WLOE e-news: 8 November 2004

USA: post-election round-up

Good internet sources of information on the election, post-election and general US political news


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Election eve commentary
GOP Doing All It Can to Keep Minorities from Voting
By Jesse Jackson
The Chicago Sun-Times, Tuesday 02 November 2004

..."The mobilization to express the vote is a new small "d" democratic
eruption. ACORN, the poverty group, registered more than 1.5 million voters this year, overwhelmingly in minority communities, and is gearing up a new effort to get that vote out. US Action, a collection of state groups, added another 500,000. America Coming Together, one of the infamous 527s, added 100,000 more in Philadelphia alone. The NAACP Voter Fund has registered hundreds of thousands also.

Disc jockeys and musicians summon the young to vote. Voter registration at historically black colleges has soared. In Florida, over a million people - disproportionately African-American - have stood in long lines to vote early..."

Kerry Won?
Greg Palast, contributing editor to Harper's magazine, investigated the
manipulation of the vote for BBC Television's Newsnight. His conclusion?

Thursday 04 November 2004
"Kerry won. Here are the facts.

I know you don't want to hear it. You can't face one more hung chad. But I
don't have a choice. As a journalist examining that messy sausage called
American democracy, it's my job to tell you who got the most votes in the
deciding states. Tuesday, in Ohio and New Mexico, it was John Kerry…

First and foremost, Kerry was had by chads. But the Democrat wasn't punched out by punch cards alone. There were also the 'challenges.' That's a polite word for the Republican Party of Ohio's use of an old Ku Klux Klan
technique: the attempt to block thousands of voters of color at the polls…

Spoilage has a very Democratic look in New Mexico. Hispanic voters in the
Enchanted State, who voted more than two to one for Kerry, are five times as likely to have their vote spoil as a white voter. Counting these uncounted votes would easily overtake the Bush 'plurality.' …”

For more on ‘voting irregularities’: see
FOCUS: Thom Hartmann | Evidence Mounts that the Vote Was Hacked


The Black vote
Red, Black and Blue
By Kai Wright, AlterNet, November 5, 2004

..."The campaign was an awesome spectacle of civic engagement, driven by the anger Rep. Waters personified in January 2001. And the votes the effort drudged up are the ones upon which the Democrats hung their hopes, to the last. Exit polls estimate that African Americans made up 11 percent of the electorate this year, up from 10 percent in 2000 (that's a significant jump when you're counting in the millions); 88 percent of it went for John Kerry...

The real impact can be seen in the battleground states. In Pennsylvania, the black vote nearly doubled, from seven to 13 percent. In Michigan, it climbed from 11 to 13 percent. But in Ohio, it only inched up from 9 to 10 percent, and in Florida, it tellingly dropped from 15 to 12 percent. In those states, while the number of black voters surged, the climb was offset by Republican get-out-the-vote efforts in rural, white counties.

And that brings us to the latest tragic turn in black America's tortured
saga of electoral politics: In our shining moment on the electoral stage, a year in which we found rarely seen levels of relevance and engagement, we lost..."

17 Reasons Not to Slit Your Wrists
By Michael Moore, MichaelMoore.com
Friday 05 November 2004

“If the media are looking for a trend it should be this - that so many
Americans were, for the first time since Kennedy, willing to vote for an
out-and-out liberal. The country has always been filled with evangelicals - that is not news. What IS news is that so many people have shifted toward a Massachusetts liberal..."

The Loonies Have Taken Control
Maureen Dowd wrote this for an Australian paper
The Age, Friday 05 November 2004

"...The president got re-elected by dividing the country along fault lines of fear, intolerance, ignorance and religious rule. He doesn't want to heal rifts; he wants to bring any riffraff who disagree to heel...

W. ran a jihad in America so he can fight one in Iraq - drawing a devoted
flock of evangelicals, or "values voters," as they call themselves, to the
polls by opposing abortion, suffocating stem cell research and supporting a constitutional amendment against gay marriage…

Mr. Bush, whose administration drummed up fake evidence to trick us into war with Iraq, sticking our troops in an immoral position with no exit strategy, won on "moral issues."

