A letter to my fellow Democrats

A letter to my fellow Democrats

: Dear fellow losers,

He’s our President, too.

Come on, say it: He’s our President, too.

If you continue to treat him like the devil in a gray suit, you will only drive him to his fringe and drive his supporters toward their fringe and you will lose any hope of winning in four years. You will continue to divide America and give the other side license to do the same. So retract fangs and claws and empty the venom.

Treat him like your President and he might just act like it. Put country above party and we might even get somewhere. I don’t mean that you should suddenly start agreeing with him — ‘stem cells bad!’ — but that in this political process we hold so dear, you can push for what matters to you: You can get your congressmen, as many as we have, to drive the tax cuts down a little lower and improve the environment a little more and maybe even do something to fix health insurance. Compromise. Negotiate. Wheedle. Flies. Honey. You know the story.

Push him. Push him hard. That will accomplish more than angry attacks.

The alternative is to sit in a room and growl like the village nut. That won’t get us anywhere. And, in fact, it will damage the party and the worldview; it will push us toward our fringe so we get an even more unelectable candidate next time; it will let the Republicans grow. It’s a bad strategy.

So suck it up and repeat after me: He’s our President, too.

There, that didn’t hurt too much, did it?

  • FWIW, here’s my take on the election:
    “This is not to say that we should back away from a fight. But we need to draw upon the Jon Stewart part of the Democratic Party. Those of us who can reach out to the moderates of both parties, who believe that it

  • bull…

    Do you really believe what you just wrote? Take a little time away from the monitor and come back to this, and tell me you really believe it. The Swift vets, the Rovian dirty tricks, the willful lies and distortions of Kerry’s record and words… The GOP has gotten where it is by villifying Democrats and making ogres of them. Democrats have lost by NOT being ruthless, venomous and hateful. They will continue to lose regardless of whether they “accept” Bush as their rightful leader. They must hit back. Harder. Meaner. It is depressing and unbelievably regrettable that it has come to this. But it is the only way now.

  • GCW

    Jeff, I really admire your nobility in supporting Bush, even though you disagree with him. I think your approach is terrific and likely to be successful in getting your concerns addressed by the administration.
    That said, I do quibble with this post. I think you’re being guilty of the fault you’re trying to discourage. President Bush’s opinion on stem cell research is not “stem cells bad!” You saying so, whether joking or serious or somewhere in between, is a small example of the venom you’re trying to eliminate.
    Other than that: bravo to you for your message over the last days and months.

  • Sam

    Bu!!sh!t – The Democrats don’t need help being villified, they are their own worst enemy, as evidenced by your post. “Democrats have lost by NOT being ruthless, venomous and hateful” – you are exactly wrong on that issue. You’ve never heard of Michael Moore, Eminem, Terry MacAuliff, Bush/AWOL, Bush/Hitler, etc.??? Both sides lie and sling mud about equally. Keep this up and moderates like Jeff will get driven further right (or at least further from you).

  • Penschool

    Why are you so condesending sometimes?

  • Very classy, Jeff. You should take over for McAullife at the DNC.

  • ehhh

    Why can’t he be the president *and* the devil? He’s shown no interest in compromise since 9/11, so it’s really up to him to extend the olive branch. Do you really thing Kerry and his followers did more to divide America in the past year than Bush and his gang? And “as many congressmen as we have”? We don’t have enough congressmen to do anything Tom Delay doesn’t want to do. Push him hard? With what? We can fight Bush and his ultraconservative pals tooth and nail and still reach out to the middle at the same time. It’s been done before and is a better strategy than playing niceynice with the man driving our country off a cliff.

  • Bush IS just like Hitler. He’s used lies and propaganda to get voted back into office. His advisors would make Goering and Goebels proud. He’s going to take the ball, and use the PNAC plan to run with it. We’re looking at a draft, with over a million men in the Army, taking over 5 more countries in the next 4 years. We’re so screwed….


  • Jeff, I really admire this theme of yours, its one I share too. That’s why I will continue to push the way I have with reason over anger.
    But do you think that the ‘the other side’ will do the same?
    And can it be that we lost because the instinct on the left is not to be as intolerant as the right? That in its openness and inclusiveness, it looked soft, which pretty much means untrustworthy to too many? Wasn’t the critical complaint of the Republicans that Kerry would ‘say anything to get elected’?
    I’ve been following your pledge and will continue to do so – which means my site will continue to get little notice while the partisan hacks slug it out. That’s my prediction. And I hope to be wrong.
    Please tell more sites like Instapundit to stop being so partisan and to try and be more civil in how they post. To try and engender more conversation over anger. Your plea needs to be applied to the Republican bloggers as well as the Democratic ones. Otherwise, its just a cry into the echo chamber.
    BTW – I posted my own amature analysis of the election and would like discussion if anyone would care to.

  • Jesse

    “There, that didn’t hurt too much, did it?”
    Actually it was agonizing.
    And “bull” — regarding your post up above, remember that nice guys always finish last.

