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November 04, 2004

In the Closet

As in, that's where I'll be hiding for the next four years. With Colin Powell.

Vice President Dick Cheney said that the president had run his campaign "forthrightly on a clear agenda for this nation's future, and the nation responded by giving him a mandate." Not in 11 states we didn't! At least not legally.

Here's the next thing to fear - Supreme Court nominations. The possibilities of who Bush might nominate almost make me hope that Rehnquist sticks around for awhile longer. Almost. The devil you know, and all that stuff.

Interesting reading on NYTimes.com today, including an op-ed contribution by Garry Willis called, "The Day the Enlightenment Went Out". Willis asserts that the U.S. is getting away from the values under which it was formed, and becoming more and more like its stated enemies:

The secular states of modern Europe do not understand the fundamentalism of the American electorate. It is not what they had experienced from this country in the past. In fact, we now resemble those nations less than we do our putative enemies.

Where else do we find fundamentalist zeal, a rage at secularity, religious intolerance, fear of and hatred for modernity? Not in France or Britain or Germany or Italy or Spain. We find it in the Muslim world, in Al Qaeda, in Saddam Hussein's Sunni loyalists. Americans wonder that the rest of the world thinks us so dangerous, so single-minded, so impervious to international appeals. They fear jihad, no matter whose zeal is being expressed.

Maureen O'Dowd's column is scathingly funny, but only in an "oh dear lrod what have we gotten ourselves into?" sort of way. She points out that no matter how right-wing one might find Bush, some of the newest senators are even worse:

Tom Coburn, the new senator from Oklahoma, has advocated the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions and warned that "the gay agenda" would undermine the country. He also characterized his race as a choice between "good and evil" and said he had heard there was "rampant lesbianism" in Oklahoma schools.

Jim DeMint, the new senator from South Carolina, said during his campaign that he supported a state G.O.P. platform plank banning gays from teaching in public schools. He explained, "I would have given the same answer when asked if a single woman who was pregnant and living with her boyfriend should be hired to teach my third-grade children."

I mean, REALLY?? People VOTED for these guys???

I still think Bill Frist is the real enemy. He is pure, unadulterated EVIL. Evil with a cherry on top.

Thomas Friedman's column does a nice job of explaining how I feel about "evangelical Christians" determining our form of government (emphasis mine):

But what troubled me yesterday was my feeling that this election was tipped because of an outpouring of support for George Bush by people who don't just favor different policies than I do - they favor a whole different kind of America. We don't just disagree on what America should be doing; we disagree on what America is.

Is it a country that does not intrude into people's sexual preferences and the marriage unions they want to make? Is it a country that allows a woman to have control over her body? Is it a country where the line between church and state bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers should be inviolate? Is it a country where religion doesn't trump science? And, most important, is it a country whose president mobilizes its deep moral energies to unite us - instead of dividing us from one another and from the world?

At one level this election was about nothing. None of the real problems facing the nation were really discussed. But at another level, without warning, it actually became about everything. Partly that happened because so many Supreme Court seats are at stake, and partly because Mr. Bush's base is pushing so hard to legislate social issues and extend the boundaries of religion that it felt as if we were rewriting the Constitution, not electing a president. I felt as if I registered to vote, but when I showed up the Constitutional Convention broke out.

My problem with the Christian fundamentalists supporting Mr. Bush is not their spiritual energy or the fact that I am of a different faith. It is the way in which he and they have used that religious energy to promote divisions and intolerance at home and abroad.

Posted by Highwaygirl on November 4, 2004 01:54 PM to the category Political Rants

The headline of the Chicago Tribune today -
Bush: Vote is mandate I've got the will of the people at my back I don't understand how he can think this election gave him a mandate. He won by the slimmist of margins ever for a sitting president. Who wants to join me in Canada?

Posted by: Siandam at November 5, 2004 10:42 AM

Maybe it's just me, but ... this frequent usage of the term "mandate" scares me. It's like the Bush Administration is saying that it has carte blanche to try to force its every whim down the country's collective throat. To which I say "nay!"

*raises fist and fights the power*

I'm thinking that Canada isn't nearly far enough away at this point, so I'm considering Denmark (maternal ancestral homeland), Wales (paternal ancestral homeland) and New Zealand (just very cool) as my future place of residence.

Posted by: Highwaygirl at November 5, 2004 11:05 AM

Just remember, I've offered up my couch in Canada, heh

The whole "mandate" thing has been pissing me off ever since I first heard it mentioned. While 3.5 million people is a lot, it's not an overwhelming majority. Georgie needs to remember that 48% of the voters did not issue him a mandate to do anything other than get the f*ck out of office.

I also enjoyed his press conference comment about "reaching out to everyone who shares our goals." That's really big of you, Shrub.

Posted by: D_A at November 5, 2004 03:38 PM

The other phrase that bothers me is "I've earned political capital, and now I'm going to spend it."

Sir, you need to STOP spending. That's a big part of the country's problem right now. The tone of that statement just really bugs me. It's borderline insolent.

Posted by: Highwaygirl at November 5, 2004 04:13 PM

I interpret what he's saying in a non-financial sense. He has built up his political capital as far as 1) winning the popular vote this time around, 2) his party gaining control of Congress, and 3) probably gaining seats on the Supreme Court. Basically, I think that he's saying that he is going to work the system more effectively because everything is controlled by the Republicans, which means that nothing should stand in his way.

In theory, I think he's right. However, at this point I think he's crossed the fine line between arrogance and confidence and will probably wind up pissing even more people over with his exclusionary statements and behaviors like the "mandates" and "reaching out to people who share our goals." I don't think he understands that even though his party has a majority, that they still don't have enough numbers to have an absolute majority and still have to work with the Democrats. If he continues at the same rate or gets worse, which I imagine will happen since he doesn't have to worry about getting re-elected and mistakenly thinks that he has an overwhelming majority, he will self-destruct.

Posted by: D_A at November 5, 2004 04:41 PM
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