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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Comments

John Moore (Useful Fools Blog)

Here's a question: Is this election likely to lead to violence, either by lone nuts or groups? I think of some of the violent leftist groups of the '70s, and also Timothy McVeigh.

Will there be polemicists pushing anti-Bush theories (such as stolen election ideas) that will push people towards violence?

A lot of us on the right, seeing that nationwide vandalism directed against Bush supporters, and hearing the genuine raw hate from so many people, wonder if it will translate into violent action over the next four years.

Oh, and the comment spam filter is hassling me.

If there are war events, such as bombing Iran, might they cause it?

Marc Cooper

There are some good comments above. GM good to see u as always.
John thanks for joining us.
Richard... thanks for joining us too. Do it some more. Nice blog u got there.
Andrew... I agree with your take on the balloting and on Palast.
Steve... WHEN I begin purging commenters u are on on the top of the list. You seem incapable of doing anything but sniping. Please stop arguinbg with people for the sake of arguing. You clutter up the blog with sniping at Josh about Tom Frank and yet there is no comment on that subject in this thread from Josh. Can it.
Rosedog: SOme good sentiments from you. The self-righteousness of the Bushies is ill-placed. As I said, their punishment is that they now have to govern. I openly predict a second-term disaster for Bush. I take no glee in that. And I also note that if he does crash there's hardly a cohereht Democratic Party ready to step in. The systemic political crisis in this country is acute and profound and encompasses both parties.
I will also remind the Bushies they dont have time to gloat. Our national deficit now requires us borrowing $2billion a day from foreign financiers... that ought to be taking up all their time.

God

One other thing:

The Saudis won too,

not just France.

God

JM Hanes

reg -- You need to spend some serious time with the Civil Rights Commission Report. They tried as hard as humanly possible to uncover systematic fraud, and didn't find much. They tried to make the whole exercise sound as dubious as possible in their summary, but in the end their primary beef was not disenfranchisement but the fact that Florida is one of the states which still does not restore voting rights to felons upon release from prison.

If you're willing to do the leg work, you'll also find that you can trace most of the various numbers of the purportedly purged back to Palast -- who increased his totals, without proffering new info, every time he wrote another article.

GMRoper

rosedog writes, "One final note: for all you sore winners out there lecturing with spectacular self-righteousness on the earlier thread (All but you, GM, you've been very adult and graceful), before you get too mandate-crazy, do keep in mind that your guy also had more Americans voting AGAINST him, than any candidate in any other election in US history."

Rosedog, I really appreciate the compliment, but note that I am still a conservative and I still believe in conservative values. I dislike much of what Bush has done, but overall, he represents much more of my perspective of living and life than did Kerry and most of those "running" the Democratic Party.

Let me use some examples. In a Joan Baez concert recently, she "channeled" a young black woman from Arkansas to vilify Bush and conservatives in general ( http://www.reason.com/links/links110404.shtml ). Why is it OK for the left to use that kind of language but if a conservative does it it's "racist." Actually, it is racist regardless of who does it, but the all white audience ate it up according to the author of the above article. Shame on the left.

In San Francisco on the 3rd or 4th there was a "protest" march ( http://www.zombietime.com/sf_rally_november_3_2004/ ) but look at some of the signs posted. These are people who expect the Bushies to "reach out?" I wouldn't reach out to those folk for all the tea in China (and I love tea - in all its forms) nor would I expect any self respecting progressive to do so.

Marc has some rather pithy comments regarding how the Bush administration must be accountable for its actions, and cannot point the finger at anyone else. I agree if, and only if, we actually all pull together to work through some problems. If the left acts as a drag and a brake on the process and then in 4 years claim "See, he didn't do anything" than by gosh, that does not count and the real obstructionists are the Left and the Democrats (Mr. Daschle, are you reading this by any chance? Hmmmmm?) It is ONLY by saying "Hey guys, Bush won, he has a limited but real mandate to govern and we have to help figure out how to solve some problems."

( http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/comment/story/0,14259,1342714,00.html ) This link shows that at least a British Progressive gets it. Marc shows that at least one American Progressive gets it.

I hope the American Conservatives get it also, but if the left pushes conspiracy theories, cries, has temper-tantrums, cusses, vilifies, etc., then guess what folks, the right won't listen at all, they will retreat into a shell and tell the left (which includes clear minded progressives) to go to hell, and they will be right to do so.

