The Pottery Barn presidency

I sent this in to the Seattle Times Backyard Blog this morning… we’ll see what they do with it.

OK my Republican friends… you have the White House and strong
majorities in Congress. Do what you will, but please don’t carp about
obstructionist Democrats. And please tell your President to stand up
and start taking responsibility for his actions. Please let the buck
start stopping with him.

Just as Colin Powell invoked the “Pottern Barn Rule” in Iraq–as in
“you broke it, you bought it” (which iss not actually Pottery Barn’s
policy but you get the idea)–so is it in play here. There will be
nobody to blame the next four years on. So good luck, godspeed–and
know that a loyal opposition will be taunting you with our
“reality-based” outlook. Unless Bush starts publicly admitting that
God is telling him personally how to run the country, a bit of reality
might actually be a worthwhile contribution to the public discourse.

On a final, personal note, I’m sorry that I lost this election for the
Democrats. Watching as ten states banned gay marriage, it became
painfully clear that conservative voters who turned out for “moral
values” and against the “homosexual agenda” made the difference, just
as that blasted Karl Rove said they would. I’m sorry that David and I
selfishly wanted hospital visitation rights, protection for our joint
property, and the right to pay our taxes together. Apparently, this is
so repugnant to Americans it swamped all other considerations. So it
looks like our status as “walking, talking wedge issue” is ratified.

At this point, the marriage vow that David and I made is what is
holding us together and keeping us here. As we went to bed to bad
news, we said, “Whatever else happens, we have each other.” I would,
honestly, prefer to leave the country. Or rather, I feel that it has
left me and moving would just be a matter-of-fact recognition of this
reality. It would be easy to move to David’s native Australia–and my
Mother, stuck in Oklahoma, is egging us on, with the proviso that she
wants to join us.

But David, God bless him, wants to stay. Hearing him talk of his love
for Seattle, our home, and our friends here, I realize it would break
my heart to leave. Maybe it already is broken. And maybe that’s the
“Pottery Barn Rule” that really matters–your heart belongs to the
country that breaks it.

This is my country, however much so many voters want me to be a
second-class citizen. I can still vote, still march, still protest,
and still raise my voice in celebration of all that is good and
beautiful here. From wherever I go, that’s what I will be doing. So
this is no end, just a new chapter. Thanks to the Seattle Times for
the chance to write, and thanks to everyone who has been reading along
the way. From here on out, my friends and I will be on
trying to make sense of all of this. Because blogging, like politics,
is a way of life.

2 thoughts on “The Pottery Barn presidency”

  1. Jay, I’m glad to see they posted your piece, which was, as always, moving and beautiful. You and David represent everything that marriage should be, and I’m glad you’re staying. You’re my family, and I love you both dearly. I love the family we’ve all become here in Seattle, and the life I have here, and I don’t want to see it fall apart because of that bastard in the white house. On the other hand, I don’t know what I’m going to do. My temptation is to retreat into the solace of my little urban world–focus on Yogi and my friends, my neighborhood, and the things that comfort me. And maybe I’ll be able to be content with that. But I’m not sure, and I’m not ruling out leaving just yet.

    I wish I’d not seen that guy Garret’s post on the backyard blog, however. Right about now, my anger toward him and all of those goddamned hypocrites who vote Republican and then claim to have any sense of humanity or good will in them is making me feel like I’m going to vomit again, which I’ve been doing a lot this morning. And not from any hangover.

    I want to know when I’m going to stop feeling like the world just ended.

  2. Jay, thank you for your post (even if it did start me crying).

    I hope that, after the necessary grieving, people will work on finding all the things we CAN do in the face of this disaster.

    Elected officials don’t control all aspects of our lives, and if progressive folks commit to spending their time, money, and other resources in responsible ways each and every day, we can counteract at least some of the harmful policies coming our way.

    Of course, we should also plan our own little revolution for the 2006 elections in order to take back the Senate and the House.

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