Election 2004 - Aftermath
November 03, 2004
Dan Gillmour: Four More Years

Dan Gillmour has written his usual classy piece on what another four years of the Shrub will mean for this country.

Except for his agreement that Kerry should have conceded in the beginning of the piece, it's a great one.

Four More Years


The Republicans have an even stronger congressional majority. They have shown how gladly ruthless they can be in using their power. Bush and his allies have never believed in compromise. They have even less incentive to govern from the middle now, even though the nation remains bitterly divided.

There's no secret about what's coming. We don't have that excuse this time.

Here comes more fiscal recklessness -- as we widen the chasm between the ultra-wealthy and everyone else, cementing a plutocracy into our national fiber, we'll pay our national bills on the Treasury Bill credit card for the next few years. Many economists expect a Brazil-like financial crisis to hit the U.S. before the end of the decade. If we muddle our way though the near term, we'll still have left our kids with the bill.

Here comes an expansion of the American empire abroad, a fueling of fear and loathing elsewhere on the globe. This is also unsustainable in the end. Empire breeds disrespect.

Our civil liberties will shrink drastically. This president and his top allies in Congress fully support just one amendment in the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment's right to bear arms. Say goodbye to abortion rights in most states. Roe v. Wade will fall after this president pushes three or four Scalia and Thomas legal clones onto the Supreme Court. Say hello, meanwhile, to a much more intrusive blending of church and state.

The environment? We'll be nostalgic for Ronald Reagan's time in office.

This is not sour grapes. This is reality.

I hope, but doubt, that the Democrats re-discover enough of their collective spine to block the most extreme moves. If they do it'll be a change for a party that stands for so little these days.

People say there are two Americas. I think there are at least three.

One is Bush's America: an amalgam of the extreme Christian "conservatives," corporate interests and the builders of the burgeoning national-security state.

Another is the Democratic "left": wedded to the old, discredited politics in a time that demands creative thinking.

I suspect there's a third America: members of an increasingly radical middle that will become more obvious in the next few years, tolerant of those who are different and aware that the big problems of our times are being ignored -- or made worse -- by those in power today.

That third America needs a candidate. Or, maybe, a new party.

Here is the complete article in case the link goes bad to:

http://weblog.siliconvalley.com/column/dangillmor/archives/010986.shtml#010986


November 03, 2004
Four More Years
posted by Dan Gillmor 07:18 AM
permanent link to this item

UPDATED

Kerry has conceded, properly so. And now we're onto the next four years.

The Republicans have an even stronger congressional majority. They have shown how gladly ruthless they can be in using their power. Bush and his allies have never believed in compromise. They have even less incentive to govern from the middle now, even though the nation remains bitterly divided.

There's no secret about what's coming. We don't have that excuse this time.

Here comes more fiscal recklessness -- as we widen the chasm between the ultra-wealthy and everyone else, cementing a plutocracy into our national fiber, we'll pay our national bills on the Treasury Bill credit card for the next few years. Many economists expect a Brazil-like financial crisis to hit the U.S. before the end of the decade. If we muddle our way though the near term, we'll still have left our kids with the bill.

Here comes an expansion of the American empire abroad, a fueling of fear and loathing elsewhere on the globe. This is also unsustainable in the end. Empire breeds disrespect.

Our civil liberties will shrink drastically. This president and his top allies in Congress fully support just one amendment in the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment's right to bear arms. Say goodbye to abortion rights in most states. Roe v. Wade will fall after this president pushes three or four Scalia and Thomas legal clones onto the Supreme Court. Say hello, meanwhile, to a much more intrusive blending of church and state.

The environment? We'll be nostalgic for Ronald Reagan's time in office.

This is not sour grapes. This is reality.

I hope, but doubt, that the Democrats re-discover enough of their collective spine to block the most extreme moves. If they do it'll be a change for a party that stands for so little these days.

People say there are two Americas. I think there are at least three.

One is Bush's America: an amalgam of the extreme Christian "conservatives," corporate interests and the builders of the burgeoning national-security state.

Another is the Democratic "left": wedded to the old, discredited politics in a time that demands creative thinking.

I suspect there's a third America: members of an increasingly radical middle that will become more obvious in the next few years, tolerant of those who are different and aware that the big problems of our times are being ignored -- or made worse -- by those in power today.

That third America needs a candidate. Or, maybe, a new party.

Comments

Posted by: Terry Heaton on November 3, 2004 07:34 AM

Kudos, Dan, on an excellent post. Sign me up for the new party -- seriously.

Posted by: ashusta on November 3, 2004 07:41 AM

"This is not sour grapes. This is reality."
I agree with much of what you say about the current fiscal insanity, and the fact that the middle class is going to get shafted.
However, if the election was clean (and it appears to be better than 2000 so far) then you need to acknowledge that the majority of Americans want all of those things you just decried.
They want the church to be funded by the state. They want to be poor. They want to send our military on foreign expeditions. They want a ruling elite made up of old-boy networks.
And that's fine, because this is after all a democracy and the people should be given what they want.
As for those of us who don't want those things, I guess we just need to move to countries that have parliamentary systems with proportional representation. Or, bide our time until the next election season when people have had a chance to reap the rewards of their choices and see how things stand then.

Posted by: Miles Baska on November 3, 2004 07:49 AM

Since the Repugnants are in control of Congress a Demo president would perhaps restore some balance. I shudder at the thought of Ms. Kerry in the White House, however.

Ben Sargent had a wonderful cartoon four years ago that seems even more appropriate now. Dorothy(the voter), the Scarecrow (Bush) and the Tin Man (Gore) are walking the Yellow Brick Road. Scarecrow says, "I wish I had a brain!"; Tin Man says, "I wish I had a heart!"; and Dorothy thinks, "I wish I had a choice."

Posted by: leon on November 3, 2004 08:06 AM

Something I keep reading in the UK and hearing from friends is that there is nothing that can be done now other than to build a stronger Europe to counter the US. What does everyone think of this idea?

Posted by: anonymous on November 3, 2004 08:16 AM

Face it there is a third nation already. It's capital is somepalce between San Francisco and Hollywood, and it's totally out of touch with the rest of America.

You guys wanted anybody but Bush and look who 51% of the American voters wanted.

And so much for the "get out the vote" strategy - Republican triuph again.

Have a great 4 years!

Sour grapes make bad whine...

Posted by: Al on November 3, 2004 08:24 AM

You're half right, it's not sour grapes, but it's not reality either. On every issue you mention, your statements are wrong or vastly overblown.

Fiscally, Kerry was advocating spending more than Bush. So you should be happy that Bush is in.

As is plainly obvious, we are not conquerers. This empire notion is idiotic. If your goal is for us to yield to the corrupt UN and the bribed Europeans, then I'm proud that we lead the way beyond these people.

ashusta commented about "a ruling elite made up of old-boy networks". Isn't this how the many of the leading countries that liberals look up to operate? In many countries , the government leaders are intertwined with major industries. You guys think it's bad here, go look elsewhere.

As for civil liberties, you guys are like Chicken Little. I agree that we need to be vigilant with regard to government powers, but I think you guys use this issue more for political gain versus it actually being a big problem.

Dan, your comment "Another is the Democratic 'left': wedded to the old, discredited politics in a time that demands creative thinking" is important. If this is what you were thinking, why couldn't you be more transparent and have told us?

