Thursday, November 04, 2004

I had a post prepared yesterday on the hypocrisy of electing a lying, cheating, self-righteous creep for his moral values, but you can pretty much write it yourself in your head.

Check out some of my links on the left, especially Ludic Log:

America is not a place: it has never been a place. It is an idea, and it travels with you. Give up on the people if you feel the need; they're people just like any other. Give up on the place, if you must; it's a wonderful place, beautiful and satisfying, and I have never seen its like, but it is just a place. But don't let go of the idea. We made the idea, and we can do anything we want with it, regardless of other people's notions of what it should be. That's the real strength of America: it can be anywhere, even with one man alone in a room, anywhere in the world.

And Tom Blog:

How one should react to these circumstances seems entirely a matter of personal choice, but right now I can sympathize equally with the suicidal, the expatriate, and the armed revolutionary. “Don’t mourn – organize,” is what Joe Hill supposedly said before a Utah firing squad cut him down, and that seems like an outstanding posture for all true-blue activist types to adopt. On the other hand, the real problem is America itself, and that’s a question even the smartest political animals on the left rarely seem to get a handle on.

From Salon, asking what now?:

Mark Crispin Miller is a media critic, professor of communications at New York University, and author, most recently, of "Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order."

First of all, this election was definitely rigged. I have no doubt about it. It's a statistical impossibility that Bush got 8 million more votes than he got last time. In 2000, he got 15 million votes from right-wing Christians, and there are approximately 19 million of them in the country. They were eager to get the other 4 million. That was pretty much Karl Rove's strategy to get Bush elected.

But given Bush's low popularity ratings and the enormous number of new voters -- who skewed Democratic -- there is no way in the world that Bush got 8 million more votes this time. I think it had a lot to do with the electronic voting machines. Those machines are completely untrustworthy, and that's why the Republicans use them. Then there's the fact that the immediate claim of Ohio was not contested by the news media -- when Andrew Card came out and claimed the state, not only were the votes in Ohio not counted, they weren't even all cast.

I would have to hear a much stronger argument for the authenticity, or I should say the veracity, of this popular vote for Bush before I'm willing to believe it. If someone can prove to me that it happened, that Bush somehow pulled 8 million magic votes out of a hat, OK, I'll accept it. I'm an independent, not a Democrat, and I'm not living in denial.

And that's not even talking about Florida, which is about as Democratic a state as Guatemala used to be. The news media is obliged to make the Republicans account for all these votes, and account for the way they were counted. Simply to embrace this result as definitive is irrational. But there is every reason to question it ... I find it beyond belief that the press in this formerly democratic country would not have made the integrity of the electoral system a front page, top-of-the-line story for the last three years. I worked and worked and worked to get that story into the media, and no one touched it until your guy did.

I actually got invited to a Kerry fundraiser so I could talk to him about it. I raised the issue directly with him and with Teresa. Teresa was really indignant and really concerned, but Kerry just looked down at me -- he's about 9 feet tall -- and I could tell it just didn't register. It set off all his conspiracy-theory alarms and he just wasn't listening.

Talk to anyone from a real democracy -- from Canada or any European country or India. They are staggered to discover that 80 percent of our touch-screen electronic voting machines have no paper trail and are manufactured by companies owned by Bush Republicans. But there is very little sense of outrage here. Americans for a host of reasons have become alienated from the spirit of the Bill of Rights and that should not be tolerated.

Dan Payne is a Democratic media consultant and columnist for the Boston Globe.

1. Forget the unity stuff. When Republicans lose, they set out the next morning to challenge, undermine and overthrow the Democrats. Democrats are no less united against George Bush than they were the day before Election Day. Stay unified; stay on Bush's case.

2. Hire a strategist, not a fundraiser, to run the Democratic National Committee. The ability to raise money is valuable, but the ability to design and execute a strategy is crucial.

3. Develop values issues, such as Internet censorship, the export of white-collar jobs, stem cell research, etc. The DNC should send every Democratic official "What's Wrong With Kansas?" by Thomas Frank. Learn how the Republicans ate our lunch, using values issues to smother economic self-interest.

4. Target baby boomers. This cohort is anti-authoritarian because they grew up during Vietnam, Nixon and Watergate. Now, this demanding audience is facing retirement pretty much clueless. They need (and expect) economic protections, like long-term care and a solid Medicare.

5. Get thee out of Washington. Move the party apparatus out of D.C. Democrats are cut off from the real world and talk to each other too much.

6. Admit Karl Rove beat us. He outsmarted and out-organized unions, 527s and party organizations. Getting anti-gay marriage measures on 11 state ballots didn't hurt either.


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