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Doctor recommended for optimal cerebral hygiene 

Thanks, Tom Brokaw

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Last night (actually, this morning just before I awoke), I dreamt I was walking an old Roman trail in modern day England. I share that because shortly before I turned off the TV (and election coverage), I heard Tom Brokaw remark that even though NBC had called Ohio for President Bush, they'd still let Ohio go on counting. Thanks, Tom Brokaw. It is good to know your network's generosity. WTF?! Was I dreaming that, too?

Now, like my colleague, spaceneedl, I am okay with either way the election goes. I am not too happy with Kerry. And I am less happy with Bush. But to hear that guffaw from Tom Brokaw blew what few gaskets I have left these days to process our news media. Brokaw was deadly serious. He didn't even realize what he had said. I stayed with NBC until they returned from a commercial break. Any apology or clarification to his boneheaded statement? Nope. Click. ¡off!

If Ohio decides to continue counting despite NBC and Bush wins, as it appears he will, then I get my wish -- I hope -- that the Democrats are going to have to answer their more progressive constituents. That Kerry was even the candidate showed that the Democratic party had its head up its ass. He wasn't going to win without getting Americans to see how irrational they have allowed their fears to make them. Not only will terrorists kill your children but so will swear words and gay and lesbian couples. Good lord, this country needs a wakeup call!* No wonder I was dreaming again of England (as I am wont to do whenever I am overwhelmingly let down by many of my fellow Americans).

*If the economy is another fear, if so many Americans use Dow Jones as the guide in their lives, then why is the stock market so in love with Republicans? Why don't they look at the statistics? When a Democrat is in the White House, stocks are up 7.2%. When a Republican is, stocks are up 3.6%. A Republican president with a Democratic congress sees stock gains increase 2.7% for an overall gain of 6.3%. And with an opposing Congress, a Democrat makes even more gains! The stock market jump is 3.4% to a 9.6% overall stock market gain. Ever wonder why the country was so successful under Clinton?

The only chance Democrats had to reclaim the White House this year was to build on the platforms developed by Dean and Kucinich. And they chose to punt on third down. Sure, Kerry won the primaries in a landslide, but with only a few primaries in, the Democratic party forced its will, and sapped the energy of all remaining states holding primaries. That those who vote in many of the states' primaries are wholly party politicos and not the common people is what makes the primary system produce wishy-washy, safe candidates. Who wants to lose by one state? Why not take the chance to rally Americans? JFK was not a safe choice but look at the social change of the 1960s. It is the common people who can rally and give a movement real momentum. Unfortunately, the only true populist movement to win the White House has usually involved Republicans. The last successful populist-like bid that won occurred over two centuries ago and was led by a Republican, if I am not mistaken. But then Republicans back then were perhaps even relatively left of where Democrats are today. So, even of that I am unsure, my head is filled with allergies from all the heather during my slumbering walk through the U.K.

One nice thing I heard from NBC's sister network, MSNBC, was a discussion with actor Ron Silver. Posited was the reason that exit polling data misleads (e.g. through yesterday afternoon's returns, Kerry was gonna win the swing states in a landslide) is that Americans are too ashamed to share that they actually voted for Bush, so they tell exit pollsters they voted for Kerry. There is hope many Americans will wake up from their self-induced nightmare.