• John

    Hint: You may also find it in the scores of millions of voters and nonvoters in between Manhattan and San Francisco whom the Democratic Party has repeatedly mocked, ridiculed, called stupid/ignorant/intolerant, and excluded for the past 30 or so years. It’s the self-righteous intellectual elitism of the bi-coastal left that has alienated these voters. The Democratic leadership and their army of academics in our colleges and universities need to look at themselves in the mirror this morning, and ask not what has happened to my country, but what has happened to my party.

  • http://thomashawk.com Thomas Hawk

    You may not see your heart anywhere else? I sure hope not because the only way this would be happening would be if you’d had a transplant and then you wouldn’t be around to see it.

    I agree with the first comment on the comment on the comment. Seriously, a good point. Democrats need to think about being more politically pragmatic, more inclusive and easier to compromise within their own party on things that are really, really important to them and many would consider uncompromisable.

    It plays well in San Francisco but not in the rest of the country. There are social progressives but fiscal conservatives that the Democratic Party is leaving on the table and these few votes could make all the difference in the world.

    The social liberal / fiscal conservative is the new animal and where the crossover votes are for people like Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in California. When Democrats do things like enact a tax on anyone whose income is over $1 million or recommend repealing the Bush tax cuts they shoot themselves in the foot, politically as important as these issues are.

    Where is the party that wants to enhance digital and intellectual rights, let me marry who I want and do what I will with my body, let me smoke my bong all day long in my house if I want, destroy copyright law, leave me the hell alone AND cut my taxes, cut entitlement spending 50%, let me put my social security contributions in MY account where I can manage them, quit making generation X and Y pay for the lavish lifestyles and poor saving habits of the baby boomers and world war 2 generation AND balance the budget and pay down debt? Ohhh yeah that’s right, I forgot about the Libertarian party.

  • eden

    I have never, ever understood this truly odd indictment of the Democratic party – as if the party was standing on the wrong side of the aisle, criticizing and bringing low poor, helpless folk just trying to do their best to make their way in the world. A truly misleading way of spinning what is truly going on in this Country’s politics.

    The only thing the Democrats can be charged with is a firm committment to civil rights and the equality of all. If this offends the “values” of red America, that’s really neither here nor there, at least not from a moral point of view. The Democrats have not alienated these people. These people have alienated their own capacity – regardless of whether that capacity is a a moral or intellectual one – to see through the liars.

    George Bush is a fantastic liar. A prevaricator who hides his deception behind a warm smile and a firm handshake. And we have fallen for him.

  • Jim

    Today I just feel ashamed to be an American. I wonder what the world thinks of us all this morning.

    Forget Democrat and Republican labels. I’m an American.

    That people would go out and vote for George W. Bush after all the things we have learned about Iraq and 9/11 makes me wonder what the heck is going on in this country.

    The system is obviously broken I hope for my children’s sake that someone fixes it before it’s too late.

  • Charles Arnold

    I love watching all of the people on CNN all so tired. You’re lucky to have been on a plane, the coverage was painful. So we lost an election, the country is deeply divided, we’ve been in worse situations,remember, Nixon was re-elected, as was Reagan. So, what’s next?

  • Domingo

    The current state of the Democratic is analagous to that of an alcoholic: “you have to hit rock bottom before you can get better”

    Republicans hold a majority in the Senate, House, Governships, and State Legislatures.

    Is this finally rock bottom for the Democratic Party?

    Is this the day that the Democrats finally realize that they are their own worst enemy, not the Republicans??

  • James

    Wow… talk about bitter….

    This is just why the Democrats will not amount to more than “the other guys” when it comes to certain national races. Most exist as petulant children on TV and radio complaining that even though Bush won the popular vote and the Republicans gained seats in both houses, Bush has no mandate because the campaign was negative. What kind of logic is that?

    Face it, the silent folks who don’t call into talk shows, write letters to the editor, or post on websites have spoken. Kerry ain’t it. Time to move on.

    Oh, and before you point the Red finger of Republican at me… I voted for Badnarik.

    But I’m not bitter enough to sound like we’ve just started the Apocalypse because Bush won. Grow up, people. Kerry’s no different than W. Until people realize that, we’ll see this every 4 years.

  • Jonathan

    One of my greatest consternations with how this election played out is the correspondence between those who voted for Bush and those who believe that Iraq had something to do with 9/11, especially after the 9/11 commission’s report — resisted so long by the Bush administration — emphatically refuted such a connection.

  • http://pobox.upenn.edu/~ockerblo/ John Mark Ockerbloom

    “The only thing the Democrats can be charged with is a firm committment to civil rights and the equality of all. If this offends the �values� of red America, that�s really neither here nor there…”

    Er, which Democrat are we talking about here? The Democrat who voted
    for and still supports the Patriot Act? The Democrat who did his best to
    finesse the same sex marriage-or-civil union issue and push it off to the
    states, without making a clear statement on the principles behind his stand? (State marriage alongside state civil union is not likely to last
    in any given jurisdiction, whether you’re a leftie or rightie on the issue.)
    The Democrat whose statements on abortion were so straddled
    that pro-choicers as well as pro-lifers could see the moral incoherence?
    (Hey, I’m a pro-lifer, and I would have respected an honest
    NOW-type position more than the condescending hypocrisy I
    heard from Kerry in the “town hall” debate.)

    I’m perhaps more harsh on Kerry than he deserves. But I think
    it necessary here just to show that the “we’re too good for America” excuse
    simply isn’t going to fly for this election. Nor is the “we just
    need to find someone more ‘electable’” excuse that I suspect
    others will push.

    Kerry’s main asset for me, and for at least some other folks who
    voted for him despite our misgivings,
    turned out to be simply that he wasn’t George W. Bush,
    and therefore wasn’t likely to get away with as much irresponsible
    behavior as Bush has. But, as I said here back in the primaries,
    “I’m not the incumbent” is rarely enough to win.

    In times of crisis and uncertainty, a lot of people look for leaders
    of conviction, and are willing to trust them *even if* they don’t
    always agree with the leaders’ decisions. Kerry
    ultimately came across as someone whose main conviction was
    to do what it took to get elected. The Democrats need to find people
    who have firm convictions and can make an eloquent case for
    them to the electorate at large. There were some folks like that
    in the primaries, but the Dems quickly deserted them to fall
    over someone they saw as “electable”.

    But as far as I can tell, what campaigners push as “electable”
    are like what catalog merchandisers push as “great gifts”. That is,
    things that sell not because people would choose them for themselves,
    but because they think someone else will like them– often a “someone
    else” that they don’t otherwise pay much attention to.

    Of course, the common destination of most of these items, whether
    in catalogs or on ballots, is in the garage or out on the curb. If the
    Democrats want to get back in from the cold, they’ve got a fair bit
    of learning to do.

  • http://www-db.stanford.edu/~prasanna PG

    This is in response to the comment by Thomas Hawk that the Democrats are leaving behind the social liberal/fiscal conservative. I would argue that exactly the opposite is the case. The death blow came from people who have been more or less ruined by Bush’s fiscal policies, yet insisted on voting for him out of faith in his ideology, his religion, and his stance on abortion and gay marriage.

    Example: Take a look at the Ohio exit polls on cnn.com. 23% of the people thought the critical election issue was “moral values” and 85% of them voted for Bush. You can do little but wonder what they were smoking…

    My Conclusion: Darwinian evolution might suggest that people get smarter as time goes on. But the Church hasn’t conceded to Mr. Darwin quite yet.

    Democracy only works if the electors are rational and well-informed. (Expecting it to do the right thing in this case is as unrealistic as believing that monkeys and humans electing a common leader is a good thing.) I think the greatest need in this country is education!

  • Harry Porterfield

    Man, this stuff is just getting me more and more down. Where is the band Rage Against the Machine when we need them? Eminem made a decent effort… Personally, I feel incredibly disenchanted by all this… disenchanted and powerless. Makes me feel like I should trying to get into law school instead of graduate school.

  • Kevin

    John Mark Ockerbloom said:

    “(Hey, I�m a pro-lifer, and I would have respected an honest
    NOW-type position more than the condescending hypocrisy I
    heard from Kerry in the �town hall� debate.)”

    I can’t figure this out. John Kerry’s response to the question of abortion was great and exactly what we should expect from an American president.

    He simply stated that he disagrees with the idea of abortion, but he can’t legislate those beliefs. Regardless of whether or not you agree with that, how can you say it’s “condescending hypocrisy”? He was _sympathetic_ (and sincerely at that) because he _agreed_ with the woman on this point. He’s smart enough and humble enough to realize that he can’t throw the foundation of our country out the window because of his religious beliefs.

    Is that so hard for people to take? Does everything really need to be black and white in this country? We can’t have a guy that says “yeah, I agree with you. no, I can’t make a law about it.”?! Level with me here – is that just too confusing for people?

    Kevin

  • alan

    I’m stunned.

    I’m stunned Bush won.

    I’m stunned people here state the democrats need to be more inclusive. You may not have looked at the initiatives put forth across the midwest and the south, but outlawing gay marriage and civil unions(hetero or homo sexual) are not inclusive. Neither are the racially divisive actions promoted by many across the south.

    I’m stunned that politicians are able to run on the fear of a country that has a better chance of being hit by lightning than a terrorist attack. Hell, New York can cope with it, why not everyone else.

    I’m stunned that so many can seriously believe the fiscal policies of GWB have helped this country in anything other than the shortest of short terms.

    I’m stunned that so many will put faith ahead of subjective evidence when it doesn’t suit their outlook. Put a 2000 year old book above rational thought.

    I’m stunned at the seemingly willfull ignorance of so many people ready to take one parties word when trying to understand the motivation and behavior and, yes, even character of that parties opponenent.

    I’m stunned by the stereotypes put forth and repeated of “east/west coast” elites, and that people don’t understand that elitism knows no geographic boundaries. It wasn’t GWB’s good looks that kept him out of vietnam or got him into Harvard and Yale.

    Most of all I’m stunned by the blatant anti intellectualism of the first post. Intellectualism excludes no one who attempts to understand, only those who seek to prevent others from it.

  • hg

    Watching this from outside the US and certainly being anti-Bush, though not necessarily pro-Kerry, I was again impressed by the intensity of the US democratic process. As a country, you have a lot to be proud of and the folks on the Democratic side should lift your heads somewhat.

    The W. presidency, from a results perspective, has been one of the worst for the country and another four year are worrisome. At the same time, at the end of this four year period, the impact of the decisions in the first four years will be more fully felt by the American people. This is an opportunity for the Dems to take a hard look in the mirror and be ready in 4 years – not just for the presidency but Congress as well. No incumbent and a Republican party that can be held accountable for the deterioration of the US over 8 years.

    Its a wake up call. Tighten up the message and the ideals. Steal the flag back and find a way to talk to the heartland. Aside from his other faults, Dean did energize people with tight ideals and he pointed out that the party needs to win back the low/mid income heartland white males. I’m not proposing that Dean could have won but instead pointing out how energizing his clarity was for the party. The Repub’s win the heartland with a simple tight image – the flag, god, taxes, toughness. The dems can counter with their own ideals but the image/brand need to be created and nurtured to be clean and tight.

  • J.B. Nicholson-Owens

    Bush has a mandate. That’s more than Kerry could have said if Kerry took office.

    “This comment by in a comment” does not capture anything best. It is the reaction of reality hitting someone who did not realize how preaching to the choir fails to include the public, including the progressives the Democrats claim to stand for.

    What about the America that doesn’t ignore how thousands of voters in Florida haven’t been able to vote since 2000 through no fault of their own (when the Republicans “scrubbed” them from the voter list and the Democrats did nothing to challenge it in 2000 and again in 2002 and again now by giving up before even all the votes were counted)? What about the America that funds Israel’s every move (including universal health care and a twice-declared-illegal wall) while denying needed funding to its own citizens (including universal health care)? What about the America that fails to support basic fairness in campaigning (with different standards in different states, heavy gerrymandering throughout, privately-run national debates with contracts to prevent outside debates, etc.)?

    The Democrats support all these things.

    When the Democrats come calling for my vote, I remember these things and more. I have to decide if I want to reward that behavior or respond favorably to “Yeah, we suck, but the Republicans suck more” fearmongering.

    Maybe Jeb Bush should run against Hillary Clinton in 2008. Do progressives have the guts to stand on their convictions and vote for a woman? Will voting for a woman even be an issue? Will this woman adopt a platform worth voting for? Will progressives push the Democrats into rejecting corporate campaign funding and against adopting a Republican-lite stance? I doubt it.

    Democrats: Welcome to what happens when you mirror your opponent. Time to get to work on building a progressive majority.

  • Sanka

    I’ll tell you what the rest of the world thinks. The rest of the world thinks that America is not a democracy but a caricature of one.

    The problem is not that Kerry lost. Kerry likely deserved to lose, as a candidate even Democrats found unlikable, with a seemingly Lady Macbeth-like wife, elitist tastes and a knack for saying whatever the voters wanted to hear.

    The problem is that the entire United States of America and its wonderful system of government couldn’t produce an alternative to the son of a former President that most people agreed was taking the country in the wrong direction, who has demonstrated extreme incompetence in most areas of his office, and actually LOST the popular vote in the first election.

    Is this democracy at work, or is this what we expect of a third world banana republic? There are many problems to point fingers at. The two party system (which gives us no options other than Kang or Kodos). The rise of religious fundamentalism in the US (if the Constitution were written today, how many people would support a separation of church and state?). The electoral college, which gives a few hundred people in Florida (or in this case a few thousand people in Ohio) more power than millions of people in California or New York.

    Is this the best we can do? The rest of the world is laughing at the US. Bin Laden is laughing at us (not leastly because his tape had a measurable effect on the election, probably tipping its outcome). And Bush has demonstread how learning impaired he is in the past, and will almost certainly take this popular vote victory as a mandate to pursue an extreme right wing agenda.

    Moderates do not control the US anymore than they control Israel or Iran. The rest of the world is watching events here with horror, similar to how they watched Germany before WWII.

  • John

    PG,

    Your post exemplifies perfectly the exact kind of thinking that is responsible for the demise of the Democratic party between the coasts. Until and unless the left can recognize or accept the sincerity of many conservatives’ firmly held conscientious convictions, they will, as Mr. Ockerbloom put it, be left out in the cold.

    Incidentally, the notion that voters must be rational and well-informed to make our democracy “work” presupposes (in my opinion) a somewhat impoverished view of democracy. Voting has an expressive function that cannot over overlooked. Many working-class conservatives vote in a way that directly undermines their economic self-interest, not because they have been lied to and deceived by Karl Rove and his ilk, but because those things are ultimately less important than issues like abortion, stem-cell research, etc. Is this stance somehow “irrational” or indicative of a lack of information? Or are we just talking about first principles here?

    PG, while you mock, Bush will govern. Think about that.

  • John

    Alan, I’m distressed that you view my first post as anti-intellectual. You claim: “Intellectualism excludes no one who attempts to understand, only those who seek to prevent others from it.” Try as I might, I don’t really understand this statement.

    So, explain this to me. Does intellectualism, in your view, accept the conservative position on abortion? stem-cell research? gay marriage? Have the conservatives, in your view, not made a good-faith attempt “to understand”, and therefore should not feel excluded by the leftist wing of the Democratic party?

    Note, I’m not necessarily saying I agree with all of these positions, I’m just trying to explore the possibility that middle American conservatives have adopted a different kind of epistemology, and the “2000 yeard old book” forms its foundation. As a Catholic, I am somewhat fearful of the evangelical Christian agenda, but I don’t discredit it on the basis that it’s “irrational” or “uninformed” or whatever else. Your post and PG’s post seem to presuppose the notion that conservatives would not feel excluded if they would just stop being so ignorant and uninformed. It’s this notion that underlies the Democrats’ alienation of the middle-American voter.

  • A Nadirite

    Well, you Dean Democrats really blew it. If half of you had voted for Nader, you could have changed the world. What was your vote worth now?

    You would have sent a clear message to the DNC. But you lined up dutifully behind Skull & Bones and the Brotherhood of Death. You chose compromise of your principles and power politics and supression of free speech and of free political expression. You fought for the two party system. Now you will get what you voted for. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. It was a set up from the get go and you lost either way.

    Next time, spend less time trying to win, trying to supress free political expression, and more time voting for something you believe in, and stop whining about others who do the same. Who knows, one day you might win something worth winning. Good luck with the copyright thing.

  • http://radio.weblogs.com/0116902/ Hetty

    You are not alone, guys. The world stands behind you. Continue to fight for a free and democratic America. We are with you.
    Bring him on!

  • http://pobox.upenn.edu/~ockerblo/ John Mark Ockerbloom

    Kevin why I called Kerry’s handling of the abortion question
    “condescendingly hypocritical”, saying “He simply stated that he disagrees with the idea of abortion, but he can�t legislate those beliefs. “

    William Saletan (a pro-choicer) noted some of the problems with
    Kerry’s handling in a Slate article at
    http://slate.msn.com/id/2107963/ . I recall seeing some other
    articles as well picking his responses apart from a pro-choice
    point of view, but that’s the first one I can find right now.

    What made it infuriating for me was that in the two questions where
    he had to deal with the questions of the unborn, he first took great
    pains to say how much he “respected” the questioner’s position, and
    how his Catholic faith was so important to him. But then the meat
    of his responses showed a distinct lack of respect, since in one case
    he gave justification and then contradicted it in the very same
    response, and in the other case he completely ignored the question
    that was asked.

