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November 3, 2004

Bad morning
Posted by Teresa at 11:29 AM * 252 comments

225 years is a pretty good run for a republic, historically speaking.

I keep thinking about an interview I saw last week with a young woman who was working for Nader, and how self-importantly she said, “We’re voting the movement, not the candidate.” The stupid chit had somehow failed to notice that what we elect are candidates.

By the way, I don’t accept these results. I never will. And if you have any sense, you won’t either. I don’t care what your politics are. That’s not the issue. People who mess with the vote are not your friends. If they don’t believe in government by the consent of the governed, they sure as hell don’t believe in government by the consent of you.

Comments on Bad morning:
#1 ::: Richard Bellamy ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 11:47 AM:

As one by one, at dread Medea's strain,
The sickening stars fade off th' ethereal plain;
As Argus' eyes by Hermes' wand oppressed,
Closed one by one to everlasting rest;
Thus at her felt approach, and secret might,
Art after Art goes out, and all is Night.
See skulking Truth to her old cavern fled,
Mountains of Casuistry heaped o'er her head!
Philosophy, that leaned on Heaven before,
Shrinks to her second cause, and is no more.
Physic of Metaphysic begs defence,
And Metaphysic calls for aid on Sense!
See Mystery to Mathematics fly!
In vain! they gaze, turn giddy, rave, and die.
Religion blushing veils her sacred fires,
And unawares Morality expires.
Nor public Flame, nor private , dares to shine;
Nor human Spark is left, nor Glimpse divine!
Lo! thy dread Empire, Chaos! is restored;
Light dies before thy uncreating word:
Thy hand, great Anarch! lets the curtain fall;
And universal Darkness buries All.

Alexander Pope, 1742

#2 ::: rea ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 11:53 AM:

While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening
to empire
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and the
mass hardens,
I sadly smiling remember that the flower fades to make fruit, the fruit rots
to make earth.
Out of the mother; and through the spring exultances, ripeness and decadence;
and home to the mother.
You making haste haste on decay: not blameworthy; life is good, be it stubbornly
long or suddenly
A mortal splendor: meteors are not needed less than mountains:
shine, perishing republic.
But for my children, I would have them keep their distance from the thickening
center; corruption
Never has been compulsory, when the cities lie at the monster's feet there
are left the mountains.
And boys, be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, a clever servant,
insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits, that caught – they say –
God, when he walked on earth.

Robinson Jeffers

#3 ::: Guy Matthews ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:01 PM:

This is a tragedy of global proportions and the biggest blow yet to everything decent and good left in America. I'm in terror at what Bush will do now that his ego has been informed that God has just re-affirmed his mandate of power :/. (Oh come on, you KNOW that's what's going through his head, well that and Homer Simpson in an infinite "Woohoo!" loop :P)

#4 ::: Pathos ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:02 PM:

The Second Coming -- W. B. Yeats


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

#5 ::: Tempest ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:07 PM:

I'm really kind of angry about this concession thing. Wasn't the war cry that we weren't going to make the mistakes of 2000?

#6 ::: Catie Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:08 PM:

I don't accept these results, either. As far as I'm concerned, Bush got in on an incumbency that wasn't his. What I *don't* know is what the hell to do about it at this point.

#7 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:13 PM:

I didn't sleep much at all last night.

When I heard this morning Bush won the popular vote, I knew it was over. The only decent and wise thing for Kerry to do would be to concede, and he's done that.

Reportedly, Kerry told Bush that he had to do something about the divisions in the country. For Bush, this will mean explaining to the Blue people, in his earnest idiot stammer, that we'll have to try harder to be more like the Red people.

F#$ him and the fearful, hateful, hicks and mediocretins who elected him.

#8 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:18 PM:

Catie --

If they don't accept the legitimacy of voting, the options available have historically been limited.

The obvious option available to you as Americans now is to do everything possible to achieve a majority in the House in 2006.

#9 ::: Tempest ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:21 PM:

2006 is too far away and, I fear, not enough. This is scary NOW. I'm afraid of the next four years. I'm afraid of the next year. Something needs to be done now and no one is going to do anything.

#10 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:22 PM:

Conceded. Conceded. Gddmnd mthrfckng quitter. The people who stuck their necks out for you thank you, sir.

This is reading like one of Mark Twain's instructional fables for young people, about the two brothers, and how the good one loses everything to the bad one. The Triumph of Goofus.

Ronald Reagan is now the Alabama of US Presidents, instead of the Mississippi.

Fortune Favors Diebold.

Good night, Gracie.

#11 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:25 PM:

The only way that could happen, Graydon, is for people to be really, really angry about something.

I think it's quite possible that the administration could supply them, through its hubris and gross incompetence, with something to be angry about.

Unfortunately, this would have to be something in the nature of a national tragedy, or terrorist strike, or economic bust, or environmental disaster.

#12 ::: Francis ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:30 PM:

No one's ever going to be able to talk me out of my gut feeling that the Republicans won this in Ohio by making it as hard as possible for people in the state's Democratic strongholds to vote. (Well, that and inspiring evangelical Christians to protect the country from [ominous chord] gaaaay marrrrriage.) What was up with the shortages of voting machines in urban areas? Given that turnout was high all over the state, isn't it a little suspicious that the people still waiting in line to vote at midnight were in the cities and not the suburbs?

#13 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:31 PM:

Stefan - Bush said he hit the Trifecta last time. What do you call it when four of your horses come in?

#14 ::: Brian Zimmerman ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:32 PM:

Last came Anarchy; he rode
On a white horse, splashed with blood;
He was pale even to the lips,
Like Death in the Apocalypse.

And be wore a kingly crown;
And in his grasp a sceptre shone;
And on his brow this mark I saw--
I am God, and King, and Law!

With a pace stately and fast,
Over English land he past,
Trampling to a mire of blood
The adoring multitude.

And a mighty troop around,
With their trampling shook the ground,
Waving each a bloody sword,
For the service of their Lord.

And with glorious triumph, they
Rode through England proud and gay,
Drunk as with intoxication
Of the wine of desolation.

O'er fields and towns, from sea to sea,
Passed the pageant swift and free,
Tearing up, and trampling down,
Till they came to London: town.

And each dweller, panic-stricken,
Felt his heart with terror sicken,
Hearing the tempestuous cry
Of the triumph of Anarchy.

For with pomp to meet him came,
Clothed in arms like blood and flame,
The hired murderers who did sing,
Thou art God, and Law, and King.

“We have waited, weak and lone,
For thy coming, Mighty One!
Our purses are empty, our swords are cold,
Give us glory, and blood, and gold.”

Lawyers and priests, a motley crowd,
To the earth their pale brows bowed
Like a bad prayer not over loud,
Whispering-”Thou art Law and God.”

Then all cried with one accord,
“Thou art King, and God, and Lord;
Anarchy, to thee we bow,
Be thy name made holy now!”

And Anarchy, the skeleton,
Bowed and grinned to every one,
As well as if his education,
Had cost ten millions to the nation.

-- Shelley, "The Masque of Anarchy"

#15 ::: fidelioscabinet ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:36 PM:

One of the first things that will happen, I suspect, will be the purge of the Republican Party. Remeber the "RINO" jab? They laid that aside for the election, but it will be back. Remember all the people mentioned in places like Shrillblog, who were suddenly turning against years of loyal membership and daring to question God's Appointed? They're marked. Be prepared to treat them gently and kindly--whether they try to hang with their party, set up as independents, or join another. As Shakespeare noted: "When lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom the gentler gamester is the soonest winner" (Henry V III.vi)
Building a coalition requires respect among its members. Make sure they know they have a welcome.

#16 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:37 PM:

Many's the time I've been mistaken,
and many times confused
Yes, and I've often felt forsaken,
and certainly misused.
Ah, but I'm all right, I'm all right.
I'm just weary to my bones.
Still you don't expect to be bright and bon vivant,
so far away from home,
so far away from home.
And I don't know a soul who's not been battered.
I don't have a friend who feels at ease.
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered,
or driven to its knees.
Ah, but it's all right. It's all right.
For we've lived so well so long.
Still, when I think of the road we're travelin' on,
I wonder what's gone wrong.
I can't help but wonder what's gone wrong.

And I dreamed I was dying.
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly,
and looking back down at me, smiled reassuringly.
And I dreamed I was flying,
and high up above my eyes could clearly see
the Statue of Liberty sailing away to sea.
And I dreamed I was flying.

And we come on the ship they call the Mayflower.
We come on the ship that sailed the moon.
We come in the age's most uncertain hours,
and sing an American tune.
Oh, and it's all right, it's all right,
it's all right.
You can't be forever blessed.
Still tomorrow's gonna be another working day
and I'm tryin' to get some rest;
that's all - I'm trying to get some rest.


"American Tune," Paul Simon, from the album There Goes Rhymin' Simon, 1973

#17 ::: Shalanna Collins ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:43 PM:

Please don't be angry at Senator Kerry for conceding. He fought the good fight, endured incredibly twisted attacks, kept his cool, kept promising hope and help until it became obvious that people didn't WANT help, just "security" (which isn't really secure.) Kerry's team has been up all night trying to calculate the possibilities, and the "facts" (such as they are) are that the votes just aren't there. People apparently voted their idiocy. I always said people are stupid. The sheep want Bush as their bellwether. Frankly, I think Kerry is the lucky one, because he doesn't have to try to dig us out of this hole. God knows what'll happen now that there's absolutely no opposition left standing. (Kerry will probably say in a minute here that he'd like to extend a hand across the aisle and work together bipartisan-wise, but Bush never did that, even here in Texas, and he's contemptuous of those not as powerful as he is. A word to the wise--be careful what you say from now on, even couched in diplomatic language. I'm going to have to tighten up on my own comments.)

Mostly, I'm concerned about what'll continue to happen to erode our civil rights and freedom of speech (to speak out and criticize the gov't and its decisions). I can't worry about all the war killings, because I've realized something. Something daunting.

About half of the USA . . . WANTS to fight and "kick ass" and kill. They always support attacks and war and invasions/occupations because they feel we're the policeman of the world. If there's no enemy, they don't know what to do. When there's an "enemy" to focus on, they feel normal again. That is all I can conclude when I hear all the comments about "homeland security" and "fight the war on terror" and all the confusion that is associated with each. The warlike half is about 52%, looks like to me. The rest of you who aren't white Protestants or who need Social Security or wanted gay people to have partnerships or whatever . . . well, unfortunately, the high school cliques just shouted, "Majority rules!" and raised their hands in a pep squad cheer. Unfortunately, they have not realized that they NEED diversity and balance or they, too, will lose their way. Continue to lose their way, I mean.

People get the gov't they deserve. And while I would not be surprised to discover that "the fix was in" in Florida and Ohio already (in other words, cheating took place somehow that we haven't completely seen yet), I can still see that the ones who like to censure others and feel superior are still out there, and they're in the majority. Like always. How is this different from business as usual? We had a good run there of freedoms. Now the pendulum has swung back, as it historically often does. We can only hope that people will wake up and organize to take the country back . . . unless they outnumber us, in which case we'll just have to cope if we want to carry on living.

Looks like for now . . . they outnumber us.

#18 ::: dolloch ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:47 PM:

4 years is a long time, a long time for plodding turtle mistakes to catch up with sprinting jackrabbit personalities.

I say impeachment in 2 years. Most definitely Democrat in 2008. Noone is insane enough to vote for Cheney. I'm thinking that's the only reason there hasn't been an assassination attempt on Bush yet.

#19 ::: Catie Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:47 PM:

Graydon, Stefan--

I think you're both right. The thing to do is to win the mid-term elections; the problem with that is the people must be angry, and it seems that there may not be enough of us who are angry. Revolution in any form is sponsored by the downtrodden, not the fat and happy, and I'm afraid Americans in general are too fat and happy. I honestly thought this election was going to be revolutionary. The idea that Bush took the popular vote (however it was achieved; I can't speak to how much disenfranchisment there may have been) is something that I can barely wrap my mind around.

On one hand, I cannot recognize this as my country. On the other, dammit, it *is* my country, and while I've been threatening to leave if Bush is reinstalled, this morning I find that I don't want to leave. I want the sons of bitches who have taken over my country out of power.

#20 ::: Ellen ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:49 PM:

Larry Brennan - Bush said he hit the Trifecta last time. What do you call it when four of your horses come in?

The Apocalypse?

#21 ::: ers ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:51 PM:

As long as we're putting together a spontaneously poetry anthology that expresses our ineffable feelings with regard to this all-too-effable election:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

--Dylan Thomas

[I need this myself, to keep from sinking into despair.]

#22 ::: Scorpio ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:55 PM:

Dieboldt delivered the vote. At about 5:30 PM on Skippy I called OH and FL for a Dieboldt delivery.

A cynic is an optimist who sharply observes the real world, and speaks to said observations.

#23 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:57 PM:

Ellen, I said for horses not horesmen.

If you want to see visual despair, check out Fotolog. My Friends and Favorites page is a good launching point.

Gee, the way I've been linking to Fotolog, you'd think I worked for them. (I don't. Which is probably a good thing because they seem like inept businesspeople.)

#24 ::: Tina ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:00 PM:

O God of earth and altar,
Bow down and hear our cry,
Our earthly rulers falter,
Our people drift and die;
The walls of gold entomb us,
The swords of scorn divide,
Take not thy thunder from us,
But take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches,
From lies of tongue and pen,
From all the easy speeches
That comfort cruel men,
From sale and profanation
Of honour and the sword,
From sleep and from damnation,
Deliver us, good Lord.

Tie in a living tether
The prince and priest and thrall,
Bind all our lives together,
Smite us and save us all;
In ire and exultation
Aflame with faith, and free,
Lift up a living nation,
A single sword to thee.

(Gilbert Keith Chesterton)

#25 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:01 PM:

I've had that one famous line rolling around in my head all morning. Thank you for posting the rest, ers.

#26 ::: Tim Kyger ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:09 PM:

Teresa, I hate to say this, as it is probably the very last thing we will ever say to one another, as I asume that you'll write me off after this (as if you didn't already about 30 years ago), but you've finally gone off around the bend and become a flaming moonbat.

Do you *really* actually truly sincerely *believe* what you've posted? If so, then it's obvious that you're incredibly, essentially, completely and totally at your core undemocratic. You are an authoritarian; a dictator! "By the way, I don’t accept these results. I never will. And if you have any sense, you won’t either. I don’t care what your politics are." Yes. All power to the *CORRECT* people. Only YOUR vote and YOUR position count; all others don't, because they're WRONG and only YOU are RIGHT.

Never mind the majority. Also, never mind the minority either. You've got to break some oggs to make those omelets, right? Of course.

Sounds like representative democracy to me; a-yup.

Enjoy yourself in your house made of illusion; I do sincrerly hope that someday you'll return to the real world

As I said, I don't doubt that you won't speak to me again, after this. You, as I predicted 30 years ago, have opted to return to going to temple. Ah well.

Have a good rest of your life.

The rest of you, have good lives too. Me? I'm going to finish *my* book, and raise my kids, and live my life. And in 2008, vote for a different President once again -- despite all of the wringing of hands and wailing and gnashing of teeth now occuring amongst all of you right now.

Because, ya see, life is gonna go one; and nothing truly essentially much is gonna actually change.

#27 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:09 PM:

I just want to cry.

I keep thinking about those I love: my husband, my brother, my cousins--they're all younger than me, and when when the draft comes, I'll be the only one too old to be eligible.

I keep thinking about the impending public health disaster: continued budget cuts for NIH and CDC, continued loss of jobs with health insurance, my parents and their generation retiring and going on Medicare, the fiasco that this administration has made of HIV/AIDS research and prevention.


Hear the lonesome whippoorwill
His song's too blue to fly
The midnight train is a-winding low
I'm so lonesome I could cry

I've never seen a night so long
When time keeps crawling by
The moon is gone behind the clouds
To hide his face and cry

Have you ever seen a robin weep
When leaves have turned to brown?
Like me he's lost his will to live
I'm so lonesome I could cry

(Hank Williams) a la Cowboy Junkies

#28 ::: Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:10 PM:

Teresa,

Your comment about 225 years exactly catches my mood ... and Rea got to the Jeffers poem well ahead of me.

America: a good idea while it lasted.

#29 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:11 PM:

I've said this elsewhere, and will repeat it here.

Conceding is a divisive act. Regardless of whether Kerry and his team thought that the provisional ballots would bring him a vicory, there were two good reasons to fight for them to be counted:

1. He promised. As late as Tuesday night, Sen. Edwards rreiterated the campaign's stance that every vote would be counted, and every vote would count.

2. Counting produces a clear, unequivocal result. We saw what happened when not all the votes were counted in 2000; there are now a significant fraction of Kerry supporters who believe that there were in fact enough Kerry votes among the provisional ballots to have won. (Not to mention those who think there was jiggery-pokery with the Diebold machines that were used in Ohio.) By challenging all the votes, recounting all the machines (and having their software examined under court order), counting all the provisional ballots, if Bush had still won (quite likely), there would have been far fewer doubters than there are today.

I call it cowardice and divisive, myself.

#30 ::: Dan R. ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:14 PM:

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Robert Frost

#31 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:16 PM:

My site went black today, in mourning for the Republic.

Then, in hope, I wrote a little PHP script that counts down the days till this is over. That's the "failed Bush administration" line at the top of my site.

But I won't forget what happened in Germany between 1932 and 1934. (I'm being a little vague here in an effort not to attract more comment spam. Go look it up in Wikipedia.)

And that is what I fear.

It can happen here.

That quickly.


#32 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:17 PM:

Short on time, and keeping melodrama and poetry out of it:

I accept the results. It's not the resolution I wanted, but it looks like a clean win to me. While I'm sure there was dirty pool on both sides at a lot of local levels, I've seen no evidence that there was voter fraud on a scale large enough to tip the balance. If it was there, I'd think both the Democrats and the press would be all over it. And while I'm as skeptical of electronic voting as anyone, there were enough states not using it and showing similar numbers for Bush that Ohio and Florida hardly stand out as aberrations. The results are disappointing, but they make sense.

I understand why Kerry conceded, and agree with him that when faced with such numbers it was not in the best interests of the country to drag out another few weeks of ugliness simply to grasp at straws. Even if he somehow won in the end (which doesn't seem likely) he'd simply be this cycle's Hated Usurper. Would Bush have conceded? Probably not. But I don't see how that matters.

Bush won the popular vote. And not by a couple here and there, but by millions. It was an ugly fight, and you can keep on hating him. But it doesn't matter. The nation's sentiment has shifted in his direction. The system hasn't done what you wanted, nor what I wanted either, but from what I can tell the system worked.

And to me, that's still more important than one particular president.

#33 ::: Tracina ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:26 PM:

well, unfortunately, the high school cliques just shouted, "Majority rules!"

My high school civics teacher once asked the class to define democracy. We responded with what we'd always been told up until then: "Majority rules." She sharply answered, "No. That is the definition of mob rule, not democracy."

#34 ::: Elisabeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:27 PM:

Tim and Steve: Hear, hear!

The country has survived much worse, many more trying times. Far more important is that people not be consumed by their hatred, do what they can to make the USA the country they want it to be, and keep on keeping on.

#35 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:30 PM:

Ok, everyone has to work through their five stages of grief. I want to strangle Kerry for conceding, myself, but it was his call. The fact that Edwards was opposed to it increases my opinion of him.

For me, I'm a parent. I don't have the luxury of giving up. We lost this battle. We claim to be the smart ones -- let's figure out what we did wrong and how we can win. We're the reality-based contingent-- let's face facts and adjust, regroup, and recover. Ideals alone will not bring victory -- we need analysis, strategy, tactics, and persistence.

And I need to find myself a copy of "Don't think of an Elephant".

#36 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:30 PM:

Sigh...sympathies, Teresa. If it helps any, I don't think the radical right is going to have to long of a run--too many chickens coming home to roost in the next few years. But, still, that doesn't make this feel better.

#37 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:30 PM:

All I know is that I've been sitting here all day, unable to do anything even vaguely useful and fighting against the Mother of All Panic Attacks.

Anybody, please -- tell me how we move forward from here. I haven't felt this distressed since the morning of 9/11 as I sat on the grass outside my workplace looking up at an eerily empty sky and realizing that I'd put one of my coworkers onto flight 11 that morning.

#38 ::: Lydia Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:35 PM:

Tim, I don't know about your history with Teresa, but it looks to me like you are deliberately misreading what she wrote. She, and I, and many other people I know, don't accept the results, not because we only want the "right" people's votes counted, but because we don't believe that all the votes were counted. The missing ballots in Florida, the endless entertainment that Ohio provided running up to the election, and, of course, Diebold. It's bizarre to call such concerns "completely and totally ... undemocratic."

I don't believe the results. I never will. I admit to the possibility that Bush could possibly have won this election. I do not admit that the vote count was fair.

