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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The fat lady has sung. According to CNN, Kerry has phoned in his concession to W rather than wait on the provisional ballots. There will be an official announcement at 10am PST.

However, it's not all good news for the Bush camp. Although the GOP picked up a couple of Senators here, a couple of Representatives there, they still do not have a filibuster-proof majority in either house. This means it will be quite difficult for W to push through anything extreme, including Right-wing extremists to fill vacancies in the Supreme Court.

OK, so now what?

I think the last words of Joe Hill as he faced execution say it best: "Don't mourn...ORGANIZE."

We need to take a lesson from the GOP after Goldwater lost to Johnson. The overwhelming nature of the Johnson victory could have caused the party to implode. But instead of being bummed out and overwhelmed, the GOP pulled together, and put together a string of victories that have basically dominated American politics for all but 12 years since. First Nixon, then Reagan, then Bush The Elder and Bush The Younger, punctuated only by a single term for Carter and two terms for Clinton.

We almost got there this time. However, we coasted, thinking that the "anyone but Bush" vote would get us the win. That wasn't enough. We needed to frame Kerry as being the right man for the job. We didn't. So we lost.

Another thing is that we didn't quite roll up our sleeves and meet Bush punch-for-punch. I think that the Democrats didn't quite have the stomach to go as strong as we needed to be. When the Mullahs of Iran and the Spanish cell of Al Qaeda both endorsed Bush for President, we needed to be there with the trumpets. "A vote for Bush is a vote for Tehran and Al Qaeda." That should have been the message. When the FDA approved the implantation of VeriChip in human beings, there should have been instant action from the Democrats, including leafletting cars parked in Evangelical church parking lots with "Bush Administration approves Mark Of The Beast Technology" fliers. Even the message from Osama Bin Laden could have been handled better and more aggressively. Next time we need to steel ourselves for a really dirty campaign. When the GOP slings mud, we need to sling it back and maybe add a few lawn cigars in there for good measure.

Don't mourn. Organize.

In the immediate wake of this election, we need to fight for a few things:

1.) Either the end of the Electoral College, or the passage of proportional representation in all 50 states.

2.) Federal regulations that only certify voting machines that have a printed paper audit trail to facilitate recounts of disputed elections.

3.) A strong comeback in 2006, ala the "Contract With America" GOP surge in 1994. We need to take back the Senate and House. Big time.

This election has made me want to become even more active in politics.

We can let this defeat us. Or we can get busy.