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November 03, 2004

Comments

And with that, I'm heading to the liquor store...

Is it wrong that I first read that as "And with that, I'm holding up a liquor store..."? ;)

I, too, hope that he turns into a fundamentally different person and president. Every time he does something wrong, though, I'll call him on it. Why should an incumbent get a honeymoon? He knows the ropes; there's no transition unless his cabinet decides to jump ship.

Is it wrong that I first read that as "And with that, I'm holding up a liquor store..."? ;)

If it comes to that, I'm breaking my pledge... ;-)

Why should an incumbent get a honeymoon?

Because charity begins at home. If you want unity, you have to be willing to work toward it.

Nicely said, Edward, but you might lose some readership if you actually do that. Plus, you'll have to find something else to post about, or cut down on your output 80% or so.

Plus, you'll have to find something else to post about, or cut down on your output 80% or so.

Most likely the latter...

by the way...email me at obsidianinfo - at - yahoo.com (I've scoured your site but can't find your email address)

Edward would not hold up a liquor store because he is a fundamentally good person, which is the only fundamentalism worth observing.

He reaches down into a deep heart and character and gives 100 days of "honeymoon" to politicians of no heart and shallow character who demagogued "honeymoons" for him as a means to enact a broader "agenda".

"Broader 'agenda'" Words don't convey. Not those words, anyway.

I look to Edward and the rest of the group here as an example.

But I've already knocked over three liquor stores this morning.


P.S. "I" keep listening for the word "we" in the new President's remarks about who won, but it's all "I".
Yes, I am oversensitive to language and rhetoric, especially from those who claim they mean precisely what they say. Inner posting rules of a slightly different cast.

One other thing I mentioned elliptically but which I'd like to reiterate: if the Democrats are expected to be good losers (which we are), the Republicans need to be expected to be good winners. That doesn't just apply here in the immediate aftermath of the election but for this next 100 days and beyond. Not the rhetoric, mind -- I could care less about the rhetoric at this point -- but the actual substantive legislative and policy demeanour of the party.

If anything kills interparty comity in this country, and I mean kills it dead, it will be a belief among Democrats that being "good losers" or that "putting aside our differences in the best interests of the country" causes them to get steamrolled. That sense is pretty damn strong already what with 2001/2002; the specter of its exacerbation fills me with genuine dread.

No "loss of readership" from this quarter regardless of Edward's future posting habits.

Plus, you'll have to find something else to post about, or cut down on your output 80% or so.

God willing, that'll apply to all of us.

Anarch,

Do you really believe the Dem's were "good losers" in 2000?

Maybe, some examples need to be cited... cause all I remember and still hear is talk of an "appointed" adminstration, Bush is Hitler, Bush is dumb, Bush did coke... blah blah blah

Having both sides do their best to be good losers/winners here, with regards to others, will probably be the best possible course of action at this point.

Personally, I'm hoping this defeat encourages others on the left to take a long, hard look at why we lost this election. Some time for introspection would, I think, be a good thing now. I can't be overly negative about the loss, now. It just doesn't feel like a good idea to me. (Which is not to prevent anyone else from raiding the liquor cabinet, by any means. Go ahead, I sympathize.)

I wrote a fairly lengthy piece on what I think we need to do now over here, if anyone is interested in reading that sort of thing now.

crutan

Bravo. Excellent wishes.

Blue,

you're not being a particulary good winner here...

just sayin'

e

God willing, that'll apply to all of us.

I'm not being nasty; if you took me that way I'd like to set you straight. I just happen to think that Edward's never boring, even if I rarely agree with him. As long as he keeps the DU stuff at arm's length (the other hand holding his nostrils firmly shut), I have no problem at all with the criticism. Not that it should matter if I did.

FWIW, the salt-in-the-wounds approach isn't my cup of tea. Bush won the electoral battle by a fairly narrow margin, and as you're all quite aware, that's the one that counts AFAIC.

As long as he keeps the DU stuff at arm's length (the other hand holding his nostrils firmly shut), I have no problem at all with the criticism.

DU?

Crutan:

I popped over to read your constructive thoughts and to raid your liquor cabinet.

More thoughts later over at your place, unless I'm too lazy, but I want to volunteer for czar of "nefarious plots and schemes".

