By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Here's the ugly truth, as I see it: There are gangs of us out there, a sub-nation of drunken Republicans with guns and just enough sense to know that the GOP isn't made up of fanged demons who meet at secret KKK meetings and plot ways to loot the system and oppress people. Corruption looks the same pea-green color in both parties, and even Ralph Nader isn't immune. Most of the issues that get us riled up--insane drug war, Congressional pork, moralistic government intrusion--are sins shared by both parties.
The Republicans at least have the decency to speak to us like adults, which is what we've become after our young lives, proving our self-worth through the yardsticks of our bank accounts, our jobs, the ferocity of our binges. A little laissez-faire goes a long way with white males edging up on 30. Recall the adage that if a man is not liberal at 20, he has no heart; if he is not conservative at 40, he has no head. We love sayings like that: They make us feel as if our vote is a testament to a growing intellect, not just to a growing bank account.
Now it looks as though we'll be Republicans for a while. This is the first time I've voted for someone who won the presidency, and I feel irrationally responsible for whatever happens during the next four years. This ugly election and its aftermath will make things harder for swing voters who threw their weight behind Bush, driving us further into the meaty arms of the GOP. "The next four years is going to be an assault on everything that we are, " Chris said after the U.S. Supreme Court disemboweled the Florida Supreme Court for the second time in as many weeks and gave the presidency to Bush. "It's going to be horrible."
At the bachelor party we saw the young Republicans get rowdy, indulging like hippies. We were the furthest thing from the religious right you'll find. We still thought Bush would be certified the president-elect within hours, maybe even that night while we were at the strip club.
The party climaxed with two naked women spanking Mark with his own belt. I remember the tortured howl from Mark as they applied alligator nipple clamps and the look of curious shock on his face as the entertainers made a hot-wax mold of their private parts. One of our party ate the mold and washed it down with beer. Minutes later he was sitting still and looking green.
We had bottles of champagne and whiskey, which we drank from the neck. I remember toasting Bush with one at one point; a forest of beer bottles came forward to touch the whiskey bottle. That's when I saw that even the most degenerate of Mark's Austin friends were Bushies too. I had a surge of confidence. We were everywhere.
I thought, Remember when Bush's DUI still mattered?