#39 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:36 PM:

Suzanne: Here's one idea of mine. It does little to defuse the Supreme Court appointments and other tragedies due in the next two or four years, but it might make possible some recompense afterward.

#40 ::: Darice ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:38 PM:

Well, I'd been putting off buying a "nutbar conspiracy theorist" tote, but now I guess I'll have to get one. I was hoping not to need it.

I'll use it as my bookbag for the library.

And I won't stop fighting.

#41 ::: Tracina ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:39 PM:

Because, ya see, life is gonna go one; and nothing truly essentially much is gonna actually change.

Mr. Kiger, the rest of your post is not mine to take issue with. But I must ask you: what do you consider "truly essential"?

In two weeks, I become too old to draft. My brothers, my cousins, my friends and other family, however, are prime candidates. I consider the loss of any of them, or of any human life, whether I know that human or not, to be something quite essential.

I do not believe that the people who may be killed, tortured, persecuted, driven further into poverty, or denied basic human rights or civil liberties would agree with you that "nothing truly essentially much is gonna actually change." Perhaps you meant that you thought nothing much would change for you. Perhaps you will be right.

#42 ::: Tracina ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:42 PM:

Mr, Kyger, sorry about misspelling your name above.

#43 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:42 PM:

What I don't get is that the people who were least affected by the 9/11 attacks are the ones who are most afraid. And most likely to think that Saddam was responsible. And most likely to think that Bush is fighting the good fight.

How do you fight willful ignorance? Do you grant it credit as faith and then try to use that lens to change perceptions? Do you call it what it is and harden the enmity of the deluded? Do you sow division amidst their ranks and encourage internecine warfare over minor points of doctrine? Do you find an even more compelling bogeyman to rally the haters around? There's an answer here somewhere. The one thing that we know doesn’t work is accommodation.

I'm not ready to give up on the republic just yet.

#44 ::: Anthony VanWagner ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:44 PM:

Kudos to Tim and Steve for retaining their sanity.

Teresa, I take it back. This is my favorite conspiracy blog.

#45 ::: Jonquil ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:47 PM:

If we're to cite poetry today, we must remember this.

SEPTEMBER 1939
W. H. Auden

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-Second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.


Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz ,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism's face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.


The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.


From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating the morning vow;
'I will be true to my wife,
I'll concentrate more on my work,'
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the deaf,
Who can speak for the dumb?

All I have is a voice
To unfold the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another and die .


Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

#46 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:55 PM:

Some lyrics from a CD a co-worker lent me yesterday.

You know I've seen that face before
I'm not sure if I want it to be
That old face I used to see
Cause that's the one that left me all alone
Took my feelings and hung them out to dry
Never gave a reason why
Yes I know I fell from grace before
But all that's gonna end

Sun's gonna rise again
I'll be listening to those lies again
Sun's gonna rise

Cos I went back for more
Guess I never learned my lesson well
I went straight back into hell
But when the lightning hits the stormy sky
No one cares about who'll be left to cry
And there ain't no reason why
Yes I know I led the chase before
The chase is gonna end

Sun's gonna rise again
I'll be listening to those lies again
Sun's gonna rise

You’re feeling sorry for yourself
Don't affect my mental health no more
I've had enough and it's over
- Sass Jordan

#47 ::: Andrew Debly ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:56 PM:

Now that the Rupublicans control all levers of power (the House, the Senate, the Supreme Court, and the WHite House), it will only be a matter of time before Bush and Rumsfeld implement their plans for a new draft for the invasion of Iran.

Who is that I see in the distance? Oh, it's Jeb Bush. The next president.

#48 ::: sennoma ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 01:59 PM:

Please don't be angry at Senator Kerry for conceding.

Too late. I'm gonna savage that man if he concedes (as I write this, I have only CNN's word for it that he will, and I trust them like I trust Rove himself).

And FWIW, I think the "conspiracy!" types are, as someone said above, misreading Teresa's comments.

#49 ::: sennoma ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:04 PM:

Oh, and Teresa, remember that silly bet we made? I believe I won, in which case please buy yourself and Patrick a drink from me!

#50 ::: ElizabethVomMarlowe ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:07 PM:

All I can say is that today I'm grieving and tomorrow I'm finding a new way to fight. I'm not giving up my America, and you shouldn't either.

#51 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:14 PM:

Kerry is conceding right now on NPR.

What I don't get is the "we must heal the divisions" stuff. It's a nice sentiment, but after the way Bush completely ignored antiwar voices, it's a moot point. The neocons thrive on division; what they want is an electorate of herbivores that they, the carnivores, can worry and herd at will, and feed off whenever they please.

Bush won a certain segment of the vote, but he should try to be a President to all of us, and I don't feel like he gives a rat's ass about my opinion.

So I don't accept these results either; I don't accept a society that sees fit to obliterate my views.

I will continue to keep voicing my opinion and working to change things.

I've always felt like an outlier on society, so in that sense, my life won't change much either.

#52 ::: Douglas ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:14 PM:

But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.

Is there any reason not to despair ? I'm trying, but I can't come up with one.

#53 ::: Stefanie Murray ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:15 PM:

"Your logo here" wrote the following:

The five stages of grief. Let's get this over with quickly.

Denial: We've still got those provisional ballots in Ohio to count. Absentee ballots all over the place. The electors could decide not to give their votes to Bush. It's not over yet.

Anger: FUCK YOU, America. FUCK. YOU. You like 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians because of your false war? 8000 wounded American soldiers and 1100 dead in Iraq because of imperial hubris and incompetent post-war planning not enough to quench your desire for misguided vengeance? Great, well you're gonna have a lot more blood on your hands. Don't want gay marriage? Fanfuckintastic. You got your way. A lot of good it's gonna do when you can't afford your prescription drugs, your unemployment benefits have run out, and your kid's fucking school is overcrowded. And don't think for a fucking second that "tort reform" is going to make a difference, because it won't. Global warming is real, motherfuckers, and you just sealed the deal. Balanced budget? Ha. And when the Bush Supreme Court makes abortion illegal again, and thousands of women are dying from unsafe back-alley abortions, that's on you, America. Thought the world just hated our government? Fuck that. The world hates you the people now, America, you stupid, weak, arrogant, ignorant sons of bitches. In thirty years, when people look back at what happened on November 2nd, 2004, and ask what people were thinking, all I'll have to say is, "Fuck you."

Bargaining: Please, America, think about what you've just done. We'll give you your tort reform and your partially privatized social security. We'll quit bitching about how the 2000 election was stolen. Take some school vouchers, give it another try, maybe it'll actually work this time around. More handguns for everyone. We'll lock away Michael Moore. Just please, please, please don't let Bush back in office for four more years.

Depression: Fuck. I mean, just, fuck. I can't take another four years of this. This is horrible. Disgusting. I just want to curl up in the fetal position and lie in the dark until it's over. Where's my tub of cake icing?

Acceptance: Bring it on, motherfuckers! Republicans control the House, the Senate, the White House, and Bush is gonna have three or four Supreme Court justices to appoint. Bring on the radical rightwing conservative agenda. No more blaming Clinton or the Democrats. It's on the Republicans' heads now. And on the bright side...umm...I'll get back to you on that one.

#54 ::: erin ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:23 PM:

Jonquil, your Auden's been mis-copied. That should be: "We must love one another or die."

#55 ::: John Scalzi ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:25 PM:

Douglas asks:

"Is there any reason not to despair?"

Yeah: Because doing so makes it easier for them to do what they want to do.

Last I checked, the 55 million or so people who voted against Bush have not been forced into house arrest. And fighting against the Bush agenda is clearly more critical *now* than it was 24 hours ago.

Bush won an election. He didn't win the divine right to rule. I'm a citizen of the United States. No one gets to rule me. I'll be busy reminding the government of that. You might consider doing the same.

#56 ::: jonquil ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:26 PM:

His first version was "or die". His final version was "and die". (I dimly remember that he made the change sometime in the 1950s, but don't quote me.)

#57 ::: Tim Kyger ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:28 PM:

You're all being lied to about the draft. IT *Ain't Gonna Happen!*

IT CAN'T MAKE IT THROUGH THE SENATE!!!

You can stop worrying about it.

Instead, what'll happen, is that the current National Guard/Reserve and active military will bear the brunt of it all (whether fair or not; and it isn't fair, in IMHO anyway). They'll move troops from Germany and Japan and Korea first to take up the loads in the Middle East.

CHip will tell you that I should see instead the movie "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington," to see what the power of a fillibuster amounts to in terms of it being a useful tool by Senate Democrats to keep anything bad happening. (This is in response to an earlier post of mine on this subject.) (Hello CHip, whoever you are; I don't know you, I don't think...) Well, I do think that I do know more than CHip in this instance, having actually worked for 15 going on 16 years as a political professional (i.e., getting paid to do it, and having to actually have *results*, too), and I'm not worried about the ability of the Democrats, even led by Senator Reid (assuming he ends up as the Minority Leader -- and that's the way to bet; he's got it wired up) to hold their own in the Senate against all sorts of Bad Things (such as Supreme Court appointments, too, BTW).

The reactions to the election that are envinced by everyone on this blog are typical of the Democratic party; and that *will* energize them, including those of them in the Senate.

In short: There is NO WAY that cloture will be arrived at in the Senate for a vote on ANY bill to institute the draft.

It just ain't gonna happen! Stop worrying!

#58 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:30 PM:

Thank you to Pathos for the Yeats, one of my favorites and alas, all too appropriate right now. Thanks to all who posted poetry; somehow, realizing thesse feelings have been written about through the ages makes it a *little* easier to bear. Shelley is early 19th century, and his poem was right on target as well.

Otherwise, it's all been said. I'm still vacillating between anger and horror.

#59 ::: Tracina ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:31 PM:

The draft is not the only thing I mentioned, Mr. Kyger.

#60 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:37 PM:

Douglas wrote:
Is there any reason not to despair ? I'm trying, but I can't come up with one.

No terrorists attacked in the weeks previous, or on election day, as foretold by many. Nobody was assassinated. There's no rioting in the streets. The government has not collapsed. Most of us don't have to hire private security to drive to work. We have a free (albeit stupid) press. You can vent your anger in blogs without fear of interment. The stock market is open today. You can watch Lost tonight, or pop in a Buffy DVD which Netflix can deliver to you via our functional postal service, or play violent video games, or read a Tor novel. It is relatively unlikely that someone will beat you to death for your religion or ethnicity. You will continue to collect Social Security until the money runs out, and probably for some time after that.

The world hasn't ended. Our leadership wasn't great in the late 20th century; it got worse in 2000; and the results from yesterday and today are yet another slide downward. But it's not Armageddon, people. Bush didn't proclaim himself Führer. He won an election. The fight was ugly, and it ended in a result 49% of people hate, but the system's functioning. And it's functioning in an entirely functional -- and mostly pretty decent in spite of itself -- country.

You want to be angry? Fine, be angry. There's plenty of reason for that. But you find no reason not to despair? Give me a frippin' break.

#61 ::: Jeremy Londeore ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:39 PM:

*delurk*
What worries me, aside from the Court nominations is a comment Bush made in a speech in Ohio on Monday about "bringing the gift of freedom to the people of Cuba in the next four years". I'm surprised none of the enlightened minds here have heard that sound bite from NPR.

I remember history well enough to recall what happened the last time colonialism or "nation building" was in place. It ended in WWI. I fear we are headed that way again. Please don't let me hear Bush say, "We need a little elbow room".

I'm too Jeffersonian for my own good. The masses scare me. I believe in the democracy of an informed electorate. If only that were enforcable.

*Relurks*

#62 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:42 PM:

(I posted this on electolite too)

I could throw my hands up in the air and say to hell with it. But the problem with that is it will only make me more miserable. I'd be lying if I said I didn't care anymore. So, I can either let myself slide into inaction, indifference, silence, and hope to numb myself to the self-inflicted pain that would surely follow. Or I can be true to what's important to me in the face of defeat. Personally, I'd rather admit I care and scream the truth than silence myself and pretend it doesn't matter.

I have no optimistic words to offer. Only the choice between hard honest work and easy self-deception. One offers the pain of defeat and the other offers the pain of lying to myself.

But then, the operators manual for democracy never said it was going to be easy or painless.


#63 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:44 PM:

What Tracina said.

Has anyone else had trouble getting onto Making Light for the past 24 hours? Work, home, my parent's house... I'm having periods of not being able to get on, then everything's fine.

#64 ::: L. G. Booth ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:46 PM:

I think a lot of people need to calm down. I survived eight years of Clinton, with some wailing that any day they expected the black helicopters to start rounding up Christians and dumping us in camps. I didn't believe the conspiracy people on the right, and you shouldn't buy into the left's equivalent. Is it so hard to believe that educated, intelligent people can reach a different conclusion than you? That what one side calls facts, the other calls distortion and bias? (And that goes both ways.) For every person here shaking their heads in disbelief, there is another on the other side sighing in relief that they have been spared the nightmare scenarios they saw in a Kerry presidency. Simply relax and realize that no president has been elected by 100% of the vote. Someone is always disappointed, and this time it is your turn.

#65 ::: Ed Gaillard ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:46 PM:

Oh, yeah, I'm very reassured when a long-time Republican staffer tells me what a strong position the Democrats have in the Senate.

#66 ::: Jonquil ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:50 PM:

"That what one side calls facts, the other calls distortion and bias?"

Like the documented fact that we found no WMD in Iraq?

No person who is both intelligent and educated, and who furthermore is intellectually honest, disbelieves that one.

#67 ::: Darkrose ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 02:51 PM:

It is relatively unlikely that someone will beat you to death for your religion or ethnicity.

Easy for you to say.

Sorry, but as a brown-skinned, disabled dyke, I'm feeling pretty damned scared right now.

#68 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:14 PM:

Mostly what Larry Brennan said.

Here's the problem - four years ago, Bush absolutely did not get the popular vote. Florida was kind of dicey. So we had every right to be pissed off, not just at Bush but at the process.

This time, in addition to the minority and majority election judge every poll gets, there were all kinds of independent observers, both from groups like MoveOn and from foreign countries. So while there was probably some vote fraud, and some voter intimidation, the evidence that it was pervasive just isn't there. Sorry. I'd like to say it was there. I'd like to blame it on Diebold. But I need evidence, and it just isn't there. If Diebold was doing some sort of massive fraud, someone would have noticed.

We lost, plain and simple. It's painful, but it's true. And, speaking as a person who worked hard for Kerry on this campaign, I'm disappointed. But his concession speech was because he is a realist. When I got up and 4am and did the math this morning, it was clear Kerry's election wasn't going to happen. Kerry is a realist, not a coward.

It doesn't mean that we shouldn't be pissed off, but that it means we need to avoid too much hang-wringing and blaming.

But here's what we've got to watch for.

For one thing, the politics of fear clearly beat out the politics of reality. That's frightening, because history shows that countries often go down the authoritarian path when the government knows that works.

An oddity of our electoral map that I noticed this morning that sort of plays into the fear thing - did you notice that the states that had the highest number of 9/11 deaths (New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California and DC (and those blue-leaning northern counties of Virginia)) all went Democratic? As someone uptopic said, the folks with more direct experience with foreign terrorism on our soil DID NOT VOTE FOR BUSH!

For another thing, the social/culture war is doing more damage to this country than the Islamist terrorists have done so far. I don't accept that I am less moral than Dick Cheney because I approve of gay marriage and birth control -I haven't raped and pillaged my government. I will never accept it.

I think this event has the chance to energize progessives, and if Bush and buddies behave as badly as I expect they will, it'll piss off the right-leaning moderates, too.

We also need to have our eye on the 2006 elections. There are now a couple of Senators actually to the right of Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania's awful (as opposed to kinda bad) senator. I've already started. This morning, I bought the following domain:

http://www.dumprick.com

(Notice how "dumprick" sounds a lot like a description of Senator Santorum?)

#69 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:15 PM:

Tim, I'm glad for your confidence that the Senate will adhere to its rules. But we should all remember that the Senate’s rules are not law and can be changed, perhaps more easily than we imagine. The GOP managed to re-district Texas when they shouldn’t have been able to, so I expect them to try to change the Sentate's rules of order, probably using judicial nominations as a wedge.

Nonetheless, I sincerely hope you're right. The problem is that Democrats have a history of accommodating, and fracturing. Which might just become manifest by allowing a vote on a draft to come to the floor of the Senate.

#70 ::: L. G. Booth ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:19 PM:

Jonquil, I have no desire to get into a big argument over assorted points. I will only say, documented by who? I have seen reports of the insurgents trying to use nerve and mustard gas shells as bombs against our troops. I have read reports that indicate that there is a high probability that the majority of Saddam's WMDs were smuggled into Syria in the time before our troops moved in. I can point out that we found entire fighter planes buried in the desert by accident, so how hard would it be to miss spider holes containing toxins? I can turn to my own *memory* to recall that everyone, including the U.N., believed that Saddam had them before the war. It is easy to use hindsight to condemn someone. Therefore, I do not have to be intellectually dishonest to hold a different opinion, I simply have to access different sources that are willing to admit that the Democratic party line may not be the entire truth.

As I said, I did not come here to argue points, simply to say that doomsday is not here. America is still America. Clinton didn't throw me in a camp, and I sincerely doubt that anyone here has anything to worry about.

(And Darkrose, my friend, considering where you live, I really don't think you are likely to run into roving gangs of racist homophobes. They would have to be bussed in.)

#71 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:23 PM:

I'd like to not be angry at Kerry for conceding but he had ten days to count all the ballots, to make good on his promise. Instead, he folded in twelve hours. It's sad, but even Gore put up more of a struggle. What this says is that the last six months of fighting meant nothing. He rolled over before the Republicans even started to make noise and there's no more talk of bette rluck next time, or maybe in 2008. It'll be too late by then.

I'm so angry and sad right now, it make sme sick.

#72 ::: Eric Sadoyama ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:26 PM:

I don't accept that I am less moral than Dick Cheney because I approve of gay marriage and birth control - I haven't raped and pillaged my government. I will never accept it. (Laurie Mann)

While watching the election coverage and especially the exit polling, it really galled me that the media has come to use the phrase "moral values" to represent opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion. Just how is it that I'm "immoral" to believe that people should be allowed to love one another, and that babies should be born into loving families who want them? Another example of how the right has co-opted the language and moved itself into the mainstream.

#73 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:29 PM:

Darkrose:
Easy for you to say.

With all due respect, that's a presumption. You know no more about me than I know about you.


Sorry, but as a brown-skinned, disabled dyke, I'm feeling pretty damned scared right now.

More than before? Seriously: that does sound like a tough situation and, having no idea what you go through every day, I will not belittle it. But is your personal safety really any more at risk today than it was on Monday?

I would agree that the odds of discrimination getting better any time soon have likely been postponed. But let's keep things in perspective. Things I do know about you: you're alive, you have sufficient resources above your survival needs to have access to the Internet one way or another, and you have freedom to speak out for yourself on the Web and fight the good fight. It may be a black mark for America that you have to fight it, but it's one up on some other parts of the world that you can.

That's all I'm saying. Not that things are really good. Just that the world hasn't suddenly ended.

#74 ::: Hal ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:33 PM:

I must admit I find myself particularly annoyed at Repubs like Tim Kyger and L.G. Booth who act like this election was a football game, and our team lost. "Too bad, try again next season."

It's not a game. It has very serious consequences. While I admit it is certainly not the Apocalypse, some seriously bad things are about to go down, and if you weren't wrapped up in your rah-rah mentality, you might see it.

Or perhaps more accurately, if you were truly Christian (instead of just playing one on the Web), you might see it.

#75 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:33 PM:

Wow.

Tim Kyger: I can't address your somewhat astonishing personal comments, since they weren't addressed to me and it's bad form to be grossly inappropriate, don't you think?

I can say that an electoral strategy, and there is no question at all that this was such an electoral strategy, which is based on the party in power disenfranchising as many as possible of the people who are paying the greatest cost for their policies is not an electoral strategy which can lead to a valid result in an participatory democracy.

#76 ::: amvhoward ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:34 PM:

Pathos-

The Second Coming was ruined for me when it was used as the frontspiece for Bork's _Slouching Towards Gomorrah_. I think your placement of it is more appropriate.

#77 ::: Tracina ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:37 PM:

L.G. Booth, some of us are concerned with more than our own self-interest ("...I sincerely doubt that anyone here has anything to worry about"). Do I believe that I, personally, am likely to be abducted and sent to Syria to be tortured? No, I don't. Do I believe that others are, if the Bush administration gets its way regarding H.R. 10? Yes, I do. Do I believe that I, personally, am likely to be driven over the edge into poverty in the next four years? No, I probably won't be, although it certainly could happen. Do I believe a significant number of other people will? Yes, I do. And those things bother me enough that I'm not willing to shrug and say, "Oh, well."

