The BuzzFlash Mailbag
November 7, 2002
The BuzzFlash Mailbag
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Part One | Part Two
Thank you for your encouraging "We Will Not Give Up" editorial.
Here's one more telltale note of encouragement for BuzzFlash readers from Seattle, Washington. Jim McDermott, who Republicans were trying to paint as "unpatriotic" for his trip to Iraq, won by a landslide 75% of the vote. This tells me that "you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." It also corroborates your editorial view that these are the only kind of Democrats who will save our Democracy. These are men of true courage, and isn't that really what America is supposed to be all about? Those who truly believe in our democracy can no longer afford to roll over and play dead. Time to put our souls on the line for the country we love.
Subj: Senator Gary Hart--someone willing to speak out in opposition
Sen. Hart is thinking of running for president in 2004 because, to paraphrase him, the stakes are too high to sit on the sidelines. We could really use his voice now, and I mean right now. I hope you will consider putting Hart's contact information on your web site. I have inserted below the URL that leads to Hart's contact information and the e-note that I just sent to him.
Thanks for anything you can do.
You can e-mail him from this page:
Dear Sen. Hart:
We read that you are considering a run for president in 2004. We urge you to make a run, and to begin now to speak out. Absolutely disillusioned by the debacle of the Democrats in 2002 (voting with abandon to give Bush unprecedented war power) and subsequently losing control of the Senate, which followed close on the heels of the scandal of the Democrats in 2001 (voting for imprudent tax cuts), we urge you to come forward as a rational, thoughtful voice of opposition to the agenda of the right and to restore sanity to national policy. We also agree with you that we need to focus on intelligence and internal security instead of on aggression.
Please get started right away, and let us know what we can do to help.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: I give up!
The so-called democrats do not care. I stood in the rain for over 12 hours, working the polls and hardly anyone showed up to vote. The ones that did were almost all republicans. I'm tired spinning my wheels and going nowhere.
What I see happening is Bush will be reelected and after him, Jeb Bush will take over. The right-wing now control everything, The House, Senate the courts and the Press. The right-wing will control this country for years to come and there is nothing we can do about it.
When the Republican party can nominate and get elected one of the dumbest man in America, Bush, and get him elected, we are in big trouble, as a party. The time, money and effort I put in this election, all was for not. I am mad, tired and disgusted. It's going to take a while to get over this, if I ever do.
Subj: Fantastic Editorial
Wow. You really came through today. That editorial is fine. You're a prince.
Well, maybe on second thought I shouldn't use that word. But what a great expression of the right attitude to take on a most depressing day.
Please put up a reader mailbag! I am so devastated today that I need to read what my fellow patriots are thinking and feeling!
I haven't read one single article that you have up about the Pugs winning. I can't bear to look! Please take them down and put up letters from people like us and left wing commentaries!!!
We're dying out here!!
Your not the only one who is speechless. I can't believe the repubs won an honest election. Surely the American people aren't that dumb. Or are they?
Are we in the Twilight Zone? The national media has been telling me that this election is some sort of mandate for George Bush and the Republicans. By listening to them you would think that the Republicans have won a huge majority of Congress. Why the dishonesty?
The President is supposed to lose seats in the midterm, but there are several obvious reasons that Bush didn't. Usually the President has "coattails" when he is elected and many of these tag along victors are defeated in the midterm. Bush had no coattails. Second there have never been so few contested races. Redistricting narrowed the amount of contested races. Less chances to win. Also the dishonest media likes to say that this is unprecedented for a 1st midterm. That conveniently lets them omit the very last midterm in 1998 when Clinton actually gained seats.
Pardon me for injecting some reality into the world, but the truth is that the Congress is still basically split 50-50. The GOP did gain seats and this is a huge win for their agenda, but it is no mandate and certainly not a landslide for the GOP. A last second field goal is a huge win, but certainly not an indication of a blowout.
The GOP should be congratulated for winning the battle for turnout. Then again maybe they had more opportunity to be fired up. The media is full of rabid right-wing hate mongers like Rush, Ollie and the people at Fox News who incite the right. The left has no equal time. In the Twilight Zone of today¹s media, half-truths and lies dominate. Conservatives mislead the masses. Their propaganda would make the third Reich proud.
Subj: Last Night Was Brutal For Us
Last night was brutal for us; we have all suffered a terrible blow.
By all historical precedents we should have picked up seats in Congress. We didn't, and we are all asking, "why?" I don't have the answers but I have a few thoughts.
One, it's the media. For people who come home from work at night and click on the TV to see what's in the news, and find out what's important, all they hear is right-wing swill. If they don't bother to do any investigating on their own, they are lost. There is no rational dialogue on television, not on the mainstream channels and programs. Too many people do not have our interest in knowing what is going on, or knowing what the candidates really stand for, so they are easily deceived by the campaign literature and TV ads. Many do not use the Internet to search for more factual information on issues and candidates.
Two, the Republicans, nowadays, will stop at nothing to win. They will do anything; say anything, if it will help them to win. They will lie, cheat, steal and, maybe, kill to win. Most Democrats shrink from that sort of "winning," and won't do the extremist things that would need to be done to counter such ruthlessness. The current White House occupants, including, and especially, Karl Rove shrink from nothing in their lust for power. They do not shrink from using taxpayer money to aid their campaign strategy. If by doling out obscene amounts of federal money they can help Jeb Bush win in Florida, they have no problem with doing that. And they did it. And it worked.
