Wednesday, November 03, 2004

 

Not going anywhere

Looks like Kerry lost and we're stuck with Bush for (ulp) another 4 years. I don't understand it and I don't want to understand it. I'm sure the Freepers are being indecently triumphant today, like Homer Simpson going "In your face!" to someone he had almost nothing to do with defeating.

George W. Bush is clearly the worst U.S. president of my lifetime. He has accomplished literally nothing in his first term. And he has not suffered for it - the pattern of his entire useless existence on this earth. He has never once had to pay the price for any of the countless rotten things he has done. In fact, he has continually been rewarded for his failures.

I could be bitter. We all could be. We could pull a Nixon - get all bitter and have a meltdown. Or we could quietly withdraw to our caves, curse the fools who put this idiot back in office, and wait for the inevitable disaster. We could predict doom and wait for it to happen, and then emerge to enjoy that most blessed of states: being able to say, "I told you so."

I could be bitter. I could sneer at the Babbits in the "red states" with their homophobia and fundamentalist Christianity and love of guns and cult of the fetus. Their prideful ignorance of the rest of the world, their racism and sexism and insularity. But that won't win progressives any additional votes, and the divide in this country is already too great and not diminishing.

I ain't gonna do that. I am bitter. Bitter and frustrated and puzzled and angry. I have friends all over the world who are going to act, at least briefly, as I had anything to do with this insanity.

We are in worse shape now then we were on Monday. Not just the Democrats but the country and the world. Bush II II is going to be far more rightwing than Bush II I was (I shudder to contemplate that, too). He will have even more Republicans in the Senate (how did Coburn and Bunning win?) He's not going to have any restraints on doing whatever evil he has in mind. Not external and certainly not internal. He had no mandate after 2000 but governed as if he did. This time, he's going to take his 51% and ram it down our throats.

We fought hard this time, much harder than 2000 - and it still wasn't enough. How many of us are going to have the stomach to fight when the turf we're guarding is even smaller and even more beseiged?

I'm going to fight. There's not much I can do, but whatever it is, I'll do it.

I foresee bad times ahead for the United States. We are losing our scientific and technological edge on the rest of the world, and that's really dangerous. And with an anti-scientific, anti-rational man in the White House, and radical religious irrationalism on the march in depressingly too much of the country, that's not going to get better. The rest of the world is catching up to us rapidly. There's going to be a time, 20 or 50 years in the future, when we are going to be, if not poor, then no longer the world's most powerful economy. Europe, China, India, Brazil - they're going to catch us and then surpass us.

Again, there's not much I can do to fight this. But I'm not giving up. Not in my nature. I hope I'm not the only one.

The left has followed defeats in the past by drifting off into mutual self-criticism camps and endless, futile recriminations and even more electoral irrelevancy. We had a good candidate this year and a very good message. George Bush really was an awful president his first term who deserved nothing more than rich playboy obscurity. The media really did wallow in personality and "gotcha!" moments and false fairness and "we're-the-story" stupidity. People really were scared about terrorism (although voters in the states that actually suffered the attacks were strongly for Kerry).

I have no idea where we go from here. Kerry is still in the Senate. Hopefully he will continue to dedicate himself to exposing this vile administration for the evil pack of wolves they are before they can raven too much on America and the world. But John Edwards is no longer a Senator. Tom Daschle, as ineffective as he was, is no longer a Senator.

We really needed to win this, and not just because it's nice to win, but because George W. Bush is a terrible danger. What it says about America that 51% of those who voted see a "strong, moral leader" in this asshole, puzzles and frustrates me.

We'll keep fighting. But man, today it sure does look bleak out there.

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