#78 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:39 PM:

Teresa, that bet about the October surprise? I'm not going to take your money, not on this day. Please give it to a good cause, whatever you feel deserves it. (Blackboxvoting.org might be worth it....)

#79 ::: Dave Kuzminski ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:40 PM:

If a draft returns, it could happen covertly. Bits and pieces of the laws will be hidden in other bills until someone points out that everyone of certain ages is required to perform some public duty. Of course, some folks won't be skilled enough, according to those administering the program, for anything but the military.

If it happens out in the open, it will be on account of Bush and company starting another war with an Islamic country that spreads quickly to include most Islamic nations declaring war on the US. At that point, we'll need a draft to mobilize enough forces to survive.

#80 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:41 PM:

For every person here shaking their heads in disbelief, there is another on the other side sighing in relief that they have been spared the nightmare scenarios they saw in a Kerry presidency.
-L.G.Booth

The problem with this is that the nightmare scenerios dreamed up by conservatives were just that: dreams. What we're worried about from a second Bush term isn't figments of our imagination, fed by one too many Hal Lindsey and Tim Lehay novels. It's based on what's already happened. The Patriot Act is real. GTMO is real. Aby Grahb is real. Iraq is real. And so is an invasion of Iran. (My sister in law is in the Army and they've already been told that's where they're going next).

We aren't rambling on about black helicoptors and bodies burried in the Rose Garden. We're afraid of what we've seen and what we are seeing with our very own eyes.

#81 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:42 PM:

Good grief, Tim Kyger! You waited 30 years to say "I told you so"? You must have a permanently crippled back from that chip on your shoulder.

#82 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:42 PM:

Eric - You're right about the language thing. My head nearly exploded listening to NPR last night.

Darkrose and Steve - To keep my mind active while looking for work, I signed up with the Taproot Foundation, an organization which provides service grants (branding projects, web sites, etc.) to charities. I got assigned as a brand strategist to a project for a youth center in San Francisco that works with LGBTQQ youth. (The QQ stands for queer and questioning.) My initial reaction was, wow, I don't really identify with teenagers, and despite living in SF, I don't know if I can identify with the challenges faced by queer youth.

Well, I can safely say that I've never met a more dedicated, open-minded group of people. And the teenagers I met made me think of my own experiences as a teen and young adult. I'm proud to be working with them.

Only now, after the election, I wonder if I'm helping an organization that will produce well-adjusted kids who will ultimately get rounded up and shot by bigots.

Darkrose, I won't minimize your feelings of fear, but you need to know that there are people out there who see you as a whole person, and who will fight for your rights. And this group includes at least one fat, straight, pushing-40 white business guy.

#83 ::: JeanOG ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:45 PM:

*carefully separates Ms. Booth and Darkrose*

And as the designated moderate in this trio, I promise to get Hendak to open the back rooms at the Copper Coronet tonight so you two can go at it. And then we can go back to being living proof that three people with very differing politics can still be close friends.

Let us mourn before you start the "pull yourself up by the bootstraps, already" routine. Please?

#84 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:48 PM:

Larry Brennan said: What I don't get is that the people who were least affected by the 9/11 attacks are the ones who are most afraid.

IMO, that's because those people were able to directly confront the reality of terrorism. Those folks from the red states, especially those for whom New York, or even Washington or Pennsylvania, are just distant points on a map and pictures on TV, have only an understanding of terrorism at second remove (at best). The images they've been fed are distortions, and facts are much harder to digest than are authoritatively spoken sound bites.

I have been taught that "fear" can be understood as an acronym: "Fantasy (or Future) Expectations Appearing Real." Images we visualize (and visualization has very powerful results) generate a response; in terms of fear, that response is fight or flight, which itself is a powerful motivator. The best mechanism I know of to defuse fear, and its fight or flight response, is confrontation of the expectation or image.

Unfortunately, that's kind of hard to do, with terrorism. The more so because if we did, we'd probably panic large numbers of folks.

But I know one thing. Fearmongers and hatemongers don't have what I want. Don't have what I want for my family, my friends, my country. And I won't just sit around, allowing a country built on hopes and dreams to rot and fall into a pit of fear and hate. I lost half my family to the last major outbreak, half a century ago. And damned if it's happening again on my watch.

#85 ::: L. G. Booth ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 03:50 PM:

Hal, I really don't see what my religious beliefs have to do with anything you complained about. I have a church that I regularly attend, so I am not 'playing a Christian on the internet.' I do not see why you feel the need to be insulting.

You are right, the election was not a game, and I did not intend to imply that it was one. I was trying to point out that no matter who wins, the losing side will be disappointed and upset, and that it will pass. I remember my husband foaming at the mouth when Clinton was re-elected, and I said the same thing to him... "This, too, shall pass."

And I would like to point out that many Bush voters feared that "some seriously bad things" would result from Kerry winning. Do you truly think that half of the U.S. went into the voting booth and said, "Hmm, wonderful things if Kerry is elected, terrible things if it's Bush... what the heck, I'll go with Bush!"?

The election was not a game. There was a lot riding on it, on many levels. But it is silly to re-hash the campaign slogans at this point. If you see things happening that you disagree with, speak out, become involved. That is what makes our country great. Heck, complaining about the government is our *real* national pastime. If they tried to jail people for that, they wouldn't have anyone left to pay for the prison guards!

#86 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:04 PM:

L.G. Booth writes: " If you see things happening that you disagree with, speak out, become involved. That is what makes our country great."

We've seen what the Bushies do to people who disagree and speak out.

That'll only get worse.

#87 ::: L. G. Booth ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:06 PM:

JeanOG, m'dear, no need to bother Hendak. How about rousting Bernard for a round of drinks instead?

Let us mourn before you start the "pull yourself up by the bootstraps, already" routine. Please?

No bootstraps were being invoked, just an attempt to calm the panic. Eight years ago I went through the same reaction ("I don't believe this!? How could he be re-elected? Can't people see????") and the country survived, and I survived with it.

And with that, ladies and gentlemen, I retire. As I said, I meant to sound a note of calm, not become a designated whipping girl for others to take their frustration out on. We can debate and argue, but only the future will show if yesterday was a good or bad thing for this country. Adieu.

#88 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:09 PM:

L.G. Booth writes: "I sincerely doubt that anyone here has anything to worry about."

Right. Because we're all pure-bred Aryans hereabouts, so nothing to worry about.

#89 ::: Douglas ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:13 PM:

Steve, those things you mentioned - all good, yes. How confident are you they will persist through another four years of Bush ? This was not merely an election, but a referendum on what's happened in the last three years. Control of the executive and legislative branches is wholly Republican, under the kind of people who think outsourcing torture is a good idea. Justice Rehnquist has cancer and will be departing soon, after which the judicial branch will soon be under control as well. What remains to limit the imperial and fascist tendencies of this administration ? A few polite left-wing citizens.

I have lived in a police state, with conscription of citizens to fight unjust wars, and I don't wish to repeat the experience. It nearly destroyed me the first time around. That is why I despair.

#90 ::: Jen St. Clair ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:13 PM:

Michelle, I had been trying all morning to get here, and it took until 1:30pm for it to work. So you're not the only one. (And I'm at work.)

I could be drafted. My sisters could be drafted. And I can't imagine my stick-thin younger sister surviving basic training. I doubt I could either, in truth.

I'm apprehensive about these next four years. I'm not a political person, but I voted. And everything I voted for lost.

#91 ::: Jimcat Kasprzak ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:17 PM:

How many of us here did something active to support Kerry and/or the Democrats? No, don't chime in, I'm sure many of you did; rhetorical question. My point is that I now feel that I didn't do enough in the past couple of years to help get the results that I would have preferred.

There are political organizations out there, in your home town or state and in mine, that would appreciate and benefit from some help. I knew about them all along, and I sent a few dollars here and there, and did a little bit of volunteering. But I'm not feeling smug and saying "Well, I did something." I'm feeling disappointed that I thought that the little I did was enough.

It's going to take more than sitting glumly in despair, and it's going to take more than just going about our lives as usual. But four years is a long time, and there are a lot of us. Surely we can all do some more heavy lifting this time around, and the results may surprise everyone.

(And to those who did do the heavy lifting on this campaign: thank you. You fought the good fight until the results were in and clear. Next time I plan to be in the trenches with you.)

#92 ::: Elisabeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:20 PM:

I'm kind of shocked how many educated, intelligent adults think concession means they quit counting the votes.

It doesn't. It means Kerry can go get some rest, and everyone will keep counting absentees, and Ohio will count its provisional ballots on Nov. 13. And if by some miracle Kerry does get the 90% of them he'd need to be named President, he still would be. Conceding is a political move, not a legal one.

#93 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:21 PM:

L.G.Booth,

If you want to calm some nerves, you could seriously help by buzzing off for a week or so until people deal with their loss.

#94 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:25 PM:

L.G. Booth,

8 years ago, we had the healthiest economy in the history of the western world and people weren't being thrown into concentration camps in Cuba. Comparing Bush to Clinton is disingenuous. That you were delusional enough to believe the Conservative fairy tales about a man who, at his worst, fooled around with an intern and then denied it is your own fault, not that of any Liberal Boogyman, and certainly not a result of anything Clinton did in or out of office.

No one died when Clinton got a blowjob. 100,000 Iraqis and 1100 American soldiers are now dead because Bush felt like having them killed. And that's the only rationale that is left because all the others have turned out to be yet more Conservative fairy tales.

Are you beginning to see why we're a tad upset about the election and why this isn't just a case of our team not winning?

#95 ::: Janni ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:25 PM:

I keep thinking about an interview I saw last week with a young woman who was working for Nader, and how self-importantly she said, “We’re voting the movement, not the candidate.” The stupid chit had somehow failed to notice that what we elect are candidates.

I'm far angrier at the 51% of the population that voted for Bush than the .5% or less that voted for Nader.

#96 ::: Dru ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:31 PM:

Long time lurker here.

This is _Making Light_, right?

I can imagine how utterly discouraged many people are right now. I do not foresee any of us changing each other's minds in heated, accusatory flames. Obviously everyone feels very differently on what path that this administration will take us on.

Perhaps it would be best to take a moment... Breathe deep and step away from the computer. So often you can build your rage by forgetting to get enough O2. Take a break, bath, whatever.

Then take your concerns/thoughts and channel them into something positive. Work, write, edit, build, putter on things your believe in. Things you think will help this country or the people in it (or where-ever you happen to be). Help illuminate and educate. If people seem to you to be acting out of ignorance, do you part to educate them on where you're coming from, peacefully. Shouting at someone doesn't improve language skills, even if both parties speak the same tongue.

No one profits from anger and division in the long run. Not even those who sit atop the mount.

These are just suggestions, your mileage will undoubtedly vary.

--dru

ps. Take a gander at the blackboxvoting.org people. They filed the FOIA requests before the results. Regardless of the outcome, they seem to focusing on making the light in their own corner of this pale blue dot.

#97 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:32 PM:

Jim K: I went to work for Kerry/Edwards in July, a few hours every week. I also gave an unprecedented amount of money to Kerry (and some to Dean last winter and some to ACT).

I'm normally a registered Independent, but I am tempted to register as a Democrat, just becuase...

I'm surprised by the town in which I currently live. Mount Lebanon is a very Republican suburb. However, Kerry beat Bush here by 1,000 votes.

#98 ::: Tracina ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:33 PM:

Elisabeth: Did anyone here say they stopped counting the votes? If so, I missed that. You are correct--they don't stop counting.

After concession, though, it pretty much stops mattering.

#99 ::: Reimer Behrends ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:38 PM:

What worries me a bit is the continuing demonization of the Bush administration. It's not as though I think it is entirely undeserved: heck, I consider Kerry a clear rightwing candidate; imagine what I think of Bush, especially given his and his administration's tendencies to play fast and loose with democratic traditions and the rule of law.

The problem is that digging trenches isn't going to get the Democrats anywhere. Notwithstanding rumors and/or conspiracy theories regarding voter fraud in Ohio, the majority of American voters consciously chose to cast their vote for Bush; no amount of arguing will make that go away. In other words, the Republicans have a very substantial base of voters that consider a Bush administration the superior option. And demonizing the president will not move a single one of of these votes from the Republican into the Democratic column at the next election, nor will it make any message more believable that the Democracts want to convey to these voters; instead, any such message will be greeted with doubt. To convince somebody who has a different opinion, you have to earn credibility with them first, and antagonizing them is generally not a good way to do it.

This is particularly troublesome because I believe that the majority of people who voted for Bush did so being unaware of many of the positions that the president holds on important issues. But how do you inform them if at the beginning of a conversation you have already claimed that both they and the president are idiots? Your arguments will almost instantly be dismissed as self-serving partisan chatter.

#100 ::: Alison ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:39 PM:

What I resent most about this election is that 80% of the people who based their decision on "moral values" voted for Bush. Since when did the Republican Party become the last bastion of morality? Well, because they say they are and Democrats are resistent to portraying themselves that way.

These people who voted for moral values believe that abortion is murder and that homosexuals are out to wreck their marriages, but not that every child should be adequately educated or that the elderly should not have to choose between their prescription drugs and their food for the month.

The reason they focus on abortion and homosexual marriage is that someone told them who was to fear and what was to blame for their problems in life. What I keep coming back to is an article I read last year about how conservatives use language to dominate politics. I may even have found here at Making Light since it seems like something Teresa would post. The link: http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/10/27_lakoff.shtml

Rather than using thuggish imitation of Republican tactics as some have suggested, it seems that it would be more effective and certainly more in line with the ideals and talents of readers of Making Light to analyze and redefine the debate. Howard Dean has started to do some of that by trying to create a grassroots network, not just of activists, but of citizen politicians: those who run for school board and state assemblies and don't make a living of politics. Focusing in solely on the Presidency isn't working.

There must be a way to make people see that bombing terrorists only breeds more terrorists, that depriving children of education creates crime and that allowing everyone the same rights does not somehow dilute or diminish those rights. In other words, have to talk to the other side. Unfortunately, we first have to figure out how to use words they can hear.

#101 ::: Tina ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:40 PM:

Apropos of nothing about the election:

The entire 'net is going to be bogged down today, especially blogs. It's not just here; LJ is failing to return about a quarter of its page requests and lagging on the rest; Yahoo and CNN are slow and occasionally timing out. The election is being discussed lots and many lots of lots, both in the US and outside it, no surprise.

I ain't commenting about the election here. My poem quote notwithstanding, which you may read as a general statement about politics.

#102 ::: Kathy Li ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:46 PM:

Larry Brennan wrote: Bush said he hit the Trifecta last time. What do you call it when four of your horses come in?

Superfecta.

#103 ::: Elisabeth ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:55 PM:

Tracina:

The posts from Kip W. and Bruce Adelsohn, as well as Shalanna's, all seem to accept that conceding=no more votes are counted. (Or, at least, I don't understand Kip and Bruce's anger if they don't believe that.)

I agree it's unlikely he'll win, but stranger things have happened.

#104 ::: Tracina ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 04:56 PM:

Mr. Behrends: This is particularly troublesome because I believe that the majority of people who voted for Bush did so being unaware of many of the positions that the president holds on important issues. But how do you inform them if at the beginning of a conversation you have already claimed that both they and the president are idiots? Your arguments will almost instantly be dismissed as self-serving partisan chatter.

I agree with your opinion. That said, I'd like to point out that as far as many of the Bush supporters that I, personally, have talked with are concerned, no one with an opinion different from their own will ever be right. Period. They will not verify facts.* This is only in my experience, and perhaps yours has been different. I hope that's so.

*My most recent example: I was talking with a Bush supporter who claimed to be, and really believed himself to be, an open-minded person. We had a working relationship, and had gotten along well over the months we had known each other. We both agreed that we would never absolutely, beyond doubt know the truth about what was or wasn't known about WMDs before the invasion. I mentioned my concerns about the back-door draft. He'd never heard of it. I explained what it was. He was troubled. "I have to find out more about that," he said. The next time I saw him, he informed me that another Bush supporter he'd talked to had told him that what I said was "a pile of shit." As far as he was concerned, that was the end of the discussion.


#105 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 05:06 PM:

Okay. Yes, I'd rather be here than the news sites, today.

Elisabeth noted that I believe the count ends with concession. Not entirely true; I'm given to understand that the count of absentee ballots continues. However, I'm less convinced that provisional ballots, of which I've heard there are between 160K and 250K outstanding, get counted. Even less so that they get verified, as is necessary to count them.

Also, while we're posting poetry, let me try one on the optimistic side:

THE SONG OF GOLIAS (GAUDY DAYS)
-John Meyers Meyers
copyright 1949 (from "Silverlock")
-tune by Gordon R. Dickson

I have known both joy and grief, neat, and mixed together
Cold and Heat I've known, and found both good drinking weather
Light and Darkness I have known, seldom doubting whether
Tammuz would return again, when he'd slipped his tether!

I remember gaudy days when the Year was springing
Tammuz, Gilgamesh and I, clinking Cups and singing
Till Ininni sauntered by, skimpy garments clinging
To her hips, and things like that: Tammuz left us, winging!

So we welcomed Enkidu when he came to Erech
He was rough as hickory bark, nothing of the Cleric!
But his taste in Wine and Ale, THAT was Esoteric!
And he used a drinking cup that would strain a derrick!

Khumbaba then felt our strength 'neath the magic Cedars
And we wrestled Anu's Bull, pride of Heaven's Breeders!
Thrice we struck, and once he fell, drawing wolves for feeders
While we strode where drinking men called for expert leaders.

Tammuz must have joined us there, but he'd just got wedded
And Ininni (blast the Wench!) hacked him as they bedded
Such a honeymoon as that, I have always dreaded....
For a drinking man is...spoiled...once he's been beheaded!

So we waked him with a will, ale and teardrops pooling
Then we drank to him for months, while the year was cooling.
But he came back with the grass! Death was only fooling!
Tammuz told us: "Fill my Cup! I'm both dry...and drooling!"

#106 ::: Tracina ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 05:08 PM:

Elisabeth: The posts from Kip W. and Bruce Adelsohn, as well as Shalanna's, all seem to accept that conceding=no more votes are counted. (Or, at least, I don't understand Kip and Bruce's anger if they don't believe that.)

Ah. I see how you could think so. I read them differently, however. To understand the anger, think of it this way (and I apologize for using a sports metaphor; it's all that comes to mind right now, trite as it is): Imagine that you've played a long, hard game for a championship. You've fought hard; you're tired and hurting, and you're a point down but you still have a chance to win with a hail-mary shot. Then your coach walks onto the court and withdraws. Game over, just like that. Maybe you could have made the shot, or maybe you couldn't have; either way, now you don't even get the chance.

#107 ::: Jonathan Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 05:21 PM:

Larry Brennan wrote: Bush said he hit the Trifecta last time. What do you call it when four of your horses come in?

In Australia I believe it's a quadrella. But apocalypse is better

#108 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 05:39 PM:

Douglas:
Steve, those things you mentioned - all good, yes. How confident are you they will persist through another four years of Bush ?

Pretty confident. I do think our country is screwed, but not because the junta will lead to martial law, civil disorder, ethnic cleansing, etc. The country's too big for that, and the press will remain free (albeit stupid).

I think we're screwed because the world is going to move on while the U.S. doesn't. Since 2001 it's been harder for foreign students to come into our universities, harder for foreign doctors to stay in the country, harder for foreign businessmen to fly in to make deals. That, and Bush pissing off the rest of the planet, means that eventually people will just stop dealing with us. New trading powers will emerge, and do business among themselves while we continue to Go It Alone(TM). Our best and brightest start going to Europe, India and China, instead of the other way around. In time we become another quaint former empire, and sometime after that...a tourist trap.

I see that starting to happen now. But it's a slow process, and won't be completed during Bush's term. He's accelerating it, but he's not the sole cause. I expect it sometime in my lifetime; maybe in 20-30 years.

We will go, yes, but not with a bang. With a whimper. And I do believe we'll fundamentally keep our liberties -- we'll just have little we can use them for.

#109 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 05:42 PM:

Tracina:
That said, I'd like to point out that as far as many of the Bush supporters that I, personally, have talked with are concerned, no one with an opinion different from their own will ever be right. Period. They will not verify facts.*

...Teresa:
I don't accept these results. I never will.


Which is not to say that Teresa's wrong. I believe the election's clean, but I don't have the data to prove it either. It's to say that there's a lot of stubborn faith going around, and it's a fallacy to lay all of it at the feet of one party.

#110 ::: MaryGarth ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 05:49 PM:

Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light.

Then to side with truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and ’tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses while the coward stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.

By the light of burning martyrs, Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calv’ries ever with the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.

Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.

James R. Lowell, 1845, as a protest against an unjust war.

#111 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 06:04 PM:

I can still wear my anti-Bush buttons.

