This is no time for gloating.
This is no time to get carried away by some sort of rapturous rose-colored ROTFLMAO celebration full of streamers and confetti and blissful weeping in the streets, all wrapped in a big creamy ribbon of stunned disbelief, the overwhelming sense that, oh sweet God in heaven, our wary and battered nation has finally agreed, after all these years and seemingly all at once, to grow the hell up.
Is that not the feeling? That we as a country just did the impossible, just chose to get a little bit serious with ourselves, to actually attempt to right our myriad ills and rid the national body of our Republican toxins and oh yes by the way make a huge, shocking jolt of unprecedented history while we're at it? You're damn right it is.
The best news of all: Despite all vicious rumors to the contrary, it turns out that we are not too collectively stupid to know a rare and historic opportunity when we see one, no matter what his middle name. I mean, thank God.
So then, a warning, a caution, a hard-bitten piece of buzz-killin' advice, right here right now, before it's too late and you get all ecstatic and naked and drunk on the sheer WOW-ness of it all:
Put down the kazoo. Hold off on the champagne. Do not get too cozy. Do not let President-elect Obama's stunning victory go to your progressive thoughtful oh-my-God-I-Can't-believe-it's-true liberal head. This is not a time for cocktails and screaming and dancing in the streets (that comes about six paragraphs down. Shhh).
After all, there is much work to be done. There is a staggering pile of damage so deep and so wide it would take a hundred Obamas and three trillion dollars and a forklift the size of Shiva to even make a dent.
That is no joke. Did you notice? Buried beneath the avalanche of Obama stories, this bitter hunk of gristle: Right this minute, the Bush admin is trying like the Devil's own biotoxin to sneak through a whole slew of last-minute rollbacks and deregulations, a final parting gift to Bush's corporate cronies and a parting sucker punch to the country.
It's like the world's worst chef spitting on your food one last time before sending it out, cold and limp and full of as much MSG and rat feces as he can jam in there because, well, why the hell not?
And don't forget something else: The sickly, reclusive billionaires and scabrous Blackwater moms who spent their personal millions to try and force their intolerance on California by way of Prop 8? The kind of dysfunctional, ultrawealthy fanatics who not only pray to a dour and heartwrenching God every single day that Christian militants take over the country so we could, quite literally, stone all the gays to death, but who have the millions to fund their nightmares? They are not exactly going away anytime soon.
So please, defy your temptations. Do not, under any circumstances, join with the entire planet right now and enjoy President-elect Obama's dazzling victory, because the world is still in shambles and the nation is super-duper trouble and... still must have to think...er, resolve the serious financial crisis because blood and banana creme pie and...
...er, I mean racism and raging turmoil in the... death all around, war raging and puppies... um... pain and suffering in the sunshine shoelace... wait... oh yes, drugs and death and... er... anarchy and foreign policy... sex and tickling Paris Hilton and... and..andandanddddd...
Wait. What? What the hell was I just saying? Did I really just write all that? What the hell is wrong with me?
I am so sorry. I don't know what just happened. Shall we start over? Here, let me splash this water on my face. And then this cold sake. And then this refreshing sense of oh my God would you look at the country right now and can you hear all the horns honking and the children grinning and the massive collective sigh? There now. Ready?
Hell yes, this is a time for screaming. For dancing, crying, celebrating with a rare feeling of renewal. It is a time for feeling it fully. A great thing has been done. A great shift has just transpired. Best news of all: There is no going back.
Forget what I said before. Gloating is allowed, a great joyous I-told-you-so straight in the scowling faces of the racists and the warmongers and those so horribly terrified of the new and the different and the possible. Please feel free to let those rivers of gratitude course through you like molten joy coupled to the train of possibility pulled by the giant hand of hell yes.
Above all, it is a time to exhale, to relax a little, to get the hell on with it. I know I speak for roughly five thousand fellow media lackeys when I say, sweet Lord, I am just so glad this damnable beast of an election is finally over. It's like a combination of the day after Christmas and post-coital orgasm and giving birth. You can only sit in the wobbly afterglow, warm and buzzing and dizzy, insanely grateful you didn't get a stocking full of Satan and Alaskan moosemeat and dirt, or a baby with three tiny heads and a nail gun where his arm should be.
This, I think, is perhaps the most important sentiment of all. Not merely relief, not liberation, not even unadulterated joy.
It's gratitude. Deep and satisfying and good. A sense of profound thanks that, well, we made it through. The hopefulness prevailed. That Obama not only survived and flourished, but appears more determined and assured than ever. What's more, our massive, ungainly democratic system? That hugely flawed beast of burden, gutted by eight solid years of the worst kind of abuse and misprision? It still seems to work. Well, mostly. How astonishing is that?
And now, here we are. What a time it has been. What a time it shall be. There is no turning back. And for that, we can only say, thank you. Thank you, thank you, oh sweet God, thank you.
Now pass me that damn champagne.