A Night to Remember

It’s been a while since I had a happy election experience. Last night was definitely one for the ages.

I hoped the House would change hands, but couldn’t let myself really believe it would happen. I was steeling myself for the inevitable shock and outrage I would feel as I saw how low the other side was willing to go to get and hold onto power.

And then, amazingly, it happened. Democrats took the House, and took it with authority. Huzzah.

Actually, though, another thing that buffered my normal unhealthy level of pre-election obsessing was that for the first time, I was personally involved. Not in the sense of ranting on this site about things happening in other parts of the country, but in the sense that I was volunteering for a local City Council candidate, Al Clark, who I really believed in.

I set up Al’s web site, and organized the voter data and walking lists, went to meetings to participate in strategy planning, and did a little canvassing, knocking on my neighbors’ doors and passing out literature. It was fun, and more importantly, it helped me keep my perspective. Maybe we were going to win, maybe we were going to lose, but either way, I knew I was doing my part.

So as the returns were coming in showing the House changing hands, I was at a party where we all were more interested in the results of the local City Council and School Board elections. And we won! In a five-way race for three seats, Al came in second, and the two candidates he’d endorsed and who had endorsed him came in first and third. And in a three-way race for two seats on the School Board, again, the candidates I supported won.

And as the cherry on top, today I watched as the result I never really considered likely came to pass: the Senate switched hands, too. Wow.

Now, realistically, I know that this doesn’t really change much. Bush is still President, we’re still stuck in a stupid, stupid war with no good options, and the architects of the current fiasco will be working overtime to shift the blame onto anyone else they can find. And the Democrats with their newfound subpoena power and committee chairmanships (What’s that? you say Jay Rockefeller will be the new chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence? Well, lordy, I wonder if that might help us finally finish up Phase Whatever of the investigation into how the Bush administration misused intelligence to railroad us into the aforementioned stupid, stuipd war); ahem, as I was saying, the Democrats with their new oversight and agenda-setting power could still screw things up.

But at least now we’ve got a chance to start moving things in the right direction.

I think I was actually pretty good about not indulging in the snarky stuff this time. And I don’t really want to go there now. But I can’t resist posting the following image from Rick Santorum’s concession speech:

There there, Sarah Maria. I know what you’re going through. This too shall pass, I promise.

Happy midterm election of 2006, everyone.

32 Responses to “A Night to Remember”

  1. Craig Says:

    Maybe now the hyperventilation about the dawn of Fascism and religious theocracy and Nazi brownshirts terrorizing the people, and compromised diebold machines and hopelessly rigged elections can be put to rest in the graveyard of irrational fears. The bogyman evaporated with the simple push of a button in a “non-rigged” election booth. Just like it always does, in the end. If you have actual faith in the power of democracy, that is. A democracy that never left the building, unlike Elvis.

  2. leftbehind Says:

    Craig – don’t you dare make light of the massive impact faulty voting machines have had on every election(except this one) in recent history. It is an established fact that if most voting machines in this country do not log in more Democrat than Republican votes every hour, they will overheat and begin to malfunction – just as they did in Florida. This election was only saved by the fact that the Democrats won big and won early.

  3. treehugger Says:

    Awwwwww, a little bitter are we guys?

  4. Craig Says:

    How do you read “bitter” out of my defense that democracy is alive and well, despite the naysayers?

  5. leftbehind Says:

    …and no bitterness from this corner either. What happened Tuesday night needed to happen, and I think everyone – including a lot of Democrats – were pleasantly surprised the Blue Party did so well without having to sue half the voting boards in the country and count Ohio 22 times to do it.

    For some real bitterness and nashing of teeth, take a walk down Memory Lane, as I did this morning, via the Lies.com archive, circa November 2004. A good reminder that after Kerry lost, a lot of his supporters on this site and others made Little Sara Maria look like George Patton.

    All you’re getting from me is a little good natured ribbing. If you’re going to fight Nazis on the Moon in Nancy’s P.’s spanking new America, you’re going to have to be able to take a little good natured ribbing from the likes of me.

  6. leftbehind Says:

    Now this, from the last election – and linked at the time to this site, is bitter:


  7. jbc Says:

    Hm. I’m not sure that one election makes the problems with electronic voting without a paper trail automatically solved. In fact, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t.

    But yeah, I did have exactly that reaction: The election pretty conclusively demonstrated that Karl Rove does not have the ability to just dial up whatever razor-thin victory margin he chooses. You’ll forgive me for thinking that he probably _would_ use that dial if he had access to it, but for now, at least, he doesn’t have it.

  8. treehugger Says:

    I like what I see in Washington already. It’s only been two days and we have a different attitude coming from the White House – a humbled Bush.