    The more straightforward question was initially answered the way
    that Kevin outlines: basically that he can’t legislate based on his
    belief that life begins at conception. Specifically he said that he
    couldn’t “legislate it for someone who doesn’t share that
    article of faith.” But not only did he never explain why legislating
    on that moral belief was off-limits, whereas others weren’t (e.g. a belief
    that people should have free healthcare, or that business should
    be restricted to protect the environment), he went on in the
    same response to propose legislating for people who don’t share the belief
    that abortions are not only okay, but should be subsidized.

    Remember,
    the question was specifically on *taxpayer-subsidized* abortions,
    which anyone paying taxes would be stuck with supporting, regardless
    of their beliefs on this issue: “You don’t deny a poor person the right to
    be able to have whatever the constitution affords them,” he said.
    Apparently, not only does the Constitution implicitly guarantee a right
    to abortion, but also the right to have other people pay for it over
    their objections. How exactly this showed respect for the objectors’
    beliefs wasn’t answered.

    On the other question, asking why the US shouldn’t concentrate on
    funding adult stem cell research, when that, unlike embryonic
    stem cell research thus far, has actually cured people, Kerry did a
    similar ritual genuflection… and then just ignored the question
    entirely. (He talked about the potential of stem cell research
    without saying a word on why the government should fund embryonic
    in addition to, or as opposed to, adult stem cell research.)

    I don’t want to drag off the discussion thread into a long discussion
    on abortion, so I want to make it clear that my complaint in this thread is
    *not* that Kerry isn’t “pro-life”. I also think there are coherent
    arguments one can make in favor of legal abortion and embryonic
    stem cell research, though I might not agree with them.

    My complaint
    essentially was that Kerry tried to have it both ways, either first claiming
    beliefs and then in effect disowning them, or simply ignoring the
    specific question he claimed at length to respect. In other words, he
    showed the opposite of the kind of “firm commitment” that
    some commentators here, and many voters, were looking for in a candidate.

  • Robert Treat

    You know, I’ve spoken with a lot of people who seem to have the attitude of “screw the rest of the world’s opinion; no one else is willing to step up and deal with these terrorists and it’s time someone did, and if the only person willing to do that is dubya then so be it” Now you can argue that fighting this fight calls for diplomacy and not military, but you’ll have a hard time convincing people who have watched terrorist lopping off the heads of innocent victims that there is anything to talk about, and a hard time convincing those people who have watch the conflict in israel wage on for 40+ years that you can accomplish anything even with those willing to talk about things.

  • http://arton.cunst.net/ hungerburg

    an outside view: the US have, for a long time, protected western europe from stalinist russia. that was true devotion. it was based on military power, but not on that alone: cultural and scientific PROGRESS kept europe in awe. bush does not convey any of that. does kerry/do the dems do? they might have done, I would not swear. now we will not know for another four years.

    on the other hand, larry lessig does: on the radio, I heard his/your speech at the ars electronica. my geopolitical extrapolation: will the chinese be happy to become a member of the WTO, and forever manufacture gadgets from US blueprints, its lead cemented in IP agreements – and can the west survive on the royalties? wouldnt it be better, to be somewhat more generous? never stop hoping, that there will be democracy in china once, so free western workers dont have to compete against those in a dictatorship. its seduction – sweet surrender!

    lets all keep on the good work: get the infrastructure in place, so generosity will not bite us. may creative commons become a success, even greater than the copyright was: the chances are good, its what parents tell their children anyways, when they fight over their toys. like in the recurring joke of the patent on the patent, its the concepts, that count: history doesnt get made, it gets written.

  • Plato

    You won’t find America in your heart, Larry, you will find France. America is a thriving dynamic and tough culture that confronts problems of global scale with boldness and determination. Your heart has in it a nation of compromises, nuance, intelligencia and emotional self-analysis … i.e. France.

    So look deeply, then move away from the land of the brave to a nation that better suits you and your self-analystical friends. Move to Europe.

  • Anonymous

    Obviously the Party has problems – but I reject the idea of the Party being elitist – or too intellectual for the common man – My God! Is the language (Is our children learning?) of GWB now going to be the new standard? Do we adopt the style of his phony sentiment?

  • Joseph Pietro Riolo

    To adamsj,

    America is there. It is the sum of 294,672,104 Americans
    (http://www.census.gov). It is not the sum of single person,
    that is, you.

    But, you choose to close your heart to it simply because the
    America that is there does not fit your prenotions. I doubt
    that the America that you want to see will ever exist. But,
    it is there. You don’t even to look anywhere. It is just
    right there and right under your nose.

    Open your heart if you really want to be an American.

    Joseph Pietro Riolo
    <riolo@voicenet.com>

    Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions
    in this comment in the public domain.

  • Peter Konefal

    So let me get this straight,

    America is the land of the brave…

    France is the land of compromises, nuance, intelligencia(?) and emotional self-analysis �

    Please. This is an affront to American history and culture. Yes, it has declined substantially, but America is literally founded on radicalism. The American Constitution is and remains a radical document (regardless of whether its lived up to now). Its unbelievable how people can co-opt what “America” means and apply it to their own simplistic reductionisms.

    From what I understand, the average citizen of 19th century America for example, was on the whole very well read (politically), and capable of understanding a political statement with complexity, nuance and self analysis.
    (see Niel Postman: Amusing ourselves to death (1985))

    For an interesting study in contrast, read one of the political debates between 19th century politicians (Lincoln v. Douglas for example) and compare it to contemporary examples of political discourse (Bush’s axis of evil speech for example).

    The average American of a century ago, read voluminously first of all, and was capable of engaging with and debating ideas without reducing them to a war of non-argumentative platitudes (statements that are based on assumptions which neither side is aware of, or even bothers to investigate).

    Engaging with ideas intelligently is in no way a “french” characteristic. My view is that it has more to do with the media that people are exposed to. It is entirely possible to watch a mainstream news outlet and become less informed about the world than if one read a variety of books which necessarily involve real analysis and argument.

  • http://anon.com Anon

    “Today I just feel ashamed to be an American. I wonder what the world thinks of us all this morning.”

    The second explains the first.

  • Unhappy shareholder

    The idea that we ought to “wake up” and learn to deal with the fact that the people of this nation are by and large uninformed — not to mention remarkably unwilling to make the effort to do anything about it — is ridiculous and smacks of defeatism. The most frightening thing about W’s ascendance is that half of Americans are willing to accept (or perhaps insufficiently equipped to recognize) his emotional immaturity and intellectual mediocrity. Let’s face it — W is the poorly-prepared middle manager that somehow backslapped his way to CEO, and the shareholders are going to be paying for that promotion for a long time to come.

  • Alan McCann

    First of all, the “alan” above is not me.

    Kevin: two things about the abortion discussion.

    1. The fact that a belief is held by a religion does not automatically invalidate it for others. Murder is a sin according to every religion (except for some people’s view of Islam). Our laws hold that murder is a crime. By your logic, we should not hold murder as a crime because my religion happens to ban it.

    2. Kerry has claimed that he believes that life begins at conception. Yet he believes that a woman has a right to choose abortion. By his logic, a woman should have the right to kill her newborn child as well. His argument is logically unsound.

    3. Your last point about being inflexible about other people’s opinions. Are you willing to take murder off of the law books because other people do not agree with you? By the logic of the argument you are using with Bush, you should be.

    I can’t believe I’m talking about abortion on Lessig’s blog.

    To the original comment by in a comment: I’ve said this before that there is a fundamental divide between the two groups over some very essential ways of looking at the world. Try to listen rather than shrinking into yourself.

  • Anonymous

    I can?t believe I?m talking about abortion on Lessig?s blog.

    I can. You pro-lifers never shut up about it. It must make wonderful pillow talk.

  • Alexander Wehr

    to J.B. Nicholson-Owens:

    i love your accusations of jerrymandering. considering it was the republican party which has been doing this over the past four years, particularly in texas, your accusations against democrats appear to be a partisan projection of your own party’s corruption.

    Republicans have been ramming through unjust legislation through midnight sessions and hearings designed to exclude the democratic voice.

    Republicans were the ones jerrymandering the states

    Democrats have their share of problems, but over the past 10 years i’ve seen republicans become so conniving and dirty in their tactics they make the japanese seem outright friendly in bombing pearl harbor.

    I acknowledge the legitimacy of the bush win, and it scares me that our nation’s majority supports his actions, but you have no right spewing falsehood to support your party line.

  • Kim Pedersen

    Outsider view:
    From the perspective of a European citizen, this election was simply mind-blowing. Most americans are willing to put up with obvious lies and deception from their president, because the other guy seem too intellectual? so called fiscal-aware americans are willing to blindly accept the complete turnaround of your economy because the president can pronounce some harsh words of another nation, but not do a thing about it? Why is it that so called average americans are so completely clueless of these things and the world that surrounds them? Do they not comprehend how to analyze information that is being brought to them?

