It started on October 24, 2005, with Left-Over’s expression of excitement at the possibility that members of the Bush administration might be held accountable (for anything!) as Patrick Fitzgerald prepared to announce indictments in the Valerie Plame CIA leak investigation.
I quickly joined the party by comparing the Republicans of that era, quite unfavorably, to even those of the Nixon-Watergate era, with this eerily accurate prediction:
Unlike Watergate, when the sheer stupidity of the break-in and subsequent cover up led both parties to insist on investigations that drove out a corrupt administration, these Republicans are going to stick with Bush to the end, fueling a fire that will burn the party to the ground, and then keep scorching the earth beneath them for so long that nothing will ever come back!And with that start, we were off and running, through what now tallies
• The Chief of Staff for the Vice President of the United States was convicted of multiple felonies.
• A major U.S. city was nearly lost to Hurricane Katrina.
• Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan surpassed the length of the Vietnam war, and continue with no apparent end in sight.
• The 2006 elections marked a decisive turn against Republican leadership.
• During the primary season leading up to the 2008 elections, an establishment candidate with an aura of inevitability was defeated by a newcomer backed largely by ordinary people.
• The 2008 elections continued the wave of anti-GOP sentiment and gave us the country’s first African-American President.
• The many failures of the Bush presidency – which served as an incubator for greed and corruption - culminated in the most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression.
While all of this happened, we were actively engaged in the task of absorbing each day’s developments and reflecting them back to readers in a way that was, perhaps, entertaining, sometimes informative, and at the very least, always therapeutic for us as writers.
Along the way, there were some memorable posts such as the ones listed below that I think best reflect what we’ve tried to do in this forum:
• Vaccinate Against What?
• The Last Commercial Break of the Bush Presidency.
• Increasing Irrelevancy? Now That’s Something Bush Can Actually Achieve!
But all good things must come to an end! Writing a political blog is both a blessing and a curse, because accumulated momentum adds the weight of responsibility to keep that momentum from stalling. Writing sometimes shifts from being a joyous expression of ideas, to being a chore that must be done even in the absence of inspiration, made harder still by a dwindling amount of feedback from readers who are pulled in many directions from the sheer volume of information available on the Internet.
So it’s time to pull the plug and let it die.
Actually, let me rephrase that, since the nature of blogs is that they don’t really have to die completely. The words remain, always available to be discovered by an accidental tourist, even though new posts aren’t being generated.
That will be the new state of Left-Over, at least for a while. Who knows? It might even become a zombie blog that will occasionally lurch forward, if one of us has an irresistible urge to add a new chapter. Or maybe not!
Perhaps another way to look at the demise/hiatus of Left-Over is to take a lesson from artist Vincent Van Gogh, poet Emily Dickinson, and singer Billie Holiday – all of whom found widespread acceptance and critical acclaim after their deaths, despite toiling for years in relative obscurity.
I think it can clearly be stated that we’ve conquered the “toiling in relative obscurity” phase! There is nothing more to achieve in the art of "toiling in relative obscurity,” so now it’s time to move on to the next phase in the strategic marketing of this blog: We will now begin the stage centered on achieving posthumous notoriety!
PS: Damn! I just finished writing this, and was dawdling before preparing to hit the “upload” button, when I stumbled across an article that hints at one of the few things that would compel me to come out of retirement and resurrect this blog (or begin a new one), as I read that Arnold Schwarzenegger is signaling the possibility of running for the U.S. Senate against Barbara Boxer.
How could I miss being on the scene to make fun of that on a daily basis?