Our stomach growl in anticipation of your generosity.
I woke on Wednesday, November 5 at the crack of noon to a different world—even more terrifying than the short-lived Cosby Show spin-off of the same name. The election night high was gone, the last two years of my life a blur. Sweaty, nauseated and nauseous, too, I was a disgusting sight. Lying there in my own urine and a hardened pool of unfamiliar vomit, I tried to remember what life was like before I’d ever tried presidential politics. I couldn’t. I’d hit rock bottom.
“Just take a taste,” he said, handing me the junk.
“Gee whiz, Mr. Blitzer,” I stammered innocently. “I don’t know if I—”
“Don’t be a pussy!” he growled, sticking a rolled up copy of The Post under his nose and inhaling a half gram of pure, freshly cut speculation. “Wooooo!” he howled, pumping his fist. “Wooooo! Is Barack Obama too white to be president? Wooooo!”
I started off small-time, only using on the weekends with McLaughlin and Russert. They seemed invincible—golden, shiny Gods of election coverage, who rode the high day and night. I wanted to be like them. If I’d known then…
Next thing you know, I was hanging out in dark corners of the Situation Room and mainstreaming media speculation just like the rest of the addicts. I was up to a full gram of Colmes and three or four Hardballs a day. I was popping over the counter O’Reillys, Limbaughs and handfuls of Chuck Todds at a time. Then there was the Kristol Meth—that terrible, terrible stuff. I sought my fix day and night, yet vowing that each indulgence would be my last. Soon, I was hooked on Rasmussen and Zogby. Things were getting ugly quick.
It never stopped, the craving, the sickness. I was forced to go to new and desperate lengths to get high. The rumors, innuendo and wonkery of TV, print and blogs were no longer enough. I drove to Manchester, New Hampshire and walked in the obscenely large foot prints of David Gregory—praying that a crumb of baseless primary speculation would fall from his finely tailored pocket. “Little Stretch!” I heckled. “You know where I can score…the good stuff?”
“We’re broadcasting out of the Radisson,” he looked down
at me. “You might want to try there.” I staggered down Elm St. and
found Mike Barnicle breaking up a large, uncut brick of pure fabulism behind
“Come on,” I begged. “I’ll suck George Carlin’s dick!”
“Real funny,” he frowned. “Now get out of here, fiend, before I mess you up—Boston style.”
“My man, my man!” I screeched at Tucker Carlson during a McCain rally uptown. “You holding?”
“Holding?” he tilted his head sideways like a confused German Shepherd. “Holding what?”
“Oh, come on, man,” I prodded. “Don’t do me like that, dog.”
“OK, see you later, man,” he waved to Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter and then casually looked around. “What you need—you looking to wonk-out?” he asked, leaning toward me. “I have some high-grade Bradley Effect—if you can handle it.”
The week in Manchester chasing down a fix wherever I could find it wasn’t
enough. I harassed anyone and everyone: Matthews, Cillizza, Buchanan—even
a limey from The Economist during a Mitt Romney town hall. I was in a bad way.
But I still wasn’t getting the good stuff. The junk had been stepped on
so many times that I was no longer getting high—just fending off the sickness.
Like a needle seeking the vein I needed to go to the source.
“Governor, Governor?” I wheezed, pale and glistening. “If elected, will you make rapture preparedness part of Homeland Security?”
“I don’t know what that means,” played the creationist candidate. I left New Hampshire sicker than ever. It was the winter of my electoral discontent. And other clichés.
The rest of the primaries blurred into one big Political Jones. I drove from state to state in search of the ultimate election high—the Carolinas, Ohio and Pennsylvania. I couldn’t stop. I didn’t want to. I was consuming fewer substantive news items everyday—and more and more contrived controversies, 3 am phone calls, questionable candidate associations and 527 ads.
And then there were the conventions. St. Paul saw me staggering and begging in the streets. Denver saw me a mile high. I knew the end was near; my body couldn’t take much more punishment.
The night of November 4th, 2008 found me in the midst of a street carnival—a real party. I’m not sure, but I think someone licked my shoes. I have a vague recollection of Jerome Corsi buggering a hobo and Sean Hannity riding a gigantic midget. Everyone was out of control. Though I promised myself I never would, I was receiving election updates via Twitter. Sick. This was the culmination of two years of madness. I passed out loving it, yet strangely unafraid that I didn’t have any stuff to wake up on.
So, as I lay here, a broken man, I realize that I can’t quit—not cold turkey, not gradually, not ever. I’m too accustomed to the fluff, lies, pandering, bloviating and endless contest speculation. Who’ll get the republican nod in 2012, 2016, 2020…2056?! Will white women vote for a robot?! These are things I need to know!
Fortunately, there’s still plenty of dope on TV. Hard news is thin and facts thinner. The election—the longest and costliest in American history—is finally over, but I never have to truly worry about real news overtaking superficial coverage. I can stay high, distracted from the depressing realities brought about by Bush, global warming and economic meltdown. All I have to do is turn on the tube to escape into a land of celebrity obsession and fourth estate failure.
And if that doesn’t work, there’s always heroin.
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