At least you see that the Dem's are tied to the old playbook of scare tactics. But you do it yourself: empire building, civil liberties issues, the environment, the evil pharmacuetical companies, Big Oil, etc, etc. Everything you guys come up with is on the negative side of things; you guys have no ideas and offer people no hope. Part of it is because you guys don't seem to have and grounded base of beliefs that you'll stick to.

Another party isn't going to solve the Dem's problems because the Dem's problems are deeper.

Posted by: Rik Gary on November 3, 2004 08:25 AM

Let's take a deep breath folks. Bush has an ok, but not huge, lead in the House and Senate. Seems re-election is all but certain, with another thin margin. These are not the makings of some proto-fascist supermajority. Even if you assume the worst about the Bush administration, there's plenty of opposition out there to blunt any extreme moves.

My thinking is, that after all the trouble in Iraq, the administration has no hunger for more adventures abroad-- or at home. If President Bush tried appointing 1950-era Strom Thurmondites to the Supreme Court he'd have his head handed to him and he knows it.

Second terms are almost always more cautious than the first, and this one's had so much wind taken out of it that I doubt there'll be much appetite for many Horatio Hornblower adventures. Oppose the Bush administration if that's your wish, but working yourself into a lather leads to "Fahrenheit 9-11" styled rhetoric, and inevitable backlash.

Posted by: M1EK on November 3, 2004 08:31 AM

Third party again. Yay.

Until the mechanics of our electoral process are changed, the only thing third parties do is destroy the chances of the major party closest to them in ideology. This isn't the 1800s, where third parties could acquire electoral votes and then engage in horse-trading at the electoral college.

Posted by: David Weinberger on November 3, 2004 08:42 AM

Oprah in 2008.

You want to win with a radical center party that can pull votes from all sides?

Oprah in 2008.

Posted by: Bob B. on November 3, 2004 08:44 AM

This is exactly why Kerry lost - you are way overstating your case, and I think most people know it, and reject what they know to be overblown charges. The US is not creating an "empire". Lack of fiscal responsibility is a bi-partisan trait. We have not really lost any civil liberties, though I too worry abut this while the 'war on terror' is going on. But I doubt a Democrat would be any different.

I think that your rant is indeed sour grapes - we have had worse presidents (remember Nixon?) and we have survived. The pendulum always swings back the other way.

Posted by: Evo on November 3, 2004 08:46 AM

I suspect there's a third America: members of an increasingly
radical middle that will become more obvious in the next few
years, tolerant of those who are different and aware that the
big problems of our times are being ignored -- or made worse
-- by those in power today.

That third America needs a candidate. Or, maybe, a new party.

Gee... ya think? We need a shake up of the most severe kind, not at the higher eschelons of government, but with ourselves. Dems almost had it with Dean, but then they got scared. Too bad.

We need new ideas, not new programs. Fixing the Democrat party won't help. Candidates need to stand up for what they believe in and say things that not everyone is going to agree on. There are enough of us who would listen... eventually.

Posted by: john on November 3, 2004 08:48 AM

i think you are being a wee bit over dramatic about the end of the world, taliban style-US government in the lurking.

I know you're an editorial writer and you get paid to have opinions, but please try to be a little measured. These things go in cycle's and the one point we can all agree on is that Republicans are good for small businesses (which tend to be more community oriented).

The other issue i think we as a nation need to get more involved in is our communitied, people whine, bitch and complain about national issues (which have little impact on their lives), but then do NOTHING in their communities... Democrats take the next two years as a breather reorganize and figure out what you stand for (NOT against), Republicans enjoy it, but as they said in Rome to Ceasur as he was riding in hie chariot "you are not a god" - please don't let it go to your head...

there are huge issues that need to be tackled:
- social security
- medical insurance
- jobs
- GWOT

we need to fix these as a nation, otherwise we all will loose, j

Posted by: jazmac on November 3, 2004 08:48 AM

I think there's four Americas. I think the Neo-con power mongers use the rest of "Bush's America" as the raw materials to build its empire; but the vast Red State contingent has no clue that's what's happening. They believe the IMAGE of "Bush's America" but are ignorant - some willfully so - of the way they're being played. The neo-cons don't give a rat's patootie for the issues and causes the (apparent)masses believe are being represented by Bush.

Posted by: john on November 3, 2004 08:51 AM

both parties need fixing:
1. fix the gerrymadering problems across states
2. this will increase churn of people in congress (you know some folks have been there for almost 45 years ???? this is shocking) and make them less likely to be in the pockets of special interests
3. we need new ideas and people
j

Posted by: Hiram on November 3, 2004 08:53 AM

'For a successful solution of all these tasks, three conditions are required: a party; once more, a party; again, a party.'
-- L.D. Trotsky, The Revolution in Spain (1931)

A workers' party, that is. A revolutionary socialist party. Kerry lost because he's just another bourgeois with nothing to offer the vast majority of people in the USA.

Posted by: Dave on November 3, 2004 09:00 AM

We've tried third parties--and they don't work with the current electoral college system and with the current structure of the Senate and the House of Reps. Third parties are only viable in a parliamentary system. As to a more radical middle, I agree that the ranks of radicals will grow as things become worse, but they will not be tolerant. If you study the history of the Sixties, you see that when people are ignored after trying EVERY legal method to be heard, they become confrontational and eventually they become violent. Expect more protests and inevitible violence as frustration builds into rage.

Posted by: morden/al franken/question/query on November 3, 2004 09:01 AM

In line at the Ronald Reagan Building, for Bush's acceptance speech. The mood here is jubilant.

Four more years, and 55 Republican senators!

The largest vote for any President in American history.

The talk here is, that every American will get 20% or so of his Social Security taxes put into a investment account that the government can NEVER take away.

We can look forward to a completely recast tax system, with low and flat rates, with dramatic new incentives for savings.

We will all get cheap, affordable "high deductible" health care savings accounts.

Trial lawyer fees will be sensibly capped, and rapacious litigation will fade.

We'll see reinvigoration of free trade.

The Supreme Court will be recast for the next 25 years, putting aside once and for all the pretense that the institution is a group of philosopher kings, who should remake America into a far Left fantasy.

We'll see final victory in Iraq, a real solution to Israeli security, new and secure sources of oil -- enabling us to transition to the future hydrogen economy. There is talk about a renaissance of nuclear power, specifically "micro" generation.

No more demagoguery about WMD, Osama, and "explosives". No more poppycock about "two Americas".

The oppressive boot of Democrat policy on the American throat is history.

Join us.

Posted by: Micah on November 3, 2004 09:02 AM

The majority has spoken. Now you're set up for Hillary in 2008.

Posted by: Mark Crummett on November 3, 2004 09:15 AM

>... look who 51% of the American voters wanted.<

Yeah, but I'd call 49% a pretty significant number of Americans who DIDN'T want him. One percent is not exactly what I'd call a mandate from the people.

Posted by: Joe I. on November 3, 2004 09:16 AM

Bush, increased lead in Senate, House, Republicans take more governorships and state legislatures!! Wow it is a big WIN for the Republicans. All gay marriage ban proposals pass with huge majorities even in liberal Oregon! Talk about a united issue. No longer can people claim it divides American, it unites it apparently. Even in my state of Washington (it is real close by about 1,500 votes) but we are going to probably elect a very right wing governor Rossi. WOW.

Shows that I think the liberal Democrats screwed this for us that wanted Kerry. They needed the centrists like Clinton and me. Liberals and their 527's lost the election for Kerry!!!!

