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Post-Election Reading

OK, here's something I can feel good about. Maybe I'm not happy about my friends' misery, but at least I can enjoy some schedenfreude by reading the press. Among the best:

  • Maureen Dowd at the New York Times seems in need of medication.
  • Over at Slate, Jane Smiley is eyeing Maureen's pill bottle enviously.
  • But the glory of glories is this analysis of Operation Clark County, the Guardian's attempt to switch Ohio from Red to Blue:
    Katz also said he knew all along that the letter-writing project could backfire. So, did it? Almost certainly, yes. In 2000, Al Gore won Clark County by 324 votes. And since Ralph Nader received 1,347 votes, we can assume Gore's margin would have been larger without Nader on the ballot. On Tuesday George Bush won Clark County by 1,620 votes.

    The most significant stat here is how Clark County compares to the other 15 Ohio counties won by Gore in 2000. Kerry won every Gore county in Ohio except Clark. He even increased Gore's winning margin in 12 of the 16. Nowhere among the Gore counties did more votes move from the blue to the red column than in Clark. The Guardian's Katz was quoted as saying it would be "self-aggrandizing" to claim Operation Clark County affected the election. Don't be so modest, Ian.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer spammer.

UPDATE: Oh goodness. Add Margaret Cho to the list. Priceless. Watching her come unglued--she's not even funny here--is just so fun. Can I still donate to Bush's re-election fund? (Via Bainbridge.)


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I, myself, *tried* to avoid schedenfreude. I am getting tired of the liberals, however. I did enjoy Dowd's column... But I disagree with her implication. Invading France wouldn't be overreaching. It also wouldn't be difficult. France coddles terrorists and takes bribes from our enemies. We know they've got WMDs but with their record, I expect that they would pose less danger than the Iraqi army did. Dowd has an amazingly short memory, though, don't you think? Back in 2001, Bush was criticized endlessly by conservatives for reaching out to the ingrateful dems too much. Remember movie night at the White House with Ted "Where did I park my car, and *hickup* where's my date?" Kennedy? I guess the funniest thing to mee is that while Bush wouldn't tell the Dems what he thought his own faults were (Why give your enemies a weapon?) there's no evidence that he doesn't learn from history. The Dems just got their butts handed to them at virtually every level across the country, and they're apparently committed to doing more of what got them beat to a virtual pulp again this time. Who was it that Smiley said was ignorant and unquestioningly dedicated to a strange faith? Oh well. I guess if we want good constructive intellectual debate, we'll have to discuss things amongst oureslves.
Wow! Maureen and Jane could definately do with a vacation, because boy are those grapes sour! Now that all that venom is out of their systems, maybe we can get on with the business at hand: a war effort not yet finished, and a president who, whether you voted for him or not, needs our support. Of course, that will never happen, as Maureen Dowd (I've not read much by Jane Smiley - that name is really ironic now, by the by) seems to subsist almost completely on vitriol directed toward people who have opinions that she doesn't share. What validity either one of their viewpoints might have had was completely negated (in my eyes, anyway) when they both began by attacking voters, which, as we all know, is commonly used to take focus off the fact that they can't refute the opposing viewpoint, either because it's good, or because they aren't. I make it a point to be well informed about my candidates, as I take my responsibility to vote very seriously. I simply looked at the evidence placed before me and came to a different conclusion. Calling me ignorant and ill-informed is not the way to go to sway my views. As for the "Clark County" backfire, I remember feeling the shadenfreude when I first found out about it; still gives me a warm feeling on chilly autumn nights. I bear the Europeans no lasting grudge; we just live in a different culture. In general, America has historically been a lot more willing to handle the issue of confrontation when it came to it. When push comes to shove, we tend to shove back. The suggestion of assassination was new to me though, and made me thoroughly sick to my stomach. Of course, had someone, even a foreigner, made that suggestion about John Kerry, he would not only have had his column removed, but more than likely, he would have been summarily fired.
Schadenfreude. If there's going to be so much of it, let's spell it correctly. In her 1998 book, High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton, Ann Coulter wrote, "In this recurring nightmare of a presidency, we have a national debate about whether he 'did it,' even though all sentient people know he did. Otherwise there would be debates only about whether to impeach or assassinate." Was she joking? Of course, but so was the columnist who wondered where the famous assassins of yester-year were. Was she blackballed from publishing? Not at all. When you want to compare hatreds, I recommend putting Bush against Clinton, not Kerry. While Clinton's policy never seemed to rouse the same level of rage that Bush's has -- perhaps because he was a triangulating, welfare-reforming, DOMA-signing moderate -- the personality-based animosity seems at least equal.

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