Friday, November 05, 2004

Quote of the Day

On January 18, 1915, six months into the First World War, as all Europe was convulsed by killing and dying, Virginia Woolf wrote in her journal, “The future is dark, which is on the whole, the best thing the future can be, I think.” Dark, she seems to be saying, as in inscrutable, not as in terrible. We often mistake one for the other. Or we transform the future’s unknowability into something certain, the fulfillment of all our dread, the place beyond which there is no way forward. But again and again, far stranger things happened than the end of the world.

-Rebecca Solnit in her book Hope in the Dark. I may disagree with aspects of her ideology, but she is inspiring nevertheless. The basic point of her book--we have come so far, and so many times, progressives have found what seems like the end of the road, their direst hour, until reality intervenes. Then strange things happen.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Why Not to Move to Canada

I usually didn't read the Daily Kos during the election. I usually avoid reading anything that I see as too partisan in the direction in which I am more naturally inclined. I feel it creates an insularity that distorts one's view of reality, and pushes one away from understanding the mainstream. I read it, but I avoided reading almost as much--lest I become too sure that Kerry would win or begin to hate Bush too much. I thought the site focused too much on fear of four more years of Bush than on the hope in four years of Kerry.

But now that the election has been lost, hope is the dominant emotion. Progressives the country over were dealt a blow when they motivated their base and still lost. Yet we regroup--nowhere is that more evident than at the Daily Kos. A recent post by DHinMI is the most inspiring thing since John Edwards' concession speech. Progressives aren't giving up--they are not handing this country over to the bare majority that elected Bush. The money quote:
We must remember that this election was, once again, excruciatingly close. For the first time in nearly 200 years, the United States was attacked on the North American continent, and the presiding President squandered 80% approval ratings for his initial response to that attack and had to wait until the morning after the election to find out that the most votes ever cast against an incumbent President were, barely, not enough to drive him from the White House. . .We must remember that even though a narrow majority of voters chose Bush over Kerry, it does not follow that a majority want the kind of nation and government that Bush and his minions surely hope to create. Then, we must stand firm and hold our ground.
There is much to hope for in America. We must keep believing, keep up the fight.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

...

Well, I'm still shocked, all these hours later. Four more years, huh?

I hope the nation chose wisely, despite how it seems to me at the moment.

John Edwards' speech was magnificent. Cheney's was...I assume, a harbringer of things to come. Bush will continue to govern fromt he right as he has, and push America in that direction; Bush will continue his reckless foreign policy, though perhaps without a new term to run for he might admit a mistake. I wouldn't bet on it. I just don't know.

My thoughts are just beginning to come together. I'll post more later.

An odd side note

Kerry jumped in New Mexico from 20,000 votes and 5% behind with over 95% of precints reporting to within 4,000 votes with 99%. A sneaking suspicion arises that New Mexico may fall to Kerry. Sneak and suspicion being the key words.

Ohio...

It all comes down to this.

Ohio and it's 20 electoral votes. Edwards gave a good speech this morning. Perfect tone--making sure not to act like a loser until all the votes are counted. They still have a shot, if a long one. It depends on how many provisional ballots were cast. And it depends on whether or not most of the ballots were cast because Republicans challenged voters. I would bet if most of the provisional votes were cast under those circumstances, they would go heavily to Kerry--after all, it was a Republican who was trying to disencranchise you.

For all those calling on Kerry to give in tonight--to pull a Nixon, I have two points. First, would anyone expect Bush to pull out under the same circumstances? This doesn't justify anything, but makes it seem more reasonable to those who might instinctively want Bush to win.

Second, there is a fine line Kerry-Edwards will have to walk. They have to try, as best as possible, to get every vote counted, and stick to that. They need to keep talking about democracy at work. And that's what this should be about. Very easily, they could begin to look and act like they were trying to do anything to win. This is the second thing that killed Gore in 2000. (The first being the pre-concession concession.) Kerry needs to get the votes counted, argue for it all based on principle, and not his own interest. He needs to make sure everyone knows this is what he is doing. The first thing many Bush supporters will say is this: "Kerry should concede for the good of the country--we are at war!" This is precisely why Kerry needs to stick to counting votes. It's why we have elections. The stakes on who wins and loses are high. But in the end, we all submit ourselves to our democratic system. We are a nation of laws. We stick to them, even in war, for the good of our country.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I pledge...