I find Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, and the rest of the lot diabolical and horrifying.

I wanna be just like them.

Last I heard, honeymoons were mutual affairs. I'll give Bush a 100 days, or a 1000, as long as he acts like the leader of the country, not just the right-wing half of it. I'm not hopeful.

DU?

Democratic Underground. Just a metaphor for holding forth on some outrageous, fact-starved premise as if it were gospel. Not saying you do that on a frequent basis, or even occasionally. Just that that's the sort of thing I object to.

e,

I certainly don't mean to come of as a poor winner. I don't feel elated by Bush's win at all. I'm glad he won, but I am saddened that we seem so divided. There is no whooping and hollering from me. I feel very subdued by the whole event. What's to celebrate if we can't be more united? That's one of the reasons I tried to reach out in the other thread...

I was just responding to the fact that when you want someone to be a good winner you can't do it by finger pointing...

"If anything kills interparty comity in this country, and I mean kills it dead, it will be a belief among Democrats that being "good losers" or that "putting aside our differences in the best interests of the country" causes them to get steamrolled. That sense is pretty damn strong already what with 2001/2002; the specter of its exacerbation fills me with genuine dread."

But after reading it again... I'm not sure that Anarch was finger pointing as much as commenting on the "belief" and the "sense" of those invovled.

Blue,

I'd say both sides got it wrong in 2000. I'd say more, but it wouldn't advance my goal of unity, and besides, I'm running short on time...

Have a good week all...

Blue: I wrote a fairly lengthy reply to your query but I think under present circumstances it would probably be better not to post it; not because it itself is problematic, but because I suspect that the conversation that would result from it would likely spiral out of control. [Pity, too; how often do you get to use the phrase "behaved like a syphilitic prostitute in a knife-fight", especially when talking about your own ideological kin?] I'll just content myself by noting that I didn't talk about 2000, only 2001 and 2002 -- specifically, the post-9/11 part of 2001 and the 2002 mid-term elections.

Slarti: I'm not being nasty; if you took me that way I'd like to set you straight.

Not at all. I was being serious: I think we'd all be better off if we either talked about other things or spent 80% less time posting.


I'm a great believer in the proposition that every citizen, even the most partisan, should greet a new President with an open mind and give him or her a fair chance to be a great President. But that principle doesn't apply in the same way to a second termer, and it doesn't apply at all to a second-termer who has refused to acknowledge that he made a single mistake during his term, who has never fired an underling, and whose primary campaign theme was Stay The Course.

If George W. Bush actually does dramatically change his stripes in a second term, I am prepared to notice that and adjust my stance accordingly. Until that point, my attitude toward the President remains combative. I want to use all fair political means to neuter his Presidency.

My take is that W spent most of his first term in mortal fear of being a one-termer, and that had a profound impact on his attitude and policies. The elimination of that particular concern will, I hope, allow him to admit mistakes, change some courses, be less secretive, and overall be a better President.

Agree, except the second honeymoon. In Bush's first 100 days he managed to enact legislation that's already helped rack up our national debt by 40%. What makes you so sure he won't do it again?

Agree, except the second honeymoon. In Bush's first 100 days he managed to enact legislation that's already helped rack up our national debt by 40%. What makes you so sure he won't do it again?

Bernard: I hope you and your mate didn't have "mutual affairs" on your honeymoon.

My wife and slept through the first night of our honeymoon and then went over Niagara Falls together in a barrel.

So far, this honeymoon is following the script.

I get my comity and my comedy mixed up. I'm insincere about both.

I don't think Bush needs a honeymoon period. He has been president for four year already. But it would be nice if we could put the 'illegtimate' label behind us now.

All in good faith Ed, Bravo. But don't make promises you can't keep. Don't really see the need for a honeymoon, but any kind of tolerance is accepted - forced, structured or otherwise. George Bush is a known quantity and has held up pretty well given five years of personal attacks and charges of illegitimacy and ignorance. But be yourselves posters, it's what got this blog it's growing reputation. What always slays me though, is certain posters ability to take any kind of situation and turn it right into natural fertilizer. They take 2 add it to something they make sound like another 2 and equate it to the worse possible denominator. Could the tolerance we're looking for is giving a little benefit of the doubt that the administration's intent is not to conquer the world or irradiate the less fortunate. When something's not right, scream to high heaven. Administrations are big bureaucracies that do dumb things. Call them on it. But call the media on it and call your brethren on it too. (We'll help with that). Heck if jes agreed with me on more than points of order, I wouldn't accept it as sincere. Let's start with good manners, that especially goes for me.