I do not expect the left to like everything the second Bush administration does. I probably will not either. I KNOW they do not like what he did in the first Bush administration; just as I know that the vast majority of my conservative friends didn’t like everything Bush did in the first administration. However, I know this, the party that is supposed to be a party of tolerance, acceptance etc., is not and does not seem to understand it.

In the long run, this nation will survive any administration (I'm an incurable optimist folks, get used to it) and that would have included a Kerry administration and damn sure includes a Bush administration.

rosedog noted that Bush had more Americans voting against him than any president in history. Gosh, do you think so rosedog? Were there no citizens voting FOR Kerry? Moreover, there in lies the problem dear lady, too many don't have any thing to campaign for in their pantheon of ideas, but they have lots of things to campaign against.

As I said, it's time for America (and that includes the Left, the Right and the Center) to grow up and get cracking on some very real solutions to some very real problems.

That’s all of my time, I thank you for yours.

Dennis Perrin

I thought Palast's piece raised a number of important questions, and to just dismiss it as a load of conspiratorial ravings is just as bad as embracing it as unimpeachable truth. We know that GOP operatives were intent on suppressing the minority vote in Ohio, handing out flyers telling them that they could vote on Nov. 3, wheeling in shitty, second-rate voting machines (and too few of them, as opposed to more affluent areas), and so on. These people people turned out anyway, and while I don't know if the majority of them voted Kerry, it's clear that the White House and its mouthpiece Fox News were rather in a hurry to declare victory, even while thousands of people hadn't even voted yet. Is it a conspiracy to investigate this? Yes, we on the left need a serious self-assessment -- Bush did win a hefty chunk of votes, which sickens me, but the numbers are there. But I would also say that we aren't the only ones who need to look at ourselves. The tens of millions who voted for this criminal admin could stand a little self-analysis as well. Instead, I fear that what we'll get from them is more gloating and braying. Bush certainly set the standard with his press conference. The gloves are off, friends. Cover your face and hope the body shots aren't too damaging.

steve

"Please stop arguinbg with people for the sake of arguing. You clutter up the blog with sniping at Josh about Tom Frank and yet there is no comment on that subject in this thread from Josh. Can it."

That's fascinating really, because on the one hand you're right. Late at night, I posted that to the wrong comments blog, my bad. I've been lambasted by Legere in the next previous comments section for being a conspiracist recently, something that you and he both know is not true. Moore frequently refers to anyone like me (or you for that matter) as 'traitors', writes long scrolls that are barely readable and generally disliked. Yet once again, I'm the person to be banned.
It's interesting, I'd think someone with your politics would be encouraged and interested in the little factoid I posted before the comments on Legere's interpretation of Frank and the real Frank. That was a post about the minimum wage victory in Florida, I'd think that a person like you would be wanting to remind people about such stuff, does it not support your post-election thesis? Or is it frustrating that a person whom you regard as a blind Chomskyite lifelong devotee of Amy Goodman would post something that you would agree with, thus making your odd anger at me for disagreeing with you or Josh appear a bit inconsistent?

steve

"I thought Palast's piece raised a number of important questions, and to just dismiss it as a load of conspiratorial ravings is just as bad as embracing it as unimpeachable truth."

Right on Dennis.

Josh Legere

You are right Marc... My frustration over things is manifesting itself in the wrong places. The KPFK left conspiracy reaction is driving me nuts. How can people deny this lost? I know denial is a stage of grief but a rational reaction would make more sense.

I think GM hit on some important points. It would be a tragedy if progressives spend 4 years reacting to Bush in the same manner versus building some sort of political movement.

It will be interesting to see how pundits on the Right like Ann Coulter react in the next 4 years. Now that Conservatives are undeniably in the saddle they will not have Liberals to blame. I know we will have 4 more years of Bush books from the left.

I just hope something positive will come out of this. I was playing volleyball the other night and my liberal teammates were saying things like "pretend that the ball is Bush's face." Or my co-workers who were doing flips over the cover of the LA Weekly. I am not happy about the election, but it seems like a lot of wasted energy.

steve

In my opinion it's time for the Dems to either sharpen the distinctions between them and the Republicans instead of minimizing them or to let someone else do that.

reg

Three days later and it still feels great not to be one of those folks who succumbed to the charms of Bush and the wiles of Cheney. Feels even better when I read a lot of the spew and apologia from "them".