And in my right hand I hold my sorrow
And with my left hand I reach for joy
We all are soldiers whether we fight or fall
No one can run from the scorns of time

"Scorns of Time", on the Simple Path album, by Irene Kelley and Claire Lynch

#112 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 06:06 PM:

Steve - Part of me agrees with you on our eventual fate, a quaint, particularist and somewhat sad backwater that serves as tourist trap to move vibrant cultures – sort of like post-war Britain.

But still, there's a lot of mileage left in the old gal. Even California, which has been on the receiving end of vampric Federal predation for decades, manages to make new stuff. It's a reasonable place to live, if you can afford it.

I don't share your optimism about our liberties though. I keep thinking of The Handmaid's Tale as a more likely model for our future social structure. The conservatives unleashed the beast of religiosity upon us, and that will be our undoing.

I’m pretty down in the dumps today. I hope tomorrow will be a better day, and I’m going to do my part to make it so. Maybe that will make me (and the rest of us) feel better. (I’m feeling inarticulate, too…)

#113 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 06:19 PM:

Why did Kerry concede?

My guess is that it's what he said. He believed what he was told by the Ohio election officials -- that he was behind more votes than could possibly be made up by uncounted ballots and provisional ballots.

Tim Kyger: Teresa has a talent for finding patterns in information that, to me, seems to be anecdotal or incomplete. Being capable of highly sophisticated strategic calculation, she has a tendency to credit adversaries with the same ability.

She couldn't persuade me to buy into the "Bin Laden in a box" concept, last week. I'm a believer in Occam's Razor. But in the case of these election results, I'm convinced that we need to value our pattern-skrying skeptics.

I fault Kerry for not giving more serious consideration to the paradox of the exit polls -- accurate to within 1 or 2 percent in almost every state of the Union, except Florida and Ohio. He is/was apparently incapable of extrapolating from visible Republican election fraud to considering the possibility of much larger fraud.

We don't know the scale of ballot invalidation and faulty or rigged machinery in determining the visible vote count. But we do have enough evidence of small scale "errors" that many of us would have welcomed the opportunity for more extensive investigation. We, as voters, don't have to factor in the social pressure that Kerry must obviously feel not to portray himself as an ill-mannered fool. Pressing for a complete count or recount would certainly have left him open to vicious attacks and might have damaged his future Beltway political capital.

But it's disappointing to me that Kerry failed his opportunity to let us investigate the extent of error and illegitimacy this year. This may be childish, after the fact -- but I have a feeling that Dean would have been willing to risk his reputation to verify what actually happened in all of those Florida and Ohio polling places.

By Occam's razor, it really is likely that Bush won the popular vote by a large majority. We have plenty of good reasons to be upset over that -- whether or not Kerry might have won the electoral vote. But I'd like to know -- and modify my thoughts and responses, accordingly.

#114 ::: Yaka St.Aise ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 06:25 PM:

A view from the other side of the pond, the old world.

Rant mode on /

Tonight here in Paris, FX, we'll have a big chili con carne evening. This is, after all, the traditional Texan dish, and Crawford, TX apparently is the new - and likely permanent - capital of the US theocracy.

Obviously, it would have been interesting to watch how the Bush clique would have reacted to a blatant electoral demise.

To be perfectly honest, my money was on a bunch of "terrorist strikes" happening before the end of the ballot count and the country falling under military rule, but the ever-amazing citizens of the land of the free were brave enough to save themselves from the humiliation of falling to a military coup.

Instead they preemptively pulled the plug off their terminally ill democracy.

Bold move, indeed, if careless, but in doing so, aren't the voters making a strong statement for consistency and persistence in what seems to have been the US policies' motto for the past few years: Bold and Righteous ?

Of course, mean spirited anti-patriotic pagans wouldn't blink before twisting these all-american virtues in unpleasant wording, substituting Shortsightedness to Straightforwardness, Careless to Bold, Narrowminded to Resolute, and even Dictatorial to Righteous.

But godloving America knows better, and those blessed next years of freedom saved from the communist so-called "Democrats" should be more than enough to make sure no sheep is left behind the flock of believers in America.

"America, love or leave it."

While things aren't that good in old-moldy-europe, I suspect our less stringent immigration laws will allow pagans, muslims, freethinkers and other heretics to escape the rightful wrath of Freedom/God/America/ymmv.
Of course we don't have democracy and first amendment around here either, but these are so last-century anyways...

That is until a pacified, re-united America sets out to save the entire planet population from itself and bring the good word of Freedom/God/America to all of mankind, using the unstoppable combination of Total War doctrine and Christian faith to convert or crush the unfaithful.

Fear not, friends, for a few years from now, we will look back at those days of doubt and sorrow with a confident smile, one hand on the Bible and a gun in the other, with no need for any other answer.

/rant mode off

Don't misunderstand this rant for some typical french anti-americanism, please.
This rant was triggered only by sadness and empathy (and very actual concern) with not even a drop of anger or hate.
Another, slightly less comedic piece can be found here.

Hopefully two days from now we'll have build enough steam to be able to blow the new national anthem, thanks to the mighty chili-con-carne.

#115 ::: JeanOG ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 06:38 PM:

Larry Brennan: When I first heard the results this morning, I told my husband, "I don't want to live in the Republic of Gilead."

A bit of cheer from the teaser for my local news tonight: someone apparently has been convicted of spamming.

#116 ::: sennoma ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 06:38 PM:

the exit polls -- accurate to within 1 or 2 percent in almost every state of the Union, except Florida and Ohio

Lenny: that'll do me for a place to start fighting. (That, and blackboxvoting.org's FOIA requests.) Do you have some links handy?

#117 ::: sennoma ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 06:48 PM:

CNN's exit polls don't look that far off the final results.

#118 ::: Betty ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 06:55 PM:

I've been lurking long enough, so I'm joining in the post-mortem.

Ok, our man lost, and that jerk was re-elected. Fait acompli. Do we take our balls and go home?

No, a thousand times no. I'm too young to give up and can't speak French.

What can we do?

We can hold the democrat senators and congressmen and women's feet to the fire.

We can demand that they not cave in to the wish lists of the fundamentalists and faith based politicians. We can make our realities the agenda, by being oppositional. We are the baby boomers--masters at opposition. Lets use those skills and be the loyal opposition, the great naysayers.

We can assert our demand that they actually advise and consent, and when they don't consent, vote against the wishes of the Bushies.

We can expect that they use every parliamentarian weapon at their disposal to gum up their nefarious works and create gridlock until 2006, 2008.

We can work on our state legislatures. This president believes in federalism so much. Ok, your state and local governments can be claimed for progressive ideals. Don't rely completely on the federal government. And certainly don't rely on the courts to vindicate your rights.

We can stop allowing ourselves to be sucked into emotionalism, and become passionate about our issues.
Being passionate, we can work tirelessly toward winning minds and influencing people to our sides.

We can stop bowing to the arrogance of power whether in media, academia, religious institutions, governmental. "We are not afraid, today. Deep in my heart, we shall overcome."

Passion is not equal with shopping lists of ills. Anyone can make a shopping list.

Kerry lost b/c of a lack of passion, too much intellectualism, and a lack of vision.

Our vision must be at least as clear as the Bushies. For where there is no vision (insight), the people perish.

We can demand respect for our opinions. Voice them often, and be willing to engage our opposite numbers. This is a battle of minds, of will, not necessarily of might. The Sixties counter-cultural movement cannot be transplanted to 2000. We must create new strategies. We must be creative, and willing to run risks. Kerry lost because he was unwilling to be true to himself, unwilling to run the risks he ran as a twenty-five year old man.

The stakes are too high to be so craven. You can only lose. They can't kill us for our views -- yet.

We are not a vision-less people.

In the land of the blind, the sighted man is king.

#119 ::: Temperance ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 07:04 PM:

Katie Murphy posts: On one hand, I cannot recognize this as my country. On the other, dammit, it *is* my country, and while I've been threatening to leave if Bush is reinstalled, this morning I find that I don't want to leave. I want the sons of bitches who have taken over my country out of power.

You go, girl! I feel as depressed as everybody else -- but you're dern tootin!!

And on poetry, I haven't read all the comments yet, what about Kipling's Recessional? Which unfortunately I don't have at hand to paste in...

John Scalzi, Stefanie Murray, Tracina: thanks.

#120 ::: Temperance ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 07:08 PM:

Found it:
Recessional
God of our fathers, known of old--
Lord of our far-flung battle line
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.

Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe--
Such boasting as the Gentiles use
Or lesser breeds without the law--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard--
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard--
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy mercy on Thy people, Lord!


It's that last verse that seems particularly appropriate today. Those are the people who won yesterday -- unfortunately we're ALL going to pay the price for their boastfulness and folly.

#121 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 07:20 PM:

Marilee: I can still wear my anti-Bush buttons

And I can leave my "I don't have to like Bush to love America" and "I wasn't using my civil liberties anyway" stickers on my car. I was hoping to take them off, but what the heck. I guess I'm getting my $3 worth out of them.

Not the kind of consumer surplus I was looking for.

#122 ::: Martin Schafer ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 07:24 PM:

I am still breaking down and crying every hour or so. My initial reaction was simply dispair, but I am trying to move beyond it. To see the biggest progressive movement of my lifetime, simply brushed aside is shattering.

As a member of the reality based community, I believe in the science of polling. Historically the way you detect election fraud is that the results don't match the exit polls *. Ohio and Florida have a particularly bad match between results and the exit polls. Unfortunately I don't believe that there is any way to use this data to actually overturn the election.

So, the first step is to put more energy into the electronic voting groups. I had thought that the Kerry campaign didn't make any big mistakes, one of the reasons I'm especially horrified by the loss. But, they didn't take this threat seriously enough (or maybe simply didn't see how they could combat it except by winning big enough). We need to work with the state Secretary of State's offices and the county offices to replace the fraud enabling machines. Until we can verify that we have an accurate election system this will keep happening to us.

Second (not temporally, all of these need to be worked on at the same time) we need to keep the pressure on the media to do a more honest job of reporting reality. The last year has seen real (though frustratingly slow) movement in the mainstream media towards doing a better job. The only way that we will reach the non activist center is if the news they see reflects what is actually going on. Part of this effort is to build a think tank/media outlet network similar to the one that operates for the right. Part of it is to be more proactive about sending letters to the major outlets.

Third we need to pressure our representatives to do the right thing. Even Republicans will respond to sufficient constituent pressure.

Fourth we need to take back at least one house in two years. If we can pour money and bodies into house races we will be able to unseat incumbents.

I really thought that today would be the beginning of our recovery from the current low point. But I guess we have lower to sink. Doesn't mean we won't rise again eventually.

*This is the same way casinos catch card counters, and other types of cheaters. Once the results diverge enough from the statistical expectation, you know they are doing something, even if you don't know what.

#123 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 07:35 PM:

I'm leaving Republicans for Voldemort on my car. (I figure it is a good catch-all sticker for a long time to come.)

#124 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 07:37 PM:

The religious right CAN be beaten.

Sometimes they break off more than they can chew:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6396422/

#125 ::: William Burns ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 07:40 PM:

What though the field be lost?
All is not lost; the unconquerable Will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?
That Glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deifie his power
Who from the terrour of this Arm so late
Doubted his Empire, that were low indeed,
That were an ignominy and shame beneath
This downfall; since by Fate the strength of Gods
And this Empyreal substance cannot fail,
Since through experience of this great event
In Arms not worse, in foresight much advanc't,
We may with more successful hope resolve
To wage by force or guile eternal Warr
Irreconcileable, to our grand Foe,
Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy
Sole reigning holds the Tyranny of Heav'n.

John Milton, Paradise Lost

#126 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 07:42 PM:

Stefan - Thanks! If only more of his ilk would take that up as a sport.

#127 ::: Rachel Heslin ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 07:42 PM:

Betty -- thank you very much for inspiration. The shock is starting to wear off, and I'm bookmarking your comment for the future.

#128 ::: Rachel Heslin ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 07:43 PM:

Betty -- thank you very much for inspiration. The shock is starting to wear off, and I'm bookmarking your comment for the future.

#129 ::: Michael ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 07:55 PM:

Steve Eley said:
I think we're screwed because the world is going to move on while the U.S. doesn't.... In time we become another quaint former empire, and sometime after that...a tourist trap....

I said that in August of 2001! I didn't expect it to go so quickly, though.

Personally, although I spent a few gutwrenching hours during the night watching it go south after really and truly expecting America to vote against incompetence, I'm looking forward to watching the right wing continue to see themselves as victims while the entire house of cards collapses.

Also, since I do 70% of my work (translation) for Europeans, paid in Euros, I expect my income to be rising -- there's a silver lining in every cloud, and this one starts with the exchange rate!

Just to avoid obsessing about the whole thing, I took my family to the beach today. It was all very enjoyable, until I backed the minivan into a tree at a velocity hard enough to shatter the back window. Sigh. Maybe I should have gotten more sleep instead of watching that election returns map all night...

But at least I got to go to the beach. Screw the window, and screw the voting public. I'm going to sing la-la-la for the next couple of months, and then look around again for something helpful to do.

I grew up a well-read liberal in rural Indiana, so the current situation doesn't bother me all that much. The key is education -- or from another viewpoint, marketing. It's currently cool to be imperialistic. The key is to make it gauche and vaguely silly again in the short term as a band-aid (this is a marketing question). And never, ever, ever to give up the fight to increase the actual level of education of the public at large. It's the only way to make progress.

Teresa -- having an election stolen isn't the worst that could happen. At least it'll function to piss people off, and that's one possible power source for real change. I'm actually feeling kind of hopeful about the whole thing.

#130 ::: Melissa Moorer ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 08:05 PM:

"Those who make peaceful change impossible, make violent change inevitable." -JFK

de-lurking because I thought this might be appropriate. And to thank Making Light for making this day a little more bearable.

#131 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 08:05 PM:

Now that lying liars have prevailed in the election, can anyone help this gentleman with his related query:

"I am looking for a science fiction story that I read back in the 1970s. The plot revolved around the idea of a society where the leaders could not tell a lie and a population who could. The plot twist was that the truth was just the opposite. Does anyone know the name of this story?"

A. Craig Keller
Assistant Professor
School of Accountancy
College of Business Administration
Southwest Missouri State University

And please, no nasty cracks about how Bush gives MBAs a bad name. At my university today, where I had to lecture exhausted depressed students about Cramer's Rule after I'd stayed up until 3 a.m. watching and hoping for better news, I heard a full professor complain that Karl Rove gave Architects a bad name. "Architects?" queried the former Chairman of Arts & Sciences. "Yes, Bush said that Rove was the architect of his campaign."

I pointed out that Rove might also be confused with The Architect in part III of the "Matrix" films...

Does anyone recall that a President once appointed his campaign chief to the Supreme Court? Extra credit for naming the Prex/Justice pair...

#132 ::: Adam Stanhope ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 08:14 PM:

A sad day, indeed.

#133 ::: jo. ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 08:17 PM:

Jeeze, Steve, I think we're sharing a brain:

New trading powers will emerge, and do business among themselves while we continue to Go It Alone(TM). Our best and brightest start going to Europe, India and China, instead of the other way around.

And I just posted an over-the-top rant on what Bush and friends seem to want that ends:

"Most wage earners will be living in rental housing, with families sharing one-room apartments and single wage-earners of the 'clerk' level living in boardinghouses and hotels. Workers will rent beds in shelters or sleep several to a room. Retirement plans will vanish; you will work till you die. Legislation that establishes stuff like overtime and a minimum wage will be repealed, so you'll work 6 days a week, 10 hours a day or more. Most people will need two jobs to survive, and most teenagers will need to live with their parents and work to support the family -- education will either not exist or will stop at age 10 or so. People will emigrate to Europe, China and India to better their lives and give their kids educational opportunities."


#134 ::: Bill Humphries ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 08:29 PM:

Nixon/Renquist.

I'll take Dixiecrats for $500, Alex.

#135 ::: Laurel Amberdine ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 08:31 PM:

One clarification: provisional votes probably will not count in any case. (People only vote provisionally if their registration could not be found.) I doubt more than 10% of the provisional votes will ultimately count.

Also, you who are despairing over this election, or suspecting that there was fraud or intimidation, why don't you get involved with the election process yourself? There's no rule that election judges have to be 70-something ladies. Election judges have absolute say over who gets to vote. Election authorities are usually understaffed and overworked, they'd be glad to have your help. Nevermind being a pollwatcher (who has to sit in the corner and behave) go where the power is, get involved in the guts of the process itself. Ask your party's precinct leader to put your name in, or contact your County Clerk and see what openings they have.

Finally, FWIW, I'm Republican, and Catholic, and I voted for Kerry, but I know a lot of Catholics for whom abortion is a huge issue, and I know they all voted for Bush. As long as Democrats continue to make no concessions at all on this one issue, they will lose all that potential suport. Catholics used to be mostly Democrats.

Can you really defend partial birth abortion? Is parental notification that unreasonable? Girls can't get their ears pierced without the approval of a parent! Continuing to speak of people who have serious moral concerns as if they are evil wackos is not going to win them over. More people voted for Bush than approved of the job he has done as president. I think that is telling.

Maybe, pretend that the wacky anti-abortion Christians are aliens and try to see it from their point of view. (Surely most readers here can do the skiffy thing.) Then you can try to discuss the issue with time in their terms, and perhaps get somewhere.

As I said, I did vote for Kerry, because whatever Bush says he stands for, he has done great evil. I am very sad, and I dread what will come next.

#136 ::: jo. ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 08:49 PM:

Can you really defend partial birth abortion? Is parental notification that unreasonable? Girls can't get their ears pierced without the approval of a parent! Continuing to speak of people who have serious moral concerns as if they are evil wackos is not going to win them over.

Everybody has a right to privacy and to control their own bodies -- except those under 21, who belong to their parents.

We'll just restrict some women's rights a little. Morality requires it.

No, you are not an evil wacko. But you are the thin edge of the wedge.

#137 ::: Andrew Debly ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 08:54 PM:

I have a few predictions:

-Bush will now be emboldened with his decisive win and ratchet up his aggression with the rest of the world. This includes not only military, but diplomatic and economic. So, the "you're either with us or against us" philosophy will be the cornerstone of his last term in office.

-Bush will invade Iran under the pretext that it is a nuclear threat but what Bush really wants is the oil. Iran is one of the top four producers of oil. Bush now occupies Afghanistan and Iraq, both nations that sandwich Iran.

-Bush will implement the draft because of all the heavy casualties his militarily aggressive policies will cause in the Islamic world.

-There will be another 9/11 because Bush will inflame the terrorist causes rather than subdue them.


I have a few more: like the US economy will enter freefall because of the military drain on the budget etc.. but that's good enough for now.


HAD the Congress wound up under Democratic control I could see Bush being impeached and removed from office in a couple of years but since the Republicans control everything (senate, house, white house, supreme court), Bush will do whatever he likes.

#138 ::: Rose ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 08:54 PM:

Thanks to all of you for helping me get through the day. As someone mentioned above, seeing so many of our sentiments phrased so well (and so long ago) in verse has settled me down a little, even through my intermittent crying jags.

I'm reminding myself of Elizabeth Zimmermann's old injunction: knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises.

#139 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 08:56 PM:

Y'all, think through this provisional ballot thing, okay? The presidential race isn't the only one on the ballot. They have to count the votes if any race could possibly be decided by them. (They have to count them anyway by law, I do believe, but this is the reasoning behind it.) There are a lot of good candidates for whom those ballots will make or break their campaign.

And concession speeches are not official--Gore's was a blunder because the race was still undecided, and it took the pressure off to get an honest count in Florida. It was within a few hundred votes, okay? That's different from Ohio by three orders of magnitude. On the off chance that the provisional ballots make Kerry the winner, you know what? He's the winner.

I'm mad as hell over this. If I run into Zell Miller on the streets here in Atlanta, I hope I'm driving someone else's car. But I have to accept these craptacular results, because the outright theft we saw in Florida 2000 just didn't happen. The Bushies whacked the pinball machine pretty hard, but they got lucky and didn't tilt it. They played unfairly but within the rules, mostly.

This was a hell of an effort by the once-moribund Democrats. 2002 was a wake-up call for them, and the response was tremendous--Americans Coming Together, MoveOn, all those people who worked their hearts out. It's a damn shame, for them and for the nation, that we lost. We held an incumbent wartime president to a two percent gain over his last run--that's great! even if not good enough.

I was scared as hell that, if Dean won the nomination, the DP leadership would take it away from him with trickery, and that all those beautiful Deanies would fade away at that treachery. That didn't happen, but now you're letting 'publicans sink you into despair? Screw that! Start with Santorum--he's vulnerable as hell--and see what other damage we can do in 2006.

No surrender!

