In the darkest moments of this campaign season, many liberals harbored a deep, dark fear: that Sarah Palin will somehow pull it out and assume the Vice Presidency and, more horribly, the Presidency if Sad Grandpa bites it. That this seems unlikely to happen is no reason not to plumb the psyches of those who fear it most. After the jump, we ask some of our favorite writers and bloggers what they may do to cope with the nightmare of a Sarah Palin-filled Executive Branch becoming a reality.Those who prefer to defer reality:
- Our own Jessica Grose: "Psychotropics in large volumes. And volunteering at Planned Parenthood."
- Feministing's and The American Prospect's Ann Friedman: "Lunesta and High Life."
- Glamocracy's Fernanda Diaz: "I'll probably sleep for at least a week. My room is full of CHANGE posters, so if I open my eyes and see them, I'll just puke. Actually, I'll probably throw up anyway, due to the morning-after effects of the abuse of foreign liquors (I'm never buying American again!), Obama-themed cupcakes, and the nauseating vision of red states on TV. My life will turn into a giant cycle of sleep, cry, binge on Obama cupcakes and Russian spirits, repeat. Scratch that: Russian alcohol will bring too many painful Palin memories. I'll just stick to Cuban rum instead."
- Gawker's Alex Pareene: "I'll work on my impressions so that i can best join in on the new national pastime of crank calling the President of the United States. Or I'll begin my campaign to have Joe Liter of Bourbon' recognized as the true symbol of real American values." When I pointed out that a liter was elitist and European, Alex amended and said "It should probably just be Joe Entire Fucking Jug of Jim Beam,'" which, really, is what one would need weekly to get through 4 years of a McCain-Palin administration.
- Moe Tkacik: "The trader [I'm seeing] is betting $15K on McCain to "hedge his grief" if Obama loses."
- Wonkette's Jim Newell: "I will hang a poster of Dick Cheney in my bedroom to commemorate the last time we had a good vice president."
- Racialicious' Latoya Peterson: "I'll be telling people, 'Call your expat friends.' You know, the ones who are wondering if they need to re-up their Peace Corps enlistment or are considering going rogue on their student visas? See if they have extra space."
- Huffington Post's Rachel Sklar: "If Palin wins that will mean two things: That McCain has won, and that Obama has lost. (Or a third thing: That the voting system is very, very broken.) Either way, none of that makes ANY sense for people in a thinking nation. So I will have no choice but to go back to Canada and ostentatiously hug a moose."
- Bitch Ph.D.: "Oh dear god. If McCain/Palin win? I think I'll try to talk my boyfriend out of suicide and call my old job in Canada and see if they'll hire me back. Or no, wait, I'll cancel the offer we just made on a house and start looking into buying property in Mexico. I think my husband (who works for the military, after all—I mean, his job would be secure) can probably commute from Mexico. It's only about 4 hours."
- Firedoglake's Lisa Derrick: "If McCain and Palin somehow squeak into the White House—and even my marginal math skills say that from an electoral college count that's not gonna happen—I will be coping the way any good girl should: by redistributing the wealth. I'll be purchasing my Marc Jacobs bags and desginer swag used on eBay and giving the difference to grassroots groups to support separation of church and state, along with burning candles and praying (yes, I suffer from cognitive dissonance!) that the voice of the people, via Congress and our will, can overcome the next four years."
- Feministe's Jill Filipovic: "Cope with Palin winning? Shit, I'll be thrilled. We'll have someone with a vagina in the White House and that means it's feminism for the win. We can all pack up our pants suits, go home to our cats, and pay for our own rape kits. It'll be like a feminist Mecca without all that 'equality' business. Also with less armpit hair."
- Pushback's Kay Steiger: "I'll buckle down and prepare for a long war in Iraq, since the only pulling out Sarah Palin believes in is a form of contraception. Luckily her experience shooting moose means there'll be plenty of extra food around for all those unplanned pregnancies."
- Pandagon's Amanda Marcotte: "Well, I suppose after a proper period of mourning, I would resign myself to having my hair done in a bouffant on occasion to make parody videos mocking Palin. But I'd have to learn to do it myself, because the novelty will wear off for my hairdresser in short order. I suspect, though, there won't be much occasion to make fun of her, because she will disappear from sight after her usefulness to McCain has ended. She'll spend more time in an undisclosed location than Dick Cheney, except that location will be disclosed and called "'Wasilla.'"
- Political writer and comedian Katie Halper: "All the holier-than-thou supposedly Democratic purists who refuse to compromise their Clintonian principles by voting for Obama better be prepared to become expert abortionists and provide free abortions. Not because Palin is going to get rid of Roe v. Wade. She can't do that as VP — although she probably doesn't know that — I'm talking about Supreme Court nominees. I'm also going to be upset, honestly, because I find her dynamic with McCain utterly disgusting and Elektra complex-esque. Mostly, I'm concerned, not for myself or for women or for the country, but for Trig, who will never get any sleep. Oh yeah, I'll also be upset because obvi, the real VPILF isn't Sarah Palin— it's Joe Biden. How many white men can pull off Al Sharpton's hairdo?"
- The Washington Independent's Attackerman, Spencer Ackerman: "I'm writing this from a Days Inn off in Leavenworth, Kansas, the sort of town where gas costs $1.90/gallon and the economic drivers in people's lives are the Army base and the federal penitentiary. Ever stayed on the second floor of a Days Inn? They always feel as if they've been cased out by drifters or serial killers. I suppose my coping mechanism, such as it is, in the event of a Palin victory would be not to resist when someone of that ilk kicks the door in."
- Salon's intrepid temporary Pennsylvania political correspondent Rebecca Traister: "I just spent several hours trying to come up with an answer for this question, and in flirting with the honest ("crying") to the darkly inappropriate ("securing a prophylactic abortion") to the generically wise-ass ("buying up science text books") I'm forced to confront something I didn't realize: that despite my nuclear-grade panic today, my sky-high anxiety as I traveled through Pennsylvania this weekend, and my general aversion to everyone else's jinx-y overconfidence, apparently, I cannot actually seriously conceive of an Obama loss. So I guess the answer is: I won't be coping. I'll be trying to find a good therapist."
The mental health professional:
- "I won't be around to give them advice because I will have jumped off the Tappan Zee Bridge. But, ok. I guess I can look down from heaven and see if my advice was useful."
Of course, she doesn't really advocate suicide. But she does have some advice:
Stay away from sharp objects. Allow yourself to have a mourning period. You're probably going to be depressed for a while, so give yourself space to grieve. However, you shouldn't stay in bed all day. Try to go about your life the same way you did before the election — go to work, see friends, etc. There will probably be stages of grief, but eventually you'll be able to get on with your life. If you're really having trouble moving past your pain and anguish, volunteer for a cause you really believe in. Even if the government doesn't reflect your beliefs, you can find and support an organization that does.
Actually, that last bit is good advice regardless. If your interest in politics ends today, then so does the momentum for change. Every one of you voted for a Congressional candidate, many of you voted for a Senator, for state and local officials and for ballot initiatives. There will be an election next year, and the year after that, and the year after that for the rest of your life. The time, effort, energy and emotion that everyone put into this race — regardless of the actual outcome — can be channeled into doing positive things for your community and your political system. And, if you don't stay active and engaged in politics and your community, in 4 years and one day, I might have to email these people back and ask if they want to all go in on a rental somewhere where abortion is legal, alcohol is cheap, anti-depressants are covered by the national health insurance system and the citizens elect politicians we all don't have nightmares about living under.