As Howard Dean would say, "Yeeeaaaaaaah !"

But that's just personal. Tears for the country and all that.

Liberals should definitely do some serious thinking about messages and strategies, but before long it will also be time to start checking the tires and warming the engines. It seems to me that the liberal and left-leaning folks on this blog could best spend their time talking to each other about best directions to put real energy than arguing with lost causes and random cranks on the other side. Of course, that's not nearly as entertaining. Nor as easy...

reg

One more comment, which I promise to be my last. Isn't it interesting that the people who actually suffered the direct hits on their city Sept. 11, 2001 and whose tragedies were pimped by the President relentlessly, rejected him by margins of 4 to 1.

But, as the sober analyist on The Daily Show put it, maybe people in New York are just too close to the terrorists and the homosexuals to be able to think straight. Thank you, thank you "red states" for saving them from themselves.

GMRoper

Josh L. writes, "Now that Conservatives are undeniably in the saddle they will not have Liberals to blame."

Sure we will. ;-)

steve

Josh missed out on the fact that the Repubs have been in the saddle for the last four years actually and enjoyed watching liberals quiver before daring to make the most tepid criticisms of the "war" on "terror" or the current US occupation of Iraq.

GMRoper

Josh Legere writes, "It would be a tragedy if progressives spend 4 years reacting to Bush in the same manner versus building some sort of political movement."

Josh, I could not agree more if I was a progressive (hmm, can one be a progressive conservative?).

The progressives in this country have three choices. 1.) Sulk, pout, whine, come up with conspiracy theories, act like children and totally ignore over 1/2 of the voting public; 2.)Begin to work on a saleable agenda and frustrate the right at every turn, but at least come up with a winning strategy and, 3.) Begin to work on a sale-able, winning strategy AND work with the right in a concerted manner to figure out what needs to be accomplished, how to accomplish it, understand the principle of principled compromise and do what ever it takes to get the job done.

Obviously, my choice for progressives and America is choice number 3. However, this is not my choice alone to make. It will take ALL of the progressives and ALL of the conservatives being willing to swallow the bile and get to work. That is a daunting task that I am not sure America is ready to tackle. I'm going to do everything in my power (including maybe start my own blog - oh, the horror!) to get the conservatives on board. I hope the grown ups (the vast majority IMO) in this blog will do the same.

GMRoper

OT, but gotta say it; Josh, I just went to your blog. Great writing, It's now on my daily read.

Mavis Beacon

GM, you know very well that just cause steve and I voted for the same candidate doesn’t mean we agree on all the issues. Apply that to your demonstration/photos. And while there certainly are conservatives I’d like to see Dem’s courting, there are those I don’t want anything to do with. I’m sure you feel the same way.

And about that mandate conservatives are braying about: the system is set up so after you win an election you institutionally have the upper hand. Your mandate is built-in. Bush took full advantage of the structural mandate last time, lacking the popular mandate to back it up. This time he has a slightly greater popular mandate. So what? Last time he took more than his due and this time we should give him more than that? Besides, his 51% share doesn’t require Democrats to abandon their principles and their constituents (I didn’t get Kerry but I did get Barbara Boxer so I EARNED some representation).

William Meisheid

I keep telling you all that there is a problem with the Kool Aid. It is tainted with a psychotropic psychosis inducing compound. At least the grape flavor is...

GMRoper

Mavis writes, "GM, you know very well that just cause steve and I voted for the same candidate doesn’t mean we agree on all the issues. Apply that to your demonstration/photos. And while there certainly are conservatives I’d like to see Dem’s courting, there are those I don’t want anything to do with. I’m sure you feel the same way."

First, how do you know Steve didn't vote for Nader or for that matter didn't vote at all? Second, the folks I'm talking about generally are not represented in this blog, and I'm not speaking of any one individual. Third, there is not one conservative or progressive or liberal or any other political flavor that I'm NOT willing to REACH OUT to if it will further improving the lives of the American people in particular and the world in general. I'm sorry you cut yourself off from some folk, I have many very close friends from a radical leftist rastifarian to a radical rightwinger who sees absolutely no use for a liberal of any kind. I wouldn't give any one of them up.