#140 ::: Leigh Butler ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 08:57 PM:

I have some folks I'd like to thank. I hope you'll indulge me for repeating it here - one last shriek into the void before moving on, if you will.

I'd like to thank the Democratic party for continuing to not know your ass from your elbow, and allowing the Republican political machine to run you down like a rabbit in the headlights of a Mack truck from hell. Thank you for continuously being a day late and a dollar short, and watching the enemy at the gate barge in, hog the hors d'oeuvres, take the best chair, and put his feet up on the coffee table with a big dazed grin on your not-so-collective face.

I'd like to thank Young America, that elusive 18-29 demographic that was so determined to make the difference this election by turning out in record numbers. Thank you for raising your 37% turnout from last time to a staggering 37% in 2004. Bless your apathetic little hearts. I hope you enjoy your draft ticket.

I'd like to thank the Christian right, who graciously took a break from their busy snake-handling and speaking-in-tongues schedule to come out and make sure that everyone knows that while we hate them Jews and A-rabs and evolutionists and witches and tree-huggers and everyone who ain't down with the Jesus, what we REALLY hate is teh icky butt-sex, and we're more than happy to vote on that one issue alone. Thank you for having your priorities so very straight, ha ha, little pun for ya. Thank you for keeping the spectre of bigotry alive and well in this country.

Thank you, Ohio.

I'd also like to thank Ralph Nader, and the witless morons who pissed their votes down the toilet of his idiocy. Thank you, Mr. Nader, for continuing to be a leech on the side of American politics; for doing your small but instrumental bit in handing this election to Bush; for not having the grace to just drop fucking dead already. Thank you.

There are many others I could thank, but I'm pretty choked up now, so I'll close by saying, last but not least, I'd like to thank the 40% of Americans who could not bring themselves to get up off their bloated blind befouled buttocks and vote yesterday. You are a boil on the ass of democracy, regardless of who you would have voted for if you could have been bothered to tear yourself away from reruns of The Swan long enough to do so, and you don't deserve to live here. Thanks for making it crystal fucking clear, if this country should ever wither and die, who it is we should blame for it.

Yeah. So thanks for that. Getting on with rest of life now commencing.

#141 ::: Sara E. ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 09:00 PM:

In the end, all we can do is keep standing up for the ideals and values that we believe in and not give up.

I will work toward feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick, helping the poor move from poverty to proud self-sufficiency. I will work toward peace, to treat others with the respect I myself would like to be treated with and walk humbly with God. I will do this out of my commitment to my so-called "liberal-Godless-values" that I hold.

This is my country too, just as much as it is for the people in the "red" states that voted for Dubya and were swayed by God, Guns, Gays and Fear.

I will not be silenced, I will not back down, and by God, I will work toward reclaiming the Senate and the House in 2006 and the White House in 2008.

55+ million people voted for Kerry and that is just as much of a force to be reckoned with as those who voted for Bush.

#142 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 09:04 PM:

Elisabeth, I'm fine with them still counting votes, but it doesn't look good to have the, um, quarterback decide the game's over and head off to the shower. Sure, the other guys might pull it off, but there's a certain demoralizing effect, you know?

My inner fantasies still have them counting the votes and finding out that we won, in which case I'll be happy for Kerry to "flip flop" on this one issue.

Remember how they rode Gore for conceding and then withdrawing it? Paper cut number 1,001. Anything is ammo for them -- they're McGyvers of the dirty trick. I'd rather he just said, hang tough, instead of, "I will fight for you. I won't stop fighting. I will never give -- Tuesday already? Gotta dash. Be good to each other."

I expected better, for some damn reason.

#143 ::: Laurel Amberdine ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 09:06 PM:

me: Can you really defend partial birth abortion? Is parental notification that unreasonable? Girls can't get their ears pierced without the approval of a parent! Continuing to speak of people who have serious moral concerns as if they are evil wackos is not going to win them over.

jo: Everybody has a right to privacy and to control their own bodies -- except those under 21, who belong to their parents.

We'll just restrict some women's rights a little. Morality requires it.

You're not trying the think-like-an-alien thing. Just pretend for a moment that the aliens think you're actually killing a human being, and that there are everlasting consequences for that. No really, just try it. Yeah, they're crazy aliens, but if you imagine what it must be like to think such a bizarre thing, you might learn something.

jo: No, you are not an evil wacko. But you are the thin edge of the wedge.

I am not in favor of making abortion illegal. I apologize if I gave you that impression.

#144 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 09:13 PM:

Laurel wrote: Can you really defend partial birth abortion? Is parental notification that unreasonable? Girls can't get their ears pierced without the approval of a parent!

I am pro-liberty but don't support or endorse partial-birth abortion. I would rather see a team of doctors work for a week straight to try to save a potentially viable fetus. But I also insist on the right of a woman to live rather than to die, when the choice involves a fetus in womb. And the simple clause that enables an otherwise banned procedure when the alternative is the certain or near-certain death of a pregnant woman is what caused three separate judges to find the ban unconstitutional. Surely a pro-life stance requires considering extant life, as well as that in potentia?

Parental notification is trickier. What happens when the father of the child is the parent being notified? This (and other equally unpleasant to imagine situations) can and do lead to intimidation of the girl in question, with all of the unfortunate consequences (everything from the simple birth of the child to a mother not ready to take care of hir to the girl/mother being beaten or worse). Just as a baby is not a pair of ears, abortion is not piercing, and each needs has own considerations. Escape clauses that provide for full support of girls in such situations, not just an abortion but housing and psychological support, may well work here, too -- so that if the girl is in that sort of hot water, she can get out of it completely.

We can leave the issue of why so many abortions are necessary as a result of the unavailability of proper birth control until later, I think.

#145 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 10:02 PM:

Can you really defend partial birth abortion?

Piece of cake. One, there's no such thing. Two, all abortive procedures are medical in nature, and thus are properly the perogatives of the patient in consulation with her doctor. Three, why #2 is truly the only real touchstone.

Is parental notification that unreasonable?

In a word, yes. When legally mandated, you betcha. There are no responsible abortion providers who will not, on their own, strongly urge parental involvement except when such involvement is actively not in the best interests of their patient. Again, this is something best left between doctor and patient; you cannot write a law that will as effectively answer the purpose.

Girls can't get their ears pierced without the approval of a parent!

Horse excrement. They can, too. If you live somewhere where they can't, then you should know that you are already accepting as normal a much more restrictive and oppressive environment than any I knew as a child or young woman.

What harm is there in a fourteen-year-old's walking into a storefront and having holes punched into her ears with a sterile gun? Beats heck out of the old ice cube and needle routine, in my book. At least the shopkeeper will tell her how to avoid infection in the coming weeks.

What it boils down to, in the trivial case of ear-piercing and the the non-trivial case of aborting, is that what is outlawed in the light will be done anyway in the dark, since, at least in the case of abortion, the need for the procedure does not magically dissipate merely because a gathering of citizens good and true says, "This is Bad."

You must address the necessity. I realize that political and social discourse of the last twenty years has tended to, more and more, focus on surface results rather than underlying causes, but that doesn't make the causes go away. They just shuffle off out of sight, except for those inexplicable bodies on the sidewalks in the morning, before the cleaning crew gets going.

#146 ::: Ariella ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 10:15 PM:

Ðeodric ahte þritig wintra
Mæringa burg; þæt wæs monegum cuþ.

þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg.

We geascodan Eormanrices
wylfenne geþoht; ahte wide folc
Gotena rices. þæt wæs grim cyning.
Sæt secg monig sorgum gebunden,
wean on wenan, wyscte geneahhe
þæt þæs cynerices ofercumen wære.

þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg.

Be of good cheer. Ontario felt like this in 1999, but reality always catches up with ideological governments, sometimes in unexpected ways. In our case, it was some lowly e. coli bacteria that changed voters' minds when nothing else could convince them.

In the meantime, start thinking of low-cost ways to repair the damage you'll inherit in 2008. The combination of tax cuts and years of deficit financing is going to mean that even when the good people make it back into power, they're going to have their hands tied financially. The creative solutions have to be conceived now.

#147 ::: Les ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 10:15 PM:

From upthread: Majority rules." She sharply answered, "No. That is the definition of mob rule, not democracy."

Exactly. As someone sitting in a country which elects a proportionally representative parliament, the most horrifying aspect of this election result is the lack of voice of the opposition now that the right have regained the White House and strengthened their hold on the Senate and Congress. And, worse, they look forward to three places on the Supreme Court. It's rather ironic that America touts itself as the premier democracy and yet virtually half of its citizens find themselves so under-represented in the government. Small wonder the liberals/democrats on this blog and elsewhere are in such despair.

The rest of the world, according to many surveys, would have tossed Bush by 2:1, so it's not surprising to find many stunned and baffled people on worldwide blogs. "America, how could you do it?" But then you'll see a post by an American who tells the rest of the world to go and do physically improbable things to themselves, because Americans want the freedom to blow up whoever they like and don't have to take any notice what anyone else thinks. That would be fine, if the only people Americans were blowing up were other Americans. But it does go a long way to explaining why 52% of Americans wanted a not terribly bright, self-confessed cowboy and crusader in charge of the world's largest rogue state--Ooops, I mean democratic superpower. It's heartening to remember, though, as we begin to download plans for building back-yard nuclear (or should that be nukular?) shelters, that almost as many Americans voted for the opposition candidate.

Teresa wrote: 225 years is a pretty good run for a republic, historically speaking.
Can I take it, then, that you won't be pre-ordering an "Elect Jeb 2008" t-shirt?

#148 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 10:22 PM:

You know, I think it's interesting that "partial birth abortion" (it'd be more credible if you called it Intact Dilation and Extraction, which is, you know, what it's called) is an procedure involving a non-viable fetus and the life and safety of the mother, performed exclusively at a stage in a pregnancy when there is no such thing as a "willed" abortion, and yet it has become a sort of touchstone of pro-choice irresponsibility.

Interestingly, when Mrs. Santorum, whose husband is riding this issue to greater national prominence, had a non-viable fetus, she was scheduled (with both her and her husband's full knowledge and cooperation and in consultation with her doctor) for an intact dilation and extraction procedure. She didn't have it because she miscarried first.

I have a great deal of respect for people who believe in the seamless garment - people whose view of the importance of life demands that they not only oppose abortion but pre-emptive war, in vitro fertilization procedures (which destroy far more "life" than abortion every year, and for profit) and the death penalty. They're also all about the social justice, the fight against poverty and the responsibility of a society to care for its members.

If that's your position, I can respect it.

If that's not your position, you're supporting the right to decide which life is inviolable and which you can decide for your own reasons to abrogate.

Which is exactly what you're questioning the right of the woman most concerned to do.

#149 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 10:28 PM:

I just want to speak up here and thank Teresa for keeping, Patrick for moderating, and everyone else for posting comments in this blog. For the last several months, your comments have entertained, challenged and informed me.

I too am beyond sad right now. This morning I wasn't sure how I could possibly express the bizarre combination of sadness, anger, hope, annoyance, resignation, amusement (dark, dark amusement to be sure) seething rage and other wog-bogglingly contradictory emotions I've been experiencing, but I visited this page and found all of you seem to have some weird psychic ability, and have already posted what I feel.

Thank you all for posting this! It makes me feel a little bit less like a freak. Right now, I'm taking nice deep breaths and remaining calm, taking things one day at a time.

I came home after work and played the Prelude to the 2nd Bach Unaccompanied Suite, the Largo movement of a Vivaldi sonata, and Faure's "Elegie". Maybe tomorrow I will be able to gather the righteous indignation to tear the hell out of Saint-Saen's "Allegro Appasionato". This weekend, the local chick-friendly porn store is holding a "yard sale" which I'm going to check out. Later this month, I may be seeing "Puppetry of the Penis". These are all entertainments that our dumb president would probably not understand approve of. Somehow, that makes me smile a little.

#150 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 10:30 PM:

The general tone of conversation at work was one of subdued glee, mixed with downright horror....

#151 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 10:48 PM:

Thank heavens for a decent stereo system, a supply of cold Vernors, and a near-complete collection of Pink Floyd CDs.

I'll deal with my emotions once the quarter ends.

#152 ::: pasquino ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 10:48 PM:

We live in a new, obedient America. The southern martial culture the red states brag about is one of doing as you're told, going where you're sent, not asking for a decent wage, shopping at the WalMart that undermines your standard of living, and voting your boss's financial interests because you've been told that the Democrats will make you marry a gay person if you don't. Fear of hell helps too. I prefer the less obedient tradition of the north, where the real rebellion was started by small businessmen, some of whom (Ben Franklin) didn't even believe in God. The Civil War? It wasn't a rebellion, it was a war to preserve the privileges of the slave-owners not the poor farmers who fought for them. And so the same sons and daughters of the south go and fight and die for the same patricians who most of them didn't bother to go and fight themselves when it was their turn. Well I won't be obedient. They haven't earned my respect. I might not be terribly brave, but I have a real reluctance to do as I'm told by them. I only wish the red-staters had wised up to the game.

#153 ::: Hope ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 10:57 PM:

Laurel wrote: Can you really defend partial birth abortion?

I was 5 months pregnant with a very-much wanted child when I got the last scheduled ultrasound for my pregnancy, and it wasn't good news. The doctor saw a deformity and immediately ordered an amnio to confirm the image. The fetus was anencephalic- it had no brain. There was a tiny stem that would have meant that the baby would have been born alive, but it would have only survived a few hours or days at best.

In every other respect, the fetus was completely healthy- I could have finished the last four months of that pregnancy to give birth to an organ donor, but I'm sorry- I wasn't that magnanimous. A D&X is a pretty horrible experience, but it was much better than feeling a baby grow and kick inside me, only to be essentially born dead.

Second and third trimester abortions account for only 10% of all abortions, and 90% of those are performed for health and life reasons. Not mine, though- my health wasn't in danger, the fetus would have grown and been born in a normal way. That abortion I had ten years ago would be illegal now. I would have to finish that pregnancy, and that, folks, is what you're voting against when you vote against "partial birth abortion."

#154 ::: Rich Magahiz ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 11:18 PM:

John Edwards's intro to the concession speech included this line:

"You can be disappointed, but you can not walk away. This fight has just begun."

Maybe we can tough out the next four years and make something different happen the next time around. Maybe we can find a way to work on the important causes so that the time in between isn't just wasted. If enough people see to it personally that the opposing viewpoint cannot be ignored by the Administration, then this does not have to be the death of liberalism.

#155 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 11:44 PM:

Speaking of abortion, I found this interesting research when I was having a discussion with an acquaintance about why he voted for Bush (he's profoundly opposed to abortion, and feels that as long as Bush is opposed to abortion, that's all that's important).

It's a fascinating and sobering read.

#156 ::: jo. ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 12:35 AM:

There have been so many good, much more effective replies to this post than my own. But I do need to respond to this:

me: Can you really defend partial birth abortion? Is parental notification that unreasonable? Girls can't get their ears pierced without the approval of a parent! Continuing to speak of people who have serious moral concerns as if they are evil wackos is not going to win them over.

jo: Everybody has a right to privacy and to control their own bodies -- except those under 21, who belong to their parents.

We'll just restrict some women's rights a little. Morality requires it.

You're not trying the think-like-an-alien thing. Just pretend for a moment that the aliens think you're actually killing a human being, and that there are everlasting consequences for that. No really, just try it. Yeah, they're crazy aliens, but if you imagine what it must be like to think such a bizarre thing, you might learn something.

Yes, Lauren, I get it. I do understand that you think that abortion is murder: I get that, to you, a developing fetus in the womb has exactly the same value, or more value, as an independent life. And I can see where you'd certainly think it has more value than the independent volition of its mother. I have no problem accepting that you believe, profoundly, that such action imperils the immortal soul of all who are connected with abortions.

I just don't agree with you.

But I don't believe you here, not for one minute.

jo: No, you are not an evil wacko. But you are the thin edge of the wedge.

I am not in favor of making abortion illegal. I apologize if I gave you that impression.

The point I made was that you are 'the thin edge of the wedge': you start by making these particular abortions illegal (late-term pregnancies in which the fetus is dead or dying) and restricting access to this particular group of women (women under 21). But why stop there? If it's murder, then why allow any, under any circumstances? Why outlaw some abortions and not others?

#157 ::: Sean Bosker ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 12:46 AM:

“We’re voting the movement, not the candidate.”

Those Naderites are so scatalogical. Yes, I supported the Greens in 2000. Yes, I regret it.

#158 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 01:34 AM:

There is so much on this thread, and I'm feeling so bad about this electoral result -- mirroring so closely, as I feared, the Australian election -- I cannot really respond.
But there was an article I wanted to post an extract from before which I've managed to locate, hoping it isn't too large an indigestible lump of text. It reflects the kind of harm that pandering to prejudice, spreading misinformation & whipping up Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt for some perceived advantage can do for the wider picture in the longer term.
Perhaps an example of some of the information & argument people can use, once they are up to doing it.
Saudi Arabia sees Bush victory as lesser of two evils
By Ed O'Loughlin, October 29, 2004

Whatever the realpolitik calculations, on the emotional level relations between the US and its Saudi guarantors of cheap petrol - always unsentimental - have never been worse.

While Muslim fundamentalists continue to preach against the Great Satan, America's natural constituency among liberal and reform-minded educated Saudis has been alienated by what it sees as hostility towards Arabs since the September 11 attacks.

Over the past three years tens of thousands of young Saudis have returned home from US universities to escape official or unofficial harassment or because of difficulties in renewing study visas.

"After 9/11 they say that all Arabs and Muslims are terrorists," said the editor of Arab News, Khalid al-Maeena, whose son recently returned from a US university without graduating. "This has made young Arabs turn against the West. They like to listen to Ricky Martin and Mark Anthony and have coffee at Starbucks, and yet their sentiments are increasingly anti-American."

And something a friend sent me (don't know where he took it from - possibly part of a Yahoo discussion).
When I was in the Air Force we had General Daniel "Chappie" James come and talk with us. He was one of the first black generals in the Air Force. In the late 60's and early 70's there were racial problems in the AF just as there were (and in some places still are) in the rest of the country.

He spoke to us as a group and then he spoke to the black airmen in the audience. He told them to remember that a white man cannot reach out and shake your hand if your fist is clenched and raised in the air. If you aren't old enough that was the black power symbol at the time.

I've always remembered those words. It is the same now. If Democrats don't reach out their hands to the party in power then nothing they want will get done. Of course this has to work both ways.

Just as a side note: General James retired and died 3 weeks later of a heart attack. Sad end for a great man.

#159 ::: Oliviacw ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 01:56 AM:

You can't change anything from the top - with the rest of the country in the state it is, we'll never get a Democratic president elected. This is the signal - start at the bottom. City councils, mayors, state representatives - we've got to get liberals of all sorts into these positions. And then you move up from there.

And one of the key things that will help get liberals elected is to get the message organized. The Republicans win because they offer easy, black-and-white definitions and answers. The shades of gray that the Democratic party offers are too complex. Keep it simple - we want to make sure everyone is taken care of - and explain what that means in practical terms: living wages, health care, the right to vote the way you want to and make sure your voice is heard. That's where we begin.

#160 ::: Dell Adams ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 02:34 AM:

You ask me, why, tho' ill at ease,
Within this region I subsist,
Whose spirits falter in the mist,
And languish for the purple seas.

It is the land that freemen till,
That sober-suited Freedom chose,
The land, where girt with friends or foes
A man may speak the thing he will;

A land of settled government,
A land of just and old renown,
Where Freedom slowly broadens down
From precedent to precedent:

Where faction seldom gathers head,
But by degrees to fullness wrought,
The strength of some diffusive thought
Hath time and space to work and spread.

Should banded unions persecute
Opinion, and induce a time
When single thought is civil crime,
And individual freedom mute;

Tho' Power should make from land to land
The name of Britain trebly great --
Tho' every channel of the State
Should fill and choke with golden sand --

Yet waft me from the harbour-mouth,
Wild wind! I seek a warmer sky,
And I will see before I die
The palms and temples of the South.


Tennyson

#161 ::: Jax ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 03:16 AM:

I generally don't weigh in on things (unless I've had too many Grey Goose cosmos and I'm trying to impress the teachers with incoherent babbling), but...on the topic of abortion:

First, partial birth abortion is a ridiculous, non-medical term the pro-lifers use to give one the image of a baby being born and then brutally killed. The actual procedure is painless to the fetus, who has already received an injection much like anasthesia, and, as has already been stated in an earlier post, the procedure is generally only used for medical necessity to the mother or if the child will be stillborn, born without much hope of living longer than a few days, or with a severely debilitating handicap.

But, to me, that isn't the point of arguing for or against any kind of abortion. I take offense to "pro-life" being associated with not having abortions. I'm in favor of relabeling pro-choice to pro-life. Pro the mother's life. Pro the life that is already actually alive.

