Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Post Election Blues

Continuing from yesterday, I went to the local Democratic offices, called some people in Florida, reading from a script, and left after about two hours. Not much, but I felt I had to do something, especially with all the emails I had been receiving over the last few months from various offices asking for my support.

As I was listening to Air America radio in the afternoon, the hosts and their guests seemed quite giddy from the exit polls. It appeared that Kerry was going to win decisively. But of course, things changed, and it was Bush who won.

So what went wrong, who is to blame, who should lead our party in the future? Some conservatives say there will be a civil war within the Republican party between old line conservatives and the neo-conservatives, the former feeling that their party has been hijacked. But turmoil will probably be stronger within the Democratic party. In fact, the party seems to be in a state of disarray. We lost big time.

Part of the problem is that "liberal" has become a dirty word in our national political scene. I chose the term "liberal values" for this blog, because it seems to me that really is the heart of the problem. The Republicans were seen by most voters as the party of values, the Democratic party the party of economic and foreign policy reform. The job ahead involves more than just finding the right candidate, or building up better organizations, it involves reaching out to the masses of people in the "red" states and convincing them of the moral values behind our positions, not just that it is in their self-interest to support us. We need to convince people that "liberal" has value as it did during the New Deal and the Civil Rights movement.

We also need to reach out to Republicans and conservatives who are becoming disaffected with various aspects of Bush's policies, and find ways to work with them. And there are a growing number of such people, likely to become ever larger if Bush pursues a hard right agenda.

In any case, the Republican party now has control over Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House. We are almost a one-party government at the federal level. So whatever goes wrong in our economy, our environment, or our foreign relations, Bush will have no one to blame but himself and his party. I am thinking particularly of Iraq.

Some predictions:

- Bush will cut back on government spending in order to bring the budget under control, and most of the slashing will be aimed at public and social welfare programs. But given the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Homeland Security, and permanent tax cuts, the main effect will be to hurt poor people, with little actual budget balancing.

- Iraq will further descend into anarchy, to be quelled only if Bush decides to bomb the smithereens out of the country or reinstitute the draft and send in more troops.

- Republicans will continue to minimize the role of Democrats in Congress and exclude them from various meetings that minority party members normally attend.

- Environmental destruction will increase as more land and sea is opened up to corporate interests. Less controls over pollution will lead to more public health problems.

- Bush will pick several Supreme Court justices and appoint a new Chief Justice.

Anyone want to add predictions?


Blogger Zadowsky said...

Well she's got a hotty body, but her attitude is potty
When I met her at a party she was hardly acting naughty
I said "Would you call me?"
She said "Pardon me, are you ballin'?"
I said "Darling, you sound like a prostitute pausing"
Oh so you're one them freaks, get geeked at the sight of ATM receipts
But game been peeped, dropping names she's weak
Trickin' off this bitch is lost
Must take me for a geek a quick way to eat
A neat place sleep, a rent-a-car for a week, a trick for a treat
Now go on the raw sex, my AIDS test is flawless
Regardless, we don't want to get involved with no lawyers
And judges just to hold grudges in a courtroom
I wanna see ya support bra not support you!

11:34 PM  
Blogger veggiedude said...

Look on the bright side of things. It means Hillary in 2008! I have the "Blogs for Hillary '08" on my site. Feel free to lift it.

11:39 PM  
Blogger Lawrence said...

Hi Veggidude and Liberal Values, I'll put the Hillary for 2008 banner on my blog, I like the idea.
Coming from France this morning, the idea is to built a stronger Europe, to face as One to the States and defend our own values. Ourselves,I mean the french "intellectuals", politicians, writers, and politics.... ; think we have to give good values for a brighter civilization, that holds from the dark to the light, with peace, human rights, ONU, diplomatic relationship...etc. This morning on the radio, it was just like "save the world" and "give peace a chance", and "we have a responsability to history"...
I'm sure many people would feel that's a bit to heavy as a goal...

12:41 AM  
Blogger Stephen Denney said...

Thanks, veggiedude. Hillary is not my first choice but of course I will vote for her if she wins the nomination. I am inclined to think we will need a strong candidate from a swing or "red" state, who has much experience. Maybe Russ Feingold.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Jake said...


6:02 PM  

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