Three, at least the Republicans understood all that was at stake for them if they won complete control of Congress: the U.S. Supreme Court appointments, federal bench appointments, more tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent in this country, and an end to many social programs that provide safety nets for the poor, the needy and the powerless in America and in the world. The Democrats did not make clear to the voters all that would be lost if they did not hold on to control of the senate and gain control in the House. Here and there, a Democratic candidate said a few things along those lines, but there was no unified attack on the Republicans for Bush's complete failure to be a good steward of our economy; to protect us from harm; to save the planet from global warming; to maintain honorable and respectful relationships with other countries; to ensure that our children would have a decent and adequate education in clean, safe schools with competent teachers to teach them; to assure that reasonably decent healthcare would be available to all who need it; to assure American that their civil liberties and rights would be protected. The Democrats failed to make that all clear to the voters.
I grieve today for all that has been lost, and for all those who will be harmed by Bush's policies in the future. I grieve for the lives that will be harmed, and lost, by Bush's push to reduce Medicare reimbursements. I grieve for all those whose lives will be lost in Bush's eternal wars to come, in his quest to control the world and gain the oil resources for his "friends." I grieve for the rape of the American treasury that has already begun and will now ramp up to maximum speed, so Bush can line his own and his "friends" pockets. I grieve for the children who will not get a decent education or have access to decent health care. I grieve for all those around the world whom we are about to harm. Because, now, there is nothing to stop this man from doing whatever he wants to.
This morning on NPR, I heard Robert Reich (former Clinton Cabinet official) say that winning complete control of the government is really Bush's worst nightmare. Reich makes the case that by doing so, Bush is guaranteed that he won't be re-elected in 2004! Reich says that Bush will now "have to" move so far right that he will alienate voters by 2004, that Bush will not be able to blame the Democrats for anything that goes wrong.
I wish I could believe Reich, but Bush has so far broken all the rules and precedents and gotten away with it, so I have no such confidence that historical precedent will do him in, in 2004.
Right now, I think I'll just spend a bit of time mourning and feeling bad, but I hope to be able to cheer up and get ready to fight on. Because fight on we must. We cannot surrender to this fascist takeover of our country. I know I couldn't live with myself if I ever gave up.
So my sympathies go out to all the losers of yesterday's election whom we supported; my sympathies go out to all of us. We have suffered a terrible blow, but we will pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and we will continue to inform ourselves and fight back. We will continue trying to get the media to tell the truth (not easy to do, but necessary to do), and we will hope for better days to come.
A Loyal, Patriotic, but Sad American
Despair is too easy.
It must be clear by now that our money can't compete with big money. A record 900 million dollars bought votes November 5. That cash wasn't raised in $5 bills...and, when spent, it didn't put wages back in the pockets of working people.
Divide that money up between the one third of registered voters across the country who bothered to vote, and you have the going rate for democracy.
The campaigner-in-chief raised perhaps $140 million, and that was divvied up between the few powerful PR firms and media giants that pull the strings of our "democracy."
Why does anyone left of center bother to compete with the owners of the process on their own terms? No debacle in memory points so clearly to the folly of this strategy.
Leftists suffer from exhaustion, paranoia, and an acute shortage of creativity. Can we at long last forget searching for creative ways to spend money: creative ads, creative spin, creative repackaging of candidates to appeal to the center? It doesn't work, does it? We can't move forward with the very techniques and principles extremists on the right use to destroy democracy. It's working for them, but that doesn't make it a magic pill for the left.
Rove-envy won't help us in 2004.
Clinton's power was his ability to co-opt Republicans' issues and techniques. He infuriated right-wing strategists, but they can gloat that, in the end, he became theirs.
Winning is not the prize...the prize is democracy and control of rogue business. More image makers and corporate media aren't the solution. They are central to the problem.
Cornel West wondered if September 11 would help the United States grow up. It didn't. We are still dazzled by goods and controlled by fear. Nothing underscores that so clearly as the results of November 5. Set issues next to cheap shots on television, and cheap wins every time.
So, where does that leave us?
We have a lot of hard work ahead. If hard work instills despair, think of the harder work that will come later if we give up. It is hard work to inform oneself with the facts necessary to counter fear and greed. It is hard work to argue with friends when it is easier to nod and smile. It is hard work to pound on doors and get real information in the faces of those who'd rather recline alone in front of the tube. It doesn't require money. It requires work. And conviction.
--Alan Morse...Phillips, Maine...
If there is any real precedent to what happened last night, it would be the elections of 1974 and 1976, inverted so that 2000 was 1976 and 2002 was '74.
I should explain.
In 1976, the Democrats took advantage of a massive scandal and voter ennui to propel a Southern governor into the White House. In 1974 emboldened by a major news event that kept everything else off the front pages, the Democrats, despite fealty to a rapidly fading and dated political philosophy, made huge gains by rousing their base.
Before one does the math, extrapolates a little and takes heart in the possibility of 2004 being 1980 (a photogenic Democrat thought to be "too extreme" landsliding the hapless guardian of failed ideology and the keeper of a wretched economy, the inverse of Reagan v Carter), recall that the American news media is solidly behind the Bushes, as is most money. And that reactionaries are always easier to sway than anyone else. But it is also true that for the GOP, it is now "money where your mouth is" time. There are no excuses that can be proffered for not weakening/over-turning Roe v Wade, gutting environmental protections, permanent tax cuts for EVERYONE and most of all, the combo Der Partee Republikkkan has been promising since time everlasting, smaller government. They have all the aces.