Posted by: Chris on November 3, 2004 09:17 AM

You left out so much. Despite the Dept of Homeland Security, this administration wants to shrink gov't. That's what the unfunded mandate is all about. We can kiss a lot of wonderful programs goodbye. Forget loosing Roe v Wade, look for Social Security to get privatized (Morden, the gov't won't take it away, but an economy in shambles sure as shit will, go ask enron employees,) and affirmative action to disappear. No child left behind will remain underfunded, leaving states and counties to cover the rest (the Bush league may not raise your taxes, but what choice will states and municipalities have?)

The Fed will decrease dramatically, and the replacements in four years will have a lot to fix. Maybe this is sour grapes, maybe it is exaustion mixed with a hangover, but it feels like there's no more energy for patriotism left. I'm going to go join some cheese eating surrender monkeys. At least the food is better over there.

C

Posted by: Sean on November 3, 2004 09:18 AM

We don't need another party: the Democrats need to start learning from the Republicans. What would they do if the roles were reversed?

Start working toward impeachment!

Posted by: Alex on November 3, 2004 09:18 AM

What a nightmare. Yesterday it was unimaginable to me, here in the UK, that you'd do anything less than kick Bush and co. out on their collective ear.

And what did you do? You have given him a mandate to continue butchering his way across the world, in the name of security, to put profit into the rich man's pocket.

I wish I could think of a place to go to try to escape what is going to happen in the next four years: more, and worse, exploitation of poor countries, a greater divide between rich and poor, and more corporate control of your media, resulting in an even more clueless electorate.

God help us.

Posted by: GHDDS on November 3, 2004 09:20 AM

So, does crow taste anything like chicken?

The fact of the matter is Kerry lost because he ran as a populist, never addressed the real issues that voters cared about and let Bush dictate the campaign.

Posted by: George on November 3, 2004 09:21 AM

Hiram, take a pill! I suggest you do NOT go out there and advocate the creation of a revolutionary socialist party, you might just end up disappeared.

It is hard not to be depressed, though. Four more years of Gruppenfuhrer Ashcroft, continuous (and ever-more meaningless) security alerts, emails scanned by government agents, pro-life Supreme Court Justices, deteriorating environmental standards and war with whomever doesn't agree with us. Whew!

But let's not lose sight of the fact that more people voted yesterday than ever before, and that the Supreme Court will not be deciding who will be President. Time for Democrats to do some self-examination. Time to look again at someone like Howard Dean, not afraid to take an anti-war position, not afraid to be called liberal.

Posted by: Ross M Karchner on November 3, 2004 09:22 AM

"The Third America Party" has a nice ring to it, in fact.

Posted by: Tim Robertson on November 3, 2004 09:23 AM

Well, America, you will now get what you deserve. No crying about it, this is what you wanted. Good luck to us all, we WILL need it.

Posted by: Ted Stapleton on November 3, 2004 09:24 AM

"...there is nothing that can be done now other than to build a stronger Europe to counter the US. What does everyone think of this idea?"

That just cracks me up... I can't stop laughing... sorry... build a stronger Europe... mmmmph...

Posted by: M1EK on November 3, 2004 09:24 AM

Republicans good for small bidness? Not from where I sit - no effective benefit from tax cuts, and the worst affected by health-care cost.

Posted by: Chris on November 3, 2004 09:28 AM

President Bush spent the last 6 months talking about what he was going to do if re-elected.

Senator Kerry spent the last 6 months talking about what Bush would do if re-elected.

Is it any wonder Bush won?

Posted by: Stan Krute on November 3, 2004 09:28 AM

Some thoughts:

[1] A 3rd party means GOP wins bigger.

[2] A Democratic party moving to the left
means GOP wins bigger.

[3] The Democrats didn't have anyone this
round who could beat Bush, other than
Edwards, who they would never have nominated.

[4] Simple wins. Subtle doesn't.

[5] People hate homosexuals, and are
unashamed about it.

[6] Supreme Court, environment, Empirism,
and the deficit are the saddest things
coming down the pike.

[7] Democrats need to spend some time
here in red-state-of-mind America, so they
understand what's going on.

Stan

Posted by: Rob on November 3, 2004 09:28 AM

Morden, before you crow too loudly about Bush getting the "largest vote for any President in American history", realize that this is a function of voter turnout. Kerry also got more votes in this election than Reagan did in '84.

As for your fantasy on the events of the upcoming four years, I think someone stayed up too late last night waiting for a victory speech.

Posted by: Voted 3rd Party on November 3, 2004 09:32 AM

"Yeah, but I'd call 49% a pretty significant number of Americans who DIDN'T want him"

And of those 49% who didn't want him, how many actually wanted Kerry?

Posted by: Avi Flax on November 3, 2004 09:38 AM

Count me in on that new party!

Posted by: Bob on November 3, 2004 09:40 AM

morden/al franken/question/query: Based on your predictions, I can only assume that you're already taking advantage of the Republicans' new Free Oxycontin Program.

Posted by: Ann's Cooter on November 3, 2004 09:43 AM

This time, not even Dan "The Sky is Falling" Gilmor can overstate the potential for disaster.

Posted by: Nathan on November 3, 2004 09:52 AM

What we need now, more than a new party, is a new _country_. Let them have this one, it's dead.

Posted by: Dean in Des Moines on November 3, 2004 09:52 AM

I was willing to consider your points, and offer some limited brain-cycles to reason through your claims - you didn't provide any links, proof, or logic so I was going to Google around a bit. But when you said "radical middle", I gave up. That's just nonsence.

Please, please, please give me a link for lawsuits currently filed against Bush or high-ranking cabinet member.

Show me when in our history a divided populace lead to demise.

Radical Middle - nonsence.

Posted by: engineer_scotty on November 3, 2004 09:55 AM

The Apogee of the Republicans

An incumbent president from Texas wins election to his second term in office. His opponent--a prominent Congressmen. His first term was marked by a grave national tragedy, and the involvement by the United States in a controversial foreign war (one ostensibly waged on behalf of the people there, who by and large wanted no part of the US). His party had dominated the Presidenency for an entire generation--other than a two-term administration by a moderate of the opposing party, whose VP subsequently lost a close election--and controls both houses of Congress. The president--whose first term already was marked with sweeping legislation that resulted in great social upheaval--plans even more massive changes in his second term. With control of Congress, it appears the opposition party is unable to stop him. There is talk of an enduring political dynasty being created, and that the other major political party might well be on its way to irrelevance.

George Bush, 2004?

Nope. LBJ, 1964.

What happened four years later? That same president left office in disgrace, and would be dead within five years. The war in Vietnam was well on its way to being the quagmire we all remember. And the unstoppable political juggernaut that was the Democrats in the 60s? Split into two different factions (the blue-dog dems and the "liberals"), who strongly distrusted each other and still do today. The other party, preying on this distrust, began the assimilation of many Democratic faithful into its ranks--a process which has been ongoing until now.

What does this have to do with 2004? It's amazing how many of the mistakes of LBJ have been repeated by this administration. From the machine politics, to the foreign misadventures, to the gross disregard of the opposition party's concerns, to the mistaken belief that being feared equates to being loved, George Bush is well on his way to being the Republican equivalent of LBJ. Of course, all could go well for Dubya--the Iraqi resistance could be smashed, the economy might boom, and Osama bin Laden's head might be mounted on a pike in the Oval Office. In which case this analogy would fail spectacularly. But I doubt it.