  • Bill

    You must be thin skinned if you think Instapundit is anything less than civil. I see a lot of comments by people that are not real good as self realization. If sites like Instapundit seem partisan, it is only because they run a counterpoint to the main stream media….which was slanted sharply toward Kerry

  • can’t do it, jeff.
    while i truly admire and respect what you’re saying, i just don’t see it as being that simple.
    “Push him. Push him hard. That will accomplish more than angry attacks.”
    doubtful. what incentive does he have to alter ANY of his policies? he’s made it clear that he’s stubborn as all hell. he has no reason to change his mind on anything. why listen to the people when you’ve got Uncle Dick and Cousin Karl to council you?
    – paul brisbin

  • M.

    oh, but it hurts so much, jeff. while i admire, intellectually, the calm appraisal of the situation, this is just a punishing, demoralizing defeat.
    something is very wrong with this country and it seems our collective anger just gets used against us. it is appalling that this man was reelected in light of everything he has done, in light of everything he has failed to do — in superficial ways and in more damaging ways.
    we must look like a bunch of geniuses to the rest of the world right now.

  • First off, I’m a Brit. (and we got all this to come next year).
    I congratulate Jeff on a very good post, and all the other negative comments seem quite bitter.
    If we can’t trust the biggest nation in the world to democratically elect the chosen ‘one’ what hope does it hold out for the rest of us.
    Bush is the president for the next 4 years, nothing anyone can do, (apart from passing new laws to get rid of the dirty tactics).
    I lived in Fort Worth, Tx for 3 years so I’ve been Bushed already.
    As an outsider, it ‘appears’ that the right man won, the one with the most popular votes and college too. So he must be getting it right in Iraq etc.
    His first job should be to send Mr. Moore over there as US peace envoy. That was the most disgraveful film I have ever seen…

  • Treat him like your President and he might just act like it.
    That’s what we did last time, and look at what it got us. Oh, some people said he had gotten to the office illegitimately – okay, many said it – but the overwhelming majority sat back and waited to see what he would do with the office. And were appalled, worse each time he did anything.
    It’s instructive to think about how Republicans talk about terrorism. They say that showing weakness invites attack. That’s how the right thinks of their enemies, and clearly, social conservatives think liberals are their enemies, not just their opponents. So if we were to put out the open hand, they would just interpret it as weakness, and attack. That is what they’ve done for 30 years or more, that’s what they’ll continue to do.
    They think of me as their enemy, and behave accordingly. So, I must treat them as the enemy too. And I am sure Jarvis will get on his high horse about how the terrorists are the real enemy, blah blah blah. Well, the people attacking me and mine right now are right here, where I can fight them. I can’t go and fight the terrorists, and nothing I am doing is impeding the people who can and are fighting them (although I tried to change the roster of people with that job yesterday). Osama bin Laden can kill me, but he can’t take away my freedom. George Bush can and is willing to. Screw him; he is not my president.

  • While I agree that we do not want to make US politics more of a snakepit than it already is, Jeff, I can’t see how or why you think what is essentially an appeasement strategy will work with Bush.
    As noted above, Bush has virtually no record of wanting to really work with Dems and has zero incentive to do so. Unfortunately, I think following your advice would just result in the Dems politely marginalizing themselves further.
    For my more complete thoughts on the dangers of a Bush appeasement strategy, pls see http://gould.weblogsinc.com/entry/6291976086575276/
    For my initial reactions on a way forward for the Dems, pls see http://gould.weblogsinc.com/entry/3349247479280992/

  • ronbo

    If you continue to treat him like the devil in a gray suit, you will only drive him to his fringe
    Did you really mean that? I appreciate the overall sentiment of your post, but isn’t the real problem with demonizing Bush that it gives him a license to ignore criticism? I don’t see how left-wing lunacy will affect how the Republicans deal with the hard right.
    By the way, “stem cells bad” is sort of injudicious, don’t you think?
    Best regards.

  • Franky

    Once again it’s a nice thought, but its simply not real. President Bush won a mandate for his policies, appealing to the concerns of a number of his people. People cared about gay marriages, they thought he was right to invade Iraq – why the hell would he disappoint the people who put him in office to appease Democrats?. This was a vicious election, and both sides felt that if their opponents won they would get stuck by the other side, so now it’s pre-emptive payback time (I’m sure the Democrats would’ve felt the same).
    Remember he’s not running for re-election, so feels no need to appeal to moderates.
    Further a simple reading of his first presidency (I repeat, when he knew he had to stand for election again) showed he ran as a radical conservative.
    The fact is that Bush has a radical Christian right agenda and tens of millions voted for him for him to enact it.

  • Blue

    “Why can’t he be the president *and* the devil? He’s shown no interest in compromise since 9/11, so it’s really up to him to extend the olive branch. Do you really thing Kerry and his followers did more to divide America in the past year than Bush and his gang?”
    Um, excuse me. Florida 2000. The core ember of rage that is destroying the Democratic party? All the BS arguments, the wanton lies about dienfranchisement, the cherry-picking recount strategy, the LAWSUIT BY AL GORE.
    No, I’m afraid the Democrats did NOT give this president much of a chance. On the few occasions they did (tax cuts and education) guess what, he compromised!

  • Dishman

    To “bull…” and others.. a point of agreement with M.:
    Your anger has been and will continue to be used against you.
    I’d suggest you take a look at Aikido. It’s both a martial art and a philosophy, wherein the attacker’s power is used against himself. The same concepts of balance and guiding that work with bodies also with memes.
    You have over-committed to anger, and found yourself on the mat… again.
    Please stop. My own party cannot (would not?) hold the balance for the country on its own.