Vegas odds tell me that other than war, NMD/Star Wars and cuts for the rich only, nothing changes. Rightist judges will be filibustered constantly, because that's a no-lose issue for any Democrat. Deficit spending will soar and incursions into South America and the Middle East/South Asia will annihilate whatever good feeling is left for us on the planet.
The GOP fought Clinton tooth and nail for the two years they were in the minority and the Democrats are obligated to do the same. If they do and trends continue unabated (layoffs, corporate crime, war, deficits), say hello to President Kerry. If they act like spineless jellyfish again, and refuse to criticize, Bush for four more.
A BuzzFlash Reader
I am so sorry for this country after yesterday's elections, it hurts. I grew up in communist country and I have seen how manipulation of the nation looks like. - now exactly the same is happening here! It always surprise me how this nation has the tendency to manipulation! I just wish there is hope for this people - not good, not good! This ONE nation better be under good God - this nation needs its help!!!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: We Will Not Give Up
OK, well great. Good words. But how do we fight for democracy without leadership in Washington? Keep writing 'Letters to the Editor'? Keep 'Getting Out the Vote'? Keep sending money? We are living on small retirement and even smaller S.S., and will probably lose that (witness all of our compatriots who had their retirement stolen from them with impunity...the thieves were given a mandate!!!!!) We are in California, and while Gray Davis has not touched our retirement yet, he will. Because the dictators intend to continue to punish California and leave him no choice.
I will keep on reading BuzzFlash, MWO, Salon, etc. every day so that I can know I'm not the only one crying and vomiting out here: (I have a very large family, and lots of in-laws, ALL of whom are Rush Limbaugh DOODOOHEADS). Don't ask....I don't know how this happened. At least I have a Democratic husband who votes OK, even though he "doesn't want to know."
Our Democratic leadership already has theirs. Shelter, lights, heat, food, cars.....and my husband and I can survive with careful planning....at the least we need a paid-off house, a yard big enough to grow vegetables, warm down jackets and blankets, a few candles. We'll be fine if they don't arrest us for being liberal. But what about the millions who won't be?
We can even vote in NEW people, who will act (or not act) in exactly the same way: i.e: Hillary Clinton, as an example.
The rich have declared war on the poor and middle class and won....it's over. So, things are going to get worse and worse, so what? By the time people wake up, if they ever do...they won't have any money to fight with anyway. Also, haven't you been noticing the shifting of the military to the domestic?
Nothing guarantees power more than money and military, does it? You at least have to admit that.
Hate to be negative, BUT.......
BTW....I write this stuff, which I know doesn't help, because I don't know what else to do. I wish I could turn Ostrich like my husband, but I'm addicted to knowing.
Subj: How the Florida Election Was Stolen
The last minute cancellation of the Voter News Service exit polls stopped the only reasonable check the public had that the votes were counted correctly. Historically the exit polls have been very, very accurate. In fact just about the only time the exit polls were significantly off was...you guessed it - Florida 2000. The count was not even close to the exit polls, but eventually Fox News called it for Bush and Gore was screwed from that moment on.
This time around Florida is still suppressing 90,000 plus voters through one scam alone, I'm sure there are other suppression techniques in force. The really crazy thing is the Electronic voting systems being used in large areas of Florida produce no paper record of the vote, the software is proprietary, so no one can check the accuracy of how votes are recorded. The results are what the machine says, that's it - no recourse, no recount. If that's not bad enough, the company that manufactures the voting machines? Owned by a right wing millionaire family that donates large amounts of money to Republican causes.
I do not think that it is possible that Jeb got more than 60% of the vote, when all polls had the race in a statistical dead heat. I wonder what the exit polls would have said? I bet its a different story than what we're being told today.
just one example of what is wrong with the democrats.
if a democrat had ran an ad on tv accusing a man who lost three limbs on the battlefield of being against home land security and of having no courage...........the republicans would have had that democrat for lunch! they would have had him in the fetal position voting for his opponent! the democrats just whined a little and moved on.
Subj: Yesterday's Election in Florida
I want to ask you and all of your readers if anyone saw the comment made by a young man in Florida who had to vote 8 or 9 times before he got who he wanted for governor. He was saying that every time he voted for McBride the vote would automatically go to Bush. This was on ABC News with Peter Jennings. I'd also like to say that the Democrats either gave away this election or the Repugs pulled off one of the biggest scams I ever seen. Makes me wonder were the Democratic Americans were at this year!! Are they so well off with Bush that they feel they are better off than they were 3 years ago?? Personally I'm afraid that this country is slowly slipping into a dictatorship. I hope to God I never see that happen.
Subj: Keep Your Head Up
Dear Mailbag Friends,
Yes, I DO consider you my friends and compatriots in this fight against the true forces of evil in our country. We have suffered a devastating blow, but it's not fatal!! They have won this battle, but not the "war," to use their favorite word.
It is up to US now. We cannot depend on the majority of our Democratic "leaders."
We must keep up our vigilance and watch closely as the Bush Cartel attempt to undermine our Democracy further.
I believe that they stole this election. I believe that they have used their endless arsenal of lies, deceit, money and propaganda to further their schemes, because the TRUTH would destroy them.
**WE** WILL NOT LET THIS HAPPEN AGAIN.
**WE** MUST WIN BY EXPOSING THE TRUTH AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY in order to rally our other fellow Americans to combat the real danger we are ALL in.
