Hell & Ohio
I believe if I owned both Hell and Ohio, Id rent out Ohio and live in Hell.
Tom Brokaw set the tone for election evening (his last time as anchor for a presidential anchor) when he responded to Chris Matthews questions about how that felt with a rousing endorsement of the political processruminating on his gratitude that the nation was electing a leader and that we were doing it with no guns or tanks in the street.
Were not under martial law!!!
Brought to us live from DEMOCRACY PLAZA (without so much as a trace of irony)!
He led off the news coverage of an evening that couldve only come as a surprise to someone with the functional intelligence of an 8-year-old, an IQ in the low double-digitsin short, the kinda person George W. Bush enjoyed executing when he was Texas governor.
Win or lose, its hard to imagine a White House without George W. Bush.
Florida? Please. His brother and campaign staff took it for him last time
When he WASNt the incumbent.
Texas was redistricted (which is to say, gerrymandered) a long-time back, and the systematic unregistering of black and hispanic voters has been going on for months.
None of which, is to say thatwith or without the machinations of Bush et althat the American public (and the heavily flawed electoral college system) couldnt have easily elected the guy completely of their own volition and stupidity.
Hal Crowther has written movingly for years about the GOPs ability to forge an unholy alliance between Wall Street and White Trash.
Wall Street votes for Bush because theyve bought and paid for himthe White Trash vote out of sheer terror that what little they have might be given to someone in a place like Florida where, as Jon Stewart points out, the sun tans you so dark that your vote cannot be counted.
Lock up those two sectorsthe wealthy (who own everything), and the exploited poor (the kind who get sent off to die, while they and their parents write Thank You notes to the Administration)and you have the mother of all power bases.
Throw in the ill-informed, the unenlightened, and the misled (thanks to a lap-dog press) and you have a definite majority.
Take the Security Moms who could be seen on every channel spouting that they voted 9/11.
They must be the same folks who fell for the wolves adthe one that sorta, kinda suggested that if you didnt vote for Bush, probably a wild dingo will come along and eat your baby.
Wait a second.
When did THAT become....a success story?!
Uhhhhh. All those people are still dead.
Theres still a big old crater (and some art) at Ground Zero.
The ensuing scorched earth economy is still every bit as charred.
When asked where the guy responsible is, Bush responded in a moment of genuine unguarded candor, I dont know, and I dont care. (Its fitting, because the motto for his administration has always been: Which is worse: ignorance or apathy? We dont know and we dont care.)
He and Cheney then went on to privatize our military in service of Halliburton to depose an otherwise secular nationcreating a power vacuum in the Middle East where the ONLY law and order that could possibly emerge, in an otherwise weakened society, was radical Islamand expanding, of course, an ever-enlarging global community that hates the U.S., and powerful recruitment tools for al-Qaeda.
We went there NOT, as so many surmised, to finish his fathers job (a guy hes privately and publicly disparaged), but because hes fundamentally a Mamas Boy, and Babs is a woman who can hold a grudge, and never forgot or forgave the first Bush exodus from the White House.
The presidency was Shrubs CONSOLATION job. What he REALLY wanted to be was baseball commissioner. But as a guy who, literally, could not find OIL in TEXAS, no matter how much his daddys buddies paid him, he just wasnt at the top of any search committees hire list. President of the United States was simply the best he could do.
Bush is booed off the stage when he goes to other countriesbecause no one in those crowds is forced to sign a loyalty oath to get in.
In fairness, Kerry didnt do much to help himselfstubbornly refusing to take a stance that differentiated him much from his opposition.
A few thought strong women might be turned on by his missus (who does have a big job
yeah, overseeing all her late husbands money) or that soccer moms might cotton to Mrs. Edwards (but frankly, its more than a little CREEPY that they gave the appearance of dabbling in a science project to replace their late son.)
There went two power bases who were substantively ignored and recruited with only the shallowest and most incompetent tactics.
And anyone who was legitimately surprised that the young folk didnt turn out for Kerry in the expected numbers is an idiot. Youll see numbers of voters in their 20s at the polls when they bring back the draft.
And even if the young voted, whos to say theyd have turned out for Kerry? Anybody whos spent much time in a classroom (at least at public schools) isnt necessarily that high on ensuring the Youth exercise this much-vaunted right.
This isnt the West Wing folks. Here in the real world, intellect isnt a valued commodityits shunned and resentedand a global, nuanced world view is suspect.
You can skip over the networks and try out HBOs The Wire if you want a taste of how ALL politics are local. n