    Democrats are ready to bury hatchets and reach out to get to work in a bi-partisan way and it looks like Bush is starting to act like he used to before he got wasted on power.

    Isn’t this much better now? Let’s hope it sustains!

  9. leftbehind Says:

    JBC – I agree with your accessment of the electronic voting sans paper trail. The only thing I hope is that a) people for whom Democratic Victory is the litmus test for whether or not an election was fair don’t stimey the larger debate regarding the accuracy of vote counting and B) the notion that Democratic watchdogs cry excessively about vote counting only when they lose doesn’t obscure the big issue. As a dedicated watchdog, you could go a long way towards keeping the issue front and center through this blog. In fact, if you really care about the issue you’ll persue it from time to time before the Dems lose again. The choice between “Lies.com” and “Cries.com” is clearly on the table.

    ..and yes, I’m pretty sure Rove would use the magic dial if he had it – as would a lot of people on both sides of the ticket. Paul Begala once said, “Every liberal [thinks he’s] intellectually superior to conservatives. Every conservative I know wants to think of himself as morally superior.” Wasn’t a lot of the outrage of November 2004 based in the notion that Blue State intellectuals had no recourse but to watch their future be dictated by the will of stupid Red Staters? Isn’t the shock expressed by Rightwing pundits today based in great part on the rejection of their own moral crusades by a secular nation Ann Coulter has told them is “Godless?” How many people, given your magic dial, would hesitate all that much to save themselves from the whims of the vulger mob come election day? For just how many people has politics become a way to show THOSE people who’s boss, to keep THOSE people and their immoral stupidity at bay? Wouldn’t it be a better country if THOSE people couldn’t vote?

  10. leftbehind Says:

    Here’s a good article from 2004:


  11. enkidu Says:

    Personally, as a father of two, I feel sad for that little girl.

    Ricky prolly filled her head with all kinds of Godly Goo (God is on my side! Gott mit uns! Evil* Democrats will be defeated! Daddy is smart and competent!) The rest of them look shell shocked (except the wife, who looks like she bought Cheney’s patented Snear of Utter Disdain™ in a four pack XXL)

    As to the electronic voting problems: who says there wasn’t massive premeditated fraud? I think they just didn’t jam the dials far enough over in the crucial areas (and one wonders if the Diebold source code that found its way into the light might have stayed Karl’s hand somewhat?) Rs held on to a great many seats in what was a huge tsunami wave election.

    Bottom line, as a lifelong independent voter I don’t want either Rs or Ds to corrupt the vote. Paper trails for evoting machines are useless – the source code for these machines should be reviewed by a 50/50 bipartisan commitee of experts and locked down prior to the election. And just for the record I did indeed see a single report of R votes being recorded as D votes – tho the vast majority of these problems were D votes apparently being switched to R votes. My vote was counted on an optical scanner – great for recounts as you can feed the same batch of balots thru different machines and expect (heh) to get the same #s at the end.

    The wave was just too big for Karl and his minions to do much more than damage control.

    And it is so damn funny to hear the chest thumping, smear slinging newly minted ‘Liberartians’ lecture the Dems (and any fool who will still listen to these losers) on civility and bipartisanship. Hello? We still remember the crap you folks were spewing last week, month, year, decade…

  12. treehugger Says:

    I think I shall keep the above picture as my desktop background for the rest of the year, though. That Sara Maria and her doll are wearing matching outfits (chosen by mom, I’m sure) is hillarious!

    I agree enkidu, the children do look quite bewildered – the daughter extremely sad, but the boy looks like he just saw a gay ghost burning the bible or something – it does make you wonder what they were told.

  13. leftbehind Says:

    What’s a “Liberartian,” and who, exactly is claiming to be one?

  14. leftbehind Says:

    Is it German?

  15. enkidu Says:

    Libertarians – its called a typo

    next time you are in WashingtonDC, go to the Lincoln Memorial
    there are two speeches engraved on either side of the last great Republican President, on one side his stirring Gettysburg Address (I have it memorized and it still brings a tear to the eye). On the other side, part of his second Inaugural Address, part way down you may notice that one of the stone cutters made a typo, carving an “E” where there should be an “F”. They filled it in with some patch but you can still see it. Typos happen. Now please stop being such a spelling douchebag and go eat another plate of cold crow.

    What is next? Complaining that LIEberals caint be trusted with our gun-mint cuz they caint capitalize properlike?