Jeff Jarvis trying to bring sanity to the world before the election. All I can say is "Amen."

After the election results are in, I promise to:
-Support the President, even if I didn't vote for him.
-Criticize the President, even if I did vote for him.
-Uphold standards of civilized discourse in blogs and in media while pushing both to be better.
-Unite as a nation, putting country over party, even as we work together to make America better.

I like the counter-pledge as well:
I hereby pledge that after the election is called, I will run naked through the streets, smeared with war paint, stinking of Jack Daniels and screaming obscenities at my neighbors. I will do this even if my candidate wins because drunken, naked cursing is fun no matter who the president is.

Except I'm partial to rum I think.

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for the pointer.

Top Ten Reasons to Vote...

Gore Country...

Or not...

Andrew Sullivan points out this Nashville blogger and Bush voter with some good points. Namely, Bush has not governed like a war president--dividing the country instead of uniting it. At least, that's what I get out of it.

The Election Market

And the Iowa Electronic Markets show...

A very small Bush lead after a massive change in momentum with Bush plunging and Kerry shooting up, as, presumably, people assuming Bush would pull away are now hedging their bets.

Disgusting...

Finally, it behooves you to reflect on the last wills and testaments of the thousands who left you on the 11th as they gestured in despair. They are important testaments, which should be studied and researched.

Among the most important of what I read in them was some prose in their gestures before the collapse, where they say, "How mistaken we were to have allowed the White House to implement its aggressive foreign policies against the weak without supervision." It is as if they were telling you, the people of America, "Hold to account those who have caused us to be killed, and happy is he who learns from others' mistakes," And among that which I read in their gestures is a verse of poetry, "Injustice chases its people, and how unhealthy the bed of tyranny."

-Bin Laden in one of the newly released portions of his video

Notable News

ABC News Undercover...at campaign rallies?

Already, the calls of fraud and voter suppression. Let's hope tomorrow's result is clear enough that this doesn't matter.

Gay Republicans campaigning in Florida? Sorry, they were just pretending to be gay.

And the possible ramifications of Kerry having to resign from the Senate. Could get ugly.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Countdown

Some things just make me feel sick in my stomach. Brought to you by these people...

Over at the New York Times, Safire explains that Bin Laden is so stupid, he thought he could get the people he declared war on to vote for the guy he wants them to...Does it occur to any of these people that Bin Laden was begging America to declare war on him so he could use our war to rally Arabs and Muslims to his cause? We should have, and had to declare and wage war on his organization, but we should also know that was part of his plan.

We're in for a dirty last 36 hours...

Who needs to count?

Since 1936, whenever the Redskins have lost their last home game, the incumbent has lost!

Yea Packers!

Scare Tactics

George W. Bush and the "Politics of Fear"

More from the Daily Star, a Middle Eastern newspaper.

It's useful to see America from another point of view, through the looking glass as it were. It confounds me how someone can appear to be both reasonable and so confused as this man seems to be.

He makes a number of valid points, adjusting for the natural exaggeration an opinion piece has. But then he begins to almost equate prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib with the kidnapping and beheadings. He says numerous times that America is "demonizing" and at war with "global Islam." He acts as if Islamic extremism does not exist, and is not a threat in itself, to his country as well as ours. He explains: "This American failure to acknowledge that the political sources of terrorism lay in America's own behavior rather than in Arab failings was an error even more fundamental than the military switch from Al-Qaeda to Iraq." He explains that civil liberties in America have been "gravely curtailed" by the "Orwellian" Homeland Security Department and the Patriot Act.

The fact is, this man's column is as one-sided a look at the problem of terrorism as is Bush's. Like Bush, he offers real insight into the problem of terrorism. Like Bush, he is not intellectually honest enough to allow himself to be challenged by facts. Unlike Bush, Patrick Seale seems to dance around the border of anti-Semitism; suggesting rather than stating that malicious intents and conspiracies. He ignores facts that Bush has incorporated into his strategy--like the fact that the Al Qaeda was a global force before we invaded Iraq, having already launched attacks at the U.S. all over the Middle East and in America, and having contacts through their camps in terrorist groups around the world.

Surreal Realities

"The bin Laden name has become infamous, but one family member is trying to give it a different odor."

Bin Ladin perfume anyone?