Like a moth to a flame, I was drawn back. Less than a month after Isthmus published the tale of my month embedded in the Dane County Republican Party, I found myself hanging out with local conservatives again, this time at their monthly Pints and Politics event.
The meeting, held Tuesday evening at the Esquire Club in Maple Bluff, coincided nicely with the County Board elections. Among those in attendance, hopes were high that Republicans would take back a majority. I felt a little guilty, since I didn't actually vote in the election, but as my dear friend and RPDC mother hen Nancy Bartlett told me, "It was probably better for us that way."
RPDC vice chair Dave Baker and other party members came over and greeted me, and spokesman Bill Richardson even took my picture for the group's website. I made sure to say hello to party chair Mike Herl, who, upon our introduction, was polite and taciturn. He must have been overwhelmed, the way a lot of people get when they meet a big celebrity.
David Blaska, TheDailyPage.com's conservative blogger extraordinaire, was in charge of the evening's entertainment. Clad in a CAVEMAN t-shirt (Citizens Against Voting for Endless Madison Area Nonsense), Blaska proceeded to present a nearly 45-minute Power Point presentation meant to poke fun at Madison liberals.
It was a fine show, especially if one enjoys pixilated cartoons and a ten-minute diatribe on young people and their overly baggy pants. Blaska subscribes to the "broken window" theory of law enforcement: That is, today's broken window is tomorrow's crack house. So one must assume Blaska fears that today's sagging jeans is tomorrow's public striptease. (I'm talking to you, Erykah Badu.) Heaven forbid.
As I was leaving I ran into lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Brett Davis at the door. He gave me his card, which made me feel special, until someone told me he gives cards to everyone. I like Brett, though. For a politician, he seems surprisingly smart and sane. Perhaps that could be his campaign slogan: "Surprisingly smart and sane."
I admit I was a little sad when I checked the paper the next morning and saw that the GOP-ers had taken far fewer seats than they had hoped. Not because I wanted a conservative-heavy County Board, but because of the time-honored tradition of rooting for the underdog from David vs. Goliath to Butler against Duke.
Or maybe it's because I saw them before the results were known. They were so hopeful, all shining eyes and earnest smiles. It was like taking candy from a baby. Poor baby. There's always another election.