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Friday, November 05, 2004

The Real Five Stages of Grief

Posted by DavidNYC

You've probably heard of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's five stages of grieving at some point or another. But this is what the real five stages are:

1) Denial

2) Anger

3) Bargaining

4) Depression

5) Impeachment

Now you know!

(Thanks to chillnc for the inspiration.)

Posted at 02:44 PM in General | Technorati


Here is my personal feelings. They come as a complete shock to me, especially because I am a life-long Cubs, contributing mightily to my eternal pessimism.

I feel good. Not about the election results, but about the future. I don't want Bush impeached because I think there will be a tremendous backlash against him in 2006. I feel that Congressional Republicans will be the first to be held accountable for his failures.

Within months, you will undoubtedly see Pew and others doing surveys that show people regretting their votes for the President and that is where it will start.

Let him try Social Security Privatization - there is a reason that is the third rail in D.C.

Iraq will only get worse, and it will start this weekend in Fallujah when we will eventually capitulate like we did in Najaf.

More Appropriations bills need to be voted on during the lame duck session - more talk about the deficit.

The dollar is plummeting.

We have seen the last of relatively low oil prices. Attention will be turned to alternative energy - a discussion Bush is unwilling to participate in.

Stem Cell success in California will lead to all sorts of propositions on local ballots in 2006. And that is just the beginning of the local ballot initiative onsluahgt Dems will break out in 2006. Remember, we took control of 3 more state legislatures this election cycle - something completely overshadowed by our Federal losses.

We are building that Democratic infrastructure for the first time ever - its in the seminal stages right now - but our anger at this moment should help its construction as well.

The only thing I can't figure out is this. In 2006, would I rather take more strides to dismantle the party establishment who are so painfully operating in some dynamic completely apart from reality - or make some gains with seats and have people actually believe they are making some of the right decisions in the DLC, DNC, and DCCC?

I know this much, I don't think the selection of Harry Reid as Daschle's successor was a step in the right direction and gives me no indication that the leadership really understands the right way to re-build the future of the party.


Posted by: ttagaris at November 5, 2004 03:01 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm with Tim on the sentiment about Reid. If we are going to provide a strong opposition party message, we need someone who represents the middle of OUR party, not the middle of the country. Pull with the left, campaign to the left of center, push the Republicans to the extremes. That's how to win an election.

And I'm damn tired of this anoiting the successor crap. I still remember March 2003... I don't care if its person Xs turn. That kind of politics was destroyed ten years ago with the Gingrich revolution when they awarded committie chairs to people who helped their party win the house, not those who had been there the longest. We should be rewarding those who helped us get ahead, not just who is the most senior.

Posted by: Izixs at November 5, 2004 03:14 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Guys Ohio is to blame for all of this misery. I tell you I hope they loose 2,000,000 jobs. I wouldn't care if OBL hit Texas because they make it seem like Bush will protect them from anything. If Al GOre was pres when 911 happened the republicans would be screaming impeachment. The red states for the most part are very narrow minded and racist. The blue states are open minded and respectful of diversity and culture. Let them have 4 more years of death in Iraq and loss of World wide respect and more outscoring. This is so disgraceful guys. Its like the Union vs. The Confederate when you look at the map of the US

Posted by: godfrey at November 5, 2004 03:51 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The religious right, al/la Falwell and Robertson, have to be confronted head-on. They are well-organized and well-funded and, according to some estimates, represent 1/3 of the electorate. ACcoring to the Polls, this group nominated Bush in 2000 by trashing McCain and getting their merry band of fanatics out to vote after Bush lost New Hampshire; they did the same in 2004. Their efforts was the difference.

Americans have to be educated what our forefathers, personified by Jefferson, felt about religion influencing government.

Just one Jeffersonian quote:

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves" for their own purposes.

-Thomas Jefferson Dec. 6, 1813.

Posted by: Top1 at November 5, 2004 04:15 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I have been so overcome with grief, blood-curdling rage and hatred for my countrymen these last few days that I have not posted here. I said for months that this was our final chance to stop plutocratic, theocratic right-wing government from becoming an institution that will last for generations...and we came up short. Saying "Wait till 2008...man we'll nail 'em" may help us sleep at night, but we've been operating in that mode ever since 1994, mostly to no avail. Keep in mind, we'll be defending more Senate seats than we'll be able to effectively challenge GOP incumbents in 2006. Democratic incumbents Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mark Dayton of Minnesota are just the first two examples I can think of