  • Jeff,
    You said it the best.

  • Its kind of scarey to know that the same bunch that libelled Sen. Kerry, McCain and other real heroes thinks they’re called by God to do it.
    That kind of thinking leads to wars and economic disasters, and is not inclined to make reasonable relationships, because it can’t accept the legitimacy of any other viewpoint.
    11 anti-gay States also is scarey. Like elected officials who are on record saying single mothers shouldn’t be allowed to teach in our schools.
    But Canada put out a statement today reminding anyone heading that way that they will have to get in line for residency there. It’s a chuckle, but not outside the bounds of a real consideration.

  • Ha ha ha, that’s so funny, Jeff. ‘Our’ President. How quaint. How’s this:
    “Not only did Kerry win by an 86-13 margin among self-described liberals, he also won by a 55-45 margin among self-described moderates. So how’d Bush pull it off? He won 84-15 among self-described conservatives, and, more importantly, he made sure conservatives comprised a much bigger chunk of the electorate than they did in 2000. (Conservatives comprised about 34 percent of the electorate yesterday, versus 29 percent in 2000 — a huge shift, raw numbers-wise.) Anyone anticipating a conciliatory second Bush term should stop and consider how much Bush owes his base.”

  • david

    >The fact is that Bush has a radical Christian
    >right agenda and tens of millions voted for him
    >for him to enact it.
    That is the correct enchilada. While people like Jeff wants us to act nice and accuse us of “putting party before country” Rove and the gang are getting ready to change the country forever. The ChristianCons will now take the place of the NeoCons and will try to change domestic policy to as great a degree as the neocons have tried to change foreign policy. At the same time Jeff and Chickenhawk Friedman will be asking us to be nice and “play fair.”

  • Gene

    Jeff’s pledge is one I was willing to take, even if my candidate lost. And he didn’t. I wouldn’t have been happy, but I would have given Kerry a chance. I would have opposed his legislative programs and policies where I disagreed with him and supported those deserving of my support. He would have been my President – not someone I would have followed blindly.
    And the same is true of Bush. There are many issues I think he is wrong on or has made mistakes. Not everyone who voted for Bush agrees with all the “moral values” nonsense and we will oppose it. Just given the two candidates the majority, like myself, felt he was better suited to the job.
    Lose the bile and grow up!
    Jeff, it’s “stem cells bad … M’kay?”

  • Thanks for your sanity, Jeff.
    Somebody here accused you of being condescending. I guess what you should have written is this:
    Tbogg: I look at the big map and all of the red in flyover country and I feel like I’ve been locked in a room with the slow learners.
    Or this:
    Thanks a lot, homophobic backwards selfish idiotic warmongering busybody bible-thumping asshole hicks of America, for pissing all over the principles the country was actually founded on. You know, that little “freedom” thing.
    how about this:
    The people have spoken:
    they prefer stupidity to intelligence
    they prefer hyperbole to facts
    they prefer fantasy to reality
    they prefer hate to hope
    Lost culture of morons.

    Now, that would have been appropriate. And not condescending at all. Because only cultured elites know what freedom is. Only progressive intellectuals are capable of thinking. Because, as every informed person knows, religion is incompatible with rational thinking.
    Condescending, huh? For decades, the Leftist self-selected elites have treated their “simple”, church-going compatriots with utmost disrespect and arrogance. What do they expect in return?
    I don’t feel like gloating over the loss of their “progressive” cause on Nov.2. Frankly, I don’t care. Let them bathe in their own snot.

  • Jeff, you need to get over yourself—that’s just a little condescending.
    And I don’t remember the wingnuts issuing these type of statements in ’96 when Clinton got reelected by a landslide. Rather, they continued their campaign to destroy the man (although he helped) all the while knowing that we faced some real big threats in the world, and maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to distract the POTUS for a year in a sex scandal when he could have been dealing with trying to get Al Qaeda.
    Now, I am not saying that we on the other side should act like the Republicans, but give us a few days before we have to rally around the prez.

  • JeremyR

    Except in your post, you lie about Bush. The “Stem Cells Bad” bit.
    Has he banned stem cell research? No. He merely hasn’t funded stem cell research all that much. He’s actually funded it in a limited way, which is more than the previous Administration ever did…
    I would wager if he did fund it fully, you’d be screaming about his big budget deficit (oh wait, you do that already…)

  • Well, I wrote a pleasant review of the election if anyone wants to read it.

  • Tell you what, Jeff. You get Ann Coulter to appear on national television to renounce her crazy, hate filled screeds against Democrats and I’m sure your fellow Democrats will seriously consider your advice. Until then, stop being so naive. The right is already back in attack mode today.

  • Franky

    And while we discussed the niceties and polite protocol of the next four years, the radical right has begun the call to arms for the coming fight.

