Why I'm inspired by the midterm election

Christine O'Donnell is gone, and Harry Reid isn't. Now, let's buckle up for the bumpy ride that faces us in 2012

By Anne Lamott
Published November 5, 2010 4:20AM (UTC)
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Delaware Republican U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell waves from inside a vehicle after voting, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010, in Wilmington, Del. O'Donnell is facing Democrat Chris Coons. (AP Photo/Rob Carr) (Rob Carr)

I am awash in the afterglow of the midterms.

Perhaps "afterglow" is not exactly right. Or "awash."

Maybe I mean "profound relief." Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown, and Michael Bennet (amazingly) in Colorado, Patty Murray hanging on, and most of all, Harry Reid, HAR-RY, HAR-RY, HAR-RY. My man. Dawg! For me, holding the Senate and Harry Reid is almost up there with the Giants winning.

So maybe they have the Aqua Buddha, but we have two months to go with this House, this Senate, this president. People say that 10 days or two weeks is an eternity in politics, so two months is four or five eternities. Two months is eternity-plus-plus.

And that Obama is nothing if not brilliant. This guy has had some liberal victories legislatively, and when word of these victories -- the realities of healthcare, financial reform, student loan reform, etc. -- trickles out, we will have pride and stamina again. We will experience grace again, the grace of generosity to the underdog; the grace of second winds, and psychic WD-40. The grace of unseen water wings.

I say, buckle up, buckeroos and buckerinas. Fingers crossed and heads high. Once more into the breach. Also, figure out how you, in your area, can help mobilize the Latino vote. We owe Harry Reid to Hispanic outrage and get-out-the-vote efforts -- send someone money today. (I love Mi Familia Vota, but there are organizations in every state.) Or go somewhere nearby and register Latino voters, and the youth, who accidentally forgot to show up on Tuesday -- the "yout," to quote the great Joe Pesci in "My Cousin Vinnie." Help whip up the Youts for 2012. Lots to do! Kids to mentor, wars to protest, homeless people to help through the coming winter night. Time to rest and get ready.

So goodnight, moon. Goodnight, long national nightmare of the last two months, when it looked like we might lose John Dingell, and Barney Frank, and HAR-RY. Good night, Carl Paladino, with your cute red bat! Goodnight, Christine O'Donnell, with your election night list of demands -- fabulous! I don't know a living writer who could have thought that up, or the "I Am not a Witch" campaign. Maybe the late, great Terry Southern? But anyway, excellent -- and goodnight. Goodnight, Dino Rossi, but can we keep the name? And goodnight, icky Meg Whitman, thank you from the bottom of my heart for not being my new governor. Money and power and ego can't buy ya love, huh? Does that suck, or WHAT? And we all know what it's like to spend money unwisely -- who among us does not have some crazy purchase in our closet or drawer and garage right now? The stories I could tell -- the blisters, the eyeglass frames that look so adorable on Justin Timberlake. Oh well, good night, Meg; and thank you for your courage, Meg Whitman's housekeeper. And good night, Joe Sestak -- but DON'T go very far away. You're the real thing. Good night, Joe Miller, even with all those rascally votes still to count. But goodnight, and thank you for sharing.

Let's all go have some well-earned rest. A new day dawns.

Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott is the New York Times bestselling author of "Help, Thanks, Wow"; "Small Victories"; "Stitches"; "Some Assembly Required"; "Grace (Eventually)"; "Plan B"; "Traveling Mercies"; "Bird by Bird"; "Operating Instructions" and "Hallelujah Anyway," out April 4. She is also the author of several novels, including "Imperfect Birds" and "Rosie." A past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an inductee to the California Hall of Fame, she lives in Northern California.

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2010 Elections Christine O'donnell Harry Reid