Fear and Loathing in Post - Election Amerikka
Well, after snorting 20 mg of Celexa, booting 4 hits of Paxil, ingesting a gram of Prozac and anally suppositing a liter of Welbutrin, I am somewhat prepared to look into the vortex know as the second Bush term as President. We as Progressives spent billions on this election (which they apparently stole fair and square). We held lavish dinner fund raisers for Kerry in the palisades above the pacific in the likes of Mo Ostin's house. We schlepped tired old single black moms to canvass in Harlem phone banks, the Boss sang a thound hit tunes to massive audiences. We registered millions of new young and minority voters. We ran 527s until we were blue in the face. Michael Moore created a documentary that destroyed the opponent for all to see - and there was no one who didn't see it! The war hero candidate of our choice won all three debates against a sitting draft dodging President while an unpopular American Occupation plodded onward in Iraq. We threw everything the Democratic National Committee had at them. We marginized Ralph Nader. We selected two candidates who were bereft of skeletons. We had minorities registered and organized up the kazoo. For almost three weeks down here in Palm Beach County, Florida massive amounts of voters stood stoically in the rain and the broiling sun for up to four hours to cast their votes early in this Presidential elections. This was the Ground Zero of the 2000 election debacle and everyone demanded that this electioon their vote would be counted no matter what. I stood in awe as I walked the long snaking lines around polling places examining the faces of these local voters. One word could describe them - determined. Determined to be heard this time around. Determined to leave their mark on history. Their name on the wall. Their blood on the tracks.In the end, we had nothing left. There was no more that could have been done. No one left to convince. The game clock had run out. I spent 12 long hours manning phone banks in the local Palm Beach County fire fighters union hall along with many others in a coordinated effort to get any and all Democratic votes out on Election Day. I don't think we missed a living, breathing Democrat in the entire county (Well, some were not exactly breathing now that I think about it.)
Early exit polling reflected our hard work and the work of thousands on the campaign trail. Kerry was leading in time tested exit polls by a small bit in almost every single contest. We knew it would be a long night. What we didn't know was that this would be the Republican equivalent of the Night of the Long Knives.
Here's what we were told when the dust settled: This is from today's (Thursday Nov 4) Palm Beach Post: "The second part of the plan, the part about getting massive turnout, didn't happen for the Democrats" Palm Beach County, a key Democratic stronghold, gave Al Gore 270,000 votes in 2000 and gave Kerry 275,000 votes this year." (Now don't forget, this is without the Buchannan mis-vote and the hanging chad problems and vitually no Ralph Nader influence.)
"The percentage of county voters actually DROPPED from 70% in 2000 to 62% in 2004. The same story line, with even more damaging results for Kerry, held in Broward County, which gave Gore a 210,000-vore margin in 2000 and Kerry a 205,000-vote margin this year."
Let me say this, I have spoken with the local veteran Democratic folks I worked with down here. No one is buying it. It ain't gonna fly. No one has any solild explanation for it, but that doesn't make them able to accept something that is completely illogical and without probablility. No one even KNOWS any Republicans down here!