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Death of a Politics Junky

Ralph Steadman got it right.
The psychology of addiction is fascinating and perplexing. Why are people driven to engage in activities that are ultimately harmful to their health and devastating to their families? Nobody really knows, but this Democratic primary season is providing more junk to spinners like me than all the barnyard meth labs in Appalachia.

Last night may have been the fatal dose though. For weeks, we were teased and tempted by pushers like Clinton chief strategist Mark Penn and street hustlers like MSNBC's Chris Matthews. "Try some Obama," they'd whisper at parties. "I have some premium Clinton here," they'd hiss as you passed on the street. Try though you might, it's hard to keep walking when the fix is at arm's length and the Internet and 24 hour news cycle has made it so we're awash in the chemicals that keep us hooked to this most brutal addiction.

American politics is killing me.


Addiction is fraught with deep lows (that have us swear off our vices) and extreme highs (that keep us coming back). The last three weeks had politics junkies jumping out of their skin as polls and pols bounced back and forth between Obama and Clinton. Like mixing uppers and downers, you eventually end up dead on the shitter and your friends realize what you've been doing all those weeks when you refused to answer the phone.

For weeks they've been pushing Obama. A sweet, dizzying high that makes you want to kiss your neighbor and dance like an idiot all night, Obama makes you feel GOOD. He's a party drug, a communal high. He's x without the stupid hats and the binkies.

Now they're pushing Clinton. You feel sharper; you grind your teeth a bit. You might get defensive and you're sure to get aggressive. She's cocaine without the shoulder pads.

"Dude, are you on McCain right now?"

Fuck no! That shit went out with Quaaludes!

With Hillary Clinton's primary wins last night in Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island, politics junkies saw the end to a three-week bender, but they've also been basically guaranteed at least another six weeks of supply. Question is: what kind of high can we expect as we roll into spring and our friends and families wonder what happened to the guy they used to know?


I'm trying to be cool about it. Keep it under control.

Last night, I watched my "American Idol" and "Big Brother" (an hour delayed, of course, on Tivo so I can bloop through commercials), and only checked MSNBC on my iPhone a couple of times.

I stopped checking when they announced Ohio for Hillary. Didn't hear about Texas until this morning.

I'm going to try to back off a bit for my own mental health... After all, I'm not a masochist.

FWIW, Hillary basically announced (today?) that she would be okay with being part of a "dream team" ticket, perhaps as VP. In the delegate race, she would have to win from here on out by very wide margins and right now, it looks like neither one will lock up enough pledged delegates to declare victory. It will boil down to superdelegates.

Oh boy...

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