I voted against Wal-Mart and NASCAR. I pulled the lever for Kerry. At six-thirty this morning, it looked like Wal-Mart and NASCAR won in taking Ohio by 130,000-odd votes. But given the complications of the 2000 election, none of the networks will call it yet.
John Kerry hasn’t conceded and it looks like the Democratic lawyer squads may be heading into Ohio (with Republican lawyers flocking into Pennsylvania).
What strikes me in the tally is how overwhelming the victories are in many states for either side. In California and New York, Kerry murdered Bush by a million vote margin. The margin for Bush in smaller “heartland” states was even greater: 68 to 30 percent in Idaho, 62 to 36 percent in Kansas, 60 to 40 percent in Kentucky, 55 to 44 in Arizona. Obviously this denotes a deeply divided nation. But do the divisions make any sense?
We know that Bush Republicans stand for aggressive corporatism, blood-for-oil, and the suburban dream-at-all-costs.
Kerry’s positions remained murky to the end. He seemed to support blood-for-oil, saying only that he could do it better — though many of the Democratic rank-and-file were vocally anti-war. He certainly took plenty of cash handouts from big corporations. And he urged crowds to go out and buy SUVs because it would be good for the economy. In the end, he made himself out to be little more than a pale carbon copy of Bush.
Neither candidate had a credible position on the energy predicament the country faces, and its dire economic implications. Neither dared say a word about out-of-control illegal immigration.
Only on a couple social issues did the candidates really differ: abortion and stem cell medical research. Kerry never actually supported gay marriage, but Bush was decisively against it.
Bush will enter his second term with a flimsy mandate. He will preside over the global oil production peak and the widespread instabilities it will initiate, including ever-widening jihad. There is every indication that the US economy — based on continual suburban development — will crater under the circumstances of the next four years. Bush II is likely to become Herbert Hoover II.
A Bush victory will have two salutary political results. It will leave Republican conservatism discredited when the administration is overwhelmed by the problems described above. And it will force the Democratic party to either transform itself into a vehicle for meaningful ideas-and-action, or die.
Kerry was the perfect media creation for his time: tall, handsome, with great hair and a deep voice and beyond that an absolutely empty vessel. He was quite remarkably unable to articulate a coherent political point of view on the great problems of the day. I voted for him with the deepest displeasure. George W. Bush, for all his fumbling, made his position quite clear: keep on shoveling coal with him on a runaway train.
The senate will be an interesting place with two freshman mad-dog conservatives elected: Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, both of them practically Nazis. Democratic senate minority leader Tom Daschle is out, whupped by a telegenic John Thune. The Republicans have a more solid majority now. The GOP also increased their margin in the House of Representatives. That sets them up nicely to be blamed when the shit hits the fan over the next several years.
It is hard to not view John Kerry as representing some essential failure of the educated minority of the baby boom generation. We didn’t have the starch to stand up to the NASCAR boobs and the morons who want to sell their country to Wal-Mart. We couldn’t form a plausible opposition to the those who act as if the future doesn’t exist.