Wow, Sebastian, that oughta scare you to death. Don't put too much into it. :)

Personally, I'm hoping this defeat encourages others on the left to take a long, hard look at why we lost this election. Some time for introspection would, I think, be a good thing now.

Didn't happen in 2001, got nipped in the bud with the Dean campaign. The Kerry campaign was more of the same race to the middle, and now our national electorate has rewarded four years of incompetence, secrecy, lack of accountability, and abuses of power with four more years of the same.

And regarding being a good loser, I'm with Trickster. This is not a baseball game. We don't get to shake our opponents' hands and go home to dinner now. We have to live with runaway deficits, environmental degradation, rising health-care costs, a disastrous occupation in the middle-east, the rise of new nuclear powers, escalating anti-American sentiment around the globe, and a mass-murderer taunting us from... where exactly? What is more, Bush has plans for a major overhaul of the tax system, and at least two proponents of a national sales tax, favored by the speaker of the house and called worthy of consideration by Bush himself, are on the way to the Senate. If they make headway on this proposal, it could be disastrous for the middle class, and all this is not even to mention the Supreme Court.

That's the spirit Gromit. You the man!!

Gromit,

I am not enthused by any means about the products of four more years of Bush, by any means.

However, it is not the national electorate that I am speaking to, but those of us with the motivation and the ability to take part in the game. I don't have a good answer to the question of How Do We Do That? but I think it is important that we consider ridding ourselves of methods that, frankly, don't work. I think there are fundamental problems with the Democratic Party, and I think they need fixing. I think they need fixing before we start talking to the electorate again.

And John, yeah, you can absolutely be on the team. The more, the merrier, I think. Nefariousness needs to be explored.

Sebastian, I think, in part, you're right about the foreign policy angle, though I am not certain of how to measure that. I heard some rather striking numbers on one of the news outlets (I can't remember which, they all seem to blend) that quoted something like 80% of respondents were swayed by 'Moral Values'. That doesn't sound like foreign policy to me, it sounds like the anti-gay-marriage train brought out the evangelical vote. But again, I don't know of a good way to measure that.

crutan

"irradiate the less fortunate"

Actually, Jim Bunning and Tom Coburn do want to irradiate the less fortunate but I'm enough of a realist to understand this won't happen until even bigger majorities are pushed through.

Gromit: "disastrous for the middle class". Well, you might think the middle class will run left/moderate on this, but they won't, because the other Party will unveil part II of the tax strategy, which is to then immediately promise to cut the sales tax rate, where ever the rate might start. The same folks who believe most of the rationale for Iraq will go for it. The Iraqis flew the planes into the World Trade Center, but I'll vote for anyone who won't make me pay for fighting the war, at least without destroying much of the rest of the Federal Government.

And let's do mention the Supreme Court, which could within 4 years declare the Income Tax unconstitutional, if legislation to destroy it doesn't pass.

"My rule is much simpler: whoever gets inaugurated on January 21st is the President. Period. You don't have to like it, you just have to accept it."

I accept it, ok. He is the President, my President, God Save the President, whatever. I still don't really know what the heck this means.

I had not felt this way the previous four years. But he won this election, fair and square, or close enough. It didn't make a dime's worth of difference as far as I could see, even to me. If I were to call everything Bush did in his first administration illegal because he really wasn't President, who cares? Didn't, wouldn't change anything.

I do not invest that office with any kind of supernatural glow. It is just a job, not a symbol or icon or ideal or religious figure. I hope Europeans et al realize that America is not "represented" by any President, save in the legal ways granted him by statute and the constitution. Tacitus and Noonan and others can get all gooey and misty over "leaders". I am more Tolstoy than Carlyle.

The United States is our Constitution, the people, all 300 million or whatever, its history. The President is just another hired hand.

McManus is correct, of course.