Keep your heads up and your eyes focused on 2004....try not to be discouraged and know that you are not alone. There are MILLIONS OF US out here. LET'S USE THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE....it is the strength of this country and it is ultimately on OUR SIDE.
elaine in Petaluma
the cable news channels made a star out of bush. the democrats actually bought that crap about the country wants all to get along. The republicans want the democrats to roll over and that's what they have done for two years. The republicans have been at work demonizing their targets.. The democrats will never learn to stop being nice.
Subj: Message to the DNC: "Thanks for nothing (from a fed-up progressive Democrat)"
Email I just sent to the DMC:
Well, you guys have blown it, big-time. Thanks (serious irony, in case you're too STUPID to get it) for handing the country over to the ultra-right GOP. McAuliffe said Bush's popularity was the reason for the GOP winning so many close races. WHY DID YOU PERMIT HIM TO GET SO POPULAR??!! You're handed the mid-term elections on a silver platter (the economy, corp. corruption etc.) & YOU STILL MANAGE TO BLOW IT! SCHMUCKS! ASSHOLES! LOSERS! Bush plays rope-a-dope with you over 9/11 & Iraq - & you fall right into line like obedient little putzes. (Get out your Yiddish-English dictionary if you don't know what I'm talking about.)
If you guys don't want to go the way of the Whigs (& if you don't want to see this country turn into a crypto-fascist one-party state) you had damn well better GET OFF YOUR SORRY ASSES AND START *KICKING* SOME GOP ASS! But I suspect you'll probably try & turn yourselves into carbon copies of them, just a teeny bit less greedy... People don't need imitation Republicans, they need REAL DEMOCRATS! Wellstone is turning in his grave right now, thanks to you.
Now the GOP is going to roll over you non-stop & the last 2 years will look like a tea party. Ultra-right judges anyone? We got'em lined up by the score; goodbye abortion rights, hello school prayer - you don't like it, go to Russia. While we're at it, let's make Iraq the 51st state (we'll keep the oil $, thank you)...
Back to you losers: You had better start by sh*t-canning McAuliffe & dumping Daschle & Gephardt as your congressional minority (in guts, brains & power) leaders. Then you can start asking some hard questions about what Bush & co. have done & have up their sleeves - if you're not too timid to do so, of course. But frankly, I have NO faith in you any more. Go ahead, prove me wrong - I dare you. Otherwise, just DROP DEAD & stop failing our democracy when it needs some REAL patriots more than ever.
Where do we go from here? As Mother Jones said, 'don't mourn, organize.' (Then again, a plane ticket to New Zealand is starting to sound like a better idea all the time...)
I'm sick. People in this country are just plain ignorant of facts and easily fooled. How could they turn control of our country over to a monster? Now they, and we, will feel the full brunt of their stupidity.
Bush is now in full gloat mode, and I doubt there is another Jeffords out there to rescue us from this mess. So Chimpy has free reign and is already babbling about tax cuts (look how well they've worked for him in the past), and the rest of his agenda. The only bright side I can see in all of this is, and unfortunately the only way to get to the bright side is via the ruination of our country by Bush and his minions, will be the fact that Bush will no longer be able to whine that it's the Democrats fault. Finally blame will be placed where it should be, squarely on the shoulders of that arrogant little fraud.
Dear Buzz -
I am heartsick. Unable, once again, to explain to my kids another election where the bad guys won and crime paid.
And this time, I did all the right (OOPS! I should say "correct," I'm starting to despise the word "right") things.
I not only voted, I reminded my friends to do so. I wrote letters to the editor. Repeatedly. I sent money to campaigns and through NARAL and MoveOn. More than once. I joined the L.A. peace march earlier in October. I called my senators and congresspeople relentlessly. I even exhausted two hours, one day, calling EVERY member of the California delegation. I was probably more politically active this fall than I've ever been before in my life, including the protesting I did during the Vietnam War and Nixon era.
Like it did any good.
Now, in my upset, I'm wondering if perhaps I should join the other side. Reason is - the side I'm on loses. So maybe if I join the other side, it'll start losing? If I'm a jinx, then I'd rather jinx the bad guys.
Just wonderin'. At least Davis held 'em off in California...
MUCH love, confusion, and yes, I'm horribly disheartened,
Mary in L.A.
Subj: Post-Election Analysis of Republican takeover of the US Government
First I want to thank you for your tireless efforts to bring all of us the news that is fit or unfit to print. Without your efforts, we would all be poorer as Americans.
Having said that, it appears that the Republican takeover of the US Government started a long, long time ago before yesterday. As Democrats, we must recognize that we were outspent 5:1 by the Republicans and they control the media lock, stock and barrel from the major news outlets down to the 2-bit radio stations and local throw-away suburban mailers. Joseph Goebbels would be proud of the Republican Party, if he were alive today.
Our message has been drowned out at every turn and pResident Bush was able to spread $150 million around to win the House, Senate and many local races.
For us to regain prominence, we need to rededicate ourselves at the grassroots level. We need to win local school board elections (the Christian Coalition did this in the South). We need to be involved in the community planning boards, zoning boards, etc... We need to start over from ground zero and ask ourselves why we are Democrats and what we really stand for.
We need an organized way of getting out the "real news" to all of us fast and efficiently that avoids the commercial mass media. This has to be both by e-mail lists, websites and hardcopy (only half of the American people have ready access to the internet).