  • Catherine

    Boy – I guess you just can’t kill the conspiracy mongers even if Bush wins electorally and by a 3% margin in the pop vote with the most votes cast for any Pres in history, can you? I just keep thinking those above who think “anti-gay” and keeping the term marriage to mean a union of a man and a woman are mutually exclusive and all of the other silly notions are 20 years old. Somehow, the fact that you all at least SOUND like young kids is comforting. I would hate to think you are adults.
    Jeff – it’s embryonic stem cells Jeff the Pres has limited FED funding (not state, not private) to – not banned, limited – for valid ethical concerns. Say it with me EM-bree-ON-ic. Adult stem cells are not at issue and we have been researching them for 20 years to no avail, but keep on believin’ that if Kerry won people would “rise outta those chairs” like Edwards said!

  • The alternative is not to sit in a room and growl. The alternative is to continue to fight tooth and nail to defeat policies that are destructive and in many cases down right unamerican and unconstitutional.
    The President’s policies were bad two days ago and they’re bad now.

  • Nope

    There will be no healing.
    You can’t expect people to forget everything when your tactics were:
    1) character assassination
    2) distortortions and hyperbole to the point of comedy.
    It is up to the Republicans to govern as centrists if they want any hope of reconciliation. Otherwise, if they continue to by hypocitic, self-deluding, racist, homophobic, ideological, small minded idiots, I want no part of any of their policies.

  • Sure, Jeff, I can say it: He’s my president.
    I’m a registered Democrat. I voted for Kerry. And I can say it:
    He’s my president.
    The problem is, Jeff, it doesn’t make me feel too well.
    The fact that the process worked doesn

  • Kat

    Yes, the Republicans should become democrats and then you will want part of their policies. Bwahaha. The majority disagree with you. Quit whining. It is Democrats like you who won for Bush–thanks from we small minded people who think unlike you. Go find a pacifier.

  • jim

    I treat him like the devil in a gray suit because he is. He has acted as a divider, not a uniter for the last three (3) years. I’d say the onus is now on him to seal the breach he’s done much to create. If not, I’m content to commence planning guerilla activities.

  • Mike NYC

    Country above party? That’s what we’re doing, Jeff. Fighting Bush has nothing to do with being a Democrat. It has to do with our beliefs in our country and in the human race.
    I’ve heard no one say he isn’t our president. He is. But I can’t support him nor can I take your pledge.
    I hope and pray he does well in the second term. But I hold him responsible for everything he fucked up in the first.

  • Jim S

    No. He’s not my president. You’re 4 years too late to make that appeal. Back then he said he’d be a uniter, remember? He said he wanted to be the president of all Americans. He lied. Not just once but many times.
    We might not win in 4 years? I’ve got news for you. We won’t. It doesn’t matter what we do there will not be a Democratic president again in my lifetime and I’m in my 40s. The United States has ended, welcome to the Conservative Christian States of America. We’ve freed Afghanistan and we’ve become a lite version of their former government. Don’t dismiss the chances of the FMA. I think it will pass in every red state leaving only 4 blues for it to pass. I’m certainly not betting against it.

  • From exit polling, it appears Bush won approximately 80% of the votes of people who thought terrorism was the most important issue. It appears then, that Kerry failed to make the connection THAT FAILURES IN IRAQ HAVE DECREASED OUR OVERALL SECURITY. Unfortunately, this appeared to be too complicated an argument for voters, generally unfamiliar with internal Middle East politics, to digest. They made their terrorism choice based on the simple ‘feeling’ that Bush was overall stronger than Kerry, and that we have not yet been attacked again.
    They are going to learn a very hard lesson. Bush Inc. will have to defeat a rabid insurgency in Iraq that is only growing stronger, and even if they do this and establish a democracy, polls in Iraq overwhelmingly favor the Iranian backed Shiite Mullahs. Creating an Islamic Republic will be unacceptable to Bush, and they will be forced to suppress the very democracy they have attempted to create. This will leave America simply as an occupier in a Muslim land, and feed Al Qaeda for years.
    Ironically, more accurate translations of Bin Laden’s tape have shown that he actually “threatened” the ‘red’ states, that’s correct, states that would vote for Bush.
    Most likely, this vote will come back to haunt Bush suppoters in ways they did not imagine.

  • GCW

    Spewing venom at Bush is not going to help convince “Red Americans.” Nothing you do alone will affect Bush. If you want to get something done in America, you’re going to have to sway people on the other side. Your anger will hurt your cause.

  • Lets stop talking about this election. The next one is only 3.5 years away…. http://www.Primary2008.com
    Evan Bayh is the big winner…

  • Jim S

    You said “Not everyone who voted for Bush agrees with all the “moral values” nonsense and we will oppose it.”. No, you won’t. Why? Because you already supported it. You voted for him. You gave him and James Dobson the mandate they needed. Don’t you understand how our system works? You no longer have any power to affect the agenda. None. You used your only power on November 2nd and you decided to support the side that believes that homosexuals are at best third class citizens. The side that wants to ban stem cell research. You don’t think so? You believe that Bush only wants an end to government funding (keep in mind that pretty much every one of the cell lines he approved has shown to be useless because of contamination)? Then why is the Bush administration the main cheerleaders for a U.N. treaty to ban all forms of cloning including those referred to as “therapeutic cloning” that are necessary parts of stem cell research. You did vote for George Bush, the honest straightforward candidate, right?