I think I've got an unpopular view on this, but I was never popular anyway so I'm not real broken up about it. The whole "when does the right to life begin" argument is pretty simple for me. It begins when the life can sustain itself without the physical dependence on the mother. Up until that point, a fetus is the potential for life, not the actual, yet.

This belief of mine always brings shouts of disgust and condemnation from right and left alike (more so from the Christian right), because then the extreme example is brought in: well, then, I guess you could abort your baby the day before he's born. And my answer is: morally, that would be reprehensible if a mother, after nine months of time to figure out what she wanted, simply decided she didn't want her baby mere weeks before the baby was due (unless her life were at risk). And I would, like, totally condemn that. and most definately take her off my Christmas card list!

Legally, it's not my place to tell a woman what she can and can't do with her own body. Period. Because whenever you bring "it's a law" into the deal, it means it's enforced with force. Frankly, putting a gun to my head and locking me up because I don't want to have the baby that's growing in my belly is not the image I have of a "free" country. And it's not pro-life.

I'll go back to lurking, now.

jax.

#162 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 03:29 AM:

Jax wrote: I'm in favor of relabeling pro-choice to pro-life.

I have advocated something similar, in terms of reclaiming buzzwords. My suggestions, though, are "pro-freedom" and "pro-liberty"; not only are these literally completely true statements of the position, but also have the advantage of striking deep emotional chords that until now have been successfully co-opted by the increasingly radical Right.

#163 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 03:40 AM:

Abortion is a huge issue for me too. It sure is. I owe my life and my children to my two abortions. I was a high-risk mother, I was married, I used birth control -- which had to be fought for the same as abortion, and the people who need it the most are still being kept from complete access to it -- twice I got pregnant when I couldn't, physically, emotionally, financially, or medically, afford to do it. The first time, I thought I would have that baby, and I even went to an obstetrician. As I heard her talking about the way she would manage a case like mine, I began to _know_ I was in danger of not making it this time (I had come very close the first time). By objective standards, though, I didn't meet any anti-abortionist's qualifications: I wasn't yet ill. The second one came after my daughter was born: I was over the line for maternal age, and the conditions that had allowed me to bear my daughter safely were gone again.

My children are grown (my daughter is almost 18). It matters, a whole lot, that they had a living mother instead of a huge tragedy in their childhood. My life is worth something. And the potential life of a person who does not yet exist is not worth more than my life and the secure childhood of my children. And all the pious talk about adoption as an alternative that I hear doesn't help one bit in my case.

This is a _moral value_. This is about intact families, raising healthy children in a loving home. And you know what? If I'd been a silly girl who sleeps around and can't be bothered with the pill, I'd still have a right to every abortion I wanted.

#164 ::: Sarah Avery ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 03:48 AM:

Some reasons not to despair--or rather, reasons not to let despair stop you--in untidy form and no particular order, because despairing people shouldn't have to wait:

Walt Whitman, who lived to be our good gray poet and died without ever for one minute having hope that he could marry the man he sang to in the Calamus poems, sang America anyway. He lived in darker days than ours have been so far, and saw worse with his own eyes than most of us here are likely to see, and sang America anyway. When you've had enough of sackcloth, ashes, and Eliot, Whitman's good medicine.

Susan B. Anthony fought all her long life for women's suffrage and died with the job unfinished. If she'd known from the start she wouldn't live to see it for herself, that wouldn't have stopped her. She had no precedent to look to for encouragement; in the end, she won anyway, and now we have her for our precedent.

We've already agreed, motivational posters to the contrary, that confidence alone is not enough to bring about our goals. In fact, confidence isn't necessary at all. Every person I know who has completed a doctorate has had to push through to the end despite an absolute, bone-deep certainty that s/he would never finish the dissertation. The closer to triumph we got, the more certain we were that all was already lost, years ago, because every time we'd thought we were close before, we'd been wrong. It's not only possible to complete a Ph.D. in the complete absence of hope--that's the most common condition in which completion occurs. From which I extrapolate that our despair is not in any way a measure of our efficacy. We don't need to believe we're going to win in order to win. We don't even need to believe it's possible.

Some of our nation's founders genuinely believed they'd end on the gallows for treason against George III, yet today here we are, with a great democracy to believe we've lost. That's more to work with than Jefferson had, starting out.

#165 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 07:22 AM:

Hiya, Tim. You've completely misunderstood my post. Want to talk about it sometime?

BTW, I've deleted (not disemvowelled) two sentences of yours, because it's not proper for me to publicly discuss books I've rejected.

#166 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 08:31 AM:

There was an article on Google News this morning about 'why the exit polls were so wrong' in Florida and Ohio.

Considering that both states use unverifiable electronic voting machines, that's not the right question; the right question is 'given that the exit polls suggest results radically different from the vote count, how can we be sure that the vote count is correct?'

And, of course, you can't. You can't prove anything about that vote count. You can't even prove it exists, beyond a number some official in Ohio or Florida put forward.

Which is, to my mind, ample justification for a great deal more than not accepting the result of the so-called 'vote'.

When you count the votes, you have to be able to count them again, just to make sure.

#167 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 09:05 AM:

Not poetry, but this is probably the most appropriate thing I can think of:

"This too shall pass."

For what it's worth, Steve Eley has already said pretty much what I think much more eloquently than I could.

(I would take issue with the people having a dig at Nader - what, you don't like a multi-party system? - but can't really find the energy, I'm afraid.)

#168 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 09:07 AM:

The key is education -- or from another viewpoint, marketing.

I agree. It is a culture war -- but if the left "fights" the war, they lose. They have to convert people, they have to proselytize. There has to be room for tolerance.

I truly believe that there is enough to unite Americans, and we have to find a way to sidestep these frelling wedge issues.

It looks like gay marriage was the tipping point, this time. Not abortion. There are people who are truly threatened by that. IMO, it may be time for Democrats to start supporting more state's rights.
Let it be up to the states. Let them ban gay marriage in a state, and when families with gay members avoid living there or move out, and they lose more jobs, let them figure it out. But let states which are more liberal legalize it.

I haven't thought this through and I will probably rethink it later -- feel free to shoot me down.

#169 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 09:21 AM:

Oh boy! I woke up this morning with a refreshing feeling of overall apathy, and now I'm ready to sit at my desk and do as I'm told all day!

Sweet, sweet apathy. What a relief.

#170 ::: jonquil ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 09:48 AM:

Can you really defend partial birth abortion?

Yes, easily. Go look at the blog of Cecily, who writes Wasted Birth Control.

Cecily was 22 weeks pregnant with desperately wanted twins. One of them died in utero. Cecily developed pre-eclampsia. If she didn't have an abortion, she was going to die. Not maybe; she would. The fetus wasn't viable. It might have taken forever to die, but it wasn't viable.

Here's what Cecily said:
Before you vote next Tuesday--and you'd better vote--remember this. If George Bush had his way, I would have been forced to deliver the surviving baby and the doctors would have been forced to try to save him. I won't lie--there's a teeny part of my deeply pro-choice heart that wonders if that's what I should have done, just in case there was the slightlest, teeniest chance of survival... but in my head I know that instead my son ended his too-brief life painlessly in the safety of my womb instead of in the cold, harsh light of the world, away from me.

#171 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 09:58 AM:

Hi, mayakda,

I don't think it's that gay marriage was the tipping point so much as that we didn't have any similar issue to counter it--say, stem-cell research initiatives on the ballot in Florida and Arizona.

#172 ::: Tom ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 10:03 AM:

Two points:

[cynical mode on] I'm not so certain that a draft is in the offing. Larger numbers of soldiers in Iraq are probably a precondition for victory (if, in fact, it can be achieved at all). Had Iraq turned into an out-and-out victory, I suspect that GWB would be toast right now. He *needed* those votes that felt that only he could successfully prosecute the war. The Iraq war is perfect for the Republicans. Not so many American deaths as to cause massive outrage, not so few as to become a non-issue. Why endanger conditions by winning? [cynical mode off]

More realistically, I suspect the Iraq war is fairly widely supported only because the real pain (to Americans) is felt only by a select few. Spread the pain (via draft, or horror!, a tax increase to actually *pay* for the war) and lose the election.

Secondly, if the current "voters vote on values, not policy" meme is true, I'm not certain how the Democrats are to ever gain victory. If the meme is valid, then what you *do* doesn't really matter (short of total catastrophe). If you can convey being more pro-God, pro-Gun, anti-Gay, etc., then you're well on your way to victory. To me, that's the depressing story.

#173 ::: Anon ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 10:10 AM:

What Cecily says is a lie. The pro-life movement has no interest in harming the life or health of mothers. They are interested in stopping the *voluntary* termination of pregnancy. There's a separate code for this in your insurance company's system than for a medically necessary one. Furthermore, you are not required to use extraordinary measures to save the life of a premature baby. It is both legal and ethical to deliver a baby prematurely--to save the life of the mother, which is indeed in danger in the case of eclampsia/toxemia--and you can peacefully wait for the end to come naturally. You are not required to intubate, perform CPR, defibrillate, or otherwise rescuscitate *anyone if a DNR is signed by them or their parent. Because of Cecily's misunderstanding, she chose a violent and traumatic way to end a pregnancy that could have been much more natural. If the child is dismembered in the womb (which I assume is what she's referring to), there's not much chance of holding the child after birth/death, having a normal grieving process, or giving the child a decent burial--all of which are very appropriate for a 22-weeker.

I do believe in a consistent life ethic. I'm glad I have the respect of some, but if you really respect the position so much, what's keeping you from sharing it?

#174 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 10:26 AM:

L. G. Booth, anyone who thought there was the least chance of Christians getting rounded up during the Clinton administration is so far sunk in fantasy that I'm not sure what I'd say to them. (For starters, unlike Mr. Bush, the Clintons are church-going Christians.) To equate the discussion here with willful fruitbattery like that is absurd, very nearly to the point of being offensive.

As for the multiple conflicting never-substantiated stories about WMDs, the only people who give them credence are the ones who are determined to do so, and reality be damned. Like The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, it's something no one's ever been regretfully and unwillingly forced to accept on the strength of the evidence. The only belief in it is willed belief.

As for your "If you see things happening that you disagree with, speak out, become involved," do you imagine that many of the people here haven't been doing exactly that? And how do you imagine it's going to have any effect on a man who's notoriously unwilling to listen to anyone but a few advisers? He doesn't even read the paper. Hell, he doesn't even want to see political signs on the lawns or in the windows of houses he passes on the way to one of his carefully staged "public appearances."

And please, none of that "designated whipping girl" business. We argue here, we discuss; but no one's a designated whipping anything.

#175 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 10:30 AM:

If you're so certain your view is the "right" one, why aren't you sharing your name?

Shouldn't it be up to the mother how she grieves her lost child, and whether she needs an intact body to do so?

#176 ::: Jonquil ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 10:33 AM:

The pro-life movement has no interest in harming the life or health of mothers. They are interested in stopping the *voluntary* termination of pregnancy.

If this were an absolute, as you state it, then the pro-life movement would not have decreed that D&X was never medically necessary. As it happens, under the recent law, Cecily's D&X would have been just as illegal as that of a lackadaisical suburban mother who thought better of a healthy pregnancy at 8 months.

Because of Cecily's misunderstanding, she chose a violent and traumatic way to end a pregnancy that could have been much more natural.

It fascinates me that without knowing Cecily, her situation, or her medical records, you can be confident that she misunderstood the situation and you understood it.

Would that I were equally omniscient.

#177 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 10:35 AM:

Anon, you're welcome to join in, but we don't post anonymously on inflammatory subjects here.

Everyone: this isn't an abortion thread. Please don't continue that argument, or I'll regretfully have to disemvowel every last comment on the subject.

#178 ::: Jen St. Clair ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 10:54 AM:

Graydon,

In my county of Ohio, we still fill in the little circles with pencils. So it's not at all electronic.

However, rumor has it (well, people calling in to radio stations on election day) that at one particular voting station not far away (and still in my county) people who had stood in line until the polls opened at 6:30am were turned away because the machines were broken?! I guess they had no pencil sharpeners?

Evidently they took names and numbers and told them to come back later. Me, I would have stayed in line. And I don't know how that ended. I hope everyone who wanted to vote got to vote, but I do know of one person who thought standing in line for 30 minutes somewhere else was too long and left.

As for Ohio voting, considering that my small town has something like 13 churches now, it wasn't a surprise that Bush won. There were certainly more Bush signs than Kerry signs around.

I think a lot of it was the 'moral values' bit, because I had to explain to multiple people that voting NO on issue 1 did not mean it would make homosexual marriage legal. And the churches were saying the opposite, when, in fact, Ohio had already passed a law that made it illegal. This was a amendment to the state constitution! And it passed!!

What really made me mad was going to church last Sunday, opening the church bulletin, and finding a flyer proclaiming "vote NO on Issue 1!!" that was paid for by the local "Community Values/Family Friendly" people who have already raised my ire years ago over a magazine at the library. Isn't that illegal to do?

(Catholic church, btw.)

#179 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 10:59 AM:

For those of you who (as my wife sees it) are bashing red-staters generally, here's a nice graphic on BoingBoing to cool you out.

#180 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 11:07 AM:

Adamsj, I'm sorry your wife isn't a better reader.

#181 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 11:12 AM:

That came out harsher than I intended.

#182 ::: Anthony Cunningham ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 11:19 AM:

It's coming to America first,
The cradle of the best and of the worst.
It's here they've got the range and the machinery for change
And it's here they've got the spiritual thirst.

Leonard Cohen, Democracy.

#183 ::: James Nicoll ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 11:19 AM:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/

The Canadas: providing an alternative since 1776.

Unfortunately our current immigration policies are akin to chopping holes in the lifeboats after the Titanic has struck the iceberg. Letter writing to the Party Whip is immanent, as soon as I find a way of phrasing the letter so my reader doesn't think I sound like a raving lunatic. Apparently "strip-mining the US for Canadians" won't do, and neither will "Misery and Outrage: A Demographic Opportunity". "Not repeating the mistakes of the 1930s" may be more promising....

#184 ::: Alison ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 11:21 AM:

Jen, churches that include specific messages about how to vote (your example is a good one) in their sermons or printed church materials risk having their tax exempt status revoked. The most they can say is "vote your conscience" or "vote with God" or something similar. I saw a lot of that up on church billboards last Sunday here in Northern Virginia. But, no, they are not allowed to provide you with a slate of candidates or positions to vote for. That said, I am relatively certain that the IRS has only very rarely, if ever, revoked a church's tax exempt status for campaigning. In other words, it's only illegal if you get caught.

#185 ::: Tracina ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 11:21 AM:

Mr. Eley: It's to say that there's a lot of stubborn faith going around, and it's a fallacy to lay all of it at the feet of one party.

Note that I did not say "Republicans." I said "Bush supporters."

#186 ::: Greg Ioannou ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 11:33 AM:

Something in this article keep rattling around in my head:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2002081763_exitpolls04.html

"If we go back in history to prior presidential elections, those exit polls were dead on," said Dennis Simon, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "Something has changed to make them less dead on."

"Something has changed..." somehow presses one of my paranoia buttons. It seems the exit polls were off by the largest percentages in Florida and Ohio.

"If we go back in history to prior presidential elections, those exit polls were dead on," eh? So perhaps they were dead on this time too. Perhaps the numbers that were inaccurate were the ones that mattered? My paranoid side has this queasy feeling that the exit polls were just as accurate as ever.

#187 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 11:39 AM:

Teresa, she's a great reader and I'm proud of her. I'm pretty sure I could find an example or two of the attitude she's deploring in this thread if I looked. I will look if you like.

(Actually, here's the one to which she reacted: "I only wish the red-staters had wised up to the game.")

More to the point, she's a small-l libertarian who nevertheless values environmentalism and social justice. For the first time ever, I believe we both voted straight party tickets. (No, we didn't vote 'publican.) If she gets this whiff of distaste from what's being said, consider her a good scientist you should try to keep from being eaten by a thing.

By the way, she went through hell to get our absentee ballots cast, and I'm proud of her, for that and for so many other things--including her skill as a reader.

#188 ::: Jen St. Clair ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 11:44 AM:

Alison,

Thanks for the information! I'm not sure if the priest was in on it or not, because he should have known better. Alas, I didn't bring home a bulletin to prove my point or I'd pursue the matter, because I'm already mad at them for wanting to ruin our nice little stone church with an addition that looks like an army barracks.

And evidently, it didn't appear in the bulletins at the earlier mass, only the one I went to. Curious. I would like to know who slipped them in.

#189 ::: Steve Eley ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 11:48 AM:

Me:
It's to say that there's a lot of stubborn faith going around, and it's a fallacy to lay all of it at the feet of one party.

Tracina:
Note that I did not say "Republicans." I said "Bush supporters."

Noted. Hair-splitting aside, am I right or am I wrong?

#190 ::: sennoma ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 11:49 AM:

People keep talking about the exit polls being off. Someone please post a link, because the one I posted shows numbers that don't look particularly suspicious to me. I've found some at Zogby, I'll report back shortly on those.

#191 ::: Tracina ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 12:10 PM:

Mr. Eley: Noted. Hair-splitting aside, am I right or am I wrong?

In regards to the specific instance you cite, I'd disagree with you. (Whether you are right or wrong is a question I can't answer, which I don't think is hair-splitting.) The person I spoke of would not check the fact: were people or were people not being recalled to duty and having their tours of duty extended? This is a checkable thing with a clear answer. Teresa was expressing her conviction that the results were tampered with, which she did have facts to support. (Whether you or I would draw the same conclusions from the same facts isn't what I'm arguing.)

#192 ::: Alex R ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 12:25 PM:

sennoma --

The problem with trying to find out whether or not the final exit polls were "off" is that the exit pollsters *readjust* the results of the exit polls once the actual votes start coming in. They *assume* that the actual vote counts they receive are correct, and so will always look good they next day... (For example, read this.)

If you want to try to confirm whether or not the final exit polls show anything funny going on with the vote, you need the raw data -- possibly adjusted for turnout/party ID (which can be confirmed from the publicly available poll records) but *not* adjusted for the more unverifiable vote counts.

Good luck getting it...

#193 ::: Darkrose ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 12:45 PM:

As far as Canada goes: http://www.marryanamerican.ca/

#194 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 12:46 PM:

My own husband voted for Bush in 2004. When I discovered he planned to do so, I deluged him with New Yorker articles, ranted (I'm not an effective debater), and moped. No change in his attitude. Though he belongs to the NRA and I sometimes call him a "Libertarian gun nut," he is not an evangelical Christian (agnostic, I think), a neofascist, or a dolt. He prefers reasoned, eloquent discussions, hates football, loves cats, has a great sense of humor, and has stuck with me through many years (only the last few of them officially married). The Bay Area Liberal in me still can't help but think some part of him is nuts, but it's impossible for me to demonize him. I love him.

And, looking at the "Two Cents" column in today's San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate), I saw a surprising number of comments from Northern Californians -- even San Franciscans -- expressing relief that the election went as they had hoped. We Democrats have been focusing on "Bush Steals 2000 Election" and "how could anyone buy his BS any more?" But a great number of Americans did vote for him then and even more voted for him now, including good people like my husband -- who assures me the Draft can't be re-instituted and coat-hanger abortions aren't coming back in vogue. I may think he's wrong, but we have to recognize that such people exist, sometimes as close friends, husbands, lovers, rather than monstrous fools.

What to do now? My 79-year-old lifelong Democrat mother reminds me things often work out for the worst (especially in politics), and we can't allow the Right the satisfaction of seeing us as merely confused and deeply wounded. In many ways, America may be on a downward spiral -- Steve Eley, I tend to be with you on that -- but even the fall of the British Empire left an England that's neither Third-World nor permanently Thatcherite.

Despite being a thorough pessimist who dressed all in black yesterday and moaned about doom, I say we have to give up on the conspiracy theories, get a better idea of what those alien Others can be like (apart from the irretrievably religious wackos, thugs and morons), and somehow find a way to hope.

Oh, and thanks for all the poetry. Poets obviously aren't unacknowledged *legislators,* but they cast a clear eye on the ways of the world.

#195 ::: sennoma ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 01:07 PM:

D'oh, Zogby's data aren't exit polls. I'm a dimwit.

FWIW, which is approximately nothing, Zogby's predictions were even-handedly lousy. For ten "battleground" states (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin), the average difference between Zogby's 8-day average (Oct 24-31) and the actual result (as per C-span) is 3.2% for Bush and 2.4% for Kerry. Taking averages over the first five and last three days didn't improve the accuracy much, or make it less even-handed. Direction of change between first-five and last-three day averages didn't predict winners either.

#196 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 01:19 PM:

I've been thinking today about Takeshi Miike's Ichi the Killer. For the first half of the film, we never see Ichi's face, only the results of his handiwork. Ichi leaves every room he enters an abbatoir. Rival yakuza are being turned into hamburger left and right, and Japan's underworld is rife with panic and turmoil. When Ichi is finally revealed, he is a pants-wetting coward who thinks everyone's picking on him, and he cries like a two-year-old as he lashes out blindly. He can't even look his victims in the eyes. He is dangerous, but only because he is despicably pathetic.

I am less disheartened by the bigotry and selfishness of 51% of Americans, than I am disgusted by their cowardice. They live in constant fear -- I think they are more afraid of gays than they are of terrorists -- and when they lash out, they never attack the source of their fear, but lash out desparately against the weak.

I do not know what to do about the cowardice of my fellow Americans. I'm not even sure of what they fear. I do know that I will call out their cowardice at every opportunity.

#197 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 01:31 PM:

Teresa, I won't say anything more about abortion than this: all through the year I heard "on the street" interviews with people saying "I'm voting for Bush because he's against abortion. That's all that matters: if abortion doesn't matter, nothing matters."

and _that's_ why this turned into an abortion thread.

#198 ::: sennoma ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 01:39 PM:

So, a Kos diarist writes that CNN changed their data, but the links to prove it don't work. I'll read around and see what I can dig up, but it looks like Alex is right, it's going to be hard to get hold of the necessary data.

#199 ::: Giacomo ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 01:54 PM:

(warning: I'm not American)

You should all stop whining, wae up and smell the coffee. The Reps are giving you excuses to get together and re-organise a decent movement, set your priorities straight and kick back. Should have Kerry been elected, you would have spent four years trying to justify a powerless president's actions, because of a strong republican Congress (keeping the ball rolling in Iraq; repeating the Clinton experience with healthcare plans; seeing environmental treaties being rejected; etc etc). Instead, you have the occasion to let them deal with their own mess, and start from scratch. You will see their policies rotting in their own hands, instead of in those of a Dem prez.

Forget the President, your target has to be the Congress first, because even Reagan was stopped by dem's majorities. It's harder, because to get there you have to pull out many coherent policies and many good politicians, not just to discuss about how good an old veteran punk looks on the media. It's harder, because to get there means first get control of all the "power centres" available, from the local school board to the state governor. How come Blue states have Red reps? How come the forever-blue California has a Red post-nazi governor? How come the swing states were all ruled by Reps? It's not Diebold's fault if incompetent (red) state administrations chose their machines, governors and local institutions are guilty -- and when were they elected? Certainly not behind your back.

Now the Left needs aggregation, needs people to come out from their homes, to talk about what to do with the country, and to choose the right men for the job -- not just the lesser evils. This year, your people came out yelling and screaming; now you have more time to get to know each other and understand how you can take the country back on a solid track. You have to draw clear lines. You have to choose what you want between hyper-global market "a la Clinton" or wisely FedGov-supported economy "a la FDR". You have to define your Promised Land. And believe me, when you will do that (because you will), we rest-of-the-civilized-world will follow you, as we did follow you in the sixties, and we will help.

Oh, and get a bloody candidate from the South ;)

#200 ::: Giacomo ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 01:56 PM:

And Theresa, your single-post template still breaks on IE6 :P

#201 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 02:05 PM:

Good comments, Giacomo. Sorry about the IE6 problem.

BTW, I can tell what you mean, but we'd usually render "aggregation" as "cohesion" or "unification."

What kind of Southerner did you have in mind?

#202 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 02:17 PM:

Teresa, have you seen this?

http://www.marryanamerican.ca/

It's really funny. But I think they may be serious. I'm going to submit a profile and see what happens.

#203 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 02:19 PM:

RIGHT ON, GIACOMO!!!!!!

#204 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 02:21 PM:

Is there a mirror site? I can't get through.

#205 ::: Jamse Angove ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 02:38 PM:

Xopher:

Hehe. And I was just commenting on electrolite that until I get over the bitter, I've just been dumped feeling, I'm going to hope that James Nicoll's dream of the Canadian superpower comes to success.

#206 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 02:40 PM:

I noted it here, but as I suspect there's no mirror just yet, here's The Pledge:

Should George W. Bush be declared the official winner of the November 2 election and be re-installed as acting President of the United States, I the undersigned, a Canadian citizen, pledge to liberate, through the legal and binding act of marriage, a willing citizen of the United States of America, of a gender of my choosing, and with one or all of the following political leanings:

1. discouraged Democrat,
2. reformed Republican,
3. apolitical with limited world-domination tendencies.

In addition, I promise to help my new Yankee spouse to adapt to life in the great white north, keeping them safe from (gratuitous) invasion of privacy, and to provide him/her with a reasonable supply of Timbits.

Remember, that's a reasonable supply. A 20-count box is excessive.

#207 ::: Toni ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 02:41 PM:

Finally some news that made me laugh instead of cry.

>>>This weekend, the local chick-friendly porn store is holding a "yard sale" which I'm going to check out. Later this month, I may be seeing "Puppetry of the Penis".

#208 ::: Matt Austern ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 02:51 PM:

The thing to remember about polls is that the mass media have, in one important respect, been doing an absolutely lousy job of reporting poll reports. About ten years ago the mass media came to grips with the idea that measurements came with error bars, so they started reporting something they called a "margin of error" and invented the grating phrase "statistical dead heat". So far so good.

The trouble is that what the media calls a "margin of error" isn't. It's the 95% confidence limits for statistical error. And anyone who works in a quantitative field knows that those things aren't at all the same. Reporting this number and calling it the margin of error implicitly assumes that the systematic error is zero, which is a ludicrous assumption. Responsible scientists are likely to report a result as something like "3.4 ± 0.3 ± 0.6", carefully distinguising between statistical and systematic error. Or sometimes scientists go even further and report someting like "3.4 ± 0.3 ± 0.6 ± 0.2", distinguising between statistical error, systematic error, and uncertainty of the theoretical model.

Anyone who was paying attention to polls could tell that the margins of error we were seeing were wrong, since we kept seeing different polls that disagreed with each other far outside the margins of error. And anyone who was paying a little more attention could see why: the error wasn't statistical, it was dominated by which model you chose to predict who was likely to vote. The real story the press should have been reporting about polls was the variation in different likely voter models, but we saw almost nothing about that.

Zogby used the wrong likely voter model. He overpredicted turnout among 18-25 year old voters and underpredicted turnout among older white male fundamentalist Christians. There's no particular shame in using a wrong model; lots of people did. I just think it's a shame that the dominant source of error got such little attention compared to less important things.

#209 ::: Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 02:52 PM:

Teresa, I won't post about abortion, but I have been thinking these past few days that I have always avoided discussing the issue because, well, because it's flammable material. But maybe we need to. Maybe we should gather courage and talk about it. If it's such a decisive issue, we should take a big breath and tell our side of the issue. Because it sure is a moral issue for me too. We have tried being reasonable and fact-based - but we sure have our own moral issues.

#210 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 03:08 PM:

I do believe in a consistent life ethic.

Well then, looking at his pre-emptive war and the number of women of childbearing age in this country who have excessive levels of mercury because of his industrial policies, you found yourself unable to vote for Bush, and you should feel right at home.

Hope this skirts the prohibition.

#211 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 03:19 PM:

Any Wait Wait Don't Tell Me fans here? Adam Felber has posted the rant I couldn't find the words for here. "It'll make you laugh; it'll make you cry."

#212 ::: Greg Ioannou ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 03:22 PM:

Anna, there is a prior question: To what extent does anyone in this society have the right to try to impose his or her morality on others in the society? I would argue that, except for a very few issues (none of which is controversial), none of us has that right.

We all have our own specific moral codes, some of them shared and some of them eccentric. A trivial example: I cannot tolerate the sight of men in suits. I think men's suits are unspeakably hideous, and are inappropriate dress for any occasion. To me, they symbolize much of what is most evil in our society. Is this a moral issue? For most people, no. For me, yes.

I think it is ok for me to react based on that preference -- I don't exactly hang out with men wearing suits. I don't think it is ok for me to tell men what to wear; I did not even do so when some men chose to blight my wedding by wearing suits to it.

I have no more interest in telling people whether or not to have an abortion than I do in telling them whether or not to cut their toenails. The issue is not a moral one for me whatever.

As I see it, I have no right to impose my morality on other people. They have no right to impose theirs on me.

#213 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 03:27 PM:

GO READ PATRICK!

(The other Patrick . . . the e-sheep guy.)

http://www.livejournal.com/users/pfarley/53049.html

"Friends: don't despair. The Orcs who elected Bush their Savior from the Islamo-Fag Menace crave your despair like a junky craves heroin. Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, Coulter, and the yammering dipshits of Fox News are at this hour deep in their tribal gloatfest, pounding their drums and bellowing around the bonfire. Your despair is their sweet, sweet nectar -- don't give it to them. Deny the Neo-Medievalists the gift of your heartbreak. Yea verily, as the inevitable avalanche of shit rumbles down upon us all these next 4 years, get in touch with your inner Hunter Thompson, surf the insanity, become the Buddhist warrior who leaps into battle with a laughing heart. The Neo-Medievalists are a grim lot, and we won't be doing ourselves or the world any favors by sinking to their joyless depths."

#214 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 03:53 PM:

Anna, someday we will. But not right now, and not as a spontaneous outgrowth of a comment thread on a different subject. If I let it go now, we'll get a bunch of arguments we've all seen before.

At the moment, I'd rather talk about things like the way the news reportage started opening up toward the end of the race, when it looked like Kerry might well win.

#215 ::: Greg Ioannou ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 04:00 PM:

I'm sorry, Teresa. If I let it go now, we'll get a bunch of arguments we've all seen before. In my experience any discussion of abortion degenerates into a tedious argument about whether or not men in suits look unspeakably hideous. It is all so predictable! We can indeed save it for another day.

#216 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 04:04 PM:

Linkmeister - thanks, I NEEDED that!

#217 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 04:04 PM:

If George W. Bush spends ONE CENT of my political capital on his agenda I'm siccing the S.E.C. on his ass!

#218 ::: jax ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 04:09 PM:

Teresa, sorry about going on with the abortion issue. I'm not very blog sensitive, so I didn't really know it's not okay to post off-topic (though, I kind of thought it was on-topic, but I see what you mean). Anyhow, if the discussion ever comes up on its own thread, my comments can be cut and pasted, since that's pretty much all I have to say about the subject.

Sorry again for the the diversion.

jax.

#219 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 04:43 PM:

Toni -

Glad I made you laugh (hoping it's more "with me" than "at me"). I'm hoping this weekend might be restorative. On the day I'm not shopping for filth, I'll be at the Pet Adoption Festival, talking to rescue groups about acquiring a used dog, for although it's not something that would confound or anger W, it does promise to put a little brightness into my day.

One thing this election has done is encourage me to be more active in my community. I've always voted, but it's obvious I need to do more. Which brings me to a tremendously embarrassing cry for help: I don't think I understand a damn thing about the election process in this country. I have a vague concept of the Electoral College, but I'm not sure about so many other things: why do news agencies report "projected winner", where do they get that information? When are provisional ballots counted? I'd rather not hijack this thread, but if anyone can reccomend a good book or website with accurate information I'd really appreciate it.

Let me re-iterate once more how much I appreciate this blog and this thread. I tried to make a political entry in my LJ last night, but as with so many other things that make me all het-up, the post devolved into profanity, hyperbole and shitty spelling (in this case, my dictionary proved wholly inadequate, and for all I know, I am still misspelling "kakistocracy".) Thank you all for writing such articulate thought-provking angry disappointed hopeful posts. Keep doing it!

#220 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 04:49 PM:

Re http://www.marryanamerican.ca/

Not to spoil anyone's plans or shred anyone's dreams of running north or anything (I have no opinion on whether folks should marry a Canadian or stay and work for change. It's not my country and not my decision to make), but before you pack your touque and learn to spell colour, traveller, judgement, and cheque, do please remember that The Pledge does not say "And I promise to pay all the fees associated with immigrating to Canada on my new American fiancé(e)'s behalf." Nor does it say anything about the small mountain of paperwork associated with immigration. So, while your new Canadian sweetie of convenience will provide you with Timbits, it's up to you to cough up the $1475 ($500 application fee + $975 landing fee).

Immigrating isn't quite as easy as meeting someone on the Canadian side of the Falls and phoning the 24-hour wedding rabbi, these days.

#221 ::: James Nicoll ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 05:01 PM:

I don't think I'd say "Canadian Superpower". That seems rather forward.

I'd just like to reassure the cosmopolitans, the odd, the liberals, the pro-democracy and the unfashionably ethnic folks on the wrong side of the border that, yes, it is exactly as bad as you think and yes, you are completely fucked now that the Confederates and Copperheads can secure their hold on the US government. Expect exit polls and vote results to diverge more strongly in the future. Expect more marginals groups to be targeted for overt state sanctioned disapproval.Your only hope is to flee to the city-based nations before the Republicans tire of your excessive productivity and reclassify you all from milking cows to beef.

Bring your territory. The errors of 1776 can be fixed. Many of you can have your votes counted again in this lifetime.

BTW, I note the first diplomatic rift has appeared between the Martin Liberals and the Bushies: Martin had to chastise one of his minions for excessive candor today. I would have expected it take at least 72 hours.


#222 ::: Anna Feruglio Dal Dan ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 05:05 PM:

Greg:

Anna, there is a prior question: To what extent does anyone in this society have the right to try to impose his or her morality on others in the society? I would argue that, except for a very few issues (none of which is controversial), none of us has that right.

I suspect you have not guessed my position correctly.

Teresa: Yes, I agree. Not right now.

#223 ::: James Angove ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 05:23 PM:

James:

"Canadian Superpower" was actually a step back from my earlier "Canadian Hegenomy." Just goes to show. But come on. You are actively seeking first and second strike capablity (a move I applaud, don't get me wrong, athough you probably shouldn't mention that in the same letter wherein you suggest strip mining the good bits of the American population for finished units) and, as soon as that's done, grab all of the major population centers north of the Mason-Dixon line. Perhaps being a super power isn't your goal, but it seems to be your destination. I'm okay with that; you couldn't do any worse a job with it than we have.

[incidently this whole subthread, here and elsewhere, has filled me with a strange sort of gallows hopefulness. So, um, thanks]

#224 ::: tnh posting for Elisabeth Carey ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 05:27 PM:

Received in e-mail from Elisabeth Carey:

This is the comment that I can't post to Making Light:
In the hopes of improving at least some people's moods, I want to recommend the book I'm reading right now: Homegrown Democrat, by Garrison Keillor. It's a wonderful statement of Democratic, and democratic, values, in the kind of clear, plain terms that might reach red voters as well as encourage blue voters--and it's the perfect size for a stocking-stuffer. After you read it, give copies to all your red friends and family.
And this is the error message that I'm getting when I try:
Your comment submission failed for the following reasons:

Your comment could not be submitted due to questionable content: Homegro

Please correct the error in the form below, then press POST to post your comment.

Best,

Lis Carey

It's a mystery.

-T.

#225 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 05:48 PM:

Nerdycellist:

It's pretty hard to misspell anything that's been transliterated from a different alphabet, as in the case of the Greek-derived "kakistocracy," so at least you're safe there.

As far as reading up on the process, I'd recommend heading to your local used book store to pick up a high school civics text. Once you have the terminology down (And couldn't we all do with a refresher on that? Hands?), Google is going to be your best friend.

I've been looking all day for a website that lays out all the rules and is easy to follow. I don't think it exists. Oh well, one more project to get to in the next four years.

#226 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 05:50 PM:

So, while your new Canadian sweetie of convenience will provide you with Timbits, it's up to you to cough up the $1475 ($500 application fee + $975 landing fee).

Well, as long as we're raining on the migratory parade, if one immigrates as 'Family Class', it's my understanding that the sponsor, aka Timbit-Source, is required to guarantee the immigrant's financial support for some ghastly length of time, ten years or some such.

BTW, I note the first diplomatic rift has appeared between the Martin Liberals and the Bushies: Martin had to chastise one of his minions for excessive candor today.

I miss Chrétien. Martin, no matter what, looks like a deer caught in the headlights. At the moment, I suspect he feels that way, too.

#227 ::: James Nicoll ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 06:20 PM:

I would have prefered Martin over the Strangler to begin with. The old duffer gave us AdScam and the world's most expensive, least effective gun registry program. And he revealed to Bush where PEI was! But at least we've never had PM Copps.

#228 ::: Yaka St.Aise ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 06:34 PM:

Very striking how this discussion somehow drifted towards the issue of acceptance of others as relevant despite/with their differences.

As a foreigner with a lot of US accointances, and a medically-certified skeptic, I find interesting how both this election results and the ongoing discussion here seem to revolve above one-sided empathy.

Nearly every US citizen I know who lives abroad - or merely travels customarily beyond US borders - who voted on this ballot voted not-Bush (ie, many of them may or may not have voted Kerry otherwise, but the general consensus was the Bush system being a threat to their idea of the world's present and future good).

I say nearly because I also know a few US citizens among abroad-living or frequent travellers who voted pro-Bush (interestingly enough none of those seemed to be motivated by anti-Kerryism but really meant to support Bush).
Without exception, the Bush supporters in this arbitrary group of people are military and/or working for the administration in one way or another, or in one case are married to a government employee.

To end my foray into meaningless statistics, I'd like to point out this is also the second time the vote from population of the famous Harry's Bar in Paris didn't reflect the national outcome (last time was in '76).

Back on track and to the current discussion about "try to put yourself in the other guy's shoes". This seems to have played a big part in leading most of those people (many of which couldn't pretend being Dems to save their lives) to vote against Bush.

These people can't avoid looking at the issues at hand from a slightly different standpoint than the average american seem to do.
In the Bush-ite world, I guess one could indeed call those un-patriotic and un-american, since some of them even seem to have been contaminated by the relativistic views on morals, religion, history and politics so common among disenfranchised cosmopolites.

At the end of the day, they still did vote like other legitimate americains did: led by empathy and emotional pull.
I think the divide really isn't that wide, and there may not be an actual gap cutting USA down the middle of the electorate that needs to be bridged.
Maybe it's just an issue of which border of the pond you look at USA from.

Some people voted for Bush out of fear of what evil (real or imaginary) lurks beyond their homeworld's border, and threatens them and USA.
Some people voted against Bush out of fear of seeing USA drifting apart from the rest of the world, becoming increasingly defiant and hostile to it, to the point of endangering itself and the world.

You fear the heretic sand-niggers killing good american boys in Iraq and threatening your faith and freedom: vote Bush.
You fear USA leading the world into WW3 out of cynical arrogance: vote against Bush.

In all fairness, neither of the above propositions is totally accurate nor exactly consistent with the facts that may or not support them.

Earlier in this thread Laurie Mann made what I think is an excellent point about confronting one's fears as the best way to overcome it.
I respectfully suggest - I feel like I'm stating the obvious - that ignorance and misplaced empathy is the key, here.

Since most of the US population is accustomed to believe in very important things (say God) with little factual evidence (say an apocryphal book babelfished half a dozen times) and take it seriously, it makes sense to assume they should be able to consider different - yet equally subjective - sets of beliefs with open minds, and hopefully achieve empathy with people out of their personal or likeminded social circle.

Have the Dems try to figure what the Bushites actually think (really, some do) and what and why they believe what they do.
Have the Bushites get to know and understand those they currently fear, too, and maybe try to get in their shoes and see how scary (and I don't mean *good* scary) they themselves may look - seen from outside.

That won't fix it all, but that should go a long way to put stupid misundertandings out of the way and leave us to deal mainly with issues worth grownups attention.

TTFN,
Yaka.

(Teresa, I got a signed-yet-anonymous comment about the other post on this other blog, can you confirm it's yours and whether I should post it here ?)

#229 ::: Yaka St.Aise ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 06:37 PM:

[forgot to add in the usual disclaimer in the above post]

Sorry about bad grammar and spelling, english is not my native language.
Any corrections more than welcome.
Thank you.

#230 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 06:44 PM:

Laurel: The quick answer to "Why do they think that?" is "They're sodding lunatics!"; this answer moves from facile towards obvious when you realize how large a fraction of this country \still/ believes Saddam was supporting terrorists. Deliberately speaking generally -- not just to get around the hostess's prohibition, but because the issue I've most heard cited was not yours but gay marriage -- how would \you/ speak to people that \you/ define as aliens? Discourse on this side is already substantially more civil than on the other side; claims of untestable "facts" and appeals to supernatural authorities (and worse, to highly-selective redactions of millennia-old alleged transcriptions of such authorities) don't impress me. So what would you say?

epacris: It is the same now. If Democrats don't reach out their hands to the party in power then nothing they want will get done. Of course this has to work both ways.