    I believe that certain third-world countries America would not liked to be compared with, understand the pillars of democracy alot better than half of the United States.

    Having said that, I do believe it is more important now than ever, to stand up for your fundamental rights, and start questioning things your government presents to you, instead of just swallowing it, as being true facts!

    Good luck! To all of us!

  • Tayssir John Gabbour

    I’ve been growing this resentment against Europeans, who take the lazy way out. Europe was the terror of the Earth. Imperalistic monsters. They still are; they are simply recovering from WWII and our control of their oil-based economies.

    Hysteria and war is inflamed within all militarily powerful countries, not just the US. I think Europeans should look at themselves and admit we are the new Europe, with our European heritage and ideals. Or have their rhetoric ignored.

  • Administratorte

    Frankly, the fix was in.

    The bewildered and stunned are asking “How/Why did we
    lose and what could we have done differently?”

    My answer is nothing. Diebold won this election. The head
    of Diebold brought Ohio’s electoral votes to the president, just
    as he publically proclaimed he would.

    When the umpires aren’t fair, the outcome of the game is
    predictable.

    http://www.blackbox.org

    [In the long view, though, I'm not sure it matters. The US will
    be a theocracy by 2025, if not sooner.]

  • Kim Pedersen

    Mr. John Gabbour, Would you mind telling me what the easy way out is? and what you are refering to? Yes, we have had our wars, and im sure
    we are just as imperalistic as anyone else. I doubt however, that we are still recovering from WWII and our economies are based on oil.

    So you want us to look at the US and accept the bad leadership of the worlds most powerful nation, because you have strong roots in europe? If any rhetoric is to be ignored, it is the one without any foundation in reality.

  • Kevin

    Alan,

    1) Yeah, I guess that’s what I’m saying. I didn’t realize I was pro-murder.

    2) Kerry believes that life begins at conception but he doesn’t believe you have to believe it too. What a jerk. Or flip-flopper maybe.

    3) Yes, by my logic that you created for me, I’m pro-murder. See #1.

    I’ve learned a lot about myself, thanks!

    Kevin

  • J.B. Nicholson-Owens

    Alexander Wehr: You really don’t know who you’re talking to or what party I back (if there’s one I back at all).

    Your point about gerrymandering isn’t made by showing ‘the other major party does it too–and worse!’. That just shows what everyone already knows: both major parties gerrymander, it’s how we end up with red and blue states (also known as “safe” states).

    In Illinois, it was the Democrats that allowed the Republicans to appear on state ballots. Not a lot of people know this story, but it’s true. It shows that the two major parties can get along just fine when they see a common enemy: competition.

  • raoul

    Bush is the worst President this Country has ever seen. He is a pathological liar and the most immoral man to ever occupy the white house. He is a liar and a murderer. He is possibly the Anti-Christ who will lead us all into the fiery breaches of hell. The next four years will be a target rich environment, for all of us who voted against this truly pathological and evil man, to say �I told you so!�. We will be drummed out of Iraq by this time next year under the cover of a waive of declared victory propaganda from the White House.

    The depths of the of cowardice that American populace has sunk is so truly embarrassing that it defies explanation. The brave do not attack defenseless people in the same of security when they pose no threat. And don�t go talking about how bad a person Saddam is unless you can find the public reproach given by the previous Republican administration when Saddam gassed the Kurds in 1988. If you can�t produce that, then you have no argument as the Republicans had no problem cuddling with Saddam when he was actually dangerous.

    The American republic is over. Our Napoleon is off to spread �democracy� at the end of a bayonet. He will start another war, another war our military will be against but will fight it anyway. However, the next one will be worse than the last. The Iraq war, as there is no war on Terror.

    Everyone go home, your government will keep you safe, do not worry, everything is under control.

  • raoul

    “whom the Democratic Party has repeatedly mocked, ridiculed, called stupid/ignorant/intolerant, and excluded for the past 30 or so years”

    That’s because they are stupid/ignorant/ and intolerant.

    Throw a little more stupid/ignorant/ and intolerant acts onto the fire and we will just have to cede from the US. We’ll take all of our superior knowhow and technology and leave you all back in the 19th century where you belong.

  • raoul

    “fiscal conservatives “

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!

    The Bush administration, by any objective standard, is the most fiscally irresponsible administration ever to exist.

  • raoul

    “let me put my social security contributions in MY account where I can manage them”

    Are you nuts?

    It’s not your account but an account run by a bank who will be run by people like Ken Lay.

    Kiss your money goodbye.

  • Anonymous

    “Well, you Dean Democrats really blew it. If half of you had voted for Nader, you could have changed the world. What was your vote worth now?

    You would have sent a clear message to the DNC. But you lined up dutifully behind Skull & Bones and the Brotherhood of Death. You chose compromise of your principles and power politics and supression of free speech and of free political expression. You fought for the two party system. “

    Amen!!!

    If Nadar were invited to participate by the Democrats it would have provided a contrast allowing the Democrats to accurately portray themselves as the moderates.

  • Tayssir John Gabbour

    “Mr. John Gabbour, Would you mind telling me what the easy way out is?”

    By admitting precisely as you did, Mr/Ms Pedersen, that your countries are as disturbingly dangerous; simply weaker. Perhaps trot out information on what the rhetoric was like in various European countries during the worst imperialist times. I’m sure you’re imaginative enough to consider what information you can effectively communicate.

  • Anonymous

    “2. Kerry has claimed that he believes that life begins at conception. Yet he believes that a woman has a right to choose abortion. By his logic, a woman should have the right to kill her newborn child as well. His argument is logically unsound.”

    Even allowing that “life begins at conception”, a fertilized ovum is not a newborn child. Therefore, your characterization of Kerry’s logic is logically unsound.

    Many anti-abortion advocates believe that the death penalty is a good thing (See: Texas). Many convicted felons are being exonerated on the basis of DNA evidence. Almost certainly, people are being put to death for crimes they have not committed (as if being put to death for ones they HAD committed is an issue for another day). A political and/or moral and/or religious position that advocates for the abolition of abortion on the grounds that life is sacred and at the same time advocates or allows a death penalty is logically and morally inconsistent.

    Is it really self-righteous and intellectually elitist to point that out?

    This is only one example of ways that the right lacks self consistency. Here are a few more:

    Fiscal responsibility? Bush starts a war on two fronts and then cut tax for the rich while running up the largest deficit ever. He get’s re-elected.

    Personal responsibility? Nobody bothers to watch the troops and they start torturing captives. Bush lies about WMD. Anybody in his administration take responsibility? Nope. He get’s re-elected.

    So, it seems odd to me that people who are very black and white suddenly start seeing shades of grey. This are supposed to be concepts that the GOP holds near and dear. Yet, it seems, sometimes they don’t actually matter. Classic flip-flopping.

  • Nathan

    I liked this blog when its posts stuck to law, economics, and tech matters, rather than joining the other 10 million “I need to rant about why I don’t like Bush” blogs.

  • Kim Pedersen

    Mr. Gabbour,

    It is Mr. Pedersen.

    I agree with you, that our countries (in my case Denmark) is as political disturbing in its own way. If you by weaker mean less influential in the world, yes you are right. And perhaps this very point, emphasize just how important US policies are. Alot of smaller european countries are dangerous because they play lapdog to whoever is in charge in the United States. We are truly at the mercy of US policy makers, concerning almost all aspects of our society.

    The only way for small nations like Denmark to have a voice in the world, is through organisations such as the UN. Unfortunally, as you are no doubt aware of, the Bush administration has shown no understanding or tolerance towards the UN. So what all this comes down to, is that our nations/countries are not as dangerous to the world as the United States are. For better or worse.

    rhetoric is very important, it always have been. Unfortunally I see very close ties with WWII german-propoganda and some of the statements made by the current US administration. This concerns me. I dont want rhetoric. I want truth, and true democracy demands it.

    Thanks.

  • Joseph Pietro Riolo

    To Kim Pedersen,

    You seem to believe in the myth that if Kerry becomes
    the next President of the U.S., the world would be much
    better. Because Kerry has not experienced the job of
    the President, it is too easy to believe in the myth.
    There is nothing to criticize him for being a bad
    President just because he has not been there yet.
    Unless you have crystal ball, this is just a myth and
    it seems that you want the majority to believe in the
    myth.

    You said that you want truth. I agree with you that
    truth is much better than lies. But, here is a problem:
    Kerry is not always truthful. So is Bush. It is a
    classic dilemma of two evils.

    Joseph Pietro Riolo
    <riolo@voicenet.com>

    Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions
    in this comment in the public domain.

