The other day Senator Mitch McConnell said President Obama is the most divisive president he has ever served with. As a liberal blogger, my first thought probably should have been to counter this with something about George W. Bush, or McConnell's breathtaking obstructionism, but it wasn't. My thoughts actually ran like this.
"Obama. Bush. Clinton. Other Bush? When..."
Then there was a brief Wikipedia moment.
"I graduated high school in 1984! Holy *$&%#!"
When Mitch McConnell entered the Senate, The US national debt was $1.5 trillion. Since he took office, it has increased a thousand percent.
When Mitch McConnell was elected, "Back to the Future" was still in the future. It hadn't come out yet. Neither had "The Color Purple," "Prizzi's Honor," "Out of Africa," "Platoon," "Hannah and Her Sisters," "Moonstruck," "Wall Street" (the first one), "The Last Emperor," "Fatal Attraction," "Rain Man," "A Fish Called Wanda," "Field of Dreams," or "GoodFellas."
When Mitch McConnell was elected, New York City's underground was still ruled by the famous "five families". The FBI didn't charge the family heads until 1985.
Mitch McConnell was elected before the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded.
Nelson Mandela was still in jail when McConnell was elected, and he would be for another six years.
Lucille Ball was still alive when Mitch McConnell became a Senator. So was Greta Garbo.
When Mitch McConnell was elected, the Sony Walkman was still a cassette tape player. The Sony Diskman was brand new, and quite expensive.
The IBM-PC AT was still brand new, having been released only three months earlier. It had a processor speed of 6 Mhz and was the first IBM-PC with a built in hard disk. It could hold 10 megabytes of data.
The big hits when McConnell was elected were coming out from Prince, Hall & Oats, Culture Club, Cindy Lauper, Wham!, Duran Duran...
The Chevy Cavalier, Ford Escort, and Ford LTD were the best selling cars.
When Mitch McConnell was elected, Rock Hudson had not yet died of AIDS.
Not only had Seinfeld not yet ended... it didn't begin until after McConnell got re-elected.
By the time the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded, Mitch McConnell had already been in the Senate for two years.
Nintendo video games had not yet come to America, and wouldn't for several years, when Mitch McConnell entered the Senate.
Oprah Winfrey didn't have a national TV show yet.
Mitch McConnell was elected not only before The Simpsons ever aired, but several years before Fox became a fourth network.
The Rotary Club had not yet been forced by the Supreme Court to admit women.
When McConnell entered the Senate, no one had ever heard of a Supreme Court Justice being "borked". It hadn't happened yet.
Mitch McConnell was in the Senate several years before Prozac was approved by the FDA.
Tiger Woods was 9 years old when Mitch McConnell became Senator McConnell. So was Angelina Jolie.
Forget NAFTA. When Mitch McConnell became a Senator, we didn't even have a free trade agreement with Canada yet!
Mitch McConnell has been ignoring global warming for 24 years. NASA scientist James Hansen first warned Congress about it 4 years into McConnell's first term.
General Manuel Noriega ruled Panama, Deng Xiaoping was still the leader of China, and P. W. Botha was the President of South Africa when Mitch McConnell entered the Senate.
Modem speeds were 1,200 bits per second. But nobody cared. Prodigy and America Online hadn't happened yet, and it would still be a decade before the World Wide Web came into being.
In November 1984, when Mitch McConnell was elected to the Senate, I was a freshman in college. Where were you? Were you even born yet?
Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions).
Challenger Video courtesy of NASA [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons