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11/03/2004 Entry: "November 3, 2004"

Okay, it's a new day; same Mayerson.

Don't give up, put on your blue clothes, don't give up. New day, same struggle. The Kerry legacy is a unified, mobilized Left, let's be grateful for that because we're going to be fighting the same battles for the foreseeable future as we were fighting on Monday. And, don't forget, 2006 is just around the corner.

* * *

Election results in my state.

"CALIFORNIA:

"PRESIDENT (55) -- John Kerry claimed the nation's largest haul of electoral votes.

"SENATE -- Democrat Barbara Boxer sailed to a third term, easily outpolling Republican challenger Bill Jones.

"HOUSE -- 33D, 20R. California's heavily Democratic congressional delegation was set to return to Washington with two new faces among its 53 members. Republican Dan Lungren won a Sacramento-area seat, and Democrat Jim Costa will fill the seat now held by retiring Democratic Rep. Cal Dooley.

"PROPOSITIONS -- Voters rejected two expensive casino gambling initiatives, but approved sale of $3 billion in bonds to pay for embryonic stem cell research. Measure to roll back "three strikes" sentencing law was too close to call.

EXIT POLL -- Four in 10 voters earning more than $150,000 chose Kerry, despite his promises to roll back a tax cut.
Election returns by region, AP, via LATimes, November 3, 2004

But how is the proposition to make WalMart, instead of Social Services, pay for its employees health insurance is doing? SF Chron has more, but not the final numbers. Our Secretary of State site, might be more useful than I thought: Statewide Propositions: Prop 1A Yes Local Govt Revenues; Prop 59 Yes Public Records ; Prop 60 Yes Party Rights ; Prop 60A Yes Surplus Property ; Prop 61 Yes Hospital Grants; Prop 62 No Open Primary ; Prop 63 Yes Mental Health Svcs ; Prop 64 Yes Business Laws; Prop 65 No Local Govt Funds ; Prop 66 No 3 Strikes Limits ; Prop 67 No Medical Svcs Funds ; Prop 68 No Gambling Expansion ; Prop 69 Yes DNA Samples; Prop 70 No Tribal Gaming; Prop 71 Yes Stem Cell Research ; Prop 72 No Health Care Coverage.

* * *

"I'm writing this on tenterhooks on Tuesday, without knowing the election results. But whether John Kerry's supporters are now celebrating or seeking asylum abroad, they should be feeling wretched about the millions of farmers, factory workers and waitresses who ended up voting - utterly against their own interests - for Republican candidates."

~snip~

"One problem is the yuppification of the Democratic Party. Thomas Frank, author of the best political book of the year, 'What's the Matter With Kansas: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America,' says that Democratic leaders have been so eager to win over suburban professionals that they have lost touch with blue-collar America."
Living Poor, Voting Rich, by Nicholas D. Kristof, NYTimes Op/Ed, November 3, 2004

I work as a secretary and Blue Collar types make more than I do and I GET IT, what's wrong with them?

Voting against their best interests? Try this - they're voting against the poor and minorities because they hate them. That's what the Republican party has become about. HATE.

So, here's my own moment of hate: There's been some sympathy and understanding on the Left for Republicans who've lost children in Iraq because, well, if you lose your kid, you want to believe it was for something good and for a good president. (I have to qualify this, in that anyone who dies honorably in the execution of their military duty has died an honorable and meaningful death.) However, I'm in a bad mood so I say to you bush voters who've lost children in Iraq: you've missed the big memo from God and I no longer care about your pain.

And when the Draft starts, I won't care about that either. I voted against it and my side lost.

* * *

"George W. Bush’s electoral victory is chilling proof that the conservatives have achieved dominance over the flow of information to the American people and that even a well-run Democratic campaign stands virtually no chance for national success without major changes in how the news media operates."
Too Little, Too Late, by Robert Parry, Consortium News, November 3, 2004

Then we are in a world of trouble because money now rules the news and money is voting itself more money, as usual.

If bush can win on his record, then major changes in this country are due, if not overdue.

* * *

Xeni on Kerry.

* * *

"There will be serious blowback. A new pan-Islamic nationalism, for example, featuring Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's Shi'ite masses allied with the Sunni triangle to kick out the Americans from Iraq, eventually supported by both Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iraq crisscrossed by guerrillas and Iran penetrated by US intelligence, both leading - plus Shi'ite eastern Saudi Arabia, where the oil is - to a new, catastrophic oil shock.

"And then the neo-conservative Project for the New American Century (PNAC) - which virtually took over the US government - will create a major confrontation with China. Asia, beware.

"The faith-based, apocalyptic evangelicals have won this battle against the "reality community". Bush won despite Tora Bora, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib. The crusade continues. In God we trust - and also in Osama bin Laden. He got exactly what he wanted."
Damn politics, let's dance, by Pepe Escobar, Asia Times, November 3, 2004

This is what you Red state mutherfuckers voted for and I hope you get a bellyfull. And you young people between 18 and 34 who either voted for bush or didn't vote, let me be the first to congratulate you, you'll soon be in more hell than you ever realized existed. Burn, baby burn. You've pissed away your only chance for survival and I'm not wishing you luck.

* * *

November 3, 2004
OP-ED COLUMNIST
Living Poor, Voting Rich
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

In the aftermath of this civil war that our nation has just fought, one result is clear: the Democratic Party's first priority should be to reconnect with the American heartland.

I'm writing this on tenterhooks on Tuesday, without knowing the election results. But whether John Kerry's supporters are now celebrating or seeking asylum abroad, they should be feeling wretched about the millions of farmers, factory workers and waitresses who ended up voting - utterly against their own interests - for Republican candidates.

One of the Republican Party's major successes over the last few decades has been to persuade many of the working poor to vote for tax breaks for billionaires. Democrats are still effective on bread-and-butter issues like health care, but they come across in much of America as arrogant and out of touch the moment the discussion shifts to values.

"On values, they are really noncompetitive in the heartland," noted Mike Johanns, a Republican who is governor of Nebraska. "This kind of elitist, Eastern approach to the party is just devastating in the Midwest and Western states. It's very difficult for senatorial, Congressional and even local candidates to survive."

In the summer, I was home - too briefly - in Yamhill, Ore., a rural, working-class area where most people would benefit from Democratic policies on taxes and health care. But many of those people disdain Democrats as elitists who empathize with spotted owls rather than loggers.

One problem is the yuppification of the Democratic Party. Thomas Frank, author of the best political book of the year, "What's the Matter With Kansas: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America," says that Democratic leaders have been so eager to win over suburban professionals that they have lost touch with blue-collar America.

"There is a very upper-middle-class flavor to liberalism, and that's just bound to rub average people the wrong way," Mr. Frank said. He notes that Republicans have used "culturally powerful but content-free issues" to connect to ordinary voters.

To put it another way, Democrats peddle issues, and Republicans sell values. Consider the four G's: God, guns, gays and grizzlies.

One-third of Americans are evangelical Christians, and many of them perceive Democrats as often contemptuous of their faith. And, frankly, they're often right. Some evangelicals take revenge by smiting Democratic candidates.

Then we have guns, which are such an emotive issue that Idaho's Democratic candidate for the Senate two years ago, Alan Blinken, felt obliged to declare that he owned 24 guns "and I use them all." He still lost.

As for gays, that's a rare wedge issue that Democrats have managed to neutralize in part, along with abortion. Most Americans disapprove of gay marriage but do support some kind of civil unions (just as they oppose "partial birth" abortions but don't want teenage girls to die from coat-hanger abortions).

Finally, grizzlies - a metaphor for the way environmentalism is often perceived in the West as high-handed. When I visited Idaho, people were still enraged over a Clinton proposal to introduce 25 grizzly bears into the wild. It wasn't worth antagonizing most of Idaho over 25 bears.

"The Republicans are smarter," mused Oregon's governor, Ted Kulongoski, a Democrat. "They've created ... these social issues to get the public to stop looking at what's happening to them economically."

"What we once thought - that people would vote in their economic self-interest - is not true, and we Democrats haven't figured out how to deal with that."

Bill Clinton intuitively understood the challenge, and John Edwards seems to as well, perhaps because of their own working-class origins. But the party as a whole is mostly in denial.

To appeal to middle America, Democratic leaders don't need to carry guns to church services and shoot grizzlies on the way. But a starting point would be to shed their inhibitions about talking about faith, and to work more with religious groups.

Otherwise, the Democratic Party's efforts to improve the lives of working-class Americans in the long run will be blocked by the very people the Democrats aim to help.

 

 

 

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