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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Bummer, It's Bush

Well, it is over and despite all the legal wranglings and the hand wringing, George W. Bush has won reelection. It is now time to get on with the business of government. This is the time when I am supposed to acknowledge all those naysayers, doomsday seers, I-told-you-so-ers. Well, I won't. I supported John Kerry for President. I still do. I voted for John Kerry for President. I will again. I am a member of the Democratic Party and don't see that changing anytime soon. As I talked up Kerry for months and months, convincing myself as well as others that Kerry was the man for president, several of my friends rolled their eyes. But this is politics, not a popularity contest. This is real life, not machinations in a corporate boardroom where you have to jockey your personal beliefs for a winning position. In real life, you have got to stand up for what you believe in and fight against what you believe is wrong. And I still believe George Bush is wrong for this country and will take us down the wrong path. I still believe that John Kerry had an optimistic, realistic and achievable vision for the country and the ability to see that vision through. But now it is time to pull back and regroup. If politics is a game it most closely resembles football. And not football as in soccer, where the offense gets that one chance with the ball to make the goal, but football in American Football, the NFL, where you have the ball and you keep on plugging away, inch by inch, yard by yard until you get the touchdown. We didn't get the goal in 2000. We didn't get a first down in 2002. And in 2004 we made some yardage but eventually had to turn the ball over. We are on defense now and the goal is to hold back Bush and the GOP-dominated Congress for at least two years when we get a chance once again to make some yardage, get a first down or even score a touchdown. Bush will have a GOP-dominated Senate going into his second term. The perilous balance that the senate has seen for the last six years has evaporated. And Bush has the popular vote on his side. He will use that as an absolute mandate to pass his aggressive conservative agenda. Social Security will be dissolved with the establishment of Social Security Savings Accounts. The trust fund, used shore up this nation's debt and solidify the federal bonds will be dissolved as a result and this nation will be in tremendous fiscal danger. Bush will have two and probably three supreme court nominations, including Chief Justice. That is a huge responsibility. And a tremendous legacy. The woman's right to choose will be whittled away. The line between trust and monopolies versus a free market will be whittled away. The PATRIOT ACT and other radical law enforcement goals will be ratified by a Bush court. And speaking of business and government, we will continue to see a strong consolidation of media and the subsequent squashing of alternate voices and alternate views in print and on the airwaves. A corporate cabal more interested in pleasing their government peers will be apt to self-censor rather than face the wraith of the GOP- controlled legislative and regulative bodies. But more importantly, as Democrat, we fall back and regroup. We must work to change the mindset of so many that the Democrats are only interested in giving handouts to the poor, that the Democrats are only interested in raising taxes, that the Democrats are not interested small business and rural America. We have to rebuild this party and change the face without the spirit and ideals of the Democratic party if we are going to win and be a national party again. Looking at the big map on the television networks, with each state bearing Red or Blue, I begin to feel so lonely and alone. There is a lot of work to be done and a lot reflection. We lost this election and I wish Bush the best. But we aren't rolling over for him and we aren't giving him a blank check and a rubber stamp or acquiescing him a mandate. He pledges to make peace, to bring people together - but his history shows he is unwilling in that effort. I hope the election has shown him the diversity of the country and the people and helped to ease the anger and the division between the two major political ideologies. But I am not optimistic that he will.