  16. leftbehind Says:

    Excuse me for asking a simple question! Mein Gott! I thought I was missing something. The way you flew into Grand Opera at the beginning of your post (“Gott Mitt Uns!”) just thought I might be missing some European cultural reference – maybe something your Dad might have said. The subtle Nazi reference you opened with was such a showstopper, I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing any more zingers, owing to my poor linguistic skills. The robust sturm und drang of your prose can leave some lesser minds panting in the dust, and I wanted to make sure I was keeping up.

    Look…I’m sorry. We’ve been such good friends up until now, and you seem like a really friendly guy, so let’s just drop it.

  17. leftbehind Says:

    Here’s a peace offering – some cool footage of me and some Chinese Kids goofing off and having fun in my tank:


  18. enkidu Says:

    So I put the “t” in the wrong place.
    Get over it.

    Now try making some sense.

  19. leftbehind Says:

    Sorry again, I just thought you might like to see how the tank and I are coming along , if only to make sure I have not, as you once feared, run over any Chinese people in it.

  20. enkidu Says:

    There is an extra space after the word “along”
    Maybe we should check with TeacherVet if your comment is a run-on sentence?

    BTW, you distorted my point about the hero who stopped a line of Chinese tanks by just standing in front of them and refusing to move. If I may provide you a synopsis of my point: the guy who drove that lead tank is every bit as much the hero as the man who stood in front of the tank. Why? Because he refused to drive over his unarmed countryman. I still think you and TV and a very large percentage of the radical right would enjoy mowing down Demoncrats and LIEberals and any who disagree with you. Why do I think this? I sometimes visit right wing sites and read the sick shit that passeth for ‘debate’. And I read your words here.

    Gee I do hope I didn’t make any spelling mistakes!

  21. leftbehind Says:

    It’s not a run on, but you were right about the space.

    As for your point about the tank, you’re misrepresenting yourself, which leads me to wonder, as I often do, whether or not you were actually paying attention to what you were writing while you typed it. The conversation of March, 2006 in which the tank came up was one in which you were making the point that all Republicans are “filled with hate,” based on what you called the “genocidal bigotry” of your Republican father and his friends. Intrigued, I asked if a) you thought these people were the exception or the rule regarding Republicans and genocidal bigotry or b) if you thought you had met so many violent racists because you lived or spent a lot of time in some sort of compound. It was then that you flew off into this tirade regarding Chinese people and tanks. You seemed suddenly certain that, had I been a tank driver, I would have run someone down in my vehicle (“And I do indeed stand by my assessment of you as fully capable of grinding over liberals in your tank.” Enkidu March 15th, 2006 at 5:19 pm.)

    I have never owned a tank, so I have never had to do the kind of soul searching one has to do when he or she steps behind the wheel of a large armored vehicle. I sincerely hope that, if I ever do get my very own tank, that I am the kind of person who would take a step back for reflection should the opportunity to run over someone arise. I’m only human, after all.

    I am certain, however, that when that moment comes, you will not be much help predicting my final course of action. You don’t know me. You don’t know anything about me other than the fact that I voted Republican in the 2004 election and that you and I have disagreed on this blog from time to time. You know that I know almost as much about death metal as you do, think Paul McCartney died in 1966 and have likened to your prose style to that of an angry three year old on a sugar rush. If any of this makes me a likely “tank slayer,” then I guess Ho Che’s in greater danger than I realize. Until I’m proven to be homicidal, however, it is safe to conclude that all of this is probably just you, and that you tend to fly into violent flights of fantasy when anyone has the temerity to disagree with you. Father of two, or father who is two?

    I know George Fischer is cool, and all of us would love to be able to write the cool things he writes, but George Fischer isn’t trying to make a point and he isn’t trying to make sense. I think you are, and would do a better job of it if you calmed down from time to time.

    As far as spelling goes. I was a bad person for bringing it up in the first place. As long as you’re having fun and expressing yourself, you just go ahead and spell anyway you want to. Most educators now agree that emphasis on mechanics too early makes writing a chore and turns kids off to it. The last thing I would want on my head is the stifling of such a promising young mind. It would make me feel worse than if I had…well…hit some Chinese guy with a tank.

    BTW I thought of you the other day when I saw the movie “Crash.”

  22. leftbehind Says:

    “What the fuck was that, dawg?”

    “- Holy shit! – What?”

    “Man, we done ran over a Chinaman.”

    “You’re sayin’ there’s a Chinaman under this truck?”

    “What part don’t you understand? There’s a Chinaman stuck underneath the fucking truck.”

    “Help me.”

    “Uh-huh. Uh-huh.”

    “Ah, God. What the hell did he do, just leap out in front of the truck? Man! This is so completely fucked up.”

    “Oh, really? No shit!”

    “Okay, hold up. Hold up, hold up, hold up. – Get back in the truck.”


