The Democratic Party in Connecticut is NOT your daddy’s party. It’s the party, said a Republican sipping whiskey from what appeared to be a coffee mug at a city bistro, “of death penalty abolition, get-out-of-jail early credits for violent gang members, abortion on demand, anti-clericalism, endless spending, endless taxes, red ink, pension payment dodging, condoms for Catholic school girls, smoke and mirror budgets, progressively higher pay for teachers who continue to pass through illiterates, anti-constitutionalists, cities in social ruin, one party states …” and, believe it or not, he might have continued, but the bartender, who knew him and raised his eyebrows archly, intervened and asked whether he wanted a refill.
He did. Jack Daniel’s straight up.
His head was beginning to ache. Shouldn’t he go home and fall asleep in his plush leather recliner before the TV after cursing in his heart the MSNBC talking head who had received a Virginia Associated Press award for his work on the riveting documentary, “Parvo Puppies?” Why did he insist on watching leftist TV anyway? Incipient sadism?
It was late and raining outside; even the hidden stars were weeping tears.
It hadn’t been the best of times for Republicans in Connecticut. But it hadn’t been the worst of times either, as the Democratic Party continued to drift leftward, perilously close to the edge of its flat earth.
Another partier – Republicans do party together occasionally; they are not all business all the time – joined in.
She, an energetic brunette dressed in non-designer jeans listened patiently to the Jack Daniel guy’s spiel and thought Republicans in Connecticut might easily pick up some seats in the General Assembly in the upcoming off presidential year election, provided the Republican running for governor against Dannel Malloy wasn’t social-issues phobic. He or she probably would need to shorten by a considerable amount the ten foot pole Republicans so far have insisted on placing between themselves and party activists who yearn for a politics of limits and a return to social normalcy. Republicans run on the economy; Democrats run on social issues. And, she said, smiling a world conquering smile that caught the attention of the Jack Daniels guy, “that’s where the votes are.” Americans don’t relate to numbers; they relate to politicians who are able to wrap emotional charges around economic and social issues, which is one of the reasons Barack Obama rather than Mitt Romney is president.
“Good luck with that,” he said, pouring his JD sloppily into his coffee cup mug. “How long you been here?”
“Couple of hours.”
“No, I mean in Connecticut.”
“Couple of years.”
JD exploded in mirth, “You moved from Texas to Connecticut? Oh dear, you ARE adventuresome,” and showed her the bottom of his cup.
The Carrie Underwood song, “Good Girl,” began to throb, the Jack Daniels guy thought, THROUGH the dimly lit wall sconces:
Why, why you gotta be so blind?
Won't you open up your eyes?...
Won't you open up your eyes?...
He nodded at sconces and longed for his leather recliner. He heard through the bar buzz a challenge thrown down, “You gotta fight.”
He nodded an insincere assent.
“You’ve probably heard the story of John Kennedy’s visit to the Alamo,” said the woman. “Senator Kennedy went to the Alamo Mission on one of his hops to the White House. He reeled off a set speech and wasn’t their long before it broke in on him that he had to be somewhere else – quick. So he turned to someone accompanying him and asked where the back door was. The front was jammed with admirers, and he wanted to avoid them to make up some time. He was told, ‘Senator, there are no back doors to the Alamo, only heroes.’ That’s what we need, heroes.”
He knew she was right. That night, he dreamed dreams.