We need new leadership in the Democratic Party. But this leadership must come through the ranks and be loyal to the grassroots, not beholden to the Fortune 50. We must build an organization that makes every voter feel they are "getting something" from the Democratic Party. We have no right to ask for blind loyalty of our constituents. Surely the Republicans do not demand such loyalty. Hell they invented quid pro quo.
God Bless You BuzzFlash.
I can't believe the American people want a dictator. My goodness, we're all in big trouble. I do not wish to lose my sons in a war for this selected resident's political gain.
A Concerned Mother
Subj: RE: We Will Not Give Up - A BuzzFlash Editorial
This turnout is truly sickening. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I expect Bush to now go crazy pushing through the judges and Supreme Court appointees that he wants to push through his agenda, and take away the rights of the average American. I fear loss of civil and other rights, as Bush's hatred of trial lawyers is so fierce. So much for protection against the robber-barons.
I have now decided to stop watching television news and opinion shows. I feel that they have all been totally slanted toward the Republicans. The media has made statements that the Democrats had no message, had nothing to say. I say "How could they?" I rarely saw a Democrat on a show, and rarely heard any commentators discussing Democrats. If I did hear them discussing them, it was to slam them. How many more times can pro-Republican Americans continue to bring up Bill Clinton's name and expect the whole country to cringe? Enough, already! Get out of the gutter! They continue to stir the pot with this imagined "sleaze" factor when discussing Clinton and, therefore, ANY Democrat. It's getting old, and it's childish.
I noticed this trend when George the First was in power. The media loved him and praised him up and down. He could do no wrong. He orchestrated and "won" (???) the Gulf War, and was our hero. But it wasn't long afterward when the media did an about-face, and suddenly Papa Bush was the "bad guy". Remember "It's the economy, stupid!!!"? So, I will sit tight and wait till I see signs of the almighty media complex turn on a dime with Baby Bush. It's inevitable. They need to generate news and hysteria so that they can suck in those viewers and bring up those advertising revenues.
Bush has hoodwinked the public into ignoring corporate scandals (which have affected a large number of Americans' livelihoods), the shaky economy and ever-increasing budget deficit (how did he DO that in such a short period of time?), health care problems, and Social Security's uncertain future, by drumming up his war-mongering and "Homeland Security" (and denying long-time employment rights of federal employees by invoking the terrorist-threat option). He has successfully pushed his agenda across the country by stirring up that old "patriotic" feeling. And how many times did he and the gang smear the Democrats regarding every problem this nation has? The ever-evil Democrats. The cause of all of America's, if not the world's, problems!
Alas, there is hope, my friends. Now that the Republicans will be in control of everything everywhere, they will no longer be able to blame the Democrats for the problems that abound. (Although I'm sure Karl Rove will work hard to find a way.) So, in time, the spotlight will have to shine back on the party in power. No more scapegoats. No more finger pointing. No more feeble excuses. The blame will lay squarely where it belongs. I can't wait to see it play out.
I urge any Democrat who believes in this nation and in the two (or more) party system to get involved in your local Democratic Party system. Get out there and volunteer your time, and do what you can to spread the message that Democrats stand for. Help to make sure that every Democrat is registered to vote, and when election time comes around, spread the information needed to get people excited to vote. That message is to be balanced and to care about others. The Republicans, on the other hand, are one-sided and care about themselves only. Don't give up the ship!
Now is not the time to wallow in depression. We have too much work to do. I was encouraged by the concession speech of Walter Mondale who instructed us to keep fighting for social justice. Remember that although the GOP has a majority in the Senate, it is not a working majority. Without GOP control of 60 seats, the democrats can stop legislation and judicial appointments.
I am so angry at our democratic leadership that I could just spit. I have already contacted Gephardt and Daschle and voiced my disapproval. I also called the DNC and told them that like Wellstone, I am the democratic wing of the Democratic Party and to get ready--we are taking our party back.
Right now, the DNC needs us worse than we need them. Contact your democratic officials and tell them that we need new leadership who will voice opposition to Bush's policies. Come on everybody--let's take the party back. GET BUSY! DON"T GIVE UP!
Susan C. McIntosh
Subj: Waking Up
You will probably get many emails today with much analysis on what went wrong in yesterday's disastrous election. There won't be one clear answer. Certainly the lack of a coordinated and unified opposition to the Republican agenda must be questioned, and the leadership of the Democratic party needs overhauled. There may be some action taken along these lines but I believe its time we Democrats step back and reassess what we stand for as a group. Obviously the republicans are united as a group around a set of core values that is resonating with the majority of voting Americans. I know and associate with many good liberal people, people who are very much concerned with the direction our country seems to be headed, but almost to a person they have issues with the Democratic party that either keeps them from going to the poles or in some cases voting for Republicans. Some of these issues are gun ownership rights, abortion rights, gay and lesbian issues, national security and taxes. For them, the Democrats are often on the wrong side, and these wedge issues override all others. I will continue to support our Democrats but I fear at some point my party will "wedge" me out with their stand on some core issue. I don't see myself ever voting Republican, maybe I'll just stay home like the rest and hand it all over to the Right. Let the leadership of the Democratic Party be warned. Either stand for something, or stand aside! The base is eroding away. When the foundation is gone the rest of the house will fall. The next few days will be tough to get through for those of us that had hoped to slow down or stop the express train that is rolling through our government. I still have hope that there are some intelligent and gutsy people who will come forth with some new leadership for our party.
