganda that stupified me.

Dave Knadler said...

Yeah, it gets old. This whole thing is like a double-dose of Viagra for the haters. But I read somewhere that maybe our economic disaster will put the tiresome culture wars on hiatus. Hope that's true.

Ryan said...

It does make me chuckle how most just assume Obama is going to win, not giving even a mention to McCain. Like he's not even running.

Although I do agree that Obama is going to take the presidency; it's just a thought.

Dave Knadler said...

Hey, I've been wrong before. If McCain wins, I'll be deleting this post in short order ...

Stop Smoking said...

You gotta love this! I actually saw quite a number of stores with similar offers around town! So keep your eyes open today.

Jessie K said...

I was delighted when Obama alluded to the hard times ahead, calling on Americans to "sacrifice." We haven't heard that word in the public discourse for a long time. Not in my lifetime anyway. I think many Americans are absolutely ready if not relieved to give up the non-essentials....forsake another trip to Bed Bath & Beyond, pay down debt, save their pennies and work hard.

We'll see what happens!

'wela said...

Being a gray-hair, I don't expect a bike under the Christmas tree this year. I know it will take time to make things right. At least now, though, I can hope for a bike for my kids, for my grandchildren. That's not something I've been able to do for quite some time. Luster enough for me!