This election, due to the constant overreaching of this administration, might well mark the end of the current Republican era of dominance in US politics, just as the second Johnson administration was the apogee for the Democratic machine that was launched in 1932 with the election of FDR. The excesses of LBJ (many of which I agree with, but which prompted a huge backlash nonetheless) launched a rightward shift in US politics that has continued unabated since.

In short, if the Republicans are not careful, this election could be the end of the current conservative era; not the beginning. But you wouldn't know it from reading the paper (or the blogs, or listening to talk radio or watching the TV) today in 2004.

Just like you wouldn't have known what was about to come in 1964.

engineer_scotty

Posted by: Tony on November 3, 2004 09:56 AM

"They have even less incentive to govern from the middle now, even though the nation remains bitterly divided."

Dan, you forgot that Daschle was thrown out of office. Now, we finally have conditions to increase unity.

"This is not sour grapes. This is reality."
No,no,no... it's sour grapes

Posted by: stevesgt on November 3, 2004 10:01 AM

People like "morden/al franken/question/query" always fail to mention the one area in which Bush's policies have done by far the most damage: the environment.

They're leading us, in blissful ignorance, to life on a poisoned, uninhabitable rock within our children's lifetime.

Think that's overly dramatic?

The latest word on climate change is that with the uncovering of sequestered carbon in the arctic by melting ice sheets, the rate of climate change will increase, not decrease. There's a positive feedback loop in place now, and it will take even more to counteract it. Without added forests, greenbelts, and estuaries, there won't be adequate photosynthetic activity to counteract the increased burning of fossil fuels. We could see 20 foot rises in ocean level in 50 years. Dan could be going to his office in San Jose by boat.

Ask yourself this: Why has the Bush administration fired scientists who won't write biased papers to support the administrations pro-industry agenda? Why have lobbyists for energy and chemical companies been put in charge of our environmental protection, our public lands, especially our parks and precious remaining wilderness areas?

A: The large corporations, who owe no aliegance to any particular people of the world, are perfectly willing to corrupt the political system to boost their short-term profits, with no regard for our long-term welfare. You don't have to work for any multi-national corporation for very long to see how that happens.

Perhaps the religeous right foolishly believe that god will take their faithful to heaven in the next four years, leaving the rest of us rot in a planet increasingly like Venus. It appears that their blissful ignorance, their reliance on one ancient book as the source of all truth, has made them sheep, lead by myopic executives with only quarterly profits in mind. They've blissfully carried us closer to our own destruction.

What we really need in technology policy is the principle that no costs be externalized. Companies and individuals must be responsible for the polution they create, the resources they extract, the health risks they cause. Tech policy should be based on true capitalism where products and services actually have to include the costs to the commons, not government subsidies to extractive and environmentally exploitive industries.

Posted by: Dewayne Hendricks on November 3, 2004 10:07 AM

Very well said, Dan! You did a great job at expressing how I find myself thinking this morning. While I didn't get any sleep any sleep last night, I arose this morning with a new perspective on things and ready to start a journey to find that undiscovered country we now find ourselves in.

See you at the 'Accelerating Change' conference at Stanford later this week. Perhaps we can really make some real progress on just what changes out there need to be accelerated.

Posted by: Steve K on November 3, 2004 10:08 AM

9/11 was obviously an inside job. It's time to try Bush and co. for crimes against this country.

Posted by: sbw on November 3, 2004 10:12 AM

Dan,

Please don't give up in despair. There may yet be hope:

"While some see this election as a continuation of the deep cultural and ideological divides which surfaced in the 2000 race, that is not necessarily so. Reflecting on the near 50-50 split election, people can view the country two ways: 1) Voters gathered around the poles at the left and right extremes, or, 2) Voters gathered near the center seeing problems similarly but differing about how to solve them."

See: http://blogs.rny.com/sbw/stories/storyReader$197 , 2004 Election Aftermath, for an outside the valley analysis.

Regards/Stephen

Posted by: Will on November 3, 2004 10:31 AM

History is full of examples where decisions based on fear will lead to fearful, unintelligent results. I think Dan is right that we'll see drastic changes in four more years with the "Patriot" act being an indication of how civil liberties will be treated (perhaps "discarded" is the better word). Questions arise as to if or how long it will take for the environment to recover from the plundering it will sustain. Unfortunately, we'll see this in the short term while the longer term multi-trillion dollar bill will be left to our children and grandchildren. The nation has failed their future... The hope lies in them being wiser than those who will have handed them these problems. After all, the nation has seen "true" uniters at key times in our history. Who knows, perhaps another Abraham Lincoln is being born today. There is always hope...

Posted by: DonnieBnyc on November 3, 2004 10:37 AM

I blame everything on Lincoln. He should have let the south secede.

Posted by: Max on November 3, 2004 10:46 AM

Dan talked of a "third america" ... yes indeedy, there IS a Third America:

http://www.culturalcreatives.org/

http://www.lightparty.com/Misc/DiscoveringCultural.html

http://members.aol.com/wrfr/why.htm

http://wrir.org/x/modules/xoopsfaq/index.php?cat_id=1#q7

And I think that the progressives of today are in exactly the same position that the Right was in the 1960s ... the question is, will Progressives learn the lessons of what worked for those Retroactives in the 1960s ? A thirty year effort to come back in from the Wilderness has paid off BIG yesterday. Will the progressives learn? I believe one way we will know is if TV watching by progressives drops dramatically. TV literally takes less energy and imagination than eating ... TV sucks people into a kind of SOMA so if someone doesn't like the current mess and then sits down in front of a TV to veg instead of DOING SOMETHING, then they have no-one to blame. The Retros in the 1960s took a long view 'no prisoner' attitude and girded themselves to have discipline and think how they could resist the Federal Government intrusions into their lives, and now its the Progressives turn to feel the same way.

Posted by: Dan Wood on November 3, 2004 10:46 AM

Lets start talking...
http://thenewparty.blogspot.com
newparty@gmail.com

Posted by: Camilo on November 3, 2004 10:47 AM

O agree with you, Jon: a new party definitely needs to arise: The promise of the Dems has gotten thin, its actual ability almost nonexistent. Four more years of Bush were unthinkable a few months ago, and right now the future looks grim. You can kiss goodbye your civil liberties, your advanced thinking, your uncompromised science: Under Bush, we will have theologically appointed doctrine instead of knowledge, and ideology and opinions instead of facts.
The USA has become a dictatorship and its people do not even notice.

Posted by: Al on November 3, 2004 10:48 AM

Voted 3rd Party: remember that Clinton never got 50% of the vote. He was close, but no cigar.

As for now, 51.5% of the vote was for Bush and it was a 3.5 million vote spread.

If Bush had received a few more percentage points, it could be called a rout by historic terms. (I think Reagan had 58% of the vote against Mondale.)
In any event, it's a convincing victory.

Posted by: Al on November 3, 2004 10:52 AM

One other thing, even in lefty California, Bush got 44% of the vote and Kerry got 55%. I thought Kerry would get 60%.

Posted by: Bob on November 3, 2004 11:03 AM

Al writes: If Bush had received a few more percentage points, it could be called a rout by historic terms.

And if a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his tuchas.


Posted by: M. Mortazavi on November 3, 2004 11:06 AM

I'm afraid you may not be seeing or taking in the full picture. See http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/MortazaviBlog/20041103#moral_values_economy_and_war , particularly the link to the radical analysis http://www.counterpunch.com/cockburn11032004.html , and it may clear matters a bit. What we have in America is a one-sidedness and an atrophy of moral discourse in politics, testified by the fact that the major contender dares not speak of the immorality of a war of aggression but criticizes only its execution. Democrats' main objection to Bush has always been formulated in utilitarian terms (familiar to the left-liberals). However, large numbers of people voting for and against Bush are doing so because of their moral values, which have nothing to do with utilitarianism.