The Truth About the Youth Vote
By T. Eve Greenaway, WireTap
November 6, 2004

"Now that some of the smoke has cleared and the data has been crunched, it's clear that 2004 was, in fact, an amazing year for young voter participation.
Whereas only 42 percent of 18-29 year-olds had voted in 2000, a whopping 51 percent showed up at the polls this year, making for a 9-point increase. The catch? Everyone else came out in record numbers too..."

On marriage, morality and social manipulation
11 U.S. States Outlaw Gay Marriage
Agence France Presse
Wednesday 03 November 2004

..."Initial returns showed that all 11 state referenda on constitutional
amendments that define marriage as being exclusively between a man and a
woman had passed across the nation...

The measures, almost identical in structure, succeeded in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah.

The amendments generally passed with a 3-1 majority, except in Oregon where earlier returns showed it had succeeded by about 55 percent.

The bids to change state constitutions to reflect a growing public debate on same-sex marriages in the United States came after Massachusetts earlier this year became the first US state to sanction such unions…”

Personal Voices: One Country, Two Moralities
By Jeannette Batz Cooperman, AlterNet

Posted on November 5, 2004, Printed on November 6, 2004

“One's greatest strength is one's greatest weakness, and George Bush's is
his absolute refusal to tolerate complexity…

I speak boldly – I refuse to accept the current implication that because
people voted for Bush for moral reasons, morality lies on his side.

There are indeed sides, but the dividing line is not morality. It is the
ability to tolerate uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity, unknowability,

There are as many moral values at stake in opposing the slaughter of
innocent Iraqi children as there are in opposing the abortion of innocent
unborn children. As much moral sensitivity in defending the world's
wilderness from exploitation as in defending our ... er ... homeland
security. And as much moral courage in supporting the rights of people of
all sexual orientations as in supporting traditional marriage..."

Anatomy of a Crushing Political Defeat: several voices


By Arianna Huffington, AlterNet, November 4, 2004

"This election was not stolen. It was lost by the Kerry campaign. The reason it's so important to make this crystal clear – even as Kerry's concession speech is still ringing in our ears – is that to the victors go not only the spoils but the explanations. And the Republicans are framing their victory as the triumph of conservative moral values and the wedge cultural issues they exploited throughout the campaign.

But it wasn't gay marriage that did the Democrats in; it was the fatal
decision to make the pursuit of undecided voters the overarching strategy of the Kerry campaign.

This meant that at every turn the campaign chose caution over boldness so as not to offend the undecideds who, as a group, long to be soothed and
reassured rather than challenged and inspired...

Unless the Democratic Party wants to become a permanent minority party,
there is no alternative but to return to the idealism, boldness and
generosity of spirit that marked the presidencies of FDR and JFK and the
short-lived presidential campaign of Bobby Kennedy.

Otherwise, the Republicans will continue their winning ways, convincing tens of millions of hard working Americans to vote for them even as they cut their services and send their children off to die in an unjust war.

Democrats have a winning message. They just have to trust it enough to
deliver it. This time they clearly didn't."

No Surrender
By Paul Krugman
The New York Times, Friday 5 November 2004

..."Rather than catering to voters who will never support them, the
Democrats - who are doing pretty well at getting the votes of moderates and independents - need to become equally effective at mobilizing their own base..."

Hello: You Are Now Living In A Fascist Empire.
by Carolyn Baker

..."What few people in America understand, despite the astute observations of millions of individuals around the world, is that we are living in an
empire, and we are no longer living in a democracy. Every last semblance of democracy in our nation that, in our desperate denial, we leave our claw marks on, is evaporating with each tick of the clock.. America’s allies and enemies internationally are calling like it is: Within four years, the so-called democratic republic of the United States will be unrecognizable...

So what solutions do I propose?

First, we must willing to face the reality that we do, in fact, live in an
empire and that that empire is plummeting headlong into unrestrained
fascism. This means the death of our relentless fantasies that we still live in a democracy or that the old paradigm based "electing the right candidate" can serve us. We have had three corrupt elections in America in the past four years. Continuing to believe that we will have a clean one in 2008 is tantamount to insisting that the earth is flat..."

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