Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Where to go from here?

After a healthy dose of Coors Light last night, I was predicting that we wouldn't know the results of the election for another week. It's a good thing that I have a career outside of political forecasting to fall back on, because Kerry did the realistic thing this afternoon and conceded the election. I am sure in my tired and beer-addled brain, that some hope of Kerry pulling through still existed somewhere in my mind, but now we're faced with a harsh reality.

Here are ten things we have to look forward to in the next four years with Bush at the helm. I tried to include data to back up my contentions, whenever possible. Feel free to read the links, particularly if you want to discuss it:

1) Economic Decline - Nevermind that Bush lost more jobs for the country during his tenure as President than any other since the great depression. The Bureau of Labor statistics shows plainly that not only did we have massive job loss, but the jobs we've replaced pay less money and have fewer benefits.

2) War - If there's one thing we can count on from this crowd, it's a good war. I'm sure the number of people who said they voted for the President's moral integrity had a hard time reconciling the fact that during out occupation of Iraq, we've almost caught up with the killing of innocent women and children that Saddam did before we booted him out. But, all those people that we killed in Iraq were probably insurgents, right? The big question is: Who's next to join the Axis of Evil?

3) Supreme Court Nominees - Chief Justice William Rehnquist needs a doctor. Badly. Even if Rehnquist pulls through this most recent setback, Vegas has set the odds the he kicks the bucket in the next four years at 2:1. The best news is that aside from a cyborg love-child of Dick Cheney and John Ashcroft designed by Karl Rove and Donald Rumsfeld, it's going to be tough to find a judicial nominee as conservative as Rehnquist, who isn't either planning to bomb a federal building or trying to get the Ten Commandments printed on currency.

4) Iraq - Thinks this fits under the war category? Weren't you there when the President said the war in Iraq was over? That's right, we're occupying Iraq in the middle of a civil war with no exit strategy. We're not at War with Iraq, we're creating Democracy by killing the people who don't agree with the Government we installed. Sounds like a stable foundation for a Democracy to me. A lot of Democracies start that

5) Health Care - Decreasing or a complete lack of insurance benefits got you down? You're not alone. This document has statistics about poverty, income and insurance rates from the US Census Department, and you'll notice spikes in poverty and dips in income and insurance rates (number of insured people not premiums) during the last four years after opposite trends in previous years. Our kids represent a depressing trend with 7.5% completely uninsured, and a larger more difficult to pinpoint number without adequate insurance. Bush's plan? I'll give you a hint, it doesn't involve health care coverage for all children. And if his jobs trend continues, a lot families won't be able to afford coverage for their children, let alone themselves. That means the rest of us pay higher costs for health insurance. It even hurts businesses.

6) Terrorism - Most voters in exit polls reported that they felt safer now than they did four years ago. While I will concede that we're more aware of terrorism than we were before, I don't think it's something we'll ever be safe from, regardless of who is President. The problem is that Bush has given us the idea that we're more secure, and taken steps that address specific threats (like flying airplanes into buildings), but has ignored other threats (like protecting nuclear reactors and ports) and has continued to occupy Iraq without the legitimacy of a multi-national coalition, making the US an easy target for terrorists to align themselves against. Unfortunately, terrorism is something that will be with us for the rest of our lives. The irony is that Bush spent all his time looking for a connection between Iraq and Al Quida, and in the process he created one.

7) Distortion of the Truth - We all know now that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and no imminent threat of chemical and biological weapons. This was our entire justification for invading Iraq quickly without UN support, and it turned out to be a complete lie. Now that Bush no longer has to worry about re-election, I think we're in for some REAL bullshit.

8) Justice - Bush's record as governor of Texas and the death penalty speaks for itself. These facts are particularly troubling given the recent evidence that has led other states like Illinois to drop the death penalty and commute those sentences to life without parole and evidence from the US Department of Justice to indicate that we're doing a pretty poor job of administering capital punishment fairly in the first place. What would Jesus do? Probably not kill people.

9) Isolationistic Foreign Policy - Despite the difficult economic problems we're facing, terrorism threats that don't have borders and don't exist only in certain countries, and the increasingly difficult task of rebuilding Iraq, we need the support of our allies. Where did they all go? When did multilateral diplomacy become a bad word? We're a great country that can do much on our own, but Bush will likely continue his "my way or no way" foreign policy, despite the obvious benefits of working with the world community at the cost of our security and economy.

10) Reproductive Health Issues - When you say this, many people automatically assume you're talking only about abortion. While abortion is part of this, the larger part and the part that has changed in the last 4 years relates to access to education and contraception, so women have options so they don't have to have an abortion. Bush continues to promote abstinence only education for the prevention of AIDS/STDs and unwanted pregnancies. An excellent review article about abstinence only education programs is available here. Now if you don't want people to have an abortion, and you understand that you're not going to be able to stop people from having sex, wouldn't it make sense to promote alternatives other than abstinence, in case some actually decides not to abstain? Not if you're George Bush, since good little boys and girls wait until they're married. If a person wants to wait until they're married to have sex, I have no problem with that. But it makes for very poor public health policy. And as a good friend of mine once put it "AHHH it burns when I pee!"