It kind of goes without saying that everyone accepts the fact of who is President.

But I've been wrong before. I mean, many of the red meanies like Ashcroft, Limbaugh, and fill-in-the-name never "accepted" that I hate Osama Bin Laden as much as they do. They still think I might BE him.

So I question all assumptions about good faith.

I just want to eradicate proof reading.

"eradicate proofreading"

No eradication necessary. Just relax and let it go. Be ONE with the post button. ;)

BTW Edward, where does "the bet" stand with you and Timmy?

McManus, I think you mean:
A president should not ask what the people can do for him, but what he can do for the people.
However, looking at the last four years...I am not optimistic.
But maybe I'm wrong, and will Bush , without any re-election worries, show some real compassion and a desire to leave behind a worthy legacy.

Crionna,

One of the judges weighed in, but still waiting for the other two. Navy and Von have yet to hand down their decisions. Updates here.

Blue: Do you really believe the Dem's were "good losers" in 2000?

No, but then in 2000, the Democrats won. It's the Republicans who were sore losers.

In 2004? Well, Slarti will be pleased to know ;-) that I don't intend to talk about the Diebold machines getting fixed (well, not after Nov 3 is over) until there's some evidence to show they were. (You know. Same attitude I had to the Florida elections in 2000.) I anticipate analysis of exit polls with e-machine voting results in Ohio and Florida with interest, however.

I spent three hours on a plane today, so I wrote a ridiculously long thing on the election. As promised, I am not posting anymore, and this seems like the best thread to put it in comments. So, starting with the next post....

I don't see any reason for a honeymoon for an incumbent. Partisanship for it's own sake is no good, but if you honestly believe someone is leading your country directly in the wrong direction, there is no reason not to say so. There is also no reason to give the benefit of the doubt to people who have proved themselves unworthy of it over and over again.

(If you just mean "don't assume the worst without evidence, I agree, but we should always do that.)

Same attitude I had to the Florida elections in 2000.

Too bad it didn't survive the end of that year.

The Ballad of Election 2004
I. Scenes from a hangover
(Not literally, unfortunately. I had to leave for the airport at 6 a.m. this morning.)

Honestly, I'm taking this better than I would have expected. Better than 2000, better than the midterms, and better than the Iowa caucuses. It may be because I'm getting used to losing elections, and at some level I always expected us to lose this one. I kidded myself about turnout for a few days, at the end, but from 9:00 on last night, I just knew. I called every state right except maybe Iowa.

But more than anything I think it's because unlike 2000 or the midterms, we showed up for the fight. Because I voted at 7 a.m. in a precinct full of late sleeping college and grad students, and had to wait on line for half an hour. Because I got to do 10 hours of get-out-the vote in the only state in the country to change for the better since 2000. Because there are good guys in politics again--Barack Obama, Howard Dean, Eliot Spitzer, Wesley Clark, Ed Markey, Johnny Edwards--and yes, in his own unspectacular way, John F. Kerry. (Two years ago it felt like the only good guy had been killed in a place crash several weeks earlier.)

(I think it's time to end this section, because I almost comapred this to rooting for the 2000 Mets versus the 2004 Mets or 2003 Red Sox. Needless to say, the Republicans are the Yankees. Always.)

I don't see any reason for a honeymoon for an incumbent.

Yeah, I understand, but, it's the best device I could come up with for helping me get over being bitter and move on to more constructive participation in all this. I'm not calling for anyone else to do so.

I do wish the president well in the next four years, but, as I noted, I reserve the right to come out swinging should he fail to rise to the challenges of the office now that needn't worry about being a one-termer.

The Ballad of Election 2004, ctd.
II. The National Archives
I had a job interview in Washington, D.C. today. If Kerry won, I was going to walk to the White House, and think what it would be like to have a decent man and a decent administration there again. If there were credible allegations of voter fraud or voter suppression that might decide the election, I was going to find a protest to go to. As it was I went to the National Archives--the only one of the standard D.C. tour bus stops I'd never seen.

The building itself is nothing special. Your generic monomumental, grey, fake-Greek-temple-facade-on-a-box federal building, with the requisite sculptures and vaguely inspiring quotations.