If the Democrats do reach out their hands to the party in power they will (a) get bupkis and (b) lose votes. It won't "work both ways"; the Republicans made this obvious ten years ago when they said lobbyists who gave \any/ money to Democrats would be ignored. The current R leadership has a militaristic discipline; the only thing they need Ds for is to call cloture -- and there's a limit to the number of times the Ds (especially those representing red states) can filibuster before they get buried in astroturf. (TimK, do you recognize the Mr. Smith reference?) What's needed is more Democrats who will say "This is not was passed" when the conference report comes back -- and refuse to let the mutilated bill become law.

TimK: we've corresponded over one of your previous comments (hint: I've used this as my signature for longer than I've been reading this blog), and I've known (of) you for 26 years (when I was dis-impressed). See above re your claims about filibusters, and consider that there are 31 red states, with at least 11 Democratic senators; how hard will it be to squeeze 5 of those to get up to cloture?

#231 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 06:46 PM:

IE 6 users: hit F11 twice. It works, honest.

#232 ::: Anon ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 06:50 PM:

Yes, Ma'am!

Consistent life ethid=unable to vote for Bush, REALLY unable to vote for Kerry

It's a tough position to be in. I wish one party or other would let the pressure off, to tell the truth.

#233 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 06:51 PM:

Thanks, Yaka. And yes, I posted that comment.

Anyone who needs cheering up might try this week's Onion. As usual, they're at their best during disasters.

#234 ::: L. G. Booth ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 07:14 PM:

L. G. Booth, anyone who thought there was the least chance of Christians getting rounded up during the Clinton administration is so far sunk in fantasy that I'm not sure what I'd say to them.

Precisely, and I wasn't claiming it was sensible. What I was trying to say was that it is easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment, and time provides balance. I certainly was not trying to be insulting.

Like The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, it's something no one's ever been regretfully and unwillingly forced to accept on the strength of the evidence.

With all due respect, who is being insulting now? To bring up the Protocols when I was giving reasons for disagreement in opinions is a hair off of triggering Godwin's Law.

And please, none of that "designated whipping girl" business. We argue here, we discuss; but no one's a designated whipping anything.

Then I am afraid that we have a different definition of 'argue' and 'discuss'. When I argue, I present facts and opinions, not call names. When I posted, I was rapidly called delusional, self-interested, racist, and accused of lying about my religion. And those were just the comments aimed directly at me, and don't include the assumptions about all Bush voters. You will forgive me if I decided that my opinion was not welcome here.

#235 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 08:01 PM:

I have a feeling that the NEXT Onion -- the one after the staff has had a week to take in the press reaction to the election, and the triumphalism and whining of various parties -- is going to rock.

#236 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 08:19 PM:

pericat commented:

Well, as long as we're raining on the migratory parade, if one immigrates as 'Family Class', it's my understanding that the sponsor, aka Timbit-Source, is required to guarantee the immigrant's financial support for some ghastly length of time, ten years or some such.

That's actually just for minors - you're only responsible for adults for 2-3 years, if I recall correctly... but it's a non-trivial process, and can take significant periods of time before you're able to work.

#237 ::: xeger says "Carthago delenda est" ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 08:25 PM:

Carthago delenda est

Let's find the equivalent phrases and use them. Everywhere. Stop saying "Goodbye" - say "Liberty for all" or "Love our differences" - or something a better jingle writer can come up with.

#238 ::: Temperance ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 08:34 PM:

epacris: If Democrats don't reach out their hands to the party in power then nothing they want will get done. Of course this has to work both ways.

I used to think -- hell, I still think -- that bipartisanship is a Good Thing. Unfortunately the other side doesn't agree. Grover Norquist considers it "date rape" and I see no reason to believe that the rest of the Rethugs disagree. Besides, reaching out to the party in power isn't going to do what I want done, namely, the total discrediting and deposition of the party in power!

#239 ::: jo. ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 09:18 PM:

I'd like to apologize too, Teresa: sorry to perpetuate a contentious issue.

Will avoid in future...

jo.

#240 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: November 04, 2004, 10:42 PM:

Regarding the turnout. Australia has compulsory voting, by which we mean that you are fined if, being on the electoral roll, you do not turn up to a polling place and have your name marked off, unless you have lawful excuse, such as illness or absence from Australia. The fine is small, on the order of a parking ticket, and the act is a tort. Note, please, that "compulsory voting" does not mean that one is required to actually register a formal vote for anyone.

Turnouts to Australian federal and state elections are typically in the +95% range. (However, I tend to think that this is cultural, not because of the law.) The results of this last election, with a turnout well up to this level, were an increase to the present very conservative government's majority and a ringing endorsement of its policies. I hate that outcome, and am in much the same state of despair and frustration as most of this blog over the like result of your election - but I can't deny that it is the clear will of the Australian people. May I tentatively, and under correction, advance the proposition that the same conclusion is deplorably necessary for the US election?

(I hope, I hope, I hope, that it happened because the Australian electorate believed that they were endorsing the ancient and honourable values of the West: a refusal to bow to tyranny and terrorist blackmail; a deep and heartfelt attachment to secular democracy; a revulsion for extremists of any stripe. Of course, they are wrong to believe that it is any such endorsement.)

Secondly, regarding multi-party democracy. I know that there are serious difficulties with a preferential voting system, and I understand that it is not for me to recommend it, certainly not to citizens of another democracy. Nevertheless, it might have had the effect of allowing those who wished to vote for a more leftist or liberal candidate than either Kerry or Bush - Nader, for example - the option of doing so. Perhaps if it had been so, then people like Leigh Butler would not have felt so embittered against those voters; and if that were the case, then perhaps Democrats in general would not have to spend energy fighting Naderites, and could spend more fighting their real opponents.

You have my deeply felt commiserations and sympathy. Our next Federal elections in three years. Until then, the conservatives will control both Houses. Unlawful dismissal from employment will cease to exist. Access to termination of pregnancy will be somewhat restricted. The laws preventing monopoly ownership of media will be repealed. The national telco will be fully privatised. And George Bush will be assured that if he wants to start a war anywhere else, we'll send Australian troops again.

But in three years, we may yet reverse it all. One last poem:

Sound, ye trumpets, triumph waking!
Oh ye joyous bells, ring out!
For our line has held unbreaking;
Bending, but not put to rout.

Triumph may yet lie in reeling
Bloodied, from the battlefield,
Victory's carillions pealing
Only that we would not yield.

#241 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2004, 12:30 AM:

Cambridge uses a preferential voting system for local elections, and it works fine here.

Incidentally, Bush got a higher vote percentage in Cambridge (13%) than in Manhattan (11%) or DC (9%).

#242 ::: Yaka St.Aise ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2004, 12:41 AM:

By semi-explicit popular request of one, I repost here yet-another twisted perspective on this election outcome.
[original source here.]

--------------------------------------------------------------

With Dubya here to stay, I believe truism season is officially open, so let me spew a few and see how they relate to the current situation.
First tired old quote: "The voters have spoken, the bastards ..."(1)

That they did, to great effect.
Some would argue this isn't such a clear-cut case, that the Bush-Cheney ticket didn't win with an overwhelming majority, and some will go so far as cry out fraud at the results, by I respectfully must disagree.
As corrupt, servile and gullible one makes the media, it seems highly unlikely they would as a whole be willing and able to cover up for a ballot fraud of more than 20%, which is what it should have taken to quench the reasonably expectable expression of the people's opposition to a fanatic murderous clique ruling their lives.

For the math-challenged ones, I'm speaking of ballot results favorable to Kerry in the above-70% range.
Think that can't happen ? Think a democratic presidency ballot should never set the 2 finalists apart by more than 2-3% ?
Maybe so, but when the stakes are high enough, the menace obvious enough, and the general people's feeling of the urgency of the situation is strong enough, that can happen.

Take France, a pretty good example of what a complacent, corrupt and disgruntled democracy can look like.

We had our Kerry-Bush-Nader moment over here during the 2002 presidency where the left-wing voters played smartypants and voted for any of the 14 small-time candidates during the first round of ballot instead of supporting the single left-wing candidate Lionel Jospin against the then-and-still president Chirac, by most accounts a crook, demagogue and cronyism expert.
(Interestingly enough, Jospin lacking popularity rooted partly in his low sex-appeal and inhability to connect with the layman despite a fairly good track record as a prime minister and general acknowledgment of his governing skills.)

After first round of elections (not actually comparable to US partisan primaries, yet likewise resulting in trimming the finalists number to two), the french people found themselves facing an unpleasant choice at the time of casting their vote: either re-elect the crook or fail to strongly oppose an overt racist, homophobic, chauvinistic grassroots fanatic.

Now, at many levels, France can be seen as less democratic than USA, with little to no representation of minorities, no constitutional protection of freedom of speech and a bunch of other obvious disfunctions, but in the same fashion that death penalty sounds a bit too far out for most french people, a hustler isn't even remotely as distasteful than a hateful fanatic to them.

Here's how a good fraction of the french population, who no more than one month earlier hoped to see Chirac sent to court once his presidential immunity would get lifted, ended up helping re-elect him with an amazing 82% score.

At the time I thought - paraphrasing another old and tired truism - Democracy really gives people the democracy they deserve (2).

Remember, here: we're talking about a disgruntled population, used to be ruled with condescension by a caste of people with whom they only share mutual distrust.
Yet, when faced with this stern and totally unsexy, yet important choice, then voted massively to take a stance against fanatism.
If that could happen in a country whose democratic habits aren't the forte, we should expect at least that from the citizenry of the land of the free when comes the time to stand up for their freedom and ability to have a say in their country's ruling, right ?

I for one never was a big fan of democracy - so I might be biased - yet I still tend to favor democracy over totalitarianism, and the 2004 US presidency election's results are difficult to read any other way than this:
Democracy has done its job, the US voters have spoken, what they want is a modern despotism.
...powered by a hybrid faith/fear engine.

To paraphrase yet-another famous quote (and here I can't even remember the original, please help): democracy is a risky bet(3), but it must be played to its end or not at all.

Will democrats hold true to their belief that the people should rule, and therefore accept the fact they are just a minority that oppose democratically chosen dictatorship ?
Or would they have to recuse the whole universal suffrage and electoral process, much like the Founding Fathers who opposed democracy on the principle that jerks shouldn't be entitled to rule ?

That would make them republicans (in the historical, not partisan, sense).

Bad morning, indeed.

-------------
(1) Sometime attributed to R.Nixon, also said by Morris Udall after his 1976 primary demise. Corrections/confirmations welcome.
(2) I really could use a hand with this one. It seems to be originating in Joseph de Maistre's "Toute nation a le gouvernement qu'elle merite", ie "Every nation has the government it deserves", to later evolve into "In a Democracy, the people get the government they deserve." attributed to Tocqueville, Ben Franklin and many others depending on the bias or best knowledge of the source.
(3) Seriously, if anyone has a clue on this one, I have a cookie and a tip'o'the hat ready for them.

#243 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2004, 12:53 AM:

I last heard this attributed to Mo Udall by Adam Felber's colleague Charlie Pierce: "The people have spoken, goddamn them." That got a lot of laughs at work Wednesday. There weren't many others.

#244 ::: Leanne Gates ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2004, 06:29 AM:

Delurking from the Land Down Under... I couldn't get on this blog the day I heard the news, or the next day - the netwaves were too clogged, I guess - but I went around the office and my email list saying DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! to anyone who would listen. First our right-wing war-supporting government and now yours! Like many others, I feel better having read all your posts. This is a great blog on which I lurk all the time, usually not well-informed enough to comment. But anyone can offer profound sympathy, right? Go the Light.

#245 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2004, 08:08 AM:

I haven't had the TV on since at least noon on Tuesday. I was off-line from the net for at least 48 hours. I turned the volume on the clock-radio to below audible before I went to sleep, Tuesday night.

I didn't want to hear about Schmuck staying in Washington....

===================================

Bush won an election. He didn't win the divine right to rule. I'm a citizen of the United States. No one gets to rule me. I'll be busy reminding the government of that. You might consider doing the same.

Oh? Schmuck moved into the Big White House on Pennsylvania Avenue nearly four years ago with exactly that attitude. Louis le Dieu-donner felt no less empowered and mandated. Schmuck uses binary logic. One electoral vote more, mean Winner and to Schmuck that an absolute mandate makes -- Schmuck has said so. [don;t have the reference at hand I but he said he has a mandate from God to videocameras which records and broadcast it over the airwaves to be shown on a TV I was watching.

===========================

Just as a side note: General James retired and died 3 weeks later of a heart attack. Sad end for a great man.

Chappie James came back to Colorado Springs to give a talk, had a heart attack, and died.

He was starting a campaign for Senator from Florida at the time. The only question was whether he was doing to declare as a Democrat or Republican. It was a sad day for the country that he died, instead.

He was the best public speaker I've ever heard--and yes, I saw and heard him speak live, both formally and informally. He was CINCNORAD/CINDAD, stationed at the Chidlaw Building, NORAD/ADCOM Headquarters at the time, during overlapping my service in Cheyenne Mountain--so he was directly in both my operational and administrative chains of command. When he was speaking formally, he seemd like the biggest, blackest man in existence--he had Presence, a lot of it, and was a fantastic public speaker. He spoke without cue cards, without teleprompter, without what looked like a wireless antenna that Schmuck appeared to have pasted on his back or inside his suit jacket at the last debate or two with Kerry....

The time I recall seeing him speak informally, was when he went off flying around the USA wishing the Air Defense units Merry Christmas, the day before.... I happened to be in Base Operations at Peterson AFB, the support base for both HQ NORAD/ADCOM and Cheyenne Mountain, and he was in there wishing a Merry Christmas to the base wienies. But he DIDN'T go up to the Mountain to show any appreciation for the people who had to WORK on their regular duty shifts, who didn't have Christmas Eve and Christmas off... that I considered somthing that should have been done. The rest of the Command was on skeleton crew, all the people who were adminstrative types were off-duty, all the mechanics and supply personnel [on call if need be], all the pilots except for those sitting alert, everyone but those running "mission essential" operations... the only time he and his staff went up to the Mountain was when they -had- to, when there was an exercise that required it, for example--and even then as many of the "Battle Staff" as could find a fighter squadron looking for an extra pilot to fly a fighter * in the exercise, even though they were SUPPOSED to be working at Battlestaff for CINCNORAD....
=====================

* add another shot at Schmuck here--they were F-106 Delta Dart pilots, which was what superseded the F-102 Delta Dagger--the Six was a redesigned Deucce--who were flying T-33s at Peterson, not F-106s, but had stayed enough current on the T-33s doing "proficiency flying" that they were able to go back out to F-106 squadrons and fly F-106s weeks or months out of an F-106 cockpit.... note that Schmuck has gotten himself grounded, even from T-33s....

#246 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2004, 08:23 AM:

I haven't had the TV on since at least noon on Tuesday. I was off-line from the net for at least 48 hours. I turned the volume on the clock-radio to below audible before I went to sleep, Tuesday night.

I didn't want to hear about Schmuck staying in Washington....

===================================

Bush won an election. He didn't win the divine right to rule. I'm a citizen of the United States. No one gets to rule me. I'll be busy reminding the government of that. You might consider doing the same.

Oh? Schmuck moved into the Big White House on Pennsylvania Avenue nearly four years ago with exactly that attitude. Louis le Dieu-donner felt no less empowered and mandated. Schmuck uses binary logic. One electoral vote more, mean Winner and to Schmuck that an absolute mandate makes -- Schmuck has said so. [don;t have the reference at hand I but he said he has a mandate from God to videocameras which records and broadcast it over the airwaves to be shown on a TV I was watching.

===========================

Just as a side note: General James retired and died 3 weeks later of a heart attack. Sad end for a great man.

Chappie James came back to Colorado Springs to give a talk, had a heart attack, and died.

He was starting a campaign for Senator from Florida at the time. The only question was whether he was doing to declare as a Democrat or Republican. It was a sad day for the country that he died, instead.

He was the best public speaker I've ever heard--and yes, I saw and heard him speak live, both formally and informally. He was CINCNORAD/CINDAD, stationed at the Chidlaw Building, NORAD/ADCOM Headquarters at the time, during overlapping my service in Cheyenne Mountain--so he was directly in both my operational and administrative chains of command. When he was speaking formally, he seemd like the biggest, blackest man in existence--he had Presence, a lot of it, and was a fantastic public speaker. He spoke without cue cards, without teleprompter, without what looked like a wireless antenna that Schmuck appeared to have pasted on his back or inside his suit jacket at the last debate or two with Kerry....

The time I recall seeing him speak informally, was when he went off flying around the USA wishing the Air Defense units Merry Christmas, the day before.... I happened to be in Base Operations at Peterson AFB, the support base for both HQ NORAD/ADCOM and Cheyenne Mountain, and he was in there wishing a Merry Christmas to the base wienies. But he DIDN'T go up to the Mountain to show any appreciation for the people who had to WORK on their regular duty shifts, who didn't have Christmas Eve and Christmas off... that I considered somthing that should have been done. The rest of the Command was on skeleton crew, all the people who were adminstrative types were off-duty, all the mechanics and supply personnel [on call if need be], all the pilots except for those sitting alert, everyone but those running "mission essential" operations... the only time he and his staff went up to the Mountain was when they -had- to, when there was an exercise that required it, for example--and even then as many of the "Battle Staff" as could find a fighter squadron looking for an extra pilot to fly a fighter * in the exercise, even though they were SUPPOSED to be working at Battlestaff for CINCNORAD....
=====================

* add another shot at Schmuck here--they were F-106 Delta Dart pilots, which was what superseded the F-102 Delta Dagger--the Six was a redesigned Deucce--who were flying T-33s at Peterson, not F-106s, but had stayed enough current on the T-33s doing "proficiency flying" that they were able to go back out to F-106 squadrons and fly F-106s weeks or months out of an F-106 cockpit.... note that Schmuck has gotten himself grounded, even from T-33s....

#247 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2004, 08:31 AM:

Taking the same extract (from unknown source) as a couple of others (CHip, Temperance) have
Epacris:If Democrats don't reach out their hands to the party in power then nothing they want will get done. Of course this has to work both ways.

Perhaps it can be interpreted better -- as others have said -- not so much reaching out to the hardened core of party operators, as trying to engage with voters who seem to be reachable, and perhaps (with the way your party/Congress system seems to work) some more 'reasonable' elected Republican representatives when voting on particular issues, or at local or State government levels.
Of course, the way of most hard-liners is to try and eliminate the middle as much as possible; they each are happiest railing against the extreme of the other side, e.g. Rabin & Gandhi both assassinated by "their own side", possibly Ulster examples I don't know.

Again, as others have said -- and we here in Australia have seen the debate 'code words' redefined and media taken over and votes decided on vague impressions in our recent election -- it's important to get things like "morals" to include things like "supporting, not destroying, the lives of the sick & their families" or "encouraging the poor, not blaming & punishing them" or "caring for our environmental support system, not trashing it for profit & leaving our children & theirs suffering the consequences", &c. Not to mention non-mendacious sex education as a step towards reducing unwanted pregnancies.

You can see a similar sort of debate on the letters page of my mostly 'liberal' Sydney broadsheet paper www.smh.com.au/letters/index.html (November 6th) Bush's moral values at odds with the traditional kind

PS: The future in Oz/US co-operation? Nothing agreed on US bomb testing: Defence. On a lighter note, our press has also been reporting the Canadian "Marry a US refugee" site too.

#248 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2004, 09:18 AM:

L. G. Booth, on another week I might be more charitable and less truthful, but right now I don't have the energy to waste. You're a self-important, mediocre intellect, and you don't even know what constitutes a solid argument, much less how to construct one. Stay or go; I don't care. But don't flatter yourself that you've been mistreated.

Reality matters. I'm done cosseting people who think sufficient indignation makes it otherwise.

#249 ::: Yoon Ha Lee ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2004, 10:01 AM:

apologies if someone else has pointed this out already--I *think* I've checked all the comments since last I stopped by, but it's possible I missed something.

Computer Loses 4,500 Votes
UniLect gives bogus information to North Carolina counties about the capacity of the company's electronic voting machines, and some voters' picks go ignored as a result. [Wired News]

#250 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2004, 10:17 AM:

Thanks, Yoon. You're right; no one's mentioned that yet.

#251 ::: sennoma ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2004, 11:10 AM:

Reality matters. I'm done cosseting people who think sufficient indignation makes it otherwise.

Amen to that.

I have been too willing to turn off and walk away from People Of Outrage, who then think that means they "won" something. No more: if they want to be offended, and they do want to be offended, then I'll give them something to be offended by.

#252 ::: Ken MacLeod ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2004, 05:03 PM:

Teresa, thanks for the link to . I needed the laugh, especially at this.

But seriously ... something has died. In the far future it may be recorded thus: In 2000 the last President and first Emperor took power in a bloodless coup, which four years later was endorsed in a rigged plebiscite. Though the forms of the Republic remained, they rapidly lost all substantial content, and ...

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