Posted by: Marianne Mueller on November 3, 2004 11:14 AM

I suggest we call it the Resistance.

Posted by: Jim M on November 3, 2004 11:23 AM

We need a Tommy Douglas. http://www.weyburnreview.com/tommydouglas/welcome.html

You can listen to him telling the story of Mouseland here http://www.saskndp.com/history/mouseland.html.

It's the story of a place called Mouseland. Mouseland was a place where all the little mice lived and played, were born and died. And they lived much the same as you and I do.

They even had a Parliament. And every four years they had an election. Used to walk to the polls and cast their ballots. Some of them even got a ride to the polls. And got a ride for the next four years afterwards too. Just like you and me. And every time on election day all the little mice used to go to the ballot box and they used to elect a government. A government made up of big, fat, black cats.

Now if you think it strange that mice should elect a government made up of cats, you just look at the history of Canada for last 90 years and maybe you'll see that they weren't any stupider than we are.

Now I'm not saying anything against the cats. They were nice fellows. They conducted their government with dignity. They passed good laws--that is, laws that were good for cats. But the laws that were good for cats weren't very good for mice. One of the laws said that mouseholes had to be big enough so a cat could get his paw in. Another law said that mice could only travel at certain speeds--so that a cat could get his breakfast without too much effort.

All the laws were good laws. For cats. But, oh, they were hard on the mice. And life was getting harder and harder. And when the mice couldn't put up with it any more, they decided something had to be done about it. So they went en masse to the polls. They voted the black cats out. They put in the white cats.

Now the white cats had put up a terrific campaign. They said: "All that Mouseland needs is more vision." They said:"The trouble with Mouseland is those round mouseholes we got. If you put us in we'll establish square mouseholes." And they did. And the square mouseholes were twice as big as the round mouseholes, and now the cat could get both his paws in. And life was tougher than ever.

And when they couldn't take that anymore, they voted the white cats out and put the black ones in again. Then they went back to the white cats. Then to the black cats. They even tried half black cats and half white cats. And they called that coalition. They even got one government made up of cats with spots on them: they were cats that tried to make a noise like a mouse but ate like a cat.

You see, my friends, the trouble wasn't with the colour of the cat. The trouble was that they were cats. And because they were cats, they naturally looked after cats instead of mice.

Presently there came along one little mouse who had an idea. My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea. And he said to the other mice, "Look fellows, why do we keep on electing a government made up of cats? Why don't we elect a government made up of mice?" "Oh," they said, "he's a Bolshevik. Lock him up!" So they put him in jail.

But I want to remind you: that you can lock up a mouse or a man but you can't lock up an idea.

Posted by: axel maser on November 3, 2004 11:26 AM

today i am glad not to be american.
glad to be an old european, and looking forward
to regime change in the us, one way or the other.

americans can no longer claim they didn't know
what they were in for.

america has to change itself radically or others will do the changing for it.

americans beware, bring a flak-jacket when you leave the
land of the formerly free, you will have no choice than be brave
and no one to blame but yourselves.

seasons greetings axel maser

Posted by: RIGHT coast on November 3, 2004 11:32 AM

Hey Dan - ever consider the fact that YOU MIGHT BE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY? Just asking...

Enjoy the next 4 years. I know I will!

Posted by: MD on November 3, 2004 11:36 AM

"At least you see that the Dem's are tied to the old playbook of scare tactics"

WHAT? The GOP's ENTIRE campaign was based on scare tactics. Bush had nothing to run on, so Rove and Co. had to resort to scaring people away from Kerry. For a Bush supporter to accuse the Dems of scare tactics would be funny if it weren't so frighteningly out of touch with reality... which seems to describe a lot of Bush supporters.


"we have had worse presidents (remember Nixon?) and we have survived."

Nixon worse? If you take the criminal acts of Watergate out of the equation, there's no comparison -- Bush has been one of the worst presidents this country has ever had. NOTHING is better off in the U.S. than it was four years ago. The economy, national security, the environment, foreign relations, health care, education... you name it, it's worse now than it was then. Yet people buy into the GOP's scare campaigns about terrorism, higher taxes, etc. -- most of it flat-out false -- and re-elect the guy who has screwed up more things in four short years than anyone thought possible.


"Dan, you forgot that Daschle was thrown out of office. Now, we finally have conditions to increase unity."

Exhibit #1 in why Bush won: people who buy the GOP's rhetoric hook, line, and sinker. Daschle has been portrayed by the GOP as a "divider" and as someone who has created gridlock. But the facts are (1) He's nowhere NEAR as bad in these areas as the GOP was under Clinton (which was the worst it's been in modern times); and (2) these accusations are mainly the same old Rovian "exaggerate your opponent's flaws and create a false image about them" tactics. For any GOP supporter to claim that a Democrat is a divider or responsible for Congressional gridlock is the height of hypocrisy.

Posted by: FEAR on November 3, 2004 11:37 AM

Homophobia, Xenophobia, Racism. Fear won, as it usually does.

Posted by: Ross M Karchner on November 3, 2004 11:39 AM

Maybe this is a good starting point?

http://www.ibiblio.org/spc/tp96/cgd.html

Posted by: theodore on November 3, 2004 12:04 PM

America is screwed. Part of me really does not care that Bush won. Luckily I have the type of skill set that makes me employable internationally. Sure someone may argue to me, "Go ahead leave". Such a response makes my point. Many of those who voted for Kerry are some of the most highly skilled workers of this country, who can be employed outside the US, while many of those who suppported Bush don't have such a skill set. I would rather make my fortunes abroad than wait for a Brazil style economic collapse to hit the US. I love this country, but we are headed down a road that, in my opinion, the majority of the US has not fully considered the ramifications of following.

Good Luck!!

Posted by: JamesJayToran on November 3, 2004 12:08 PM

"I suspect there's a third America: members of an increasingly radical middle that will become more obvious in the next few years, tolerant of those who are different and aware that the big problems of our times are being ignored -- or made worse -- by those in power today."

As tolerant as the power-mavens and thoughtless-leaders in Tech?

Like Shelley Powers, who rarely comes outta her shell except to do her Joan of Arc shtick..

Like you, in this post.

You wouldn't know the middle if it hit you in the face, which I just did... I'll spare you the additional post I was going to do over @The Scobleizer, because you are so deluded you couldn't even understand the words..

..let alone the point(s) I was getting at.

You would need to learn some no small number of things about BEING TOLERANT, before you'd even be able to RECOGNIZE it, as well as IT.

Posted by: JamesJayToran on November 3, 2004 12:11 PM

Link to The Scobleizer: http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/2004/11/02.html#a8566

Btw, you should update your picture, Dan Gillmor. The cognitive dissonance is palpable. As is Shell's post at Doc W's, who is apparently NOT too depressed to blog.

Like he COULD stop even if he actually wanted to.

Posted by: mossholderm on November 3, 2004 12:12 PM

What the Dems need is a breeding and brainwashing program. Then they can have just as many members are the Republicans! ;)

Posted by: engineer_scotty on November 3, 2004 12:36 PM

Changing demographics...

