Thursday, November 11, 2004
Why do they hate us?
Is it because we hate America? No, we love our country. Is it because we hate freedom? No, we love freedom too. Is it because we hate your way of life? You're getting warmer.
We believe in an America where hard work is rewarded. We believe in an America where the powerless can become powerful. We believe in an America where education moves people forward. We believe in an America based on opportunity for all. We believe in an America that looks out for its citizens and sets an example for the rest of the world.
And what you've given us is an America that rewards only the rich, erodes the rights of its people, stifles intelligent discourse, legitimizes discrimination, and dismantles our most cherished institutions.
And you've done it with guile, deceit, false piousness, self-righteousness, and fear tactics. But most of all, you've done it with such swift and utter ease that it makes us wonder: was it you, or was it us?
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Are we a purple nation? No!
Lately, there have been maps put together by other folks, showing that the U.S. is not red but purple. The logic is simple enough: take red to mean 100% republican, blue to mean 100% democrat, and use varying shades of purple to cover the middle ranges. Washington, D.C., for example would be a very bluish purple since 90% of voters went for Kerry. Texas and the bible belt would be a very reddish purple. And the states that were close (OH, FL, NM, NV, IA, ...) would all be a rather neutral shade.
But are we a purple nation? Are we indeed more united by our commonalities than we are divided by our differences, as the purple maps seem to suggest? Absolutely not. The problem with that logic is that the democrats ran a purple candidate to begin with. Despite the hype about his being the Senate's number one liberal, Senator Kerry's presidential platform was specifically tailored to the undecideds, the moderates, the independents, the soft republicans, and so on. Bush, in contrast, was redder than ketchup.
So was it a close race between red and blue, with a decidedly purple result? No. It was a close race between beet red and a pretty neutral purple, and our fellow voters chose beet red, at least the ones whose votes counted. My advice to the blues for 2008: try green?
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Bush's true mandate
Either way, a mandate used to signal something much stronger than a simple majority of votes. It used to mean very strong support across a broad cross-section of the electorate. With so many in the U.S. (and the rest of the world) vehemently opposed to almost every single one of his policies, I offer a more accurate list of who Bush truly does have a mandate over.
- Racist fucks
- Religious zealots
- Greedy bastards
- Opti-scan voters
Truth is, it's hard to find a single Bush voter who doesn't fit at least one of these categories! Not even his own family!
Monday, November 08, 2004
Another letter The Nation passed on
To put a time stamp on this, it was just after Kerry clinched the democratic nomination.
In lemming-like lockstep, the democrats have finally plummeted to their nadir (no, not Nader--that would actually be good news!). How else do you explain their "anybody but Bush" strategy resulting in the candidate simultaneously most like Bush (Joe Lieberman notwithstanding) and least likely to defeat him?
Is Kerry really that electable? If so, to whom other than the handful of democrats that vote in the primaries? To republicans? Only when Bush isn't on the same ballot. To independents? Clark and Edwards take this one. To southern voters? It's Clark and Edwards once again. To the tens of millions of democrats who didn't vote in 2000? No, their guys are Dean and Kucinich. How about Greens? Again, Kucinich. Put a different way, will anyone vote for Kerry that didn't vote for Michael Dukakis in 1988? If electable is all we’re looking for in a candidate, why wouldn’t we just vote for George Bush?
Nonetheless, if Kerry somehow beats the odds--maybe he unwittingly nabs bin Laden at Fenway or something--then what is it that democrats actually win? By and large, a wealthy and powerful individual whose post-September 11 rhetoric and voting record rendered him indistinguishable from any Bush republican until the day he launched his presidential campaign. For the Iraq War, for the Patriot Act, for “free” trade, for Bush’s tax scams, and the list goes on.
But like it or not, Kerry is who we must vote for. We know the mantra: a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush. That it sounds an awful lot like "You're either with us or against us" is only coincidence, I’m sure. Or is it really the case that the same national groupthink we thank for United We Stand bumper stickers on every minivan and dutiful assent to mindless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is now our one and only hope for defeating George Bush in November?
Well okay, democrats. I may just go along with the crowd, but only if your uber-candidate does three simple things:
1. Offers a plan to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq immediately.
2. Offers a plan to provide quality education and health care to all Americans.
3. Offers a plan to give gay Americans the same rights as everybody else.
Otherwise, I’ll just write in Dennis Kucinich, realizing full well that if the election comes down to a single vote in California, I could have made the difference. But then again, so could John Kerry. And he's the one running for president, not me.
The Nation didn't print this one
NADER VOTERS: NOT HALF AS BAD AS YOU THINK!
Though I'm leaning toward a Kerry vote in this year's election, I think it's important to dispel the oft-repeated mantra that "a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush."
Assuming a voter is deciding between Kerry and Nader, his or her Nader vote takes one vote away from Kerry while having no effect on Bush’s vote count. The net effect is plus one for Bush. Compare this to what would happen if this same individual followed the bumper sticker logic and voted for Bush: Kerry’s votes go down by one, and Bush’s votes go up by one: a net effect of plus two for Bush. Conclusion: A vote for Nader is, at worst, half a vote for Bush.
I say “at worst” because this conclusion only applies to Nader voters who would have otherwise gone with Kerry. In truth, many Nader voters might simply stay home (or vote "fourth party") on Election Day rather than subject themselves to a “lesser of two evils” contest. If so, their Nader votes make no difference at all to the contest between Bush and Kerry.
A final case worth mentioning, if only for the mental acuity required to imagine such a person, is the voter who is stuck on the fence between Nader and Bush. We can only hope this person realizes that his vote for Nader is actually a (half) vote for Kerry!
The funny thing is I think the green states and the red states would both vote yes on this one. This wouldn't be like the Civil War...I think we'd just need a few lawyers and a way to ensure red staters could still visit Yellowstone and green staters could still watch Fox News Channel.
My early focus will be on irregularities in the casting and counting of votes, but I imagine the site will soon expand its focus to include anything and everything critical of George W. Bush.
For a first posting, I thought I'd mention some of the other places on the Internet with good information and give others the chance to suggest their own.
So here are three of mine:
- www.dailykos.com (Let's hope this is the future of American politics: an informed, articulate, and pissed off electorate!)
- www.bopnews.com/archives/002328.html#2328 (Your home page for election shenanigans)
- http://www.jefffisherforcongress.com/ (This guy's onto something big... we hope!)