But it's well situated, and out front (or back) is the real FDR Memorial, which I'd not seen or heard of until today. (I don't like the one off the mall. Too sprawling.) Roosevelt told Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter in September of 1941 that (I transcribed this from the plaque outside):

If a memorial is erected to me, I know exactly what I should like it to be. I should like it to consist of a block about the size of this (putting his hand on his desk) and placed in the center of that green plot in front of the archives building. I don't care what it is made of, whether limestone or granite or whatnot, but I want it plain without any ornamentation, with the simple carving "In Memory of...."

There was no explanation of why he chose the archives, whether it was because he agreed with bob mcmanus that the United States is the Constitution and the people, or because he just liked the spot. They built in in 1965, of marble I think.

The inside of the building was a little disappointing, architecturally speaking. (I am probably spoiled by the documents library of my college, which has about the most beautiful interior I've seen in a building less than 100 years old.) And both exhibitions halls were closed, so it was just the "Rotunda of Freedom" or whatever they call it.

My favorite document, by far, was a page of a printed draft of the Constitution that George Washington used during the Convention--complete with cross outs, additions, and notes in the margins. I wanted to transcribe some of them, but it's hard to read the faded text in the dim light. If you get close enough to see, your breath fogs up the glass and the security guard starts giving you funny looks.

One thing I do remember: in the printed draft of the infamous 3/5 clause, representation was to be determined by adding the number of "all white persons" to 3/5 of other persons. This was crossed out and replaced with "all free persons." Whether this was because the truth was embarrassing, or some delegates insisted that free blacks be fully represented, I have no idea.

These documents were not handed down on Mount Sinai. (Though learning that the Bill of Rights was proposed as 12 amendments did remind me of the scene in Mel Brooks' History of the World Part I where Moses accidentally drops one of the stone tablets. You know the one "People of Israel, I give out these 15 (crash)...these 10 commandments!") There were first drafts, and cross outs, and they still got a lot wrong. They fixed the ommission of the bill of rights soon enough (the missing two were nothing special), but it took eight decades and a civil war to add the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. It took another hundred-odd years for the 14th and 15th to be enforced--and the First Amendment was not very strong before the mean ol' liberal activist Warren Court either. It took about 130 years to give half the country the right to vote.

It all gave me a feeling of reassurance, a sense of perspective. Which wavered when I saw the "Kerry and Edwards merchandise--Half Off!" signs at an airport souvenir shop, and fell apart entirely when I watched Kerry's concession speech, to be replaced by a sick feeling at the pit of my stomach, but I will try to recreate some of it for the next part of this epic.

The Ballad of Election 2004, ctd.
III. Pitchers and Catchers in Three Months
So, to Democrats: this is no time to form a circular firing squad--though there will inevitably be a leadership struggle with Daschle gone, and it is essential that we pick the right person.

This is no time to get hysterical and surrender to our worst instincts. This is a very dangerous time, but this country has survived worse. George W. Bush has done some truly awful things--but other Presidents have done worse things. FDR, rightfully a hero to many of us, committed two wins worse than any of Bush's. (1. Internment of Japanese Americans. 2. Failure to bomb the train tracks to the concentration camps, to otherwise impede the machinery of the death camps in the closing days of the war, or two admit refugees from Nazi Germany.) And I hope I don't need to say that as great a danger as Bush may be, Al Qaeda and their allies are a much, much worse danger.

This is also no time to give up or flee to Canada. (I know those are jokes, I've made them myself--but they're funny because there's an undercurrent that's serious.) This country is the daughter of Pericles' Athens and the mother of modern democracy. It is much too good to give up on.

Yes, they're the majority and we're the minority. But that doesn't mean they're right. It doesn't mean that we're wrong. It doesn't mean it will always end like this. Independence, abolition of slavery, the right to organize to earn a decent living for honest work, women's suffrage, voting rights for African-Americans, the end to Jim Crow--those were all minority positions once. In most of those cases the vote would've been much more lopsided than 51% to 48%.

As Kerry said in his nearly perfect concession speech, this can change, and it may change sooner than we think. Barack Obama's his birth would have been evidence of a felony if he was born in the wrong state. He is only the third black Senator since Reconstruction. He was elected with 70% of the vote yesterday, and there is a real chance he will be President one day.

