The Prez Makes A Visit AND Accosted By A Democrat
President Bush paid a visit to Lancaster today. Several of us left the office in hopes of seeing the motorcade, or at least a presidential helicopter of sorts, but all we saw was traffic. One co-worker who was already outside on a smoke break -- a hilarious lesbian who lives out loud -- took a drag off her cigarette and muttered that she "hated that guy." She made another comment, which I won't repeat, but it wasn't pleasant. She went on to say what a hypocrite he is. I campaigned for GWB in '04 and the months leading up to it. I also did a good bit of conservative political writing. I was a staunch Bush supporter, and I would willingly get into a debate/fight with anyone brave enough to take me on. These days... Not so much. I don't hate the guy, but I wouldn't campaign for him again (which isn't even possible anyway, so this is a moot point). I don't regret voting for him, either, because I don't think there were any suitable alternatives in the running in '04. If I could look back and say, gee, I wish I had voted for John Kerry, he was SUCH a great guy... Then perhaps I'd regret voting for GWB.
This leads me to my tale of being accosted by a Democrat.
I went out with the women's ministry director at my church last night for coffee. There was a group of about 8 or 10 people sitting nearby, all of them wearing name tags. At one point, one of them asked my friend to take a picture of them, and she gladly obliged. Then an older women approached us from the group a little later and said, "You two look classy. You must be Democrats!"
My friend looked around nervously. I laughed.
"I'm a Republican," I said.
"Oh my word, you LIKE that guy in the White House?" she screeched.
"I never said I liked that guy in the White House. I said I was a Republican." (Two totally different questions!)
The thing is, the entire time this conversation was taking place, we were having a great time, laughing and nudging one another. We were ribbing each other. There was absolutely nothing disrespectful or confrontational about this exchange. At least I didn't think so. My poor friend looked like a deer in headlights. I asked her if she had ever heard of my brother -- the liberal newspaper columnist -- and of course, she had. As did the rest of the gang. They reacted as if I had just told them Barack Obama was my nephew. I joked that since I was related to their ring leader, they should make me an honorary Democrat.
They asked me to switch parties for real. I said I'd have to give that some serious, serious (drunken) thought.
Things didn't get heated until the original executioner launched into a tirade about the WMD's and how it was all made up.
"Well," I said, sipping my Strawberry Whatever-You-Call-it, "All the politicians you love so much voted for the war... Before they voted against it." I was still laughing, still smiling. Ha ha ha, those silly weapons of mass destruction! Silly fascists! Ha ha ha!
That's when the lady got in my face and told me OF COURSE the Dems voted FOR the war right in the aftermath of 9/11, because it would have been political SUICIDE not to! The whole country was up in arms! We smelled blood!
I faced a choice. First of all, I was half expecting my friend to bolt out the door and run to her car as fast as possible. And she must have wondered what my deal was, because it was the first time we had ever really gotten together, and I had been relatively quiet and reserved all night. Then, all of a sudden, I'm confronted with a testy liberal, and it's like someone flipped the switch in my brain to "ON." I was animated. I was suddenly well-spoken. I was... well, rather loud.
I scared my friend. I scared me. But I felt energized. I could continue this conversation with an armload of pithy comebacks, or I could agree to disagree and call it a night. I wanted to get up on a table and preach it like the Second Coming was right outside the door of that coffee shop, but I didn't.
After her speech about political suicide, I simply smiled, nodded my head and said, "Well, thank you for sharing that. That will get me home tonight." She gently smacked me on the shoulder and we both started howling with laughter.
I did, however, get one last jab in before all of us left.
"I'm voting for Ann Coulter," I said. I was actually booed for the first time in my life. Perhaps I ought to get used to it?
I actually couldn't sleep last night, thinking about how weird the whole conversation was. Do you ever think of great comebacks hours and hours after the fact? Doesn't that drive you crazy? Well, since I can't go back in time, let me share 2 of them with you. Maybe I'll be able to sleep tonight.
1. You obviously like to convert people. Well, it's your lucky day! So do we! Lucky you, we're a couple of born-again Christians! Tell you what, I'll sign up to be a Democrat if you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior! Deal??
2. It's true that the Dems would have been committing political suicide by voting against the Iraq war, but that's the difference between the Dems and Republicans. Republicans are willing to stand on principle and follow through on their word, whether it's popular or not.
I want to make something really clear here, though. I don't hate GWB. I don't even hate Ted Kennedy. Maybe loathe, but not hate. :-) But I DO think Bush screwed up, and I DO believe he has ruined our rep withh a huge chunk of the rest of the world, and given extremists more and more reasons to hate us... as if they didn't have enough supposed reasons to before.
The problem is that there are very few -- VERY FEW -- respectable things I can find about the Democratic party.
And I do know that if Hillary were to get elected -- God help us all -- she'd drive our health care system right into the gutter.
I suppose I used to be a Republican based on pure conviction, but now I'm a Republican because I see it as the lesser of two evils.
This is all subject to change!