  • catherine

    An announcement I expect to hear:
    Dear Fellow Patriots, Your official “War is Peace–Dissent is Treason” poster will be in the mail soon. Please place it in a prominent place in your home to show all visitors that you support the current policies of the United States Government (Executive Branch). As a reminder, all government support for next year’s flu vaccine has been cancelled. We have learned from the FDA that the ink used in the new National ID Tatoo, (to be placed on the inside of your left forearm) is a flu preventative. Please remember that you must keep your tatoo area clean as your government is not responsible for infections in this area. [Note: Attempts to remove your ID number will subject you to a fine of not less than $10,000 and imprisonment of not less than 10 years.] /signed/ Patriot Bureau of Investigation.

  • Jim S

    Bill, the guy who runs Instapundit makes no bones about being a dyed in the wool 100% Republican partisan. That’s what Instapundit is meant to be. It says more about you that you can’t even admit it than those who comment on its partisanship.

  • Jim S

    JeremyR, just in case you didn’t see it in another post I made, Bush is being two-faced on the stem cell issue. Even as he has people such as you convinced that he supports limited stem cell research he supports a U.N. treaty that would in effect ban it.

  • Franky

    Jim S makes an intersting point. What exactly are these so-called “liberal hawks” going to say as Bush proceeds with his ultra-conservative domestic agenda? Will they just hack away denying it as they did in the run-up to this election or claim they didn’t know?
    This was a clear cut election (between two mediocrities). We all knew what we were doing – no one can claim that they weren’t warned about what is to come in this country.

  • Jim S

    Catherine, are you trying to say that the point of the state constitutional amendments was to protect marriage, not bash gays? If that was the case then they would have left it at marriage. In fact most of the amendments also ban civil unions and several of them ban anyone from giving gays any benefits resembling those received by married straights. And I’ve already addressed the Bush stem cell research hypocrisy.

  • Jim S

    GCW, I’m not worried about persuading any of the red staters. Why not? Because I know I can’t. They aren’t voting based on reason. It’s their religion, not reason. There is no persuasion no matter how calm and rational that will make any difference with them. So that argument holds no water.

  • I’m trying to start a blog-based campaing to get Bush to dump Ashcroft & Rumsfeld by emailing our local House Reps. I think it’s time to politely push, now that Bush can’t be reelected, he doesn’t have to be enthral to the right.

  • Richard Swan

    Why do I feel the majority of posters so far would make this statement “I will treat my opponents with compassion, unlike my slimy, crooked opponents” and see nothing wrong with it. They couldn’t have voted that way because they had different ideas on what was best for them and the country, they had to be evil or stupid. God the arrogance of it.
    Thoughtfull, intelligent people can disagree. There is nothing really wrong with this.
    The next time you wonder why the voting majority of the public voted for the “evil”, look in the mirror.

  • Blessed are the peacemakers … a central theme of the Beatitudes. (One that is foreign to the self-styled ‘Christian’ right wing.)
    I always think how Jesus would have shamed these mean-spirited destructive right wing zealots by his Sermon on the Mount, which speaks directly against their type. It was the Church heirarchy that Jesus drove out of the temple. And it was that element (publicans particularly, no doubt an early sign) that condemned and crucified him.
    As to the sacrament of marriage … read the New Testament. In the teachings of the Christian religion, the New Testament replaces the Old, with its imperialism and territorialism.
    Jesus was not married, nor did Jesus promote marriage, nor did Jesus ever say that anything was an ‘abomination’. Jesus lived in love and harmony, and mixed with sinners so that the ‘good news’ of love and forgiveness could be spread. Far from condemning and persecution, Jesus loved and served. If anyone takes the name ‘Christian’, wouldn’t it be more fitting to practice Jesus’ teachings?
    Thanks Jeff, keep going in the right direction and ignore the tripping.

  • Now that’s the kind of talk that will get Republicans to actually listen to you instead of blowing you off like you’re the party of irrelevant radicals. You may see people like Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller as sellouts, even using the epithet “Closet Republicans,” but in honesty, they’re the ones whose stuff we read, who make us curious, who convince is that not everything the D. party stands for is crazy. Fighting puts us in the corners; discussion pushes us to think hard.
    And it’s a good example for those of us conservatives with our claws and talons out, too. We’re all the worst version of ourselves when we’re just pissed at each other, myself included. Guilty as charged this election season.
    Is the peace pledge shared public text? You oughta start the club.

  • Jeff, I like reading your site because you are one of the sanest liberals around. You also don’t seem to think that conservatives are all drooling, bible-thumping morons. The elitism and condenscension in this comment section by your left-wing compadres is just so overwhelming it is distasteful. It appears that your liberal readers have learned nothing about their Party or this country from this election, and I find that pretty sad, actually.
    On another left-wing blog, the guy was saying that with the unions the policy was that if you couldn’t get people to agree with you, you weren’t explaining it sufficiently. I think this summarizes most Democrats’ feelings about this election. But it isn’t right. Sometimes, people understand perfectly well what you are saying and just don’t like what they hear.
    But the Democrats cannot consider that possibility here, because it would mean the majority of the country has heard them make every argument, call Bush every name, dream up every Rovian conspiracy, and said “We Disagree With You.” And that is what makes this election so sweet for me.
    Until the Left lets go of the intellectually bankrupt name-calling and bitterness, these conservative elections, which started in 1980 and really took off in 1994, will continue every two years until the Democratic Party is *gone*.