    “Yes, get back in the truck.”

    “You think we didn’t drag him far enough?”

    “No, we gonna drive away. And he gonna let go.”

    “He’s not gonna let go, Anthony. You know why? Because he’s stuck underneath the fucking truck! Now, if he could’ve let go, he probably would’ve considered that option half a block back…”

  23. enkidu Says:

    My point is there are many many rightwingers who would like nothing more than to start another civil war (the south would win this time! yeeeeeehaw! all u dang libs up agin the wall!). Please point out any left wing sites where death threats and eager genocide are ubiquitous in the comments area. You can’t. Now go visit any of the right wing blogs that have comments… epitomised by say little green footballs… yeah. Or maybe the multiple threats to blow up the state dept (malkin, robertson etc), or put rat poison in a supreme court justice’s creme brule (mann coulter), or… heck I don’t have all day to list the threats that issue forth in a torrent from rightwingnutistan.

    And I do stand by my comment. Your fixation on death metal (is that like kryptonite? or have you been playing too much WoW?), your obsessive posting about running over people, etc are quite disturbing. I think you would gleefully run over a liberal American that stood in your path (nice tank btw). Then slam it in reverse and whistle Dixie.

    Your ‘writing’ is so full of non sequitors, gibberish and tangential tirades that it is beyond comedy.

    Have a nice day!

  24. leftbehind Says:

    The only reason you dredge up all these spectres of nazism, genocide, redneckism and hate is because your own politics only seem progressive when compared to those of some idiot with a sheet over his head. Otherwise you wouldn’t pick such extreme examples of the other side to parade out every time someone disagrees with you. No one’s saying that hate and ignorance don’t run rampant on a weblog as lowbrow as Little Green Footballs, but it shouldn’t take someone of your genius-level intellect to figure out that LGF is hardly the be-all-end-all of Conservative discourse, and that the nuts that pop off there are hardly mainstream in their bullshit views. Half the zaniest guys on LGF are Liberartians who don’t even vote Republican. It doesn’t take good footing on the moral highground to wag your finger at people everybody already knows to be nuts. You reduce politics to simplistic decisions between obvious good (“equality is good”) and unthinkable evil (“genocide is bad”) because it is more important for you to look like some kind of “moral warrior” than to put hard work into dialogues with sane people who might disagree with you. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really glad that you’re holding the hardline against genocide, murder and human skin lamps, but so am I and almost everyone else we know or encounter on even a casual basis. Please try to find a schtick that isn’t so obvious. Sure Ann Coulter’s an asshole. And that makes you…?

  25. leftbehind Says:

    Also, WoW’s for pussies who are too fey for squad death matches on Killzone.

  26. enkidu Says:

    you done miz-spelt Libertarian

    “Unthinkable evil”? Right wing sites are FULL of talk of genocide (kill all them a-rabs, or lie-berals, or demon-rats, or all of the above). Can you please point out any left wing blog or web site that espouses anything even remotely as hate filled? You just can’t and you know it.

    I have plenty of discussions with sane conservatives. It would seem you and TV are not quite sane with your partisan hatred. Enjoy your death metal while playing killzone (if it helps you reduce the urge to kill actual liberals and their ilk, like say me).

  27. leftbehind Says:

    I knew you’d come back sooner or later.

    Sorry I misspelled Libertarian, and am glad to see you have finally figured out how to spell it yourself.

    Let’s see how far you’re willing to follow me down the rabbit hole. I’ll give you all the examples of pissed off leftwingers using violent rhetoric if you answer this question: what are your views on castration? Is it a friendly thing to do? Does it constitute an act of violence? Is calling for anyone’s castration remotely hateful? Answer carefully…you know I’ve got the goods, but would like you to make a fool of yourself before I produce them. But don’t be afraid, I mean you no real harm…I hope you live forever. The world is a brighter, happier place with you in it.

  28. leftbehind Says:

    C’mon. You can do this. I’ll park the tank around back and give you the keys.

  29. mouthpiece Says:

    Are either of you guys planning on making a point anytime soon?

  30. mouthpiece Says:

    Leftbehind – are you alluding to the “Castrate Dick Cheney” sign some protestor(s) was carrying at the Washington anti-war rally in September? I saw the picture on Gay Liberation.com, and I thought it was a bit much, too. There’s stupid people saying mean things on all sides of any debate – sorry, Enkidu, but Liberals can be just as nasty as Conservatives, even though they should know better. Is that waht you’re referring to, though, or are you just being obtuse?

  31. JustLooking Says:

    Bernard Goldberg begins by quoting an unnamed former colleague as saying, “If arrogance were a crime there wouldn’t be enough jail cells to hold all the people in TV news.”