One issue for the Democrats, whichever way they decide to lean, is that there has been a significant population shift to the red states. In 2000, Gore got 265 or so EVs. The same set of states would have been only worth 260 EVs to Kerry, due to restricting. A majority of the US population, it seems, is conservative or has conservative leanings. There still remains a set of swing voters that can be persuaded to go either way; but they have increasingly voted for Republicans--or third parties (ie the Reform Party in 92 and 96).

Unless some major demographic shift brings them new voters, Democratic (or 3rd-party) prospects at the national level will require bringing some of the Republican core back into the Democratic fold. Clinton had some success appealing to economic conservatives with the "new democrat" agenda, but he was aided a great deal by the presence of Ross Perot. And--he thorougly enraged the left wing of the Democratic Party, many who responded by going for Nader in 2000. Kerry tried the opposite tactic; of appealing to the economic self-interest of lower-income Republicans, but that didn't work either (many of them considered moral issues, as well as terrorism, more important concerns than jobs and healthcare). The left didn't much like Kerry either, but jumped on his bandwagon anyway because they thought W was so awful. Expect much debate within the Democrats wherein the various factions blame each other for losing the election. Some will accuse Kerry of moving too far to the right (and not firmly challenging Bush in issues like Iraq); others will respond that a Dean-like candidate would have been beaten by a wider margin. (Both arguments have merit).

So, given that... what to do? A couple of ideas.

1) Wait. Bush now has a green light to continue his policies; if they are as ruinious as the Dems claim (i.e. continuing gap between rich and poor, more bodybags coming home from Iraq), I suspect the Republicans will experience a major correction in 2008 (see previous post). Bush was given the benefit of the doubt this time around; but the public is already growing restless of the war in Iraq.

2) Work on dividing the religious right/big business axis. During the Civil Rights Movement, the "liberal" churches were a major social force in advancing and articulating public morality; today that role seems to have been abdicated to the conservative church, which ignores issues of social justice altogether and instead focuses on issues like gays and abortion. But there is much in the Bible which denounces (indirectly) the economic and foreign policies of the current regime.

3) Recruit new leaders from places other than the Senate. Daschle losing may have been a blessing in disguise; it means one less retread Senator worrying about his next Presidential run as opposed to voting his conscience. (Daschle's political career is probably over--though expect Gephardt, Harkin, and a few others to try again in '08). The Republicans have had great success turning actors into politicians; surely the Dems could do better than Reagan and Ahnold?

4) Reclaim the liberal legacy. Right now, the "l" word is a profanity in American political discourse. It conjures up images of wishy-washy pseudo-intellectuals, more interested in abstract political theory than in the lot of ordinary Americans. It should conjure up the image of someone who will fight for the common man. After all, commen men and women dominate the electorate.

5) Go into hostile territory. Both candidates largely ignored states not considered "in play". But what would happen were Kerry (or another Democratic nominee) to actually go to Idaho or Mississippi and talk to the voters? At a minimum, such would reduce the ability of the Republicans to carciture Democrats as effectively as they do now.

6) Strategy, not tactics. Democrats seem to worry about the next election--and whenever they lose, there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth (and pointing of fingers). The Republicans have demonstrated much greater ability to plan long term.

Posted by: j. Huntress on November 3, 2004 12:39 PM

Thanks for your fine comments. The third party must be formed by the young with a vision of how to better lives in the 21st Century. Truly hoping we don't have another Bush ruler so that next election we can learn to recognize the problems of the entire world and HELP.

Posted by: Ankur Vakil on November 3, 2004 12:51 PM


Word! It really hasnt settled in yet....

Posted by: step back on November 3, 2004 01:00 PM

U.S. Democrats are in shock.
How did this happen?
We won all the intellectual arguments.
We won all three debates.
And yet 51% of America pulled the lever the other way.
How did this happen?

Europeans be aware.
You are next.
Karl Rove (Bush's campaign manager) has proven that mind control works over the mass media.

The Mixed Messages Machine succeeded. Rove plucked all the strings like a master musician. Some call it "the politics of fear". They understand a small part, but not the whole thing. The battle field is not at the intellectual level but rather at the level of the lower brain folds: the limbic brain and the reptilian brain.

Step #1: Create an amorphous enemy.
(They are everywhere. I see them all the time. They want to harm you. They have weapons of mass destruction.)

Step #2: Threaten the children.
(Mothers be afraid. Be very afraid. The amorphous enemy wants to harm your children)

Step #3: Build artificial cages.
(They hate our freedoms.)
(Homeland defense will protect you.)

Step #4: Flash colorfull lights.
(Code Orange, code red, spin & off balance)

Step #5: Cast yourself as the only true savior.
(Who ya gonna trust? Only I am strong and steadfast enough to save you and the children, the babies, the embryos from the harm that is out there. I have God's blessing on me.)

Step #6: Use repetition and harmonic resonance to drill those mixed messages deep down to the limbic and reptilian levels. Bypass the cerebral cortex. What it thinks, matters not.

cc: Compassionate Conservative
ff: Flip Flop
hh: Harbor Hate
hh: Heart of Hearts
ll: Love Life
bb: Bunker Busters
mm: Mixed Messages
ss: Shifting Sands
tt: TerrorisT ThreaT

Got a cerebral cortex? Try turning it back on.

It's too late. You are the Manchurian Voter.

Posted by: Sina on November 3, 2004 01:01 PM

Today,I weep for America,Not only America,I weep for our planet.

Posted by: wah on November 3, 2004 01:08 PM

Nice post, Dan.

One is Bush's America: an amalgam of the extreme Christian "conservatives," corporate interests and the builders of the burgeoning national-security state.

Just think how happy we will all be when we pay taxes to corporations instead of the government. Woohoo fixing social security by dumping taxes into the market will work great, because corporations REALLY want us to be FREE.

It's on their charter...isn't it?

Posted by: engineer_scotty on November 3, 2004 01:10 PM

One more thing....


The way to convince the Bush voters to vote for progressive causes is **NOT** to tell them they are stupid. As cathartic as it may be, suggesting that the red-state voters cast ballots because they did because they are mindless sheep, etc... is about as productive as the claims from the right that progressives are traitors/agents of Satan/etc.

Posted by: wah on November 3, 2004 01:25 PM

---The way to convince the Bush voters to vote for progressive causes is **NOT** to tell them they are stupid.---

This is true. Do what Bush has done. Lie to them. But do it with a smile and an Orwellian edge.

Ugg, not much of a solution, IMHO. Personally I prefer EXPLAINING why Christ said that attacking people who didn't attack you or pose a real threat to your life never makes anyone safer.

Posted by: eli on November 3, 2004 01:30 PM

Hoy es un d�a triste me acabo de enterar de la "victoria" de Bush en las eleciones.

Posted by: standa on November 3, 2004 01:47 PM

from http://www.andrewsullivan.com

A MANDATE FOR CULTURE WAR: What we're seeing, I think, is a huge fundamentalist Christian revival in this country, a religious movement that is now explicitly political as well....As blue states become more secular, and red states become less so, the only alternative to a national religious war is to allow different states to pursue different options. That goes for things like decriminalization of marijuana, abortion rights, stem cell research and marriage rights. Forcing California and Mississippi into one model is a recipe for disaster. Federalism is now more important than ever. I just hope that Republican federalists understand this. I fear they don't.

Posted by: engineer_scotty on November 3, 2004 01:48 PM

The Good News:

And now, the good news from the election:

1) The turnout was amazing. Unfortunately for the Democrats, the turnout was amazing for both sides. But an interested electorate is always better than a disinterested one.

