Thursday, December 14, 2000

PRESIDENT-ELECT Bush. Finally it's over. I have some comments, but first I need to unload the few decent election-related gags I wrote:

-- First Florida was called for Gore. Then it was called for Bush. Now it's just uncalled-for.
-- This has gotten really out of hand. Now Bill Clinton is accusing Bob Dole of stealing the erection.
-- I don't care how much snow Washington gets; keep Cheney away from the shovel.

Aside from that dreadful "I invented 'America the Beautiful' " moment, I liked both speeches. I found it very cute that Gore told Bush he wouldn't call back to retract things this time, and I found Bush less, well, bush than usual.

Afterward on CNBC, I cheered Alan Dershowitz as he railed about how the conservative justices went against their ideology when a consistent application of that ideology would have favored Gore. Then I realized that (a) this means the moderate-to-liberal justices did the same thing when their ideology would have favored Bush, and (b) Dershowitz, the fatuous fuck, is probably just mad because O.J. Simpson wasn't named president.

Yes, I wanted Gore to win. Or at least I wanted George Quincy Bush to lose. I'm not at all fond of Gore, but I wanted our doofus to beat their doofus. What does our mean? In this case, in particular, that's a good question. I've considered myself a liberal as long as I can remember. When Dad took me for a haircut, I had to recite to the barber, "John F. Kennedy was the greatest president who ever lived." I campaigned for Bobby Kennedy at age 6. I still remember how spooked I was to have his poster over my bed when I awakened on June 6, 1968, to learn he had been shot.

Today, I'm not so sure the "struggle" is still relevant. Maybe it's because I'm older and reasonably well off, but I think there's something more salient, more intellectually defensible, to my evolution. I'm still a Democrat because I consider the GOP the party of theocracy, or government by religion. That's this one-issue voter's one issue. When morons like "Dr." Laura try to tell me freedom from religion isn't part of freedom of religion, I long to take them to an all-you-can-eat buffet when they're full.

But here we have Joe Lieberman, nice guy but theocrat extraordinaire, on the Democratic ticket with stiff bureaucrat-turned-fundamentalist preacher Al Gore and his wife, that champion of censorship (have we all forgotten that?), Tipper. It's here that I have to fall back on the guilt-by-association argument and reason that a vote for Bush-Cheney opens the door for thousands of theocrats, while the associates of Gore-Lieberman are far more secular.

I think we need to view the vote-counting fiasco as an unfortunate fluke. Our system just isn't built for extremely close presidential elections, and it usually doesn't need to be. Both sides had good arguments all along; the whole thing smelled like a fakety-fake "moot court" script designed to test law students' reasoning. This is why my only strong emotion all along was disgust at the partisans -- mostly Republicans, I say as a Democrat! -- who insisted on framing their analysis in terms of good vs. evil.

Laura Schlessinger went from calling for all but the death penalty for drunken drivers to excoriating those who broke "Jewish law" by daring to bring up something in Dubya's past. Rush Limbaugh and his ilk wanted us to believe that Republicans would have slinked away without a peep if a 35-year-old Chelsea Clinton had been elected president thanks to the electoral votes of Arkansas, where the apparent margin of victory was smaller than the margin of error, the ballots were suspect and Roger Clinton was governor. Yep. Right. Paranoid right-wing conspiracy theories have been concocted out of far less.

And can you imagine what Rush would be saying about Condoleezza Rice if she were a Democrat?

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