But history doesn't change on its own. It has to be pushed, and we need to keep pushing. Obama called this "the audacity of hope." John Kerry awkwardly quoted Bruce Springstreen--"No retreat, no surrender. A Red Sox fan in any year but this one would say "wait till next year," or better still "pitchers and catchers in three months."

(Yes, it always comes back to baseball. Blame my husband for that, or maybe Johnny Damon, but I'm not going to fight it anymore.)

I told my Yankee fan father after the 2000 World Series, with all the righteous indignation I could muster (and all of you know that's a lot), that I would rather root for the Mets and lose in five games than root for the Yankees and win four World Series in a row. Well, I'd rather be on Barack Obama's, John Stewart's and John Kerry's team and lose than be on Tom Coburn's, Bob Novak's and George W. Bush's team and win.

Wait till next election. Primaries in 18 months.

The Ballad of Election 2004, ctd.
IV. Prove Me Wrong

And Republicans--congratulations. Okay, I don't really mean that, but I kind of do. You won, and it really looks like this time you won by getting your voters to the polls and their votes counted instead of stopping our voters from getting to the polls and turning out. You've earned the right to gloat. Unless the Senate Democrats show more courage and guile than I think they're capable of, or the press awakens from its slumber, you can probably pretty much do whatever the hell you want for next two years.

But please keep one thing in mind: close to half the country--including a lot of smart and reasonable people, more or less my whole family, most of my good friends, and overwhelming majorities of just about all the cities that are at greatest risk of terrorist attack--honestly believe that we are more likely to die or lose a friend or family member to a terrorist attack because President Bush was re-elected. We honestly believe that more soldiers will die in Iraq, and perhaps other unnecessary wars, because President Bush was re-elected. We honestly believe that millions more Americans will fall into poverty or lose their health care because President Bush was re-elected. We honestly believe that he will drive the government close to bankruptcy, and do severe and lasting damage to the environment--damage that contributes to asthma attacks, deadly storms, and epidemics, as well as harming the land, flora and fauna. We honestly believe there will be more Abu Ghraibs, more incidents at the Brooklyn MDC. We honestly believe there will be more Maher Arars, and also more ordinary cases where an immigrant is deported to a country where his life is in danger. We honestly fear that there will be lasting damage to the Constitution, and to democracy itself.

I'm not saying these things to get people to vote against Bush. It's too late for that. I am saying these things because I honestly believe them. You can tell me my fears are overblown if you like. They may be overblown, but your telling me so will do absolutely nothing to reassure me.

You think I'm being paranoid? Prove I'm being paranoid. You think I'm wrong? Prove me wrong. Please, please, prove me wrong. There is no way that Bush, Cheney, DeLay, Hastert, Frist, any of them will listen to a Massachusetts (gasp) liberal (gasp); they may listen to you.

I know you'll need Democrats' and liberals' help for this. I promise to help in any way possible, and to do my best to persuade other liberals to do the same. But your side controls both houses of Congress, the Presidency, every executive agency, a majority of state governorships, and a majority on the Supreme Court that will probably increase soon. We need your help much more than you need ours.

Prove us wrong. Please, please, please prove us wrong. That's not a blog thread challenge; I'm scared enough to be close to begging. If possible, prove us ridiculously wrong. Prove that our fears were not only exaggerated, but silly. Make me embarrassed ever to have written this when I read it in 2006 or 2008.

Prove that our fears were not only exaggerated, but silly.

Amen!

And hey everyone, good news for gay rights!

Yes, you heard that right. I'm digging through my email and I just found this.

Dear Katherine,

Wow! We won big last night in Massachusetts.

Thanks to your support, every pro-equality legislator won reelection (and more often than not, by very large margins).

In addition, pro-equality candidates won six of eight open seats where the opponent was in favor of the constitutional amendment that would bar marriage equality for same-sex couples. Senators-elect Ed Augustus (2nd Worcester) and Karen Spilka (2nd Middlesex and Norfolk) both won tough races against well-funded opponents. Representatives-elect Denis Guyer (2nd Berkshire), John Keenan (7th Essex), Tom Sannicandro (7th Middlesex), and Cleon Turner (1st Barnstable) also won. These victories were achieved, in no small part, with your volunteer and financial support.

