My subject line refers not to any notion that JFK will salvage the presidency, I concur with most observers that won't happen, but to his campaign song, penned by the immortal Boss. It's a great fucking song. Let's take that with us. I come not to bury Kerry as I'm afraid most lefties want to do, but to praise him. We don't like our guys as much as the other guys do because we demand perfection, even when it is the enemy of the good. It's not enough to "hold your nose" and vote for Kerry instead of Nader. The prevailing attitude on the Left often seemed to be, "He sucks but we've got to vote for him anyway" and apart from being inaccurate, 'cause he doesn't suck, that's no way to win a fucking national election. I was at a little gathering of folks last night watching the returns. One of the hosts, whom I don't know very well but know to be quite the leftist radical bitterly denounced Kerry as the "DLC creature" that the conservative Democratic establishment wanted. Respectfully, that's fucking absurd. Kerry is probably the most liberal nominee, and the most principled even if his awkward use of the English language (with all 'em big words) and evenhanded analyses makes him sound like he's not, since George McGovern. And well we know what happened to him. Lieberman was the evil DLC creature and he was a joke. Somehow I doubt Howard Dean would have been some electoral behemoth last night. Kerry has served his country well and I think he's great. As for the rest of the country...
A guy on the bus last night said "You gotta love this country..." I'm trying to, man, I'm trying to. I love Jefferson and Lincoln and FDR and Barack Obama. Barack was beautiful last night, as always but he's joining what's damned close to a Republican super-majority in the Senate. 55-45? Oy. I was counting on a slimmer margin to keep the Cowboy from turning the Supreme Court into a judicial body resembling the one they had in Salem a few hundred years back.
Massachusets fit in better in those days didn't it?
The United States of America is a land of ideals, hopes and dreams, but I will never again buy for a second the quaint old notion that its virtues are in the little farms and prairies. They're in the metropolitan oases of sanity and decency like this Windy City I call my home. The rest of the country consists of vast, rugged plains of what's the phrase I'm looking for? Oh yes, retarded hill folk.
The homosexuals and the terrorists are coming for your daughters.
The U.S. Senate, with a few notable exceptions used to be regarded as the stately upper chamber, removed from the baser passions of the people. Some of these new guys not so much. They seem to have sprung fully grown out of Jesse Helms' skull. These gay marriage ballot initiatives all passed overwhelmingly of course. In Mississippi, apparently by 92%. How ya doin' Mississippi, murder any civil rights workers lately?
When LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act in 1965 he said he knew he was signing away the south forever, but he felt it was worth it.
Was it? Of course it was.
That's the thing about governing from principle, you can only do so much of it before they stop you.
Got to catch a bit of Jon Stewart last night. He was masterful, it was amazing to watch a man whose mind and heart were clearly spinning out of his body fight like hell for the one thing he still has, the one thing he'd ultimately keep above all else, the funny. And as I said before it will be a good time for dark wit. I want to kick him around some more. I had my political awakening in 1988 when I was ten years old, and I realized how mean and vicious and ugly these people could be, so I'm used to losing. It feels normal and natural to me. I feel I belong in the countercultural trenches so I'm actually kind of comfortable. And yet I'm so not. There are genuine comforts I can take from this. Bush's failures will be his. No one will be able to say "Kerry lost Iraq". If the last three second term presidencies are any indication, it's Special Prosecutor Season again. Hopefully that'll be fun.
I don't know ya'll...
It's easy to despair right now. The old saying is "Don't mourn, organize." You know the thing is, this year was amazing, we actually *did*. "I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat." But this year, we pulled together. Nader was pretty much a non-factor, Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn actually got behind a major party candidate. People got passionate and they got involved. Forty years ago, conservatives were in the same dark wilderness that we are now, but they didn't give up, they created their own counterculture that laid the foundations for taking over the country and we must do the same. Look at the organs of the progressive left that didn't exist four years ago, at least not in their current form: Air America, MediaMatters, Moveon.org, the Center For American Progress. I saw people feel a rush to make a difference in their world literally as I had never seen before, the old and the young incredibly galvanized. I've been lucky enough to be dead center in the one spectacular progressive victory this election for the last year and a half, and it was a privilege and a joy. The worst lesson we could take away from this is that it was pointless and that we shouldn't try to keep this going and that we should abandon the idea of a strong progressive coalition to take the country back. In the end, when it's all counted I'm sure we couldn't have lost by more than a million votes. We can take a million hearts and minds back easily, if only our own are strong. We stood up and we were counted and we let it be known what we believed.
Was it worth it? Of course it was.
Did I write "one" instead of "won"? God, my usual linguistic standards aren't exactly in evidence by this blog (helped by not knowing how to spellcheck it) but man, I'm all discombobulated by the triumph of fascism in our times.
Well Anna, your husband is a big galoot, though an adorable big galoot to be sure. At the end of the day I'm not as upset that Bush one as apparently how he won, by mobilizing a huge wave of fundamentalist fanaticicm and antigay bigotry. I'm more upset with America than I am with the man it elected.
But yeah, very proud of Illinois too, and my own non-sexual crush on Barack will never abate.
roryboy...that was just what i needed. i spent the entire day yesterday either crying or on the verge of tears. mike could not understand my despair. but you are right--i'm proud of illinois' ultimate vote, i'm DAMN proud and in love with barack (so sessy!) and i know that in 2008, anyone who voted for w. on account of "more of the same" will be damn ready for change, like the rest of us. heart you and so glad you shared your mind.