Thursday, November 18, 2004

Spector Confirmed

The difference between the Republicans and Democrats' campaign tactics:  Republicans woo the right wing vote by promising them the world and after they are elected, give them less than half of what they asked for.  Democrats court their base by repudiating the left wing and after they're elected, give them more than they expected.

Nevertheless, things are in a pretty sorry state when democrats can get excited about a moderate republican winning anything in congress.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Thomas Jefferson, Man of the Moment

Here's another quote from our third President.  Extremely appropros.

From a letter Thomas Jefferson sent in 1798 after enactment of the
Sedition Act. 

"A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over,
their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight,
restore their government to its true principles.  It is true that in
the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the
horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt . . . If
the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till
luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the
principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Stupid Factor

How many times have I heard this in the past three weeks: "How could so many Americans be so stupid?"  This phrase is used to reference hordes of irrational evangelicals voting against their economic self-interest in order to elect a president who agrees with their moral values on the the subject of guns, God and gays.  Sometimes I get so frustrated with my fellow democrats.  I am personally far right of left on many issues and thus not entirely politically correct on all liberal sacred cows.  So I have also felt the sting of being inferred stupid or ill-informed by rabid left wingers (only on e-mail, never face to face).  We do not do the Democratic party any service by calling Bush voters stupid, or chanting "dumb, dumber, dubya."  If we are to learn anything from this election it must be that eastern, intellectual power elites are anathema to the American public in the modern era (JFK not withstanding).  We must go back to our roots in order to appeal to the values that made our party and America great: Justice, Equality, Community.  We must look to our great hero: Thomas Jefferson.  "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."  notice that he didn't use any pseudo intellectual phrase there, like "a priori"  "...that all men are created equal."  We must appeal to fair-minded moderates that Democrats believe this.  That even if people are simple, or haven't gone to college, they can still have a warm spot in our party.  Amazingly, the Republicans even stole this from us in the last election: Dick Cheney saying "all Americans are free to engage in relationships of their choice."  Talk about big-tent politics. 

The truth of the matter is that many very intelligent, very well-informed and highly intellectual people voted for George W. Bush in this last election.  The Democrats need to parse their platform and strive to appeal again to the spirit of what makes our party great.  Why do we love it?  Why do rich Democrats love it so much that they vote against their economic self-interests?  Those are the questions we must ask ourselves.

Monday, November 15, 2004


Resurrection appears on my list of favorite movies.  On my list of favorite movies which have not yet been released on DVD it's near the top.  Ellen Burstyn gives an amazing, career defining performance as Edna Mae, a normal, everyday American housewife who has a near death experience and as a result, finds herself gifted by a strange new power of healing.  It isn't long before her powers become noticed by the public, and it quickly follows that the demands made upon her by the miserable become impossible.  On top of that, the good work she's done is mistrusted by Fundamentalists because she will not state that her powers come from God.  This film is a fascinating character study with a unique sensibility of the normal thrown into circumstances beyond belief, given vivid life by Burstyn and company. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

A Conservative Athiest

Christopher Hitchens, the Vanity Fair editorial columnist, is exactly the kind of moderate I like.  Though he no doubt voted for the one I despise, he takes the liberals to task for their whining; which, may I add, only plays into the hands of gloating blue-baiters.  I find his take on the perception of the Bush electorate as as bunch of knuckle-dragging theocrats intensely interesting.  Read his view on Slate.  Okay, so whining democrats have gotten a lot of air time, because a lot of people enjoy the misery of others.  See my Schadenfreude trope below.  Liberals have been taught to express their feelings, rather than suck it up and act like men.  Thus the craven reaction.  Once our collective pain is accepted however, we need to meet the challenge and reaffirm our principles: especially our economic principles, otherwise the US will certainly become a pluralistic society: of those who can afford to live here, and those who most assuredly cannot.

We Must Stand Firm

GWB: the unifier--just so long as you accept his point of view.  GWB compromiser: just so long as you compromise on his side of the issue.  GWB reaches out his hand: in order to take yours and drag you along on the path of his insane agenda.

We must stand firm.  We must resist.  We must oppose.  We cannot give up.  We cannot succumb to empty promises of unity that mean nothing other than "get out of the way."

The GOP knows this from experience.  Remember the elections of 1992?  Read this opinion piece from one of the Seattle Times columnists, Danny Westneat.  It is excellent and says so succinctly what I know to be true and what I feel in my gut to be true.

Friday, November 5, 2004

The Red Death

In this national debate over red states and blue states, I am reminded of the immortal words of Edgar Allan Poe, my hero, my American literary saint:

     THE "Red Death" had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever
     been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal --the redness
     and the horror of blood.
     And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come 
     like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-
     bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall.
     And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And
     the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death
     held illimitable dominion over all.

Thus have the majority of American voters spoken: "Do not change Horsemen in the middle of the Apocalypse."

Thursday, November 4, 2004

Voluntary Withdrawal

I'm going to sleep now...

I'm not going to pay any attention as the President of the United States (not *my* president) steamrolls his agenda with a barking, drooling congress who clusters around his feet like a pack of hounds and a Supreme Court comprised of right-wing sluts who are willing to rubber stamp his intractable agenda.  I'm not going to wring my hands and throw up, or become spiritually anorexic over what direction my country is headed.  Instead, I will become numb.  I will disengage.   Why?  Like Herman Melville's immortal character Bartleby it is because "I would prefer not to."  It is my coping mechanism.  Pardon me while I dissociate for the next four years.  But you must understand that this is a common reaction to trauma.  I will not fret about social security, though it will be a miracle if its coffin nails aren't hammered down during these next four years.  I will not agonize over the War, because although I confess I was somewhat gratified when we kicked Saddam's ass, perhaps it was, in retrospect, silly of me to hope that the American people would rebuke a president who leads us into war.  Clearly the majority of Americans favor it, or at least favor giving this president another chance to end it nobly.  I will solice myself with the knowledge that least a few of my dreams came true: Patty Murray returns to the senate, and the Green Line monorail will be built, which I can expect will improve my commute and property values. 

Others will have to gather what peace of mind they may from the shreds of Kerry's defeat.  But I have made mine.

And so, g'night.

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

One Hundred Days

So America opted for the guy who started an unnecessary preemptive war costing thousands of needless American casualties by lying about it and then ran the deficit to record numbers all because they were concerned with "Moral Values?"

I confess I simply don't understand.  I don't get it.  I heard a truly frightening prognostication this morning on the radio.  A journalist whose name was Susskind, I believe stated: "George Bush believes that when power is granted it is to be used forcefully.  You can either join him or get out of the way."  How depressing.  But also, how infuriating.  Then let this fury be the impetus for change.  Let GWB have his hundred days of peace.  Then let him have it.  Stand in his way at every single opportunity.  Hector him.  Harass him.  Make his policies stall out like an engine badly in need of an oil change.  Do not join him and DO NOT GET OUT OF HIS WAY!  Stand directly in his way and say, not in my name!

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

The Day has Finally Come

Election day.  Thank heaven above for time.  It's felt as though the past six weeks have been trapped in some kind of evil bubble of anti-time, as attack, smear, attack, twist, duck, strike back, attack, seems to have grown a perceptively timeless quality, a quality of interminability, endlessness, infinity.  When Bush loses today will he have the grace to say, "let's all stand firm behind President Kerry as he attempts to clean my plate?"  Time does not really exist other than in our perception of it, so I'm grateful when certain laws of the universe, of gravity, rotating planets and the passage of days, ultimately results in the arrival of that blessed event: It's Over With.

Now we can get past the carping and get on with our lives.