Mavis Beacon

-GM
"look at some of the signs posted. These are people who expect the Bushies to "reach out?" I wouldn't reach out to those folk for all the tea in China"

"there is not one conservative or progressive or liberal or any other political flavor that I'm NOT willing to REACH OUT to"

Did I quote you out of context?

Inconsistency aside, point taken. Perhaps I should amend to say simply that while anyone is welcome to join my side, there are some compromises I'm not willing to make.

Josh Legere

GM... Maybe progressive is the wrong word. Marc might have a point about a "populist" movement.

I am probably just as horrified by the state of our popular culture as the folks that voted based on moral values. Popular culture is not a reflection of America, but it is constructed by some rather cynical and alienated people (I work in the culture industry..). I guess my difference of opinion is that they are not really "liberals" or any political tag for that matter. The BoBo neighborhoods in NY and LA may as well be Mars. Most of them DO think they are better than the average joe, liberal or conservative. But they vote the way they do because Dems go easy on the entertainment industry and not out of any sincere compassion. I guess what I am trying to say is that the average John Kerry voter doesn't share much with the average TV Producer or Music Journalist and probably shares most of the same basic values as the Midwesterners that voted for Bush. Yet the BoBo cultural elite dominate the entertainment world and taint the image of liberals. I don't think the average Mid Westerner who voted for Bush shares much with the average member of Club for Growth either.

I am not willing to blame Karl Rove for the "culture war" and homophobia like everyone around me is right now. I am more willing to blame the mayor of SF and his grandstanding as well as the judges in Mass. The way that the pro-gay marriage folks approached the issue was un-democratic. That is the truth. I happen to not really care who gets married as long as they don’t try to marry my wife! In the end the pro-gay marriage folks have to ask themselves if it was worth it. Is ceding the word “marriage” that big of a deal? Is the word “civil unions” just not good enough? Is it an immediate, now or never, all or nothing movement? It appears that the problem with the opposition was that it was not a “movement” but a bunch of self-promoting individuals. No strategy or realism. They are paying the consequences of really bad politics.

I just wish we could take culture out of the equation and focus on policy.

GMRoper

Mavis writes, "Did I quote you out of context?"

Nope, but you did hoist me on my own petard. ;-)

Mavis, that was, I guess more anger at the crudity, I generally despise the use of foul language. But, your point is well taken. I will try to amend the error of my ways. ;-)

steve

"GM... Maybe progressive is the wrong word. Marc might have a point about a "populist" movement."

A switch of vocabulary that has really little significance. For example, Frank and Chomsky would essentially agree with each other on the language of 'economic populism', which is essentially the language that organs such as The Nation, The Progressive, have been speaking. In fact, look at what Frank in today's NYT worries the Dems will do, exactly that which the Nation, Chomsky, The Progressive, Mother Jones,...criticise the Dems for.

"I am not willing to blame Karl Rove for the "culture war" and homophobia like everyone around me is right now."

I don't either, after all the nation is a whole lot less homophobic now than it was 30 years ago. My own guess is that in 5,10 years, as the polls show time and again, support for gay marriage will only increase and the big deals made about it will be seen as increasingly irrelevant, much like big deals about interracial marriages came to be seen as a wierd obsession.
And the whole obsession on the part of a liberal like Josh is really odd when ya consider that both candidates opposed gay marriage in any event. Looking at the election outcome by state and nationally, it's rather obvious that this election wasn't really much different from past ones, income played a big role in Bush's votes and the lack of an economically progressive [or call it populist, left, fair, just, what have you] message that was vigorously pushed. Doubt that? Hey, Floridians voted in greater numbers for minimum wage increases than for Bush!

just a thought

Josh - blaming the mayor of SF and Massachusetts' judges for "culture war" and homophobia, rather than Karl Rove's armies of the night, is more than a bit like blaming the Warren Court and MLKJr's civil disobedience for the racism of the '50s.

Richard

Dennis,

Palast's piece does raise a number of questions, as you put it, but he didn't frame it as such. He said "Kerry Won." While I am certain there were dirty tricks on the Republican side, to say that "Kerry Won" flies in the face of the popular vote. Elements of the Republican Party certainly have been engaged in tricksterism this time around, but I really, really doubt they could get away with shenanigans to the tune of 4 million popular votes. In my admittedly limited experience, I just don't see it.

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