but I think it's going to be a very long week.
Okay, so technically it can not be a long week. A week is, as it will always be, seven days. It just seems like the wait until next Tuesday is going to feel a lot longer. I feel a Steve Martin line coming on, but I will restrain myself.
I have been on hiatus for a bit. Anyone who knows me will tell you, I am a sports fan. Well anyone except my daughter who seems to be convinced I only watch for my husband's sake. But the truth is I love hockey and football - I enjoy the wait for Martin Brodeur to write his name on a record no one else might ever touch. I yell a little each week when the Eagles don't play as well as I think they can.
But, ah, then there is baseball. I have been a lifelong, die-hard fan of the Phillies since Mike Schmidt's rookie year. Of all sport and all sports teams - this is my passion. I will tell you that it caused me true pain to turn off the playoff games in favor of the presidential debates - but hey - we gotta keep our priorities, right? Well, that team of teams, my own Philadelphia Phillies, have made the last week both exciting and long for me. The wait until tomorrow night when we will, hopefully, resume play of the World Series, also seems horribly long. As any long-time Fightin' Phils fan will tell you, it ain't over till the fat lady sings - and we've heard that bitch sing for the other side too many times. We don't count the chicken before it's hatched but we're sitting on the golden egg. Maybe there's some lucky number magic in the '80, '08 thing - but I am still praying that God is a Phillies fan.
Tomorrow, my eyes and my heart will be completely focused on the World Series. That being said, I am taking tonight - a rain out - as a moment to return to my public venting and therapy session.
Much of this week will be filled with lies and nonsense. There will be more political ads on your television screen than you think you can bear. There will be more endorsements, some well put and some sounding as phony as those who will grant them. We've endured two years of pounding, brutal campaigning. Maybe it's me, but it seems like the campaigns get longer each time there is a presidential election. Perhaps the new president will start his re-election campaign in February and we can just start thinking of campaign ads as the new daily norm, a bit like your coffee, just a little more bitter.
This week we've heard more allegations on the conduct of Sarah Palin, a $150,000 budget for clothing loudest among them. I must admit I ask myself how in hell do you spend $20,000 on makeup? How do you charge your state $17,000 to live in your own house? If you're such a maverick, try Mayor Bloomberg's line of thought - by law alone does he accept a $1 salary. He turned the rest back to the city because, hey, he didn't need the money. Can anyone explain to hard working people who believed in McCain enough to donate their money to his campaign how that money could have been used to make Sarah Palin and her family look pretty? That kind of thinking doesn't fly very well in a time when most people can't afford a gallon of milk. It's the same bullshit that got us where we are right now.
I find it amusing that she can sum up the gumption to call for Alaska Senator Ted Stevens to resign. Amidst her own allegations or misuse of her office, misuse of campaign funds and state monies it seems like a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
Palin of course took no questions, but made another sentence-less statement:
Obviously, McCain and Palin are looking for a way to put the spotlight of bad behavior anywhere but on themselves.
“The verdict shines a light on the corrupting influence of the big oil service company up there in Alaska that was allowed to control too much of our state. And that control was part of the culture of corruption that I was elected to fight, and that fight must always move forward regardless of party affiliation or seniority or even past service.“As Governor of the State of Alaska, I will carefully now monitor the situation and I’ll take any appropriate action as needed. In the meantime, I ask the people of Alaska to join me in respecting the workings of our judicial system and I’m confident that Senator Stevens from this point on will do the right thing for the people of Alaska.”
Yep, it's going to be a long week - and as hard as it will be to filter the truth out of the muck, we will have to stay strong. Something tells me that the lies will be easier to spot, but the truth is worth searching for every time.
There is one moment in time I do expect to enjoy this week (besides a pennant - I hope and pray) and that is tomorrow night on The Daily Show. Barack Obama is the guest and I know Jon Stewart will make it interesting. Yea, I know Obama is going after the youth vote. That goes without saying - but the fact is he doesn't really have to try hard. Recent polls show him far ahead of McCain in that category. What also goes without saying is that we shouldn't be surprised. The kids are a little more open-minded and what we do now is their burden to bear.
They want change and they are willing to fight for it. The youth in our country is expected to turn out in record numbers. Recently, I heard a great news report on ABC 6 out of Philadelphia stating that a group of students at Penn State had started a movement on campus. They gave up their voter registration in their home states and registered to vote in Pennsylvania. They are urging others to do the same - the idea being that there vote just might mean a lot more in a state (or Commonwealth, as the fact may be) that McCain hopes to upset in. Rest assured that what they are doing is perfectly legal - and absolutely ingenious.
What will remain on my mind over the next seven days is the right to vote, why we vote and - most importantly - why we choose who we vote for. I've spoken in previous writings about this subject. I fear that close-minded and fear-filled people will choose a man based on his skin color rather than his ability to lead and his character. We are in desperate need of change, but the fact is that changes scares the hell out of people.
This morning it was reported that there was a murder plot to kill Barack Obama. The suspects were apprehended and the plan was thwarted - but it still made me both angry and sad. It is not any great love for their country that caused these young men to make such plans. The fact that they would add innocent children to their killing goal lies way to their ideology. Hate alone drove their thinking. Nothing is certain about next Tuesday, hate and fear still drive too many thoughts in too many minds.
I listened to Tim Robbins on Real Time with Bill Maher this week reminding us all that this is not "in the bag". Your vote really counts this time. Robbins also spoke of suspicions that there are those will attempt to sabotage voters and polling places and asked for diligence from right-thinking people not to stand by and say nothing. Good advice.
There is a lot at stake for all of us. I have no plan to tell anyone who they should vote for. I share my opinion, but the right to vote and the privacy of that vote is something I believe in with my whole heart. All I ask is that you think it through. Choose wisely, and please, choose for the right reasons. And remember the favor I have asked you before - vote or shut up.