  • Bofus. Pull yourselves together. Kerry lost the election yet the Republic will endure, despite the fears of the more paranoid among us.
    Oh, and Jim; statements like “Bush is the devil” tend to make the writer look…well, crazy. Probably best avoided in writing intended to persuade.

  • Jim S

    “Until the Left lets go of the intellectually bankrupt name-calling and bitterness, these conservative elections, which started in 1980 and really took off in 1994, will continue every two years until the Democratic Party is *gone*.”
    This from the party of the Swift Boat Vets for “Truth”?

  • This is high-minded and all that, but I think it’s somewhat naive. This election finalizes a takeover of the Republican Party by religious extremists. I don’t think those of us who aren’t “born again” fully comprehend the implications of this. Anyway, for what it’s worth here’s my take on this:

  • “Bill, the guy who runs Instapundit makes no bones about being a dyed in the wool 100% Republican partisan.”
    Untrue. Glenn is a social liberal/fiscal conservative who voted for Gore last time around. He’s actually more of a small-l libertarian. He has never been a Republican. I know this because he has posted frequently about his political stance since many people stereotype him as a conservative. So you pulled your assertion out of your ass.
    Everybody else: The Swift Vets told the truth. They were the ones slandered and villified, even in TV interviews. Shouting “liar liar liar” at someone is not exactly a rebuttal of their assertions.
    What they did needed to be done. Kerry knew they were out there, knew that his controversial antiwar behavior had not been forgotton, knew he had skeletons in his closet. Yet instead of defusing the situation before he announced his candidacy, he rubbed salt in the wound by making his whole campaign about Vietnam (assuming the media would protect him, and they certainly tried). This showed a collosal error of judgment. Yet it is in tune with everything else we know about the character of the man.
    Kerry could have defused the Swifties, but in his arrogance he thought he didn’t have to. His defeat is his own fault.

  • Jim S

    Sorry, Yehudit. Check out factcheck.org for how accurate the Swifties were. Not Fox News. Not a conservative blog. Not one reputable source agrees with what they said. As far as Glenn Reynolds is concerned he’d have a bit more credibility to be what you claim if he hadn’t been a 100% Bush backer with not one word of criticism. Not one that I’m aware of.

  • Jim S

    Sorry, Yehudit. Check out factcheck.org for how accurate the Swifties were. Not Fox News. Not a conservative blog. Not one reputable source agrees with what they said. As far as Glenn Reynolds is concerned he’d have a bit more credibility to be what you claim if he hadn’t been a 100% Bush backer with not one word of criticism. Not one that I’m aware of.

  • steve

    He’s our President, too.
    Perhaps if you harken back to a quaint past, but in most menaingful respects, he is nearly the enemy to a large chunk of the population. He is out to strip us of power and representation, as he has. He is hostile to every issue we hold dear. He has caused untold carnage and damage to our country already, and promises to do much more.
    He may be our president in name, but that’s it. Why pretend otherwise? Look what he did last time we gave him support. He reamed us up the ying yang with it in the 2002 elections. And he took us to war based on lies.

  • Townleybomb

    A-freakin’-men, Jeff.
    I voted for Kerry, too, though only after desparately searching for ANY reason at all to vote for Bush. Once it became clear today that Bush won due to the ‘values’ vote, rather than the real issues, I figured that I knew which side I was on and I sent in a membership to the DLC. I figured that even if the Dems don’t come up with my ideal candidate next time ’round, it’d be somebody who was chosen by sensible folks like yourself, and I’d do my damnedest to put ’em in office, no matter what.
    Judging from the tone of a lot of your commenters (and pretty much everyone I’ve overheard here in blue territory today), that may not be the case.
    I suppose I could live with Frist or somebody.

  • sdl

    RE: “Come on, say it: He’s our President, too.”
    The stupidity of people is infinite. When someone pokes a stick in your eye you don’t bend over and ask for more. Democracy is a farce. A fake electoral system for a fake president for a fake nation. Amerika has become a scientific dictatorship where people not only ask for their chains, they demand them. The delusion between party lines and discussions within further enhances the prison of ignorance willingly built by a nation of stupidity. Few Germans saw what was happening in the Nazi rise to power. As do few Americans see the what is occuring right under their noses. This nation will likely turn on its own people (more openly than in the past) as fast as it turned its back on the world. I doubt there will be a ‘next time around’.
    “The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits.” – Einstein

  • HA

    Kerry gave a gracious concession speech. I applaud him for an act of statesmanship that I didn’t believe he had in him. I expected him to fight to the bitter end and drag America into the gutter.
    Edwards speech OTOH was downright ugly. I really hope the Democrats don’t nominate him in 2008. Please let them pick someone else to get whooped by Rudy Guiliani!
    Rudy ’08. You heard it here first (or maybe not). Let the campaign begin!

  • HA

    To my Democratic friends, I offer the following suggestion for your 2008 nominee:
    Harold ’08!!!
    Harold, Harold, Harold…
    Rudy versus Harold. That would be truly exciting!

