Thursday, November 11, 2004

Why the Democrats didn’t win

The Democrats are beating themselves up like mad these days for losing the election and trying to figure out how to win the next time.

The Democrats were defeated – among many other places – in Ohio, a state where lots of people lost their jobs during the first four years of the Bush presidency, but where the majority of the state’s citizens voted for Bush anyway.

Bush appealed to their fears and prejudices.
He didn’t say, "Vote for me; I’ll get your job back."
He didn’t say, "I’ll make sure your kid can go to college."
He didn’t say, "I’ll make sure you get care and medicine when your are sick."

Instead, he said, "I’ll make sure the queers can’t get married."
He did say, "I’ve got a plan to rule over your females’ bodies."
He did say, "Trust me; God is guiding my every move."
He did say, "I’ll keep the terrorists from coming over here and hurting you and a way you can help is for you to have lots of guns in your house while I am busy blowing the living hell out of Iraq."

Now, the Dems are saying to themselves, how do we get those Ohioans back?

I don’t think the party has to suck up to the dimwits in Ohio. They are the ones who lost their jobs. They may be too dumb to see the problem now, but eventually they’ll figure it out.

Here’s the true message and I give it to the Democratic Party free of charge to use as a campaign slogan:
"If you don’t want your babies to starve, don’t vote for Republicans."

It’s Pavlovian.

In Florida, all sorts of things went right for the GOP and wrong for the Democrats. One of the things that went wrong is that many in the large Jewish community abandoned their long-standing commitment to American civil liberties, American social justice and a helping-hand up for the least Americans among us.

Instead a large number of Florida Jews voted for what they thought would be best for Israel. They voted for Israelis. They didn’t vote for Americans.

If my Italian-American friends voted on behalf of what’s happening to people in Italy, I’d say that they weren’t voting in the best interest of the country that has given them everything. But I don’t think the Italian-Americans would do that.

So, here is Campaign Slogan No. 2 from me to the Democrats:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands."

Finally, you say that the Democrats didn’t win the White House because John Kerry is a dead fish who didn’t excite the voters.

I say you are wrong.

I say Kerry didn’t matter. If the Democrats had put up your Uncle Willie, the outcome would have been about the same.

The majority of voters made a choice based on Bush’s empty promises and his good looks and his sensible wife and his cute daughters and his daddy and his church attendance and his absurd idea to cut taxes and to make Saddam Hussein pay for blowing up New York.

I said Saddam Hussein. It’s a funny name, but it’s not Osama bin Laden.
Pay attention.


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Jeb's prospects

Jeb Bush, our governor, whose real name is John, is one member of the Bush family who has not been charged with criminal behavior. He will announce that he is a candidate for president of the United States.
Now that Jeb’s elder brother finally has been (actually) elected to be president – Jeb delivered Florida for the Republicans – it’s not only the losing Democrats who are looking into the future.
You say, the country may not want a Bush in the White House for more than the 12 years ending in 2008, but I say you are wrong.
I just don’t know when Jeb will make his announcement.
I am aware that Jeb told ABC News last month that he does not intend to run in 2008, but I am not inclined to believe him. You know how politicians are. He did not rule out 2012. He is only 51.
The chief virtue and best skill of brother George W. is ability to campaign. He could fire up Jeb’s campaign tomorrow.
But George probably will wait until Jeb declares himself a candidate. Whenever it happens, George will be out there Big Time for his brainier brother.
If you like George Bush – father or son -– you’ll like Jeb more. He is more conservative, he is more churchy, more attuned to "moral values" and he speaks English logically and coherently. He understands better how government works.
Jeb also speaks Spanish better than George because he is married to a Mexican woman -– Columba Garnica -– and he resided in Mexico and Venezuela for a while years ago. The couple was married when Jeb was 22 and Columba was 21. Jeb’s three children favor their mother, as we say in the Old South, and should be an asset on the campaign trail in Hispanic areas.
The Hispanic vote was important in the national election just concluded, and it will be huge in four or eight years when Jeb is ready for a run.
I would guess that Jeb will be ready to go in 2008 because his final term as Florida governor will be over by them.
Jeb might be appointed to spend a couple of years in his brother’s administration rather than fade into the woodwork in the interim.
It was not much discussed in the recent election campaigns, but immigration from Latin America is an enormously important issue with voters and one that comes home to every region of the country.
Jeb gives the impression of being acquainted with the issue.
Many observers of the Bush family have noted that Jeb was always the one the family expected to be president some day. He has put himself on track for the job.
His brother’s surprising success may have put Jeb off his stride, but I don’t think it has deterred him one little bit.
Jeb is suited for the task of running for political office.
Unlike his older brother, Jeb is magna cum laude, not C-plus.
Yet, it seems strange to me that he is not embarrassed by the GOP’s adherence to the political philosophy of God, guns, gays and gynecology.


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