In one of the few races where equal marriage rights became a significant issue, openly gay Carl Sciortino beat by a two-to-one margin Representative Vinny Ciampa, who waged a homophobic write-in campaign after losing the primary.

We unleashed an unprecedented effort statewide to re-elect our allies and defeat our opponents. Along with our coalition partners, MassEquality worked strategically in both the primary and general elections. We told incumbents we’d stick with them and we did, from door-knocking, to phone banking, to fund raising. You were critical to this success.

Yesterday's victories position us extremely well for next year's constitutional convention. We deserve to celebrate. Very soon, however, we will let you know about the next steps in our campaign to preserve equal marriage rights in Massachusetts.

Finally, it bears repeating -- last night's victories in Massachusetts were truly historic and have national implications. What we have done together these past few months is incredible. I can't express the deep admiration I have for all of you who have made this possible.

Sincerely,

Marty Rouse
Campaign Director

P.S. As I write this message, we have lost ten of the eleven statewide ballot initiatives related to marriage with Oregon's fate still uncertain. Massachusetts is the one shining light of hope for supporters of equality in our country.

God bless Blue America.

Okay, bless Red America too, but help them to see that it is not only no threat, but an intrinsically a good thing for two people to devote themselves to each other forever.

#1 way for Bush to start proving me wrong:
Ask for Donald Rumsfeld's resignation and nominate Richard Lugar for Secretary of Defense.

With the Indiana gubernatorial results, you don't risk a Senate seat. In fact you could get a more conservative Indiana Senator, a breeze of a confirmation process, and a competent Secretary of Defense. Who is a loyal Republican, but who puts his country's best interest ahead of partisan loyalty. Who combines the Republican's willingness to use force with the Democrats' desire to use it as a last resort and concern about non-state threats and non-military solutions. Who is the country's leading elected expert on securing nuclear materials and weapons.

He's no poet, and "Loogie" isn't half as euphonious as "Rummy", but I'll gladly trade those so I can sleep at night.

Pretty, pretty, pretty please? (von, can I get an amen?)

Amen, but Von's got nothing to do with it .... yet.

I'm heading to the liquor store...

Eddie, getting ready to pay off the bet?

Katherine, four more years of Rummy would just be about right. The move to the east continues and transformation of the military, Rummy is the right man for both. Lugar is not the man for either job, sorry.

"The move to the east continues"? Do you know what that sounds like?

It's going to be a long four years.

"The move to the east continues"? Do you know what that sounds like?

It's going to be a long four years.

"#1 way for Bush to start proving me wrong:
Ask for Donald Rumsfeld's resignation and nominate Richard Lugar for Secretary of Defense."


Bush isn't out to prove you wrong. Does reaching out to another mean that one has to change their fundamental beliefs? Does reaching out to another mean that one does what the other wants? Does reaching out to another even mean compromise?

I don't think their are definitive answers to those questions. I could reach out to another and include them in my inner circle, but still not be willing to follow them... only to listen to them... to respect them... to value their presence in the process.

Bush's concept of reaching out (and I think most people out there) will be to ask Democrats who are willing to work within his framework to assist in designing and implementing his framework... to add to his framework... to build upon his framework... to refine it's structure. It will not be to change his basic framework.

This would solve a lot of problems too ;-)

Dick Lugar would be wasted at Defense, IMO. State is the place for Lugar.

Dick Lugar would be wasted at Defense, IMO. State is the place for Lugar.

I agree.

"The move to the east continues"? Do you know what that sounds like?

Reality!

Bush's concept of reaching out (and I think most people out there) will be to ask Democrats who are willing to work within his framework to assist in designing and implementing his framework...

IOW, he's willing to reach out to Dems who'll help him do what he wants. Whoop de doo.

Not that he should be expected to do anything different, I hasten to add; it's just that I wish he'd shed all this BS about unity and reaching out. I saw a snippet of his "political capital" press conference -- that displayed his real feelings, namely, he's got the power and he's damn well going to use it.

Oops. Dammit.

Argh!

"The move to the east continues"? Do you know what that sounds like?

Sherman or von Paulus, can't really tell which.

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