  • James Stephenson

    I voted for Bush and against the Gay Amendment here in Georgia. Yet it got 77% of the vote here in Georgia. Kerry got over 35% of the vote, meaning a good number of Kerry supporters here in Georgia supported the amendment. The weird part is, everyone I knew I talked into voting against that Amendment and they mostly voted Bush.
    If I remember right, Oregon had a Gay Amendment and it passed as well, and they voted for Kerry.
    So I guess the Dems of Oregon are gay hating homophobes right?

  • John Goodall

    BS. He’s not my president. Eat that, Republicans. And my response will be simple: do NOT “Buy American” and civil disobedience.

  • Samuel

    Amen Goodall,
    I’m an American only because I happen to live here and can’t afford to go someplace else, for now.

  • BS. He’s not my president. Eat that, Republicans.
    Good for you, baby. See if we care.
    I’m an American only because I happen to live here and can’t afford to go someplace else, for now.
    Aww, poor you. Good luck getting a job in Paris. We will miss you tremendously.
    It’s funny to hear liberals bitch about character assassination – after they smeared Bush before he even took office. It’s less funny to hear them talk about their liberties being taken away – because in my home country, in Belarus, that is ACTUALLY HAPPENNING. People are getting stabbed to death and beaten up for what they say. When American liberals whine about fascism, I just want them to go where I came from – just for a little bit – and see for themselves what they are talking about. Try some passport control on Moscow streets before you talk about police state. Try having your crap beaten out of you, before you go into your next hysterical fit. Try some brain damage, before you brag about your super-courageous dissent.
    CLUELESS, WHINY BABIES , you “liberals”.
    You don’t give a damn about liberty. All you care about is looking smart and living in your warm and fuzzy bubbles, where terrorism is only a nuisanse, where you can masturbate to your memories of the 60s, and sing your angry version of Kumbaya.

  • Jeff

    NO WAY.

  • Johnny Patriot

    Geeeze! Another Zell Miller falls down to kiss his Masters feet! GW is not going to change one whit! He sees what has done as winning. So what makes you think he would change. He has never been held accountable for anything and never will. The majority of voters have decided that a White full of Cockroaches will prompt God to save their sorry butts from the Big Bad Boogey Man.
    Just cross your fingers and pray that in four years we still have a nation albeit a crippled one.

  • wow, there’s a lot more anti-christianity going on here than i thought.
    one would conveniently forget that the reason there’s a clause in the consitution against federal religion is because the states chose different denominations for their own official religions.
    one would conveniently forget that christians also have the right to vote for their values, just as much as the anti-christians do.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Gosh, for a conservative, the comments on this topic make me feel all warm and cozy.
    What would it take to make you happy?
    Have Bush paste on a little black mustache and admit to really being Hitler?
    Or does he have to do every single thing exactly your way or be proven a fascist?
    Some time ago, a relation said she thought Bush hated people. The reason was that he didn’t extend unemployment comp. I pointed out that unemployment comp was a legislative thing and that the senate had recently voted it down, short one vote (Kerry was campaigning, but I didn’t mention that). Her response was, “I still think it’s Bush’s fault.”
    My wife and I encourage each other not to talk politics when in the presence of the clinically insane.
    I have an idea. Get some big guy to call a friend of yours vile names in public. Make horrible accusations about his character. Have it go on for years. Then tell the friend it was all in fun. See if the friend remains friendly.
    Lying most viciously about somebody does leave a residue.
    You ought to think about that residue and ask yourselves if 1, you have some responsibility for it, and 2, whether, in reality, the other party is going to be congenial real soon.

  • James Stephenson: the 77% vote against gay marriage is probably only from those who chose to vote on the issue at all. Many people will shy away altogether from ballot questions, especially those who have not been informed about it by some association of theirs.
    Richard Aubrey: I assume you were writing the above post as a memo to yourself? Your previous posts have been less than a model of good will.

  • Oh, and Candace, calling some one anti-christian because they oppose the right wing is like calling some one anti-straight people because they support rights for people who aren’t like themselves.
    Christian values as taught by Jesus, who taught his followers to serve and to love the downtrodden, are those dearest to the hearts of liberals.

  • Karen

    My Pledge:
    I pledge to *try* to be at least as supportive of Bush as the Republicans were of Clinton. I pledge to “reach out” to Bush at *least* as much as he reaches out to me – other than when he “reaches out” to forcefully assist me in bending over so he can screw me once again, that is.
    Unity? Get real. There is no virtue in “uniting” with those who seek to destroy us.

  • BJ

    Sorry Jeff, I’m not buying. Bushism is anathema to democracy, even a fake one like we have now. I wouldn’t negotiate with a man standing in my living room holding a gun to my wife’s head. I won’t negotiate with Bush. The “go along to get along” strategy only succeeds in moving the bar further and further to the right, to the point that we’ve now lost sight of anything like a true political left.
    No way.
    _Saying_ “He’s our President, too” _doesn’t_ hurt. You’re right about that. What’ll hurt is when you try to shake his hand afterward, and find yourself grabbing for the political knife buried between your shoulder blades.