2) It is highly unlikely that any new foreign misadventures will be embarked on. Barring an attack on US soil, there isn't going to be support in Congress for invading anybody else. Even many in the President's own party are regretting the decision to authorize force.

3) Had Kerry won--Iraq would have become the Democrat's problem. (And unfortunately, I don't think Kerry had a better plan then "maybe France and Germany will help my administration, because unlike Dubya, I haven't spent the last four years giving them the finger".) Now, it remains a Republican problem; if the quagmire continues there will be nobody else to blame.

4) Three fewer Democratic senators worrying about their next presidential run. Part of the reason that the Dem's have been such a feckless opposition party is that far too many of them were worrying about how their votes would play in swing states--Kerry's votes on Iraq being a prime example. Many of them, I think, voted for war precisely because a vote the other way would have doomed instantly their chances at the White House. (Compare that with Ted Kennedy, who having lost to Carter in 1980 is no longer considered a White House prospect--and thus is in a position to vote however he pleases).

5) Barak Obama. (How soon before some right-wing talk-show host starts replacing the "b" in his last name with an "s"?)

6) The Dems did fight back, unlike 2002 when they hid in the corner. They still lost, but looked much more impressive in their effort.

Posted by: Abandoned by both parties on November 3, 2004 01:48 PM

This nation needs some statesmen and few politicians ... in both of the major parties.

Both parties pander to their fringes. And neither one represents most Americans' views. So we're left choosing between the lesser of two evils.

Until that happens, my vote will go to third party candidates as a form of protest.

Posted by: standa on November 3, 2004 01:53 PM

How could Zogby's exit polling show a CONSISTANT MISS of 3 - 6% ( or higher ) in ALL 20 Battleground states except for 1 PA ?

Clue: when Karen Hughes appeared on CNN and began spinning that the exit polls being done by their people showed what the results would later be and they were different from those everyone else had. In other words it was get it out front that the Republicans had the only polls that mattered and everyone else was wrong. Amazing it was best exemplified in the 2 states where Diebold and Jeb Bush 'guaranteed' victory. All that was needed in "hacked" or "gamed" machines is a margin for Bush - who would be the wiser.

BTW, in Nevada (the ONLY state with across-the-board verifiable paper records) the exit polling most closely matches the actual vote.

Battleground States from http://www.zogby.com and final results from CNN.com.

Arizona
Zogby had it +6% for Bush
Final +11% for Bush

Arkansas
Zogby had it +3% for Bush
Final +9% for Bush

Colorado
Zogby had it too close to call
Final +7% for Bush

Florida
Zogby had it +.1% for Kerry and trending Kerry
Final +5% for Bush

Iowa
Zogby had it +5% for Kerry
Final +1% for Bush

Michigan
Zogby had it +6% for Kerry
Final Result +3% for Kerry

Minnesota
Zogby had it +6% for Kerry
Final +3% for Kerry

Missouri
Zogby had it +3% for Bush
Final +8% for Bush

Nevada
Zogby had it too close to call
Final +3% for Bush

New Hampshire
Zogby had it +5% for Kerry
Final +1% for Kerry

New Mexico
Zogby had it +3% for Kerry
Final +1% for Bush

North Carolina
Zogby had it +3% for Bush
Final +13% for Bush

Oregon
Zogby had it +10% for Kerry
Final Result +5% for Kerry

Ohio
Zogby had it +2% for Bush but trending Kerry
Final +2% for Bush

Pennsylvania
Zogby had it trending Kerry
Final Result +3% for Kerry

Tennessee
Zogby had it +4% for Bush
Final +14% for Bush

Virginia
Zogby had it slight edge for Bush
Final +8% for Bush

Washington
Zogby had it +10% for Kerry
Final +7% for Kerry

West Virginia
Zogby had it +4% for Bush
Final +14% for Bush

Wisconsin
Zogby had it +6% for Kerry
Final +1% for Kerry

FINAL THOUGHTS ?

1. Could Karl Rove have pulled off a well disguished evoting fraud without a paper trail ) across ALL BATTLEGROUND STATES ?

2. Could a scenario like this have been even was considered by Kerry/Edwards ?

3. If so, Karl Rove can simply say says PROVE IT or concede and perhaps we'll work something out.

ps: also see http://tinyurl.com/3q99r

A poster at Democratic Underground did the SCREEN CAPTURES of the now missing exit poll data from the CNN site both before and after they "altered them". He then constructed a clever MATH PROOF how the eVoting FRAUD was done in the battleground states with out paper audit trails. There is a consistant 5% edge for GWB.

Posted by: jirji biernvel on November 3, 2004 01:55 PM

It is official now.
America is the enemy.

The rest of the world
will act accordingly.

Posted by: conrad on November 3, 2004 01:57 PM

i've thought during the recent campaign that a party restructuring was imminent. the center of the democrats and the republican "realists". parties die and are born in america. remember the whigs? in retrospect, if kerry had chosen gephardt as running mate, might he have carried missouri and perhaps ohio?

Posted by: Bob McKeand on November 3, 2004 02:16 PM

In the name of Gandhi and MLK: RESIST

Or, leave the usOFa like I will be doing!

Posted by: nondezkrypt on November 3, 2004 02:20 PM

I doubt this would ever happen, but with many old-guard Republicans having been left behind after their party was hijacked by fundamentalist religious zealots and neocons, it would be interesting to see the Repubs fragment. There are many fiscally conservative Republicans who are very at odds with the administration. A new Conservative party would be palatable to many run-of-the-mill Republicans and likely be well financed.

Posted by: Amentoraz on November 3, 2004 02:21 PM

It is a dreadful day.

How many Polands will the United States invade before we notice?

Posted by: Pat on November 3, 2004 02:32 PM

Should we not use the energy generated by this emotional and divisive election to act on one issue upon which all can agree-the securing of the nuclear weapons in the former soviet union? From what I understand, the legislation is in place, but it has not been funded. Perhaps Move On and some of the internet communities could begin a campaign to force our legislators to get this done.

Posted by: Markle on November 3, 2004 02:46 PM

I was very struck by this comment on /.:

http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=128217&cid=10709464 It summarises the intense polarization we currently have. Read it if you have the patience.

Posted by: owen on November 3, 2004 02:49 PM

The historian in me appreciates the parallels to LBJ and laments the parallels to 'tween-wars Germany. The election showed that pandering to the lowest elements in our national character -- fear, prejudice and greed -- can be successful if brilliantly packaged. As many have noted, all the elements of Kerry's failure to convince America were predicted months ago...complexity, intellectualism, elitism, party orthodoxy, lack of a positive alternative.

Where I part company is the suggestion of a third party. The two party system is so fundamentally part of our legislative, political and historical foundations that I doubt a third party can ever be more than a distraction that divides opponents of the status quo. To defeat the unholy alliance of greedy industries, conservative Christian churches and powerful right-wing demagogues can only be accomplished if the Democratic party regains vision and courage, and if the disaffected moderate elements of the Republican party can begin bringing it back towards its roots of economic prudence, limited central government, respect for individuals and rule of law.

The damage that will be done to the legal, natural and economic environments in the next four years will take generations to undo unless thoughtul Americans move from handwringing to positive change to restore America to greatness, which is a far different thing from power.

It will not be sexual misconduct or lack of wealth that will bring down the American version of the Roman empire...it will be an excess of power and a shortage of wisdom and character.

