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Friday, November 12, 2004

election wrapup (Part I)

And so it came to pass that the American people elected George W. Bush to a second term. Four more years of the smirking cowboy! Be very concerned if not alarmed. I recommend all non believers read Ron Suskin's article on the workings of the Bush administration which ran in an October New York Times magazine. Whatever funny business may have taken place Kerry did not do well enough in the popular vote to put himself in a position to question anything but his campaign 'strategery'. Since secession or suicide are not viable or attractive options we must work over the coming four years to preserve a strong democracy at home, restrain cowboy shenanigans abroad, and push for some semblance of sane fiscal discipline. We must also push for improving the electoral process. It is patently unacceptable that in the wealthiest country in the world, where we concluded an election for President costing over $1 billion on advertising alone and where we pat each other on the ass for counting with the longest running democracy, many citizens vote with rickety antiquated machines prone to breakdown or wait in line, sometimes in the rain, for five hours to vote, or a highly partisan corporation such as Diebold provides voting machines that fail to count with any paper trail. Come on! And whats up with not voting on a weekend or national holiday, anyways?


The Bush administration will lecture us that they have gained political "capital" they intend to spend. This Bush pearl of wisdom is akin to walking through the hood bragging you've got $40 in your pocket or telling your hooker you've got two bills you're looking to blow. The Bushies will atempt to steamroll opponents into submission and we must remain on guard. The fourth estate ought to refuse to be cowed by Bush shennanigans of the type on display at his recent press conference (one question rule? say what?). The media needs to step up over the coming four years and refuse to be suckered a la post 9-11/run up to Irak. Implicit in preserving our democracy is keeping a mindful eye on Bush's judicial nominations while saying a little prayer that Justice Stevens makes it to the young age of 88.



We will also of course need to find ourselves an American representing our nation's core values, which are NOT bigotry, lying, torture, or the murder of innocent women and children, and capable of winning the 2008 Presidential elections. To win we should examine what went wrong and right on November 2 and in recent history for the democratic party. Basically we need to do a lot of homework commencing pronto. I say a lot because the democratic party has turned into the party with the big L on its forehead. In the period 1968-2008 there have been just three democratic administrations: Carter's completely failed turn and Clinton's (the first of which would have never happened but for the "grace" of Perot) two terms. The words of the warden in Cool Hand Luke ring true: "What we have here is a failure to communicate." The democratic message is simply not playing well particularly with white people and I think this has to do less with the message and more with how its being expressed. For example, Americans consistently say when polled that health care is important to them and Kerry made health care for all a major centerpiece of his campaign and yet....


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