Thursday, January 20, 2005

Shameless celebrity name dropping... or IS IT???

In last week's Economist, "Lexington" chastised dems for apologizing, again, for defeat. In quoting some prominent members of the left, the article criticizes Scott Turow for "point[ing] out that the Republicans owed their gains in the House entirely to redistricting in Texas." They point out in turn the faults in this remark- that although the gerrymandering did help, the GOP held on to 90% of seats they already had, thereby entrenching themselves further in a legislature with no term limits.
All this is true. Now, oh loyal readers, you assume that I will craft a carefully thought-out critique of the all-too-libertarian Economist, defending my hero Dems against those market whores who shame and blame us from their outre mer vantage point. But no, nothing of the sort will follow- for all this was a desperately obvious segue to my telling you about how I spent election day with Scott Turow.
I really did. Well, sort of. I joined the square-shouldered, focused ranks of with fellow left-leaning Superfirm employees (we could even BILL our time spent poll-watching that day. Absolutely no sacrifice on our part). We poll-watched in Milwaukee, and the election eve training featured among its typically verbose attorney audience the terse, quiet Scott Turow. By the way, Scott Turow looks like John Malkovitch, a little. And he's really short. Alex and I ventured up to him, shaking hands and murmuring timid complements and "Oh, I hope all goes well tomorrow, god knows where we'll be if it doesn't... blah blah.. police state... blah" and then retired to our mediocre hotels to await the morrow.
Mr. Turow ("Call me Scott." "Umm... Ok... Scott... wow") was one of the roving field attorneys, going from poll station to poll station, handing out water bottles and making sure no rules had been broken. Turns out he does this EVERY election, not just this high profile one like we silly groupies. What a trooper.
Of course, it was too bad that I hadn't read a one of his books, not even 1L, required reading for anyone stupid enough to attempt law school, so I couldn't be like 'omigod I LOVE your work"- or perhaps it's better that I wasn't tempted to make such a stupid remark. But as we watched the crowds of people, young and old, all poor to lower-middle class, many voting for the first time, ex-cons and old women in wheelchairs etc, Scott and I had a lovely discussion about the importance of this, the importance of democracy, how finally the underprivileged were beginning to understand the, well, the privileges of the franchise, mainly vote and things will change, that sort of thing. All this was rose-colored, mind you, by the reports coming in over the blackberries that exit polls had Kerry ahead. I didn't see him again after the ominous reporting began- "Bush has won North Carolina, Bush has won Nevada, Bush has won Florida," When all of us, especially us Ohioans who knew that any election decided by our state would pull right- so I didn't get a chance to see any change of expression on his grim face. A lady from the Democratic Party whispered to me "I hope your heart isn't broken tomorrow," And I stubbornly, vainly cried back "Ma'am, I'm not sure there's any reason yet to count my heart broken" but we all knew that we were fucked. Thing is, the people voting in that polling station were of course much more fucked than we upper middle class (and MUCH more fucked than Scott Turow, who must pull down millions in royalties plus his partner position at wherever he is). But we were all speechless, stunned. We watched the votes being counted, of course Kerry won the ward 90 to 10, or something, which only made our loss more poignant.
And all that drivel. I guess I finished the part about Scott Turow a while ago. Nothing more to say about him, really. I wrote him an email a few weeks after, referencing our musings on the process and hoping for a response (maybe an invitation to lunch? Me, having lunch with Scott Turow? Middle American tourists pointing and asking for his autograph and looking at me in envy? Of course, who am I kidding? Middle Americans wouldn't recognize him, grocery store check-out fare though he is). No response forthcoming from Scott. Oh well.


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