Posted by: mike arauz on November 3, 2004 02:50 PM

there is indeed a third alternative.

the problem is that we don't realize how many of us there are and how powerful we can be.

check out this paper by sociologist Paul H. Ray, author of Cultural Creatives.

go here -
http://culturalcreatives.org/thoughts.html

and click on - 'The New Political Compass'

unfortunately it's pretty outdated, but i think that the most fundamental arguments still hold true.

we've got to spread the word.

Posted by: JamesJayToran on November 3, 2004 02:57 PM

"It is official now.
America is the enemy."

"The rest of the world
will act accordingly."

Thanks for getting this word out, Dan Gillmor, Dave Winer, Doc Searls, David Weinberger, Halley Suitt, BurningBush, Seth Godin, Robert Scoble, Jeff Jarvis, (what they call a True Repugnantcan...;-), Britt Blaser, the Sifry Brothers, and NOT the least the last but not least AKMA, Unka Frankie the Pseudo-Pascifists and Liz Lawley and Mr. John Perry Barlow and all your all's friendz at the EFF protecting our Freedoms, meaning their own freedoms while they exclude those like mine, a True semi-Liberal...

Btw, I didn't mean (and didn't) imply that ALL of these folks have banned me from replying to their inanities... Perhaps coincidently, perhaps not, most have.

To name a few of the bloggers who got all-a us right where we are.

Problem is, that word already WAS out.

It's called scapegoatism, and the sheep buy in.

"Engineer_Scotty" @ 12:36pm

You got a name?

1) Right. Excuse me, I guess that'd be left, now... Anyhoo, yup, the Republicans have enough rope to hang themselves. What happens?


2) There is no such axis. The axis would be between EU and the UN and the profitably semi-aligned and the "Third World" countries.

Problem there is there are fluid boundaries, between these, and the consumer debt off-shore labor, off-shore high-tech labor (which even STATE and LOCAL governments won't give up, because home-shoring it costs too much, btw)..

..well, whether and/or when the U.S. becomes/became Third World is not yet apparent.

Btw, the Libertarian-fascist Churches already TOOK over the Dem platform.


3) "Recruit new leaders from places other than the Senate."

Yeah, the Oprah for President Movement... Points out problems with movements, left there at the altar, so to pun... I think running large organizations is a benefit, but the Oprah show may not signify... Used to watch, so semi-fan, but she's buddies with the likes of Mr. Bezos and I'm not a big fan due to the patent squeeze.

However, as you noted, stranger things have happened.

At the same time, I think we ALL have enough strange things going on, so do we need any MORE even STRANGER things...? I mean, figuring the Bosox win and the Redskins loss implies...

?


4) I HIGHLY recommend any-a you with an honest interest look at John Palfrey's write-up on discussion revolving around some honest skepticism of blogs.

Crap, kind find link I visited today, nor by search...

Outstanding, except the line demarcating the positive and negative effectives of blogs was slightly skewed. (I wonder why...;-)

This "Empowerment of the Individual" is what was DIRECTLY CAUSAL of all the items on the Blue State side of the issue. Meaning, the negatives of blogs are DUE to this scam called "We're here to empower the individual, and it's NOT.. repeat NOT for our OWN BENEFIT, primarily... Iow, we aren't trying to build our OWN POWER-BASES, by claiming falsely you'll be empowered, hope ya know.. You can trust me, I blog...!!!"

5) Uhhhhh... I been doing that, and it's not as much fun as it sounds. You gotta either just PRETEND TO LISTEN the way bloggers have perfected, or you hear some-a THE STUPIDEST crap posing as wisdom....


6) Strategy *AND tactics not being mutually exclusive.. you'll also note my comments are Party agnostic... Helps with the listening part, but I alreadly know you all can't read anything longer than a cut-and-run job, so you either didn't get this far or have already zoned out, or already have corrected me in my delusion so many times, mentally, that it don't matter none ta me, either way...

Btw, this was NOT the link to John Palfrey:

http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/

However, if you gotta ask, "Do we only browse to what we agree with?" then I'd suggest a course in applied listening. You can only PARTIALLY UNDERSTAND what you agree with, AT BEST.. the rest, mess with their best..

..blogger buddy-near-mind-clones, while SAYING what a diverse crowd I have around ME, ME, ME!!!

Posted by: JamesJayToran on November 3, 2004 03:02 PM

That was a fly-by, obviously, as heading out the door and didn't have time to preview.

Posted by: George on November 3, 2004 03:04 PM

Conservatives are already bridling at the policies of the Bush admin. The New York Times writer David Brooks yesterday wrote one of the best denunciations of their policies...before implying he was still voting for Bush. Mother Jones has a series of interviews with conservatives who don't support Bush that is very interesting. Maybe it's time for progressives and real conservatives to start a dialog about how to suppress the growing influence of religious fundamentalists in American politics. Republican are already fragmenting, and the longer this war goes on, the more it reminds me of Viet Nam. Stay tuned for a continuing spiral downward in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted by: JamesJayToran on November 3, 2004 03:08 PM

Should-a reviewed this, before prior comments:

http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/palfrey/2004/10/16

May later.

To cut the Dem Leadership to a short list (maybe GOP, too, I dunno), eliminate the early vultures, it'd be my best guess.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=536&ncid=536&e=7&u=/ap/20041103/ap_on_el_pr/eln2008

And the "conservatives" I've read bridle at anything they didn't author, mainly.

Suppressing influence, that part of the Gnu Democrat Party, as I've already gathered elsewhere? Stay tuned to the future, but knowing what is currently going on would help, im(ns)ho..

Posted by: llcoolJJ on November 3, 2004 03:40 PM

The aneurisms have popped.

If I would have known that the deluded, conspiracy theorist, Bush haters were going to go stark raving mad if Bush won, I wouldn�t have deliberated so long before I cast my vote for him.

But in all seriousness people, get a grip.

Grab this page, print it out, and stash it away till a few months before the election of 2006 or 2008. Read it and compare your world then with your fears and ranting of today.

If just 10% of the negative events occur, then you have the right to call for a revolution.

If you feel a bit silly as you read b

Posted by Lisa at November 03, 2004 06:42 PM | TrackBack
Me A to Z (A Work In Progress)
Comments

"Kerry lost because he's just another bourgeois with nothing to offer the vast majority of people in the USA."

A comment I've heard often today.

I disagree. Kerry lost because his message was not well-delivered compared to Bush's campaign. The Bush administration executed far better than they we the Iraq war. They knew how to stay on message, and to tailor their message to fit in with what people wanted to hear. And because of this, Kerry lost.

Posted by: NotSour Grapes on November 3, 2004 09:38 PM

Kerry lost because he gave up before all the votes were counted. Consider this: Have you ever heard Kerry mention 'paper ballot' or 'paper trail' ? Why did he quit with bush leading by 135,000 votes and 250,000 still to count?

obviously most of the provisional ballots are for kerry because it was the repubs challenging minority voters, forcing them to use provisional ballots.

Why did kerry give up so easy when we know bush is a madman? skull and bones- not just a conspiracy theory- it's for real like we've been trying to tell America for months. It was all a setup.

re: lisa's comment

"These are the optical voting systems that need to replace the electronic voting machines that are currently in use throughout the country."

unfortunately this is not true. at least there's a paper trail yes, but these machines use a modem to phone in the results to the central tabulator. This leaves the cen. tabulating computer wide open to fraud... there are 1 million programmers that can see the idiocy in this setup, yet kerry, edwards and all the other dems don't care to challenge it?

see blackboxvoting dot ORG for more info on how we can expose this scam and save our country.

Posted by: justin on November 4, 2004 01:13 PM
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