  • Kim Pedersen

    Hi Joseph,

    As you said, since I dont have a magic crystal ball yet, I dont know for certain that John Kerry would be a better president. I do know however that just because you dont know for certain that he would be better, is no excuse to keep Bush in office. Not to embrace change, due to fear of the unknown, is in my opinion a mistake. Besides, I dont think I have put John Kerry on a pedistal by any means, and I do have reservations concerning certain areas.

    It is a classic dilemma as you point out, but not to give it a shot with a new president, is just a mistake I have a hard time to understand.

    Thanks for your comment.

  • Tayssir John Gabbour

    I wish I hadn’t sounded so combative. Been internally too angry, and I was happened to be set off.

    Incidentally, there are reasons. Note the PR industry, which is mainly a strongly US/UK phenomenon, but could be creeping to other places now since it is effective. Its “father” was Edward Bernays, who frequently pointed out he was a nephew of Freud. His clients included US presidents and large corporations. He claimed “intelligent men” should “regiment the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments the bodies of its soldiers.”

    This is why it’s useful to note the conservative media strategy, which apparently was launched as a reaction to the high levels of democratization in the 1960s. From what I understand (I wasn’t around then), the intellectual spin was that that decade was full of ineffective drug addicts; but instead it was a large wave of bottom-up democracy, with quite articulate people. One thing which frequently happens is people are made to believe that certain Leaders are responsible for social change, when it was really a lot of nameless but heroic people who will not be remembered by history.

  • Nonplussed

    I’m a venture capitalist, I’m a gay man, I’ve read a couple of your books, and I voted for Bush.

    The condescension that just reeks from these comments is a real weakness of the Democratic Party.

    I’ve grappled many times in my mind with the mideast situation. I’ve concluded if Kerry took over, within 2 years he’d have swung round to realizing Bush’s approach was the only viable one. (There’s a reason the Arafat/Barak process failed, despite Clinton’s amazing efforts).

    I’d love to discuss the situation with my Democrat friends, but it’s by and large impossible. They’re angry, dismissive, and have just a few bumper sticker memes in their head, like “Bush lied.”

    Click here for what I deem some dead-on observations and advice: To My Fellow Democrats

  • cstuart

    Nonplussed:

    First of all: The condescension that reeks from these comments mirrors perfectly the condescension from the other side. Don’t kid yourself. My conservative friends are just as unable to discuss many of these issues as your Democratic friends are.

    That said: As a person who probably has a lot in common with your friends, I think think there’s an understandable reason your friends can’t talk rationally about political issues: the other side wants to take away their rights, and that drives them nuts. Many of your friends must see gay marriage as a civil rights issue. Many of your friends probably see the patriot act as an erosion of civil liberties. And they probably expect more of the same in the next four years. People who feel threatened — more accurately, people who are being threatened — aren’t going to sit down and calmly discuss the people who are threatening them.

    Likewise, anti-abortion activists usually can’t talk rationally about abortion because they think it’s murder. I have a great deal of sympathy for them. How does one talk rationally with people who, from one’s point of view, are regularly murdering the innocent and helpless? An understandable response to mass murder is standing up and screaming.

    These are fundamental values issues. It isn’t always going to be possible to discuss them, at least not for most people.

  • three blind mice

    I think Europeans should look at themselves and admit we are the new Europe, with our European heritage and ideals. Or have their rhetoric ignored.

    Tayssir John Gabbour, approximately 15 million Europeans were killed in the First World War. 8,5 million soldiers were killed. 300 000 at the Somme alone.

    The United States lost 100 000 soldiers fighting on battlefields far from home.

    About 28 million Europeans were killed in the Second World War. 19 million of these were military deaths, and the remainder – 9 million – were civilians.

    The United States lost 400 000 soldiers – again fighting on battlefields far from home.

    Over 217 cities in Germany were bombed to rubble. Writing from London, we can tell you that reminders of these terrible sufferings are everywhere.

    Americans and Europeans may share many things, but death and suffering on this scale is not one of them.

    America may well be the new Europe, but forgetting the history of “Old” Europe is a bad way of starting off.

    Ignore the rhetoric from Europe and our past will be your future.

  • three blind mice

    Likewise, anti-abortion activists usually can�t talk rationally about abortion because they think it�s murder. I have a great deal of sympathy for them. How does one talk rationally with people who, from one�s point of view, are regularly murdering the innocent and helpless? An understandable response to mass murder is standing up and screaming.

    cstuart, your point is well taken, but consider that if life begins at conception, then the largest numbers of “murders” are the result of the birth control pill which prevents fertilized eggs from embedding into the wall of the uterus.

    focusing on the hot button issues of “partial-birth” abortion and stem cell reseach while ignoring the birth control pill is simple hypocrisy.

    the republicans use abortion and other social issues as a wedge issue to divide the country – not because of any moral belief.

    when the republicans campaign to outlaw the birth control pill – and subject the 10 million american women who use it to criminal prosecution – then they can claim the moral high ground.

    until then they are nothing more than political opportunists.

  • Bob McKeand

    From another blog: Live it!

    “See this not as a defeat, but as an inconvenient mistake.

    Friends, join me.

    Do not accept.

    Do not waver.

    Do not shut up.

    Do not give comfort with your distress.

    Be an unrelenting irritant.

    Be a dumbass.

    Right now, attitude is everything.

    Together, we can help each other bear the present while shortening the time – and it will come – when we prevail.”

    From me:

    Lawrence Lessig, President 2008

  • three blind mice

    Nice sentiments Bob McKeand, but the Boss said is better and more succinctly:

    No Retreat, No Surrender

  • Joseph Pietro Riolo

    Hi Kim,

    I think that it is too early to say that the re-election
    of Bush is a mistake. I learned from my history professor
    in college that historians usually wait for 10 or more
    years before they can analyze the history because they
    have to wait for the consequences to materialize over
    the time.

    It could be that the re-election of Bush is a mistake.
    Or, it could be the right thing to do. Sometimes, it
    is best to change (like what you said, to embrace change).
    Sometimes, it is best to stay with the same President
    to maintain the continuity.

    What is a non-partisan voter supposed to do? That is
    always a difficult task. He may use his own life
    experiences, past history of parties, trustworthy in
    candidates, feasibility of carrying out the promises,
    religious beliefs, and many other pieces of knowledge
    to guide his decision on who to vote.

    Now that the history on November 3, 2004 has spoken,
    we have to move on and let’s reserve our judgment until
    November 3, 2014.

    Joseph Pietro Riolo
    <riolo@voicenet.com>

    Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions
    in this comment in the public domain.

  • J. Toran

    Just doing a fly-by here, and note I echoed the comment of “John”, in my comment on your blog-not-journalism titled quaintly, “it’s over. let it go”, Dr. Lessig.

    In summary, and skipping these comments other than John’s, I said you observe what you WANNA observe, and it is literally killing US in the U.S. and in other countries as well.

    Just in case John happens by, do you think-feel-believe, as I do: The terrorists of various colors are attacking what-I’ve-called those afflicted with Bi-Coastal Affective Disorder..?? Iow, to be either plain or redundant depending, the terrorists are attacking, militarily, the Bi-Coastal Intellectual Mafia?

    That’d be, imo, because the MSMs (PLURAL) and the bloggers and the tenured professors, all of whom have no apparent downside to say THE most IGnorant s-h-i-doo-doo (like anybody who disagrees is “not on the ClueTrain”, in SO MANY various ways)..

    Well these half-dozen-or-so groups are conducting asymetric warfare on intelligent discourse, to save their OWN jobs primarily, at the expense of lives… By forming a tight-knit-with-no-checks-nor-balances (well, they all get PAY checks, but essentially no other ones) ECHO CHAMBERS.

    Iow, MULTIPLE reinforcing ECHO CHAMBERS for the past several years, has resulted in various results, im-semi-h-o…

    Posted on this over at John Perry Barlow’s (he’s the co-founder of the EFF, btw), but iirc (and I do) it was deleted.

  • J. Toran

    Just had to reply to a couple at the end.. (and mebbe should-a previewed my post above, I dunno…;-)

    I agree with Joseph Pietro Riolo. Nobody is saying “you canNOT criticize ANYthing”, but that the criticism is either INTENDED to be constructive or destructive… And something I learned a long time ago was that the over-whelming VAST MAJORITY of destructive criticism is couched in terms of “lemme help YOU figure this out”…

    Btw, I also agree:

    No Retreat, No Surrender

    Which is WHY I’m an actual-Independent (as opposed to the registered-Independent I have been since I started voting for McGovern), and why I voted for President Bush.

    ~~

    PS The above was the quote I referred to, which was posted on Mr. Gillmor’s (cough) eJournal website/blog-”crap”.

    Your view(s), Dr. Lessig? If any?? You write this, are you considering, or are you being drafted to get shot down like Nader was?

  • Dave C

    What’s really happening? See
    http://www.creativeclass.org/creativewar.shtm

  • cstuart

    three blind mice:

    I don’t think strategy decisions always boil down to hypocrisy. Public opposition to birth control pills would be political suicide (I think/hope) given where our country is today. Activists pick their battles.

    Also: maybe ‘the republicans’ use this issue to divide the country, and aren’t interested in it based on their deep convictions. Even if that is true, don’t you think that most of the activists who actually protest at abortion clinics are there because of their convictions, regardless of how the issues (or they themselves) are being used by the party?

    (And a side note: many modern birth control pills don’t work by preventing fertilized eggs from attaching to the lining of the uterus; increasingly they work to prevent ovulation and through other means.)

  • Penni

    The election results are the supreme triumph of marketing over truth. The Bush camp strategists took all the bloopers of the last 4 years and covered them over with “moral values”.

    I’m tired of hearing the pundits talking about the Democrats “redefining” themselves. What’s there to redefine? I happen to believe that personal decisions have no place in politics or the legislature. Ergo – who or what you choose to sleep with, what and when you decide to do with your body – that’s nobody else’s (excepting your loved ones) business. THAT is what Kerry, the brave man, was saying to Americans. As a foreigner in this country, I never could understand what the fuss was all about – and was vastly relieved to hear Kerry voice it. Where I grew up, conscience, self-respect and self-discipline were taught young and endure till this day – I really don’t need the external push! Neither should all consenting adults – so government butt out. If you believe in “family values” get the families to instill the values.

    What I don’t get is how 51% of Americans think it’s not OK for gay’s to marry and for women to have choice with regard to abortions and think it’s OK to start an unnecessary war based on lies (and yes, I’d bet my bottom dollar that the administration knew – does everyone here remember the indecent haste to strike) that has killed 100,000 people, to spurn the international community in several areas – UN, Kyoto, etc, to run up record deficits.

    No, my friends. It’s not Bush now – it’s the American people. The hostility towards each other leaves me speechless. The hate I encounter for the rich towards the poor, for each ethnicity towards the next, between states – the list is endless. It is not a divide – this is a society fractured – the only winners are the politicians and big business.

    Wake up guys. I hear people say they feel secure with Bush. Does it occur to them that if he had been on the ball BEFORE 9/11 it might never have occurred? For a country with the intelligence systems like the US, that an assault of that magnitude could happen had to be a collossal breakdown of governmental systems. And yes – it was brewing for years, fact remains, it happened on Bush’s watch.

    For every one of the 100,000 Iraqi civilians killed, there will be 10 of their circle who now know grief and hate. Look at the headlines around you – spates of killing and violence rising up in previously quiescent places. I don’t think the world is safer and if everyone who voted for Bush say they don’t see it, they are dangerously blind.

    Well, that leaves us where we are – with 4 more years. But until Americans start educating themselves – not about politics, but about the very basic humanity we all share, about happiness, about building yourself up by building up others, about seeking substance and substantiation over accepting smoke and mirrors, the cycle will repeat and repeat. Apparently, Pavlov would have been a non-starter here.

    Final point – it came as a huge surprise to me that a lot people I know as very happy campers are on extremely high doses of anti-depressants. And apparently, this is very typical. If everything is so hunky-dory here – how come there is this pervasive misery?

  • Dave C

    Oops! Need to re-post. To understand the 2004 election and the reaction to it seen in this forum read Richard Florida’s “Creative Class War” at
    http://www.creativeclass.org/creativewar.shtml

  • raoul

    �Americans and Europeans may share many things, but death and suffering on this scale is not one of them.

    America may well be the new Europe, but forgetting the history of �Old� Europe is a bad way of starting off.

    Ignore the rhetoric from Europe and our past will be your future�

    �the republicans use abortion and other social issues as a wedge issue to divide the country – not because of any moral belief.

    when the republicans campaign to outlaw the birth control pill – and subject the 10 million american women who use it to criminal prosecution – then they can claim the moral high ground.

    until then they are nothing more than political opportunists.�

    Holy cow batman. I agree with the three blind mice. How can you be so right on with the above two points and be so wrong on the IP issue. It�s astounding. Seemingly good and rational here but yet so willing to buy into the big lie that art is somehow property.

  • three blind mice

    Holy cow batman. I agree with the three blind mice. How can you be so right on with the above two points and be so wrong on the IP issue. It�s astounding. Seemingly good and rational here but yet so willing to buy into the big lie that art is somehow property.

    well, raoul, maybe it’s because we are not “so wrong on the IP issue.” :-)

    I don�t think strategy decisions always boil down to hypocrisy. Public opposition to birth control pills would be political suicide (I think/hope) given where our country is today. Activists pick their battles.

    cstuart, this is by definition political opportunism. saving tens of “lives” from being murdered by stem cell researchers while turning a blind eye to the “murders” of tens of thousands because opposition to the latter would be seen as politcal suicide is hardly an expression of any “moral value” we recognize.

    similarly, for those of us with some sense of history, it is not forgotten that first slavery and then segregation were defended on the basis of those same “moral values” (and from those same x-tian pulpits) which today are being used to viilify and demonize abortion and gay marriage.

    these and the many other contradictions upon which the GOP has made its foundations make it a house of cards ready to collapse at the first strong wind.

    this election showed that the american left (if there is such a thing) cannot produce more than a breeze, but do not think yourself impervious to the storms of constitutional discontent that are darkening on your horizons.

    bush was right about one thing: freedom is on the march.

    and when it arrives your bastille will be stormed and its inhabitants and defenders – and their napoleon – will be out of power for generations.

    no retreat, no surrender!

  • three blind mice

    Holy cow batman. I agree with the three blind mice. How can you be so right on with the above two points and be so wrong on the IP issue. It�s astounding. Seemingly good and rational here but yet so willing to buy into the big lie that art is somehow property.

    well, raoul, maybe it’s because we are not “so wrong on the IP issue.” :-)

    I don�t think strategy decisions always boil down to hypocrisy. Public opposition to birth control pills would be political suicide (I think/hope) given where our country is today. Activists pick their battles.

    cstuart, this is by definition political opportunism. saving tens of “lives” from being murdered by stem cell researchers while turning a blind eye to the “murders” of tens of thousands because opposition to the latter would be seen as politcal suicide is hardly an expression of any “moral value” we recognize.

    similarly, for those of us with some sense of history, it is not forgotten that first slavery and then segregation were defended on the basis of those same “moral values” (and from those same x-tian pulpits) which today are being used to viilify and demonize abortion and gay marriage.

    these and the many other contradictions upon which the GOP has made its foundations make it a house of cards ready to collapse at the first strong wind.

    this election showed that the american left (if there is such a thing) cannot produce more than a breeze, but do not think yourself impervious to the storms of constitutional discontent that are darkening on your horizons.

    bush was right about one thing: freedom is on the march.

    and when it arrives your bastille will be stormed and its inhabitants and defenders – and their napoleon – will be out of power for generations.

    no retreat, no surrender!

  • http://codewarriorz.blogspot.com CodeWarrior

    We are in for some scary, serious, liberty depriving times my droogs (to use A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess’ lingo).

    In Texas, the oppression has begun in earnest. What our children think, can, in part, be determined by what they are taught, and tested about, in school.

    Well, the religious, “faith based” right wing has begun their
    initial volley.

    Here’s what I am talking about.

    Yesterday, outside a restaurant I went to..there were newsstand/vending machines for two papers in Texas. One was a Dallas paper (Dallas Morning News) and the other was for a smaller city.

    The HEADLINES of both were interesting. They were not about Fallujah, not about the Economy, not about Arafat…they were about Texas schoolbooks.

    The Dallas Morning News article was proclaiming that the textbooks would now carry a strong message about the importance of abstinence from pre-marital sex. The other paper had a headline about major textbook publishers such as Holt Rhinehart Winston, agreeing, apparently under pressure now, to change their definition of marriage, to one which specifically states that marriage is relationship between a man and a woman.

    From:
    http://newstandardnews.net/content/?action=show_item&itemid=1203
    Nov 7 – The Texas Board of Education has approved new health textbooks that specifically define marriage as between one man and one woman and focus on abstinence only sex education. The decision comes after the board pressured the publishers to change what one board member referred to as “asexual stealth phrases” in favor of more gender-specific language, reports the Associated Press.

    At the Board�s request, publishers Glencoe/McGraw-Hill and Holt Rinehart & Winston, changed the phrases “married partners” to “husband and wife.” According to the AP, Holt Rinehart & Winston included the definition of marriage as a “lifelong union between a husband and a wife,” while Glencoe/McGraw-Hill changed “when two people marry” to “when a man and a woman marry” and “partners” to “husbands and wives.”

    The Board also chose textbooks that all but leave out contraception as an option for preventing pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. According to Reuters, three out of four approved texts fail to mention contraception at all, while one only mentions condoms in passing.

    The Board�s critics said that in addition to putting teens at risk, the decision may violate state regulations, which require sex education curriculum to include information about contraception. Board members countered that the books were satisfactory because information about contraceptives is included in teaching supplements or teachers� editions.”

    ==============SNIP======================
    Look, we are headed for scary, scary times as a result of the Bush election (not re-election because in my opinion, he was SELECTED by the Supreme Court, not ELECTED). Wrap the McCarthyism of the 50s, the Salem Witch Trials, and the Spanish Inquisition into a nice slimy ball, and you have a small sampling of what we are in for during the next four years.

    ( The above, from my blog at:
    http://codewarriorz.blogspot.com )

  • http://deep.mastersfamily.org John M

    I must concur with CodeWarrior about the coming repression. In my life I have never feared for the future of the Republic before now. What I�m about to suggest has no basis in fact, and is merely something I believe could be a possibility, but some of Bush�s recent behavior does support the possibility.

    First, there�s the Patriot Act. No one who takes a serious look at the powers given the federal government in this act can see as anything other than a major erosion of Constitutional protections. The Bush administration wants to expand those powers. George Bush has effectively suspended habeas corpus for people that he (and he alone) categorizes as “enemy combatants.” The U.S. Supreme Court, as conservative as it is, has rebuked this position, but the indications are the Administration is simply ignoring the ruling.

    I think we all realize there will most likely be another terrorist attack. We all know its more a matter of “when” than “if.” When it happens, I am genuinely afraid that Bush will declare Marshal Law, and perhaps even suspend habeas corpus. It is not totally out of line with some directions the administration has taken, and it is not without precedent in the U.S. Remember that Lincoln did it during the Civil War.

    Now, the little knowledge I have about it is that Lincoln did it with anguish, and restored the government as quickly as possible. Given that George told Bob Woodard that a Dictatorship was a good thing so long as he was dicator, I don�t see his Administration being in any hurry to restore rights, and Bush seems to brag about how he doesn�t anguish over decisions.

  • Texas Idiot

    �whom the Democratic Party has repeatedly mocked, ridiculed, called stupid/ignorant/intolerant, and excluded for the past 30 or so years�

    That�s because they are stupid/ignorant/ and intolerant.

    Throw a little more stupid/ignorant/ and intolerant acts onto the fire and we will just have to cede from the US. We�ll take all of our superior knowhow and technology and leave you all back in the 19th century where you belong.

    Whoa there boy! And I mean BOY! Don’t try to pretend you self centered elitist biggots have all the technology or power! Go ahead and all of you big city liberals “cede” from America ( That is hilarious ). I believe you meant secede Mr. intellectual. Here’s a google definition for you son! Cede “To formally surrender ownership or control of something to another party, as in the cession of land by treaty”. That’s perfect! Feel free to leave all your land and belongings behind like the idiot Palestinians and become homeless, feel free to move it on out.
    And if I explain the difference between cede and secede real, real slow maybe your advanced I.Q. brain can handle it. I bet you graduated college at the top of your class up north didn’t you son? And if you do “cede” ( Ha I’m still laughing ) you can bet Texas, the South, and the Midwest won’t be going with you cause we don’t really like you Yankees down here right about now! And if you aren’t Yankee then you must be Californian. Well whatever you are, just cosy on up with each other and scoot on out of here. I mean get going BOY!

    I want you to have a blast trying to find something to eat without the Center of America to feed you BOY! The big city might be all powerful to you but I’m pretty sure they don’t grow much food there.

    I’m just wondering where you boys figure on moving to? Russia? China? Whoa you might have to stand in front of a tank in China boy! Well then how about India, not bad but they sure don’t like the Pakistanies? And vise versa. Iraq? Saddam Hussein was a great leader and such a friend of the American liberal too. How about those Islamic fundamentalist? Iran is the greatest! Gooooooo Iran! Allah is great and we love you so much we chop off your head! You steal we chop off hand, you have sex …. oooooooooh.
    OK, maybe you would enjoy living under the Taliban! They really appreciate women. “no school women! You work have babies, that’s all”. And of course their favorite cash crop opium, wouldn’t you like to contribute to the corruption of America. I wonder if THEY support same sex marriage? I wonder if they support abortion?
    Maybe you would enjoy Somalia? How about Libya? Great places for a liberal Democratic American don’t you think. Of course if you “cede” ( can’t stop laughing) from the union you won’t have any money and it might not be very pleasant. All your women couldn’t go out in public without male escort, or drive, and heaven forbid if they fool around with someone or try to get a divorce. Oooooooh I heard that get’s ugly. They still stone women for that don’t the? And take a bunch of bedsheets with you as all your liberal women can’t show a bit of skin or their face. Well with them liberal ladies that last part sounds pretty darn supportable on your new party platform. Oh wait did I not tell you they DON’T VOTE over there in those countries.
    Sorry I can’t hear you BOY! Maybe you would rather be a suicide bomber and become a martyr? It would save you from having to move to Canada and “cede” from America. ( God, this laughing is beginning to hurt). I hear 12 beautiful VIRGINS meet you at the gates of heaven! Oh, sorry I guess some might prefer 12 Virgin Twinkies!

    As for Canada that’s a nice progressive country still heavely associated with the Monarchy in Great Britain isn’t it. Well of course except for Quebec which is trying to “cede” ( lol ) from the rest and tie up with the French. Do you speak French? I hear they love liberal Americans.

    And don’t even think about how you would like to kick our ass, you haven’t won a fight in you life! Oh I’m sorry you don’t believe in fighting do you! Well I believe us country boys sure do! In fact we kind of think of it as a hobby. We go out and shoot Bambi when she’s in season. maybe we can get you an escort out. Most of the American patriots and fighters over in Afghanistan and Iraq might just escort you right on out of here anywhere you want to go. Take a hike, adios, vamoose. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass!

    Oooooh that felt good I see what you were doing now. A little verbal therapy. Makes you feel good all over.

    That wasn’t very civil of me was it? I feel better but I know it’s meaningless. I just wanted you to feel some of what you have been dishing out. It’s easy to ignore you but you left yourself open for that! It is such a waste of time and energy? Oh yea, energy? What are you gonna do without…. sorry, forget it…It doesn’t bring out very good thoughts does it? So are you having fun? My suggestion to you is to back down and realize that those words of mine above don’t change you, me, or a damn thing. And neither do yours. Boy! lol

  • Wimpy

    Way to go Texas!

    Ok let’s be serious. All I hear is from the Democrats is how we are in trouble. Well pull your heads out of your ass and look outside the USA. It’s universal, it’s all over, it’s humanity at it’s finest.

    Reading these blogs and hearing some intellectual idiots proclaim that we might just be in trouble because of one man is just amazingly asinine.
    We are in trouble because humanity is full of itself. We think we are the center of the universe, the center of life, we are the greatest thing in creation. Well if we are the greatest thing in creation I hope it’s starts over from scratch soon.

    One man and these “smart educated” idiots think were in trouble. The terrorists had not a damn thing to do with it. War had nothing to do with it. Religion was not involved. Ego does not exist. It’s all one guys fault, we are going to blame him for everything bad that happens.
    All of you bashers are unbelievably simple minded. Think a little deeper, deeper and realize it’s us HUMANS, that are responsible for everything and quit trying to pass the responsibility to everyone else. Think “long term” not four years. Good god it’s like you were educated in a vacuum and can’t think past your own propaganda.
    Wars, Religions, Death, Murder, Greed, EGO have been around us since we first began to THINK! Are WE in any way responsible since we are each human just like Bush and Kerry.
    Blaming ANYONE is being chickenshit. Get your ego out of the way and accept that YOU are part of humanity and part of the problem.

    OK. I will start! I am HUMAN and part of the problem! Now all of you stupid humans whatever your beliefs do the same and maybe we can start making some changes.

    I know better! You won’t do shit! Why? BECAUSE WE ARE HUMAN ! I will see you all in HELL or not, who the hell knows.

    P.S. Did everyone know the sky is falling? It’s Bush’s fault.

  • http://www.jzip.org/ adamsj

    I like Texas–it’s my kind of place:

    Valdez takes sheriff race

    She becomes first Democrat to win post in 3 decades, first lesbian to ever be elected; analysts credit GLBT and women voters

    By David Webb

    Lupe Valdez, the first Hispanic, and the first lesbian to be elected to public office in Dallas County, won the sheriff�s race by a two-point margin Tuesday.

    Valdez grabbed the spot from her Republican opponent, Danny Chandler, with 51 percent of the vote. She is the first Democrat to win the post in three decades…

  • Anonymous

    The line. Anyone posting below this has carried the conversation on for far too long:
    _____________________________________

  • scott
  • raoul

    �And if you do �cede� ( Ha I�m still laughing ) you can bet Texas, the South, and the Midwest won�t be going with you cause we don�t really like you Yankees down here right about now! And if you aren�t Yankee then you must be Californian.�

    Well lets get a few things straight here:

    First �cede� was the result of a typo and my spell check. No excuse but what hell.