Subj: We Dare Not Despair
It's all too easy right now to dive into depression from the horrendous election results, especially heartbreaking in Minnesota and Missouri. We know too well they did it with distortions and lies repeated a thousand fold from the GOP controlled media. That doesn't mean they've got a handle on the truth - and the truth shall set us free ... eventually. Too often, too many forgot to clearly attack the facts and not the people which led to meaner counterattacks. For the time being, Rove won.
This fiasco is a major wake up call to the Democratic leadership to change strategy and how! And I'm convinced we were really on to something when so many began to catch on to the basics of what Paul Wellstone was about. Mondale caught some of it but he couldn't fire up the energy fast enough and Ventura blasted the edge to Coleman, all in the name of being non-partisan. Right. Unfortunately though, the agony of some Wellstone fans adding to the loss was in simple momentary forgetfulness of Paul's secrets- he maintained pride, dignity and RESPECT in the face of opposition even when fighting hard for the Democratic roots of all those little folks. And thus he didn't disconnect.
It is precisely the disconnect with the increasing lower than upper middle class that kept the Democrats from getting out the voters. One of my black buddies from Missouri tried to encourage friends and family to vote and they said "what difference is it going to make to my life?" He didn't know how to answer them. Where was the clear answer? That's not all Carnahan's fault. It's something our Democratic strategists need to remake, package and sell in a way Rove can't destroy at the drop of a cowboy hat.
For too long the Democratic leadership has been too timid and too compromising. That's not charismatic at all. It doesn't play to the media, which is where the game is won or lost entirely. But we don't have anything to lose anymore but more non-voters that should be ours to win back. The damaging policies passed by the corporate controlled all right wing government will leave only themselves to blame. And the people will finally be forced to notice they've been fooled indeed.
In the end, we must keep remembering all of Paul's legacy - not just his fighting spirit. We must remember his respect, his dignity, his pride, his honesty, his compassion for all of the American people and take these characteristics into our own strategies with sophistication. We must continue to tell the truth and expose the lies - but as much as possible with Paul's secrets in mind. Because the people are still out there and do want to connect again. But they're either duped, disgusted or afraid of the bogey man.
In fact, real enemies are out there and the rest of the world will tell you they're increasing because of Bush foreign policy. That's the truth. We were more secure with Clinton policy. Democrats have to stop being afraid of that fact which world opinion recognizes as fact. And we have to reclaim the reality of family values which includes caring for our brothers and sisters in need. We do health care, education, social security, civil rights, environmental protection, sparking the economy and corporate reform better than anything the GOP can ever dream up. And that's the truth.
So let's work hard to fund a mental change starting tomorrow so we can let those truths and Paul's secrets set us free by 2004! It won't be easy but it sure is worth it.
Subj: Two Years, For What?
Because the republicans got away with the fraud of 2000, of course they rigged it again this time. Why do you think they stopped exit polling????? Like little children testing their boundaries, they realized the passive democrats would just let everything slide like they always do. Voter fraud was so blatant this election because they know they can get away with it. Nobody is listening anymore. The media is owned by the right. The traditional ways of lawful protest and descent are criminalized. Every avenue we used to have a voice with in this country is gone. We, the stupid, believed it all when they told us hard-working honest and law abiding citizenship that follows the rules is what makes a country honorable. Only trouble is they were laughing at us for believing it.
Subj: It is time for a change
RE: We will not give up ....
As Kenny Rogers sang, "You've got to know when to hold 'em; Know when to fold'em."
As difficult as it may be, it is time to "fold'em" when it comes to the Democratic Party. The ONLY way to fight back will be to boldly support progressive policies and ideas. The ONLY way Democrats will ever change is if they are threatened with extinction because of their cowardly ways. Therefore, it is time for liberals and progressives to move to the Green Party.
Your 'final note' should have mentioned that Greens already have spines and bones of steel. We all campaigned forthrightly against war, for national health care and against the Bush tax give aways (unlike almost all Democrats except Wellstone). Now it is up to BuzzFlash and BuzzFlash readers to have real backbone and make the move.
Thanks guys for the editorial. I agree..
This is what I just posted on my website (www.atwitsend.org)
30% of eligible voters decided the course America will take over the next 2 years. It wasn't pretty. GOP voters turned out in droves to expand their control of the House and take control of the Senate with a bunch of new folks who are there only to rubber-stamp the Moron's policies.
First, it seems to me that much of the voting against Democrats was due to anger, frustration and the Big Lie techniques that proved the Media and Talk Radio really do chart America's future.
The Dems are not blameless in this loss. As John Cougar Mellencamp said, "How can you stand for anything when you stand for nothing at all?" Admittedly the Dems were out gunned by money and Media noise. This election was about giving the Moron total control of the government. And his view is that Congress be staffed with Stepford types who discourage debate, dissent and independence. Yet, the Dems did NOTHING to ingratiate themselves to voters. Yes, I'm sure they had concrete plans for fixing the economy, blah blah. But they just never had the stones to stand up and be counted. They never had a unified, coherent message. Daschle and Gephardt were often not even on the same page. Support and money and ads for Dems were virtually nonexistent. If they were they were once again defensive. They let the GOP define them.
And you know what? I really believe that Americans will vote against their own interests when they hold the opposing party in disdain. Americans respect fighters. They respect organization. They seem to respect simple sound-bite policy statements.