    He goes on to cite examples of that arrogance as expressed in the kind of hateful comments made by some of TV’s leading news celebrities they would never tolerate if similar remarks had been made by conservatives.

    Totenberg Wants Helms to Catch AIDS

    He leads off with this gutter remark by PBS’s ultra-left-wing Nina Totenberg: “[I]f there is retributive justice [Sen. Jesse Helms] will get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it.” (As if Jesse Helms is one of those spreading AIDS!)

    “What if,” the longtime liberal Goldberg asks, a conservative such as Fred Barnes had said: “If there’s any justice in this world, Teddy Kennedy will drive off a bridge late at night and kill himself. Or one or two of his kids.”

    He’d be branded as a “contemptible hatemonger,” Goldberg answers, noting that from then on every word he wrote or uttered would be “scrutinized for traces of venom … .”

    ‘Useless Today’ Fanatic Wants Clarence Thomas to Die

    USA Today’s Julianne Malveaux, whose leftist sympathies makes Karl Marx look like a right-wing kook, spat out this crudity about Justice Clarence Thomas, a fellow black: “I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease.”

    Instead of being driven out of town after that classic example of hate speech, she “gets invited back on TV talk shows all the time,” Goldberg reports.

    He wonders what would have happened to Robert Novak if he made a similar remark about Jesse Jackson, guessing he’d be “compared to the grand wizard of the KKK.”

    Newsweek Snob Sneers at Sexual Harassment Victim

    Newsweek’s Evan Thomas, who no doubt comes by his elitist Marxist views as a result of being the grandson of the granddaddy of all American socialists, Norman Thomas, a serial candidate for the presidency, had this to say about Paula Jones, one of the many women victimized by Bill Clinton: “some sleazy woman with big hair coming out of the trailer parks …”

    “Can you imagine him saying that about a not-too-sophisticated, not too-educated, young black or Hispanic woman, as someone ‘with big hair coming out of the ghetto’?”

    This is the same Evan Thomas quoted in an earlier chapter as remarking about Ronald Reagan that “he had a kind of an intuitive idiot genius.”

    NBC FemiNazi Attacks Linda Chavez; NOW Silent

    Goldberg recalls former NBC Radio reporter Bonnie Erbe telling Linda Chavez that she had a greater chance of being struck by lightning than being raped “at her age.”

    He wonders what would have happened if Brit Hume has said anything “so incredibly insensitive and so downright stupid.”

    “NOW would have screamed that, like so many men, he just didn’t get it, that rape is not about sex, but about ‘power and control,’ and then just to set an example, the president of NOW would have led a contingent to hang Hume in effigy.”

    But when a liberal such as Bonnie Erbe mouths such hate speech on PBS, Goldberg notes, “it’s no big deal.”

    Of course, the so-called women’s group NOW doesn’t even care if a Democrat president commits rape, as long as he’s pro-abortion.

    ‘Vile’ Left-Wing Fascists at Work

    Other examples of liberal venom he cites include Eleanor Clift’s remarks about the impeachment of her adored William Jefferson Clinton: “That herd of managers from the House, I mean, frankly, all they were missing was white sheets.”

    Along the same lines, the Arkansas Times wrote that “Kenneth Starr is cunning, ruthless, and about as well mannered as Heirich Himmler.” Then there was Los Angeles Times “frequent contributor” Karen Grigsby Bates, who said of Sen. Trent Lott: “Whenever I hear Trent Lott speak, I immediately think of nooses decorating trees. Big trees, with black bodies swinging from the business ends of nooses.”

    Wrote Goldberg: “This is vile. Maybe it went over big with what they like to call ‘the creative community’ in Los Angeles, but it’s vile hate speech no matter how you cut it.”

    He concludes his chapter by noting that the liberal media “can even hear whispers of what they consider hate speech fifty miles away – whether they imagine that it’s coming from conservative talk show hosts or rightwing religious fundamentalists or just about anyone opposed to affirmative action.”

    “But,” he adds, “they can’t hear it dripping off their own nasty tongues … and probably think ‘liberal hate speech’ is an oxymoron.

    “It’s a good thing arrogance isn’t a crime.”

  32. JustLooking Says:

    Treehugger wrote:

    “I think I shall keep the above picture as my desktop background for the rest of the year, though. That Sara Maria and her doll are wearing matching outfits (chosen by mom, I’m sure) is hillarious!”

    Would the little girl have more respect from you is she were dressed in a pair of low cut jeans with a thong sticking out drawing attention to her ass? I kinda of like it when little girls look like little girls and not hookers.

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