November 2010 looms a mere six months off. November 2012 another twenty-four months away. For eight years I counted the months, then the weeks, then the days when I could go to the polls and vote corrupt Bushies out of office and out of our lives.
Now I dread the polls. Such great hope dashed is more than just a betrayal, it's an emotional headshot. Maybe I was foolish to allow myself to wallow in such uncritical joy and anticipation. After all, I've been around Washington and politicians for decades and I should have known better I guess.
Well, I don't have guess, I guess. Because here we are, 18 months later and the "Change We Can Believe In" bumper stickers have faded or been peeled off by despondent Obama fans like me.
Where do I go now, after such a monumental betrayal? I feel like an abused spouse who breaks free of one abuser only to discover I've married another one.
Oh, I know... DNC beltway insiders will rush to assure me that the change I voted for is still on the table but that Big O has to play the game; compromise, posture and cut "good deals" with bad people. And that progressives like me are being naïve and unfair when we b*tch and gripe about not getting our way, right away.
Maybe. But I'll be 65 this summer and I didn't just roll into town in the back of a turnip truck. I've seen-em come, and I've seen-em go. I've sat in Capitol Hill offices and heard Senate staffers refer to their bosses as "rental cars" for special monied interests and industry.
One hot, muggy summer afternoon I sat on a stool among the stacks of books in the House library and listened to a moderate two-term House Democrat explain, in tears, why he would not run for re-election.
"I came here thinking I could change this place," he said. "But no one can change this place. I'm going back home where I can raise my kids and be with my wife and work in my community where I can really affect change."
Now I fully understand those tears; tears of frustration, tears for hope dashed, tears for a nation on a path to mediocrity and decay.
Barack, you let me down man. You let all of us down. Thanks to you, I don't know what I will do -- not this November, not the November 2-years later. You not only snuffed out my hope, but my last vestiges of trust as well. Like a repeatedly abused stray dog, I now shy away from every politician outstretched hand.
Because you can't sell hope without trust -- at least not to me, not again, not ever again.
And that's your fault Barack Obama. And it's rapidly shaping your legacy.