So they vote GOP. The crooks from the GOP who got reelected is astonishing. Arkansas voters dumped Hutchinson because of his shabby morals and hypocrisy, but reelected their governor, Mike Huckabee in a landslide. O' Mike's been slurping at the government and corporate trough with impunity during his term. He's as corrupt and dirty as one can get. But that's not enough to get him ousted. Same with Jebbie who nearly bankrupted the State Pension Fund by unilaterally putting nearly 30% of its funds into Enron..or going to bat with the Feds for a big contributor, violating federal law. How about the folks of Connecticut who re-elected a known crook, John Rowland? Once again, the message here is that real crimes of a financial nature that wreak havoc on regular folks just don't resonate as much as sexual misconduct.
If the Dems are out spinning today that it really wasn't a great loss, or whining that the GOP 'stole' this election because of money, blah blah, then they are doomed to go the way of the Whig Party of the early 19th Century. This Election was never about issues because the Dems never got their message out . . . if they had one. And besides, they pissed off a lot of Independents with their rolling over for the Moron on every issue, from taxes to Social Security to the War Resolution. The Dems never acted like a majority in the Senate. And they never acted like a Party with passion in this election.
You'd think they would have learned from 1994 when they got their butts kicked because they were so arrogant. This time they thought they'd win by default. Really. They just figured that they would expand the Senate and recapture the House because of the economy and because they were so patriotic in standing with the Moron in Iraq.
WRONG! Americans like courage. They respect fighters. They don't like limpdicks. And that's what the Dems are. That's what the Dems were portrayed as, and they did precious little to dissuade.
I mean, what can you say when a Draft Dodging scumbag like Saxby Chambliss in Georgia defeats an incumbent WAR HERO by painting him as unpatriotic? By the way, where was Cleland during these vile attacks? Was he ever on CNN? Nope, but Chambliss sure was. I don't even know if Cleland asked for equal time on the Cable media.
I have to wonder just what are the Democrats thinking? Do they think they can be passive and just wait for a critical mass of economic, social and foreign policy catastrophes to happen? Do they think that once the Supreme Court goes 7-2 Right Wing Religious that the people will rise up and put them back in office? Do they think that when the economy REALLY tanks (as opposed to now) that voters will blindly flock to them?
I don't think so. The Dems face very long odds. They now have the entire Federal Government against them, special interests against them and the Media against them. They'll need a brave leader to break from the pack. I don't know if there's one out there. I don't know if the Dems are capable of learning from 2 disasters...or whether they'll go along with the insanity of doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.
I'm sad for the Dems; I'm sad and very worried for my country; I worry for Hannah's future.
By the way as to low voter turnout...let me say I'm of two minds on this one. First if you didn't vote you don't get to carp or crow. Second, if you didn't vote because you're discouraged and see no hope in either party, we're in deep shit. Remember, only 30% of ELIGIBLE VOTERS voted. That's less than 11% of the population that has determined our course. That should scare the bejesus out of the Dems and out of you.
Go figure. I'm going to take a lot of hits from gloating assholes today. I can only say that I will not be cowed by the Fascists. I will not lay down in supplication to the Goons. Those of you who gloat today are either very ignorant or extremely unhinged. The God I pray to is not the God of Jerry Falwell and Christian Extremists who've hijacked the GOP.
And think about this before gloating too much. Pride goes before a fall. And did you ever consider that God really is punishing America?
dear BuzzFlash - last night a friend of mine heard some talking head on some channel say that with this big defeat for the democrats, al gore's vision of a more confrontational, progressive approach would now be the democrats' agenda - replacing the conservative, weak ways of bill clinton - via terry maccauliffe (sp?), tom daschle and dick gephardt - and the end of any presidential dreams of rep. gephardt - i can only hope that this is true - although this nightmare is very painful right now, if we could retake our democratic party and make it the liberal, progressive party that "fights for economic and social progress" - paul wellstone's dream of "building such a grassroots-based effort to advocate effectively for the progressive agenda, and to put more progressives in office at every level and across the country, ...a goal worth fighting for" might come true - it's hard to beat the republicans when they have the media, the cia, the churches, the nra, the big money, no conscience, and a docile people at their disposal - but it can be done, i think, if we can offer something different - something exciting - "a focus on a good education, good health care and a good job" for everyone - we can win and then winning will really mean something - thank you, rick hahn and tom harkin, for your inspirational words last week at the memorial for sen. wellstone, family and friends - we will never forget and we will never give up - liberal like paul, mary
Subj: Shenanigans in Alabama? (AP - Siegelman, Riley disputing results in governor's race )
Please note that here we have a Republican probate judge who is apparently an "expert" in software. A "programming glitch" gave the in "software" counted more than 6000 "too many" votes for the incumbent Democratic governor. (If this software is so prone to "glitches", why are we using it?)
The "corrected total" apparently came without anything other than partisans present and it came in a county dominated by the opposition party.
The original numbers, the ones with the "glitch", were given to news organizations including the AP. Then mysteriously, sometime after midnight right around the time that it appeared Democratic governor Don Siegelman had won reelection by the narrowest of margins, the campaign of Republican Bob Riley gets on the phone and suddenly Baldwin County "said Siegelman's numbers were lowered after voting machine cartridges from polling places were rerun because of a suspected error."
Might the "error" have been that Don Siegelman won the election and that Bob Riley needed a little help? Sure makes you wonder, doesn't it?
Subj: Touch Screen Fraud in Georgia and elsewhere?
I have a degree in computer programming so I feel that I can speak with a degree of certainty when it comes to computer programs and how they can be manipulated.
