It’s a bitter snowy day in Washington, D.C. A now fully gray-haired President Obama sits in the first row with a stern, emotionless face. Next to him, Michelle looks off in the distance. Chief Justice Roberts is seated across from them, with a smile on his face as usual, but this time with a little bit of a genuine glow. Obama thinks, I bet he won’t fuck up the oath this time.
Bill Clinton is seated nearby doing his ex-presidential duty, but his wife isn’t with him. She’s nowhere to be seen. Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell joke with each other. Clinton and Obama have not greeted each other. They haven’t been speaking since December when Bill gave a quote a reporter where he said “Obama is the only one who ever defeated us, both times, the Republicans could never do it. And they tried.” Clinton admitted later it was a bit unfair, but the thirty days between that quote and election day had been the most stressful in his post-presidential life.
Thirty days it lasted. That was when the final recount had ended. It hurt him he couldn’t deliver Arkansas for Hillary. Ohio, lost. Virginia, lost. Colorado, lost. Iowa, lost. Even losing New Jersey didn’t end it. You held Florida. You had a 70% approval rating with women there and it paid. But those last days in Oregon. It was solid blue, it was humiliating.
How did that happen? You look at Obama. Not a damn emotion on his face. In there somewhere there has to be some realization. The drones. The NSA. Syria. It was just too damned soon, too much like Bush. No, you think, in his Vulcan mind the comparisons were inapt. Bush lied. Obama told the truth. But that didn’t matter.
First they had tried to recruit Liz Warren to run a third party campaign, but she knew better. She took her job seriously and wanted to legislate. The Draft Warren movement turned into the Draft America movement. There was even a TV show looking for a “truly different” candidate. They made pictures of a three headed beast with Obama and Bush and Hillary on it.
How many votes did that sway? Did it sway more than 35 in Oregon? Probably.
And so now they had it. They had the Congress and they had the White House and they had Obama’s legacy ready to light on fire. It wasn’t just Obamacare. They had a bill that was going to “repeal not just Obamacare but Obama.” Health care reform, gone. Consumer financial protection bureau, gone. 39% tax bracket, gone. They were even repealing the immigration reform law. The new President would sign it today. As if he won in a landslide.
35 fucking trustifarians in Oregon who were mad that someone could read their banal e-mails. 1,000 stoners in Colorado who thought they could nullify federal law but neo-confederates in the South couldn’t. And probably tens of thousands who stayed home because they didn’t believe anyone represented them, they let the cynicism wear them down.
Obama squinted in the snow and he could feel Clinton’s dagger-eyes in his back. Arrogant bastard. Al Gore probably said the same thing about him. Your dick, my White House. A mob of Amy Goodman listeners saying “both the same” and then Bush, Iraq, and America fucked up. But everyone knows I saved it. I saved our self-respect, first black President, saved us from a depression. Got Bin Laden and ended those stupid wars, put it back the way it should have been before Bush fucked it up. I did what he couldn’t do—I got health care fixed, I got a deal on Jerusalem. He didn’t even try to save Rwanda, argued against it. But Yugoslavia, he did everything for them. For Europeans. But I try to stop a holocaust in Syria and they turn on me. Hillary has to be her own woman, that was the first term when I was secretary of state, she said.
But how can I blame her? The equated me with the worst president in our history who stole his presidency because they wouldn’t believe that I would do what I said I was going to do not what they dreamed I was going to do, because I used drones to keep our military out of the way and because of FISA, a Constitutional program. Didn’t matter. Bush had poisoned everyone. Competent government wasn’t enough for them. Had to be a revolution, always a revolution, and a revolution after the revolution because that’s what their college professors who never made a decision with someone’s life on the line told them.
Now it’s Chris Christie’s plaque filled fucking arteries that stands between us and Rand Paul. There’s their revolution.