    Second and more importantly you have yourself in your own idiotic predicament. George W. Bush is not a Texan but a dirty, filthy carpet bagging Yankee. He is from Kennabunkport [sic, spelling again] Maine and a graduate of Yale. The UT Texas law school laughed at his application.

    As for me, my Texan credentials are impeccable. I am a fifth generation Texan. Both of my great, great grandfathers fought in the War for Texas Independence and the civil war on the side of the confederacy. Both were bonafide war heros who served with distinction at the battle of San Jacinto [sic, what can I tell ya], among others, received land grants from the state of Texas and one of whom is buried right next to Stephen F. Austin in the Texas state cemetery. My great grand father, on my mothers side brought in the second high pressure oil field in the state of Texas with a and pump. He and his kin were also practically singlehandedly responsible for killing all of the native black bear in South East Texas, deforesting the old growth Lop Lolly Pine and polluting the gulf coast with oil production.

    Let me guess you�re really not from Texas are you? You moved there from some place else right?

    As far as California goes, it happens to be the largest producer of Agriculture in the US.

    �OK, maybe you would enjoy living under the Taliban! They really appreciate women.� Alomist as much as the fundamentalists in this country.

    �And don�t even think about how you would like to kick our ass, you haven�t won a fight in you life!�

    How �bout your address. Let�s find out.

  • raoul

    Still not sure what “Alomist” means.

  • Texas Idiot

    Raoul,

    This is your blogging bud “Texas Idiot”. Good return on that “Alomist” that gets us close to even. I was pretty sure yours was a typo but I went ahead and used it for my own amusement. For that there is no excuse but only a reason. I was tired and annoyed at all the Bush bashing.
    I understand that we need Democrats as well as Republicans in this country. It’s our balance of power along with the constitution and the three branches of goverment. We need all of us.
    I have my differences with the “carpetbagger” and continue to watch him closely. At the same time I had more trouble with Michael Moore and his film, which I considered pure propaganda trash. I wonder if he helped your cause?
    And of course I am not comfortable with whom I consider the strongest liberal in goverment Kerry being elected President.
    I am not comfortable with all of the trash being tossed at Bush supporters. I won’t drag this on except to tell you I voted for Bush. I did so for many reasons. You voted the opposite for many reasons. What we have to find to rebuild America is to find common ground. The first exchange is not a good start. Hopefully this will be better.

    It might be necessary to deal with the far left and the far right. Neither of those groups seems willing to compromise. The coalition that needs to be formed to save America is from middle left to middle right and everything in between.
    We, all of us, have to find a great leader, a bipartisan leader who can unite the parties into one nation and start the country in the right direction again. Bush isn’t close, neither is Kerry.
    So you know anybody both parties could accept? No political baggage, no favors owed, no ties to the left or right. A moderate maybe. Great orator, strong moral fiber, and the understanding and patience of God. Sorry no ideas here.

    Now my family only goes back four generations in Texas so I am native. I did go to school overseas in Europe for 4 years or so prior and I met the proverbial “Ugly American” there… It was me!
    And if you still want my address after this response. Respond back and we will see.

  • raoul

    Well that’s entirely to reasonable of a response. I took a shot in the dark thing about not being from Texas. I knew it was long shot but what the hell.

    I’m not a Kerry guy either. He’s far too much of a wimp. Albeit a wimp who has killed at close range. The only things I’ve ever killed have feathers, fins, shells or four legs.

    I would have voted for anyone other than Bush. I vote for incumbent based upon there performance. However you cut it Bush has performed poorly. If one wants to give the guy a second chance after he blew it then that’s ok.

    As far as M. Moore’s film goes it’s more true than not. I have extensive experience, since I was a toddler, at observing “oilmen” in action. Additionally, I’ve played that role myself a time or two. The power of the lust for the free money that comes out of holes punched in the ground is the most fearsome force I have ever seen. I know people who have killed close family members (true), cheated, lied and stole to get their hands on it. It’s quite an amazing sensation.

    Bush and Cheney went into Iraq for oil. The logic is not unsound, we need the oil for strategic purposes and we need to keep it out of the hands of the Arabs for strategic purposes. Ok fine. I disagree, but at least its rational. Further, its also rational to lie to the American people about the real reasons because telling them the truth isn�t going to work. However, Bush got caught red handed making stuff up. And then to boot, they either didn�t have enough boots on the ground or they blew it when they disbanded the Iraqi army and went after all of the mid and lower level Baathists. It would be funny if not so tragic. Every choice of the Bush Administration has been a failure, and obvious ones at that. Iraq will be lost to the Shia fundamentalists which will destabilize the entire Mid-East.

    However, the invasion and occupation is not any worse than the sanctions. Has we not intervened in the first gulf war and reinstated the Kuwaiti dictatorship, 9/11 never would have happened and oil would never have gone over $35 a barrel. Saddam would have kept on fighting the very same Islamic fundamentalists we are fighting today. However, Bush just couldn�t let his personal oil interests in Bahrain [sic?] be threatened or his Whabbie [sic?] buddies in the House of Saud.

  • Raoul

    mY KINGDOM FOR A TYPIST!

  • Texas Idiot

    Raoul,

    Texas Idiot again. Well maybe we can start over. My view on Moore’s Bush and Iraq is like yours. I believe but with minor differences. I too grew up in the oilpatch , traveled the world following Phillips Petroleum and family. I saw the same as you. I don’t even doubt Bush is corrupt, but I believe Kerry is corrupt. Also Moore didn’t prove shit with his tripe. It was created as propaganda and that’s exactly what it was. I hate propaganda but not as much as I hate people that try to pass it off as proof and fact.
    As for Bush, he won but Kerry would show no difference as they each would follow America’s power rules. In my opinion they and the US goverment are raping America just as sure as the CEO and corporate suits raped Enron, Adelphia, Tyco, Worldcom and the rest of the small investors.
    Our only chance at anything is if we could figure a way to toss them all and start over. I am a realist though and what would arise in the ashes of that would not be a pretty site.
    I am at a loss as I voted for Perot long ago and received Clinton in return. He claims credit for the longest boom in US history, just like Gore claims credit for the Internet. Yet accepts no blame for anything. Just like all the latest presidents or their parties. It’a all Spin city as they try to continue to keep the American People in the dark.
    I watched as the two parties banded together to pass tougher laws after Perot’s 1st run to make it even tougher to get on the ballot in the future.
    I sit in disgust over our American system as the deficits rise, congress votes itself exemptions and raises, the justice system sends marijuana users to prison for 20 years and then gives child molesting priests a free ride. They are all corrupt and I can’t think of a damn thing to do to stop them that wouldn’t make it worse.
    Well as a Christian ( Not the far right ones ) I just fall back on knowing it will be dealt with in time. Yet, I’m just as bad and hippocritical as I desire to introduce them all to Jesus ahead of time. Good Hunting Raoul!

    Texas Idiot

  • http://www.robmyers.org/ Rob Myers

    One for the Mice:

    “A number of states have enacted (or may soon pass) laws that allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense birth control if their beliefs (read: fundamentalist Christian dogma) dictate otherwise.”

    http://www.boingboing.net/2004/11/10/us_druggists_refuse_.html

  • raoul

    “I believe Kerry is corrupt.”

    I agree.

  • Max Nigh

    Why such emphasis on Pro-Life, with democarcy at stake.
    Pro – lifers must have the same problem many have in this country, with logic tight thinkng compartments. Ok, to kill pregnant women, and young men with all your weapons
    Young men we have spent from womb to young manhood with food, gjidance, education, and are ready to make a contribution to society. Killing pregnant women ought to be an unforgivable sin. I thnk the young man is worse sin.
    Nobody is standing in front of the white house and objecting to killing young men. Yet , in some narrowminded souls they post themselves in front of “Family PLanning”, and shoot doctors. This and other activites such as Iraq , we are a sick nation.

  • http://codewarriorz.blogspot.com CodeWarrior

    By the way…this country has a “constitutional republic with a strong democratic tradition”…it is not, nor has it ever been a democracy. The Greeks had a democracy…and some have said that a democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner.
    :)
    ~Code

  • http://www.geocities.com/stf_publishing Claire

    I wondering if we will ever evolve to rule by consensus.
    I think everyone wants the same things, it’s just that HOW to guarentee those things to everyone can’t be done by majority rule. Too many people are left dissatisfied. There have to be ways to work things out to the relative satisfaction of all. If not, then this is a pitiful indictment of our human intelligence.

  • http://www.marketchacha.com/groups/cool-shoes-386170956/ Anke

    That is a great tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere.
    Short but very accurate info… Thank you for sharing this one.
    A must read article!