Once upon a time, I liked Clinton, but that was largely because at the time I believed what he said rather than what he did. I was young and had been indoctrinated by my parents and the news outlets that Democrats were good and Republicans were evil, and as we'd just had 12 years of Republican administration that was full of goofiness, I thought for sure that Clinton would be a good thing.
He wasn't, of course, and if I'd known then what I know now (and if he'd actually acted like himself rather than a robot) I would have supported Dole when the time came. If I'd paid attention to the Waco massacre at the time, I would definitely have been rabidly anti-Clinton, and I have nobody to blame for that failure but myself. (My vote probably wouldn't have changed anything, of course; I'm pretty sure Virginia went to Dole anyway, but I digress.) If Dole had won, who knows what silliness might have happened, but we do know there would have been no Monica, no Sudan bombing to cover up Monica, no impeachment, and sure as heck no Gore/Leiberman campaign.
By the time Gore/Leiberman came around, "cleaning house" was sorely needed. I wasn't keen on Bush, but he was "not Gore," which was more than anything his primary selling point ... familiar, eh? I've never considered that vote a mistake -- Gore's behavior on election night proved to me conclusively that I'd made the right choice in that regard. (Who "unconcedes?" Crikey.) But it's not like I considered Bush any great shakes, and the tendency of his administration to get more imperious and more insular with every action has not exactly made me any more inclined to support him.
Then came this past election. I had no real expectations -- or maybe it would be more accurate to say that I had lots of contradictory expectations -- but overall I had a vague suspicion that it would go more or less the way it did. Frankly, I wanted Bush to lose. I don't like having the House, the Senate, and the executive branch all dominated by one party. It breeds arrogance and hubris; it makes the extremists bolder and the moderates sit on their hands for the sake of "unity." The single most important voice in the government, IMO, is the one that says "NO!" -- and the louder it can say it, the better.
Alas, it went the way it went, and we have to deal with the fallout. The right-wing types are crowing that they've had a big thumbs-up and they should do more, bigger versions of what they were doing -- and inviting anybody who points out that they also got a big thumbs-down to kindly shut the fuck up. I have visions of various government bigwigs being confronted with dissenting citizenry, only to put their fingers in their ears and go "LA LA LA, I'M NOT LISTENING!" The current fad of passing legislation that says the Supreme Court isn't allowed to find patently unconstitutional laws to be patently unconstitutional is exactly the kind of hubris I'm talking about, and until they get a good, hard smack for it, they're just going to keep doing it.
None of this is new, of course; the human race keeps going through this same stupid cycle again and again.
The Second Coming, by W. B. Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?