The whole state of Georgia has all new touch screen voting computers. No one can look at the code written for these machines except the people who own them. No one can check to see if it is correct or if it is being manipulated by the company computer technicians. There is no paper trail to check or to recount. No one in the voters office knows what the computer is doing in its program, because all they are getting is a total of votes cast. It is so extremely easy to manipulate the votes in a computer program that it is laughable. It only takes one person to change a line in the program that tells the computer to take 2 Democratic votes out of, say, every 6 cast and change them to Republican. They can make it do anything they want. Don't forget about the natural glitches that occur in all of our computers! We all have had a glitch or two in our computers haven't we? How easy would it be to send a Republican virus to these machines? It happens to companies every day!
The state of Georgia went to the Republicans yesterday. A popular Democratic Senator was unseated, and for the first time in 130 years, a Republican was elected governor. This is not logical or even believable, in my opinion.
I wonder how many of the races held yesterday that went to the Republicans involved the use of touch screen computers? How many of the precincts that used them had a more Republican voting trend than in the past? How many of the Democrats who won seats from Republicans, won in states that still use some form of the paper ballot and not the touch screen computers?
These are all questions that need to be asked and investigated by the Democrats in power, that is if you can find any who have a backbone and aren't afraid of bush.
The biggest company that supplies 57% of the touch screen machines in the country is E S & S is a Republican owned company. Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska was involved with these people and one of them was on his election team. These companies have many ties to the Republicans.
Here is a website that is great! It explains all the connections and is very well documented. Every Democrat in office, who values their seat in government, needs to go to this website and read every article they have about voting fraud. It will probably be the only thing that will save their re-election bid, along with them using their voice, which they haven't done so far.
Here's one last FACT to consider. The GOP spent $40 million to pursue an ultimately merit-less case against Clinton that involved diddling an intern and some questionable real estate deals. Since Bush took office, not one dime has been spent by Congress to investigate Cheney and his secret energy dealings, Bush's stolen election, Tom Delay's boiler room scams that have bilked doctors out of millions, the mysterious wild trading of American and United Airlines stock the week before 9/11 or any of the other crimes that were far more serious than Clinton's offenses. Meanwhile, the GOP so eager to spend millions to investigate an office romance has worked overtime to block the initiation of any serious investigation into the biggest crime to have ever been perpetrated on American soil that claimed nearly 3,000 lives. WAKE UP AMERICA!!
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subj: New Demo Leaders Needed
As disappointed as I am about the Elections, I'm more worried about my fellow Americans. It will be only days now before we'll get an alert, and fear mongering will return. It will be only weeks now before War is declared by the boy king, and our sons and daughters will be put in harms way. And it will be years away from a good economy and a nation at peace.
I'm in New Jersey and was glad to see Frank Lautenberg win. We got out and voted just to support Lautenberg. Otherwise, all the Congressional seats here are non-competitive.
On the national level, its not so bad that Republicans have control of both houses and the presidency - its a way to see them held accountable for everything they promise their supporters that they KNOW will never happen: term limits, free prescription drugs for all seniors with no tax increase, outlawing abortion, school vouchers for everyone who currently sends their kids to private school, a flat rate income tax, private Social Security accounts that would take money out of the system at the very time the baby boomers are retiring, securing the safety of Americans by dropping bombs and occupying places half a world away, etc. It turns out Jim Jeffords did the Republicans a favor when he switched sides and set up the "obstructionist Democrats" attack.
For the Democrats, its time to change leadership. These guys have been lame for a long time, truth to tell, going back to the way they always went along with the Republican attacks on Clinton, beginning with the Whitewater nonsense. They had plenty of opportunity and means to be confrontational with the Republicans, even on the Monica Lewinsky business: Demand that your opponent tell you HIS private shames so you can harass and badger him. Say that right to his face on Meet the Press: "---------, you have your own private shames that you would be mortified to have discussed on TV and your leaders, Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich, have private shames that we ALL know about." But they joined in on the tsk-tsking Clinton and instead of getting points for their goody-two-shoes act, the Republicans went all the way to publicizing the loony Juanita Broaddrick rape accusation that Bill Clinton savagely raped her in HER hotel room, during a rendezvous that SHE arranged after SHE called his campaign office and SHE left a message for him to call HER back. It was a classic case of giving your opponent an inch and he ends up taking a mile but I wonder how many of the Democrats get it even now. They needed to speak up sooner, stick their necks out, go on talk shows personally instead of letting antipathetic duplicitous opportunists like Lannie Davis et al represent them on TV. Blow the whistle publicly on Newt and HIS floozy, on Hutchinson and HIS tart, on Burton and HIS misbehaviors, on Bob Dole and HIS women and abortions. When Larry Flynt finally took that role on himself the Republicans got scared; too bad he didn't keep it up. Same with the Whitewater stuff, which was idiotically trivial next to some Republican pols they could have used for comparison, like Lamar Alexander and at least 3 of the Bush boys.
Daschle and Gephardt should go. The Republicans hate them and demonize them and Democratic voters obviously have no use for them; they're not leaders. I'm not sorry for Democrats who voted for the war and then lost. Most Democratic voters oppose the war; most of the whole world opposes it; its a bad, cruel policy - but Democrats in Congress can vote for it because they've made some calculation for their own self-interest? I'd have a hard time voting for Joe Lieberman if he's the Democratic nominee in '04. I hope yesterday was at least a message to the Democrats about alienating the voters they depend on. One does get the feeling that they have an agenda and masters that we don't understand and if that's really the case, why should we support them?
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otherwise noted, all original