What an emotional week for San Francisco.

On Wednesday morning, the San Francisco Democratic elite – mayor Gavin Newsom, former mayor Willie Brown and Senator Diane Feinstein –  proudly handed the World Series’ winning Giants the key to the city at the end of their Victory Parade, attended by hundreds of thousands of fans, making it “one of the largest gatherings the city has seen in years,” as the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The City nearly stopped, as fans ditched their jobs and schools to crowd Market Street to cheer the Giants’ historic victory, its first since in over a half century.  And most of all, these fanatic fans endured the traffic and the crowds because these Giants embodied the outcast spirit of the City – they are “long-haired, farm-raised, mostly home-grown and organic,” they are “eccentric,” as the New York Times opined.

Best of all, these Blue State Heroes, these weed-smoking, hippie-haired, black-bearded, tattooed underdogs, walloped the Factory Farmed Texas Rangers, on their own Red State turf, with the entire Bush clan watching, no less.    For a baseball fan with “San Francisco Values,” the Giants’ victory was enormously cathartic – we finally won over Bush and his Red State values, at least metaphorically.

In the literal sense, however, San Francisco lost that same Wednesday morning.   At nearly the same time Newsom handed over the key to the Giants owner, in a far smaller victory party 3,000 miles away, Republican Speaker-elect John Boehner took back the gavel from current Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi, celebrating his team’s win for the House of Representatives.  While the Bushes may have lost on the baseball field, in a scant two years, his Grand Old Party is back in the game – with serious talk that Jeb may be a contender in 2012 presidential election, throwing out ceremonial strikes like his brother.   Any momentary catharsis from the Giants’ win by liberal ball fans was short-lived, eclipsed by the reality that the Republicans were handed the keys to the House of Representatives, and the charge to gridlock the federal government if it won’t play their plutocratic game.

The Republicans came back from devastating losses two years ago by stealing from the Giants’ playbook.  No, not literally – though it wouldn’t hurt Boehner to work on his curveball, which we can see coming a mile off.  Rather, the GOP won back the house, drawing millions to the polls in their favor, by tapping into the same “outsider” story that drew mobs to the Giants’ Victory Parade.

Today, amidst the financial meltdown, we all feel victims of the powerful – even the super rich, some of whom called Obama “Hilter” for attempting to close tax loopholes.  In deep recession, when we feel impotent against the economic forces beyond our control, we root for the underdog, for the downtrodden, for the outsider – for David victorious over Goliath.  In David’s triumph, we see our own.  In much the same way, when Giants fans screamed, “WE WON,” as they cried in real happiness, they did so for themselves.   In the Giants’ win, San Franciscans experienced the sense –  a simulation - of triumph that they cannot feel in their own lives, as they struggle for jobs, as they struggle to pay their mortgage, as they struggle to earn an education.   The Giants make them feel, literally, giant.

The Republican Party won because they offered the same feeling of triumph a sports’ fan feels when “we” win.   The Tea Party, and its invisible billionaire bankers, shrewdly exploited our desperation and anger, and thus were able to manufacture the fairy tale that millions of Americans wanted so desperately to hear – that there was a real, authentic, grassroots movement that could take down Goliath, and end their economic suffering.  They, with a complicit corporate media which perpetuated the myth that the Tea Party is an authentic movement of the people, convinced millions of Americans that they are “home-grown and organic,” that they represented an angry uprising of the public, that they are the Party of David fending off Goliath.

The Republicans won because they are far better entertainers than the boring Democrats.  The intricately plotted Republican “Game Plan” made for appealing, emotionally satisfying political drama perfect for the culture of the spectator, providing emotional climax, amusement, and ultimately entertainment.

Christine O’Donnell, a no name “outsider” who upset the “establishment,” embodied this David and Goliath story, and as a result, became a media darling – she was the No. 2 campaign newsmaker this political season, according to PEW’s Center for Excellence in Journalism. Shortly after stepping onto the national political stage, she retained our attention by becoming an accidental court jester, in claiming that “I am not a witch,” a statement which exploded into endless material for comedianspundits, and YouTubers (In fact, her comment was parodied so many times, that the NYT political blogreported on these parodies).  While O’Donnell may have lost, she was able to keep the Tea Party narrative popular in the Network and Networked News. And O’Donnell was not alone in capturing the corporate media’s attention, as PEW reports: “Indeed, four of the 10 top election newsmakers are representatives of the tea party movement, which has emerged as a key element in the election narrative.”

The election narrative, especially that of the Tea Party, was just as much a Roman Circus as the Giants’ victory, engaging the imagination of the public, while at the same time distracting us from our socio-economic reality.  The populous election story distracts us from a reality that our democracy is becoming a plutocracy, as Bill Moyers observes in his seminal speech at Boston University, “Welcome to the Plutocracy!” Since the Reagan era, Moyers points out, the government – on both the right and left – has served at the favor of the superrich, engineering a system of “wage repression,” a system of Trickle Up economics, in which the earned wealth of the middle and working class is systematically distributed to the upper 1%. After the emotional high of our team winning, on Wednesday afternoon, we are left in the “desert of the real”, a frightening reality in which the transfer of wealth upwards continues unabated.

But this reality is not new, and neither is the path from this desert.  In 1936, facing a nation mired in far worse economic hardship, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt speaks fiercely, in words we wish Obama – or someone – would say, to lead out us of plutocracy and back towards democracy:

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace: business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.  They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. And we know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob!  Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today.  They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred.