Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Mourning In America

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Taking Out The Garbage

In my neighborhood, Tuesday is trash day. The streets are lined with everyone's blue containers of refuse. Fitting then that it's also the day our nation will be disposing of it's trash.

There's an old saying that fish and house guests stink after three days. You can add George W. Bush to that list as well.

Dick. George. It's time for you to go.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Update From The Field

I must say, I'm feeling surprisingly good about Colorado. Depending on the poll, Kerry is down between between five and 1. Of course, given the margin of error, he may be even closer. My take from being out and about each of the past four days and quite a lot over the past two weeks is that he's close.

Take tonight, for instance.

I did some "visibility" work in a small town (Frederick) north of where I live. The small town is in an overwhelmingly rural Republican county. My "visibility" work consisted of standing on a highly trafficked (at least for a small town) street corner holding up a Kerry sign along with a few other people. I wasn't expecting much in the way of feedback. And it was very cold today and this evening when I headed out. I wasn't looking forward to it.

But I was pleasantly surprised. Hundreds of cars passed by. (Returning from work.) We received A LOT of horn honks and positive hand gestures. It really felt good. There were definitely a few negative hand gestures but not nearly as many as I would have expected given our location. The other thing I noticed is that there was not one -- not one! -- Bush/Cheney bumper sticker. Even on the huge diesel pick-up trucks that are ubiqutous in the area. We even got a "thumbs up" from a few of the big pick-ups which surprised the heck out of me.

During our 3 hours out we were joined by a couple of drivers who just liked what we were doing and decided to join us! One lady even brought us some hot chocolate! (As it was under 30 degrees it was much appreciated!)

As I said, I wasn't expecting much from the evening but I went home feeling pumped!

Even the one overtly negative thing has me pumped. At one point during the evening I heard an odd noise. I was enjoying my hot chocolate and so I didn't really pay attention until I realized it was a "splattering" sound. I looked down at my feet and there was a smashed egg! Imagine. We ticked some poor Bush/Cheney fan off so much that they threw an egg at us. Not only that; who drives around with an egg in their car? So we aggravated them so much that they went home and got the egg and then came back to lob it at us! Classy.

But hey, if they want to throw eggs or yell obscenities (uplifting Christian family values and all that) more power to them. I didn't see any Bush/Cheney volunteers braving the cold for their guy. We're pumped. Even in a rural Republican county there's a positive vibe.

Osama's Rumsfeldian Dilemma

According to a "respected Middle East Media Research Institute" Osama bin Laden's video contains an implicit threat for Red State America:
Osama bin Laden warned in his October Surprise video that he will be closely monitoring the state-by-state election returns in tomorrow's presidential race — and will spare any state that votes against President Bush from being attacked, according to a new analysis of his statement.
If true, this would seem to pose a huge dilemma for America's terrorist enemy. A dilemma, by the way, for which Donald Rumsfeld can provide a solution.

As you recall, after 9/11 Rumsfeld immediately argued for an attack against Iraq. Richard Clarke, America's terrorist czar, pointed out that it was not Iraq but al Qaeda -- based in Afghanistan -- that had attacked us. Rumsfeld wisely responded that Afghanistan provided no targets against which America could retaliate. He was, of course, reacting to the objective fact that after years of war and Taliban neglect, Afghanisan languished as a fourth-world country reduced to rubble.

If, as this new translation argues, Osama truly views only Red States as his enemy he'll be in a real bind. Are there any iconic, high-value targets in Red States? Maybe Missouri's Independence Arch? (Of course that's in predominantly Blue St. Louis.) The Alamo? Maybe Mount Rushmore? Seriously, what Red State targets would Osama pursue?

I'm sure Osama will be calling his old friend Donald Rumsfeld for advice on this thorny dilemma.

Good News For GOP

It's not lost on me that most things I write in this blog are anathema to conservatives. Of course the reason for that is because, unfortunately, most modern conservatives have fallen in the abyss of George W. Bush's Cult of Personality. The folly of and reasons for this sad state of affairs are topics for another post. The purpose of this post is to proclaim Good News about which Republicans can be happy. If you're a Republican, the following true story is offered to warm the cockles of your heart.

I have been very focused in recent weeks on canvassing and GOTV efforts. Over this past weekend I called over 250 registered voters who sporadically vote Democratic or are registered Independent. For my efforts I spoke to a lot of answering machines. When I actually spoke to a real person they were mostly very nice and excited about voting for Kerry on Tuesday (except for those who had already cast an early vote for Kerry).

Now here's the part that Republican's will love. One of the voters I called to speak with (we'll call him Joe) was not home. Joe's mom, however, was home. She was very nice. Like so many others I had spoken with, she told me that she and her husband had already cast their early ballot for Kerry. Joe, however, had been unable to cast an early ballot. Joe was planning to vote for Kerry on Tuesday. Fortunately (for Republicans) Joe was unexpectedly called out of town for work and would be 1000 miles away from his precinct on election day.

I offered to explore possible options for obtaining an emergency ballot for Joe. And I'm still in the process of trying to secure some kind of last minute absentee ballot. Alas, the chances of Joe being able to cast a ballot look very slim at this point.

So while the GOP has been busy preventing Mary Poppins and Mickey Mouse from voting in Ohio they've missed an excellent opportunity to suppress, much more easily and covertly, Democratic turnout. Next time around I suggest that all Republican bosses make up some excuse to send workers out of state on election day. Of course, you've got to do this at the last minute so as to prevent the great unwashed masses from securing an absentee ballot.

The benefit of this approach for Republicans is that it gives you two chances to prevent people from voting. And surely that's something to giddily satisfy Republicans everywhere.

Andrew's Answers

Andrew Sullivan takes a crack at answering the question "Why Does Bob Smith Hate America."

Sullivan's short answer boils down to wyvern's witty comment: "The Conservative candidate is Kerry."

His longer answer:
It's not so easy to tell who's the liberal and who's the conservative anymore. You want a candidate who pumps unprecedented amounts of money into agricultural subsidies, uses tariffs to protect some American industries and adds a whole new entitlement to Medicare? That would be the, er, Republican, George W. Bush.

You want a future President who will be hard nosed about committing U.S. troops abroad, wants to balance every new spending item with a tax hike or a spending cut elsewhere and backs states' rights on social issues? Then go ahead and vote for the, er, Democrat, John Kerry.

You think there's too little federal control over education? Vote Bush. Want to expand health-care coverage primarily through the private sector? Vote Kerry.

Confused yet? You're not the only one. For conservatives there's plenty to worry about in Bush's record. By any measure, the government is bigger, more powerful and more intrusive than when he found it. Domestic spending has gone up at a greater rate than under any other President since Lyndon Johnson. The President hasn't found a single spending bill he wanted to veto. And he cannot even blame Congress. His own party controls all of it. In foreign policy, conservatives have long tended to be realists, acting only in response to hard-faced national interest, exercising prudence and caution, only reluctantly intervening in other countries' affairs. That's the kind of conservative Bush campaigned as in 2000, lambasting "nation building" in the debates and calling for fewer troops than Al Gore did.
But hey, you know where Bush stands, don't you?