But now, able to read the news in this calm setting, I see in a glance what I was struggling to see all night:
Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives and defeated at least four Republican senators yesterday, riding a wave of voter discontent with President Bush and the war in Iraq.That's through the eyes of Adam Nagourney. He's seeing drama. I love the way the Democratic victories count extra because there was a "legendarily efficient White House political machine" artificially boosting the Republican side. When the Republicans win -- don't you know? -- it's not because people actually want them to win, but because they have devious ways of jacking up the numbers. That way, if Democrats win even a modest margin, it's a dramatic turnaround, a sea change.
But the fate of the Senate remained in doubt this morning, as races for Republican-held seats in Montana and Virginia remained too close to call as Election Day turned into the day after. Democrats would need both seats to win control of the Senate as well.
In Montana, Senator Conrad Burns, a Republican, was trailing Jim Tester, a Democrat, by a narrow margin. The race in Virginia — between another Republican incumbent, Senator George Allen, and Jim Webb, his Democratic challenger — was so close that some officials said it would have to be resolved by a recount.
That prospect could mean prolonged uncertainty over control of the Senate, since a recount can be requested only after the results are officially certified on Nov. 27th, according to the state board of elections. Last year a recount in the race for Attorney General was not resolved until Dec. 21.
But the Democrats’ victory in the House — overcoming a legendarily efficient White House political machine — represented a dramatic turnaround in the fortunes of the party and signaled a sea change in the political dynamics in Washington after a dozen years in which Republicans controlled Congress for all but a brief period.
Perhaps it is better to party -- as on an Oscar night -- because the dribble-out of information is so slow. You want to be there, witnessing the news as it becomes available, even though you could read it in a few seconds the next day, but there's just not that much to see. Better to enrich the experience with a lively real-life room that minimizes your screen-staring time. I was there for 8 hours trying and failing to watch the news. I felt overwhelmed by the strange visual noise of two dozen bloggers hunched over laptops under looming, multiple, high-definition Wolf Blitzers striding alongside walls of blue supergraphics. My reaction was to move into the imagery. I couldn't think and analyze. Not at all. I dealt in pictures.
The crazy mix of dark and bright lighting blurred many of my photographs, giving them an expressionistic quality -- very James Ensor -- that reminds me now of how painterly my brain got last night:
To answer your question: I had only two small glasses of red wine.
Some folks were collecting Cosmopolitans while others -- notably Jeralyn Merritt here -- kept their writer's minds cooly centered in Language World:
I know. You're thinking: Who are the foreheads? The left-most forehead is Atrios -- Duncan Black -- who seems like a sweet guy. I had a little conversation with him in which I told him he reminded me of Madison blogger Jeremy Freese and that comedian Tom Bodett. Duncan didn't know who either of those guys were. The Easter-Islandish forehead in the lower right corner? I can't tell you who that is. If that's you, claim your forehead. Otherwise it's the Forehead of the Unknown Blogger. And lord knows what fervid thoughts roil therein.
And who are the blurry guys, you may ask. Picture 1 is Alex Pareene of Wonkette, wearing his "no Wonkette" T-shirt and waving a filtered cigarette about, and Nick Gillespie, of Reason Magazine and Hit & Run, who entertained me with his opinions, like about how there are only a small handful of cities left in America that are not culturally defunct. Madison, Wisconsin was culturally vital once, back around 1968. But since then and forever into the future, nothing. Picture 2 is TRex, who wrote about me on his blog -- Firedoglake -- after I blogged a (clear) picture of him last night. He said:
Ann Althouse came by a few minutes ago and took photos of me and John Amato. Amato was nice to her. I just growled under my breath and kept typing.Ha ha. That's what I expected from half the bloggers: just growling and keeping on typing. It was actually surprising how un-socially-awkward most bloggers are. But thanks to TRex for embodying the stereotype I'd had in mind.