Someone told me today that it's time to move forward, and I agree. Hopefully, the list has helped to prepare you for what the road ahead holds. Feel free to add to the list at will.... (P.S. when STD comes up in a spell checker Styx is one of the suggestions ;)


echo_doctor said...

OK, I'm exhausted, and self-medicated with anti-anxiety meds that I bought online from Canada (just kidding), so this probably isn't coherent. I have additional items for thought regarding a couple of the Midget's comments. And then I have to watch John Stewart and go to bed. I'm not unhappy with the democratic process. People voted, I want to believe that fraud was at a minimum (or at least less than 4 years ago), and the candidate with the most votes won. That's how it's supposed to work. What I'm disappointed with is the that the majority of voters went with Bush. And it's not because I'm being childish and upset that the majority of American people didn't agree with me. It's because it defies logic that he won in the face of the facts. For example, see my response to the Midget's item 1 (then rest of this is mainly my opinion):

1) Economic Decline – So why did half of the states in top 10 states with the highest unemployment rates go red? (See the Angry Midget’s US Labor Dept link) Shouldn’t that number be 0?
2) War – First of all, Korea and/or Iran are probably the next to join the Axis of Evil. And because I have friends and acquaintances that I respect from both countries, I find that offensive. (Excuse me for just a moment, the CIA just knocked on my door…) Secondly, it speaks to the hypocritical mentality of our citizens who think it’s OK (or at the very least, don’t strenuously object to idea that it’s OK) to invade a country, murder it’s inhabitants, and in general send it into chaos…but god forbid we allow abortions and stem cell research. To further illustrate the whole hypocrisy thing, see #s 4 and 8 below (and before you start cursing my name for the “abortion” word, see #10 below).
3) Supreme Court Nominees - Kiss Roe vs. Wade good-bye.
4) Iraq – So we’re still in Iraq in the aftermath of a war we started, with the tangential, lingering excuse that we want to introduce democracy? “Looky here, nevermind the fact we’ve wiped out a large number of your citizens, you’ll have the right to vote and to elect the leader of your choice in a democratic election.” Has anyone looked at the number of people that just voted in the election in this country? 110 million. I don’t have a solid statistic, but I heard it’s like 61%. So let me get this straight. We’re trying to sell a product that we’re not even wiling to use when we get it for free. Fan-fuckin-tastic.
8) Justice – OK, one more time. “It’s OK to kill prisoners on death row. It’s OK to kill Iraquis and other people that don’t agree with our way of life. It’s even OK to put our loved ones in harm’s way in Iraq. But hold it – abortion? Stem cell research? That’s immoral.” Anyone else seeing the lack of continuity here?
10) Reproductive Health Issues – I’m so exhausted right now, I’m not even gonna go there. Just re-read the Midget’s comments. And just remember that “pro-choice” doesn’t mean “pro-abortion.” We're all on the same side here (abortion is not a good thing) - the point is to educate so that we don't have people using abortion as a form of birth control, etc..

And I'd like to add my disappointment with the states that voted to ban gay marriage. To those of you that support that legistlation, let me clarify two things for you. First, IT'S NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS if two people who love each other and happen to be of the same sex want to get married. Second, if you think that it IS your business because it "undermines the sanctity of the legal and biblical union of a man and a woman," and you honestly think that gay marriage threatens the meaning of your have a weak reltionship and you should seek professional help.

Now, all that being said and done, I want to have hope. There is a way out of this mess, and we’re going to have to set aside our anger and disillusionment to obtain that goal. I can’t do that right this second, but I’m willing to give it a try first thing tomorrow morning. Whos’ with me?!

Lord Bling said...

I'm with you.

Also, I'm tired of people saying that gays are threatening the 'sanctity' of marriage. You know what's really threatening this so-called sanctity? DIVORCE. People make mistakes, but if they're gonna hang someone in the media, it shouldn't be gays. I doubt that their divorce rate is going to be anywhere near 50%. If someone should be held accountable, it should be J-Lo, Brittney Spears, and everyone else who runs to the altar everytime they spend two 'happy' weeks with someone, or if they're drunk and in Vegas.

CowboyLaw said...

My biggest hope for the future: I think GWB may be successful, in the next 4 years, in killing the GOP for the next generation (please God, if you're listening, let me be right about this). See, what you've seen to date has been GWB on his best behavior, because he wanted to get reelected. But now, the real GWB will please stand up. Smirking, not giving a damn, doing lines of coke from a stipper's butt---you're going to see GWB raw, because now he doesn't give a good goddamn about what you think of him. And I strongly suspect that that trait, plus the absolutely inability of anyone in his administration to actually govern a high school chess club, much less an industrialized nation, means GWB will run this country into the ground in the next four years. It took the GOP 20 years to recover from Hoover, and even then it took a war hero from the GOP to get elected.

So, my hope is, best case scenario, no more Republican presendents until I'm ready to retire. Worst case scenario, I die before then from the pollutants GWB is allowing his good friends to donate to the environment.