  • justiceseeker

    Reading this, I can appreciate the sentiment but I wonder if you have read Grover Norquist’s comments about how he is going to tame the Democratic minority so that they won’t piss on the carpet. When you are dealing with a group of people who openly say such vile things about their (supposedly only) political opponents, how can you really ask people to embrace the people who openly plan to “tame” them?
    I’m sorry. To me, this sounds like the path to being a good German. It reminds me of the house slave who always sought to keep the master satisfied. I believe it’s time to stand up on the left and show the American people what a real choice looks like. The American public can’t see the extremism of what they’ve just chosen because, since the 1950s, the right has been engaged in a relentless campaign to demonize any thought that moves past dead center.
    No, he’s not my president. I dissent.

  • You guys are the biggest rubes. Just wait till there’s 9 knives in your back and it’s illegal to blog…

    My cat is my president…

  • Jim S

    Jeff, I hope you’re still reading this thread and might consider responding to this since I’d be very interested in hearing your opinion whether it’s a direct reply or a new post of yours. I’ve been listening to the news on NPR and reading a variety of sources on the net including my local paper yesterday and today. I’ve heard the winners say that they plan on reaching out to their opponents who lost. But then when you keep reading it’s clear that it’s only something to say. Why do I believe that? Because when you read further the follow up to the comment about reaching out is qualified by saying that that doesn’t mean there will be any compromise on their conservative agenda. No. None at all. Many posters here have cheered that, saying that the losers should just suck it up and live with being ignored by the winners. But where is the reaching out to your opponents in those statements?
    “I respect you, I want to work with you. So come vote for my agenda, complete and unmodified, with no criticism of what I want because I’ve got the votes so I’m not going to compromise.” That isn’t reaching out. That isn’t coming together in seeking common ground. It is what George Bush has said for all practical purposes. It is what Tom DeLay might as well have said. Bush and DeLay both made very similar post-election statements, IMO.
    So, this is what I’m wondering and what I’d like to hear some non-venomous response to. Am I wrong? Is that not what they’re saying. I already know that many posting here approve of it if that’s what they’re saying and what they’re going to do. I don’t need to hear more of that. I’m just wondering if I’m reading something into it that isn’t there.

  • Josh

    Just wanted to point out a small error in your otherwise amusing piece – he’s not my president.
    Thanks for the opportunity to clarify the issue.

  • Yeah, all those times that Bush reached across the aisle really generated a lot of good will. The GOP agreed to some utter bullshit power sharing plan for the first two years of their election even though at 50-50, having the VP meant having a necessary majority. What did they get… hmmm, nothing.
    Working with Ted Kennedy on the No Child Left Behind Act. Actually praising Teddy after signing the bill while the rest of us vomited? What did Bush or the rest of the GOP get for that from the Democrats? Certainly not any judicial nominations.
    Did it call off the media and their lies and distortions and blatent John Kerry slant. Nope.
    Encourage Michael Moore to point out that for 2 years the GOP tried to work with the left and reach a common ground? (And that after 2002 we realized it was hopeless?) Nope.
    Do try and claim that Bush and the Republicans in congress never tried to reach across the aisle intellectually dishonest.

  • danelectro

    What did Bush or the rest of the GOP get for that from the Democrats? Certainly not any judicial nominations.
    the dems have approved 201 of his nominations, doug, only rejecting 10. that’s about 5 percent.
    stop. lying.
    it’s unchristian and immoral.

  • anonymous

    Wow, that’s stupid, even for a Democrat. Do you always kiss the ass of your vanquisher?

  • Edgewater Joe

    He was NOT MY PRESIDENT yesterday, he is NOT MY PRESIDENT today, he will NOT be MY PRESIDENT ever.

  • a bemused libertarian

    I love it, I really do.
    Instead of graciously admitting defeat and extending the hand of cooperation to the Republicans, most Democrats would rather throw away the greatest chance they have for 2008. You confirm the worst prejudices the red precincts have of you.
    Know this: if the Republicans are again able to consolidate and build upon their gains in 2008, it will be no one else’s fault but your own.
    Go ahead – blame it all on Chimpy Bushitler, the World’s Dumbest Fascist and his keeper, Karl Rove. You did nothing wrong, after all. And on November 9 2008, you’ll be holding your heads and wondering, “What the hell happened?”

  • I gotta say that is the lamest statement I have seen on the Internet about the election thus far.
    This whole thing has nothing to do with Democrat or republician, conservative vs liberal. It has to do with us as a nation, being held in fear by the facist neo-cons who only care about big business and war. 2008 isn’t gonna to change unless the people change and take back the country. Alas that won’t happen as the majortiy of people won’t rise up against their country because they are too sedatied by their material items and brainwashing TV sets.
    We need a new vision for all of us, we need to drop the labels, we need to stop watching and listening to the TV and start coming together as a community of people. We need to focus on healing a nation of people.
    Until we are ready to do that the dark days willing be growing worse by the years, more people will be killed in the name of god or freedom and the depression that you all feel in your heart of hearts will grow so big that your grief will eat you.

  • a bemused libertarian

    Chris Brainard,
    You go, guy! Tell it like it is! You da man!
    Don’t forget – we’ll see each other again in four years and four days. It’s true what they say, you know: “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

  • dave

    Two words, Jeff, from a first time visitor, and a last-time visitor: fuck off.