Wednesday, November 06, 2002
I think this guy has a pretty good explanation of what happened last night. The democrats lost my vote and the votes of at least 3 of my friends. We're all female, liberal arts educated, and pro-choice, yet we held our noses and voted republican. Why?
"I think this conventional wisdom is wrong. I think 9/11 merely exposed a longer-term weakness in the Democratic position, which is this: the Democrats have forgotten how to do politics that is about anything but politics itself. They're a post-modern political party, endlessly recycling texts that have little or no referent outside the discourse of politics itself.
The disgusting spectacle they made of Paul Wellstone's funeral is diagnostic. We were treated to trumpet calls about honoring Wellstone's legacy without any discussion beyond the most superficial cliches of what that legacy was. All the ritual invocations of time-honored Democratic shibboleths had a tired, shopworn, unreal and self-referential feel to them — politics as the literature of exhaustion.
Reality had to intrude sometime. The destruction of the WTC reduced all the politics-about-politics rhetoric of the Democrats to irrelevance. They stood mute in the face of the worst atrocity on American soil since Pearl Harbor, arguably the worst in U.S. history. The superficial reason was that their anti-terror policy was hostage to the party's left wing, but the deeper problem was that they long ago lost the ability to rise above petty interest-group jockying on any issue of principle at all. The most relevant adjective is not `wrong', or `evil', it's `feckless'.
Republicans, by contrast, forged a workable consensus during the Reagan years and never quite lost it. They've often been wrong, frequently been obnoxious as hell, and have their own loony fringe (abortion-clinic bombers, neo-fascists like Pat Buchanan, and the Christian Coalition) to cope with. But when Osama bin Laden demonstrated a clear and present danger to the United States of America they were able to respond.
They were able to respond not merely with reaction, but by taking a moral position against terrorism that could serve as the basis of an effective national strategy. Quarrel with "Homeland Security" all you like — but then imagine Al Gore in charge of defeating Al-Qaeda and shudder. He would actually have had to take the likes of Cynthia McKinney and Maxine Waters seriously.
I think these 2002 elections are going to turn out to have been much more of a turning point than the aborted `Republican Revolution' of 1994. Unless Bush's war strategy completely screws the pooch, he is going to completely walk over the Democratic candidate in 2004. The Democrats show no sign of developing a foreign-policy doctrine that can cope with the post-9/11 world, and their domestic-policy agenda is tired and retrogressive. Their voter base is aging, and their national leadership couldn't rummage up a better Wellstone replacement than Walter "What decade is this, anyway?" Mondale. The Democratic party could end up disintegrating within the decade.
This is not a prospect that fills me with uncomplicated glee. Right-wing statism is not an improvement on left-wing statism; a smug and dominant GOP could easily become captive to theocrats and know-nothings, a very bad thing for our nation and the world. And, unfortunately, the Libertarian Party has courted self-destruction by choosing to respond to 9/11 with an isolationism every bit as vapid and mindless as the left's "No War for Oil!" chanting.
Welcome to post-postmodern politics. Meaning is back, but the uncertainties are greater than ever."
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Christie: Please reread my previous posts. You obviously misunderstood them. I voted republican precisely because I wanted and expected them to win. I weighed the probable disasters on either side and chose republican. That doesn't mean that I'm happy about some of the results I expect will come of this. It was a choice between evils, I'm glad that what I considered the greater evil didn't win, but that doesn't mean I can't worry about some of the results. To me the war against terrorism and the issue of the second amendment are matters of survival. I'll put life and death before abortion and a great many other things but I'm enraged at being forced to choose, as you've no doubt read here over the past month. There were no good choices in this election, therefore there could be no good outcome, only a bad and a worse one.
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Sigh. Well maybe we'll get national security and some pro second amendment laws. But now all three branches are republican and pro-life. They're going to be picking judges. This isn't a victory. It's only a diversion of some disasters. At least this will (maybe) teach the democrats that the voters aren't stupid. (I have low expectations, they've shown themselves to be remarkably resistant to learning.) But now the republicans will assume that this means that people agree with them, rather than regard them as the lesser evil.
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Am I the only one who's not surprised at the outcome of the elections?
I noticed a phenomena on at least 3 news talk shows where they get 3 or 4 pundits together to discuss/ predict the outcome of upcoming races. There's always only one woman. She's always dressed in one of those brightly colored monochromatic suits. She's always a democrat, and she's always obviously wrong. Wrong like predicting that the democrats will retake the house and the senate and win almost every race. Wrong like claiming that the majority of americans don't want war in Iraq and blame Bush for the economy. Where the hell do these women live?
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"I didn't have anything to eat today...
except a whole pizza." -Benno
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This is horrifying.
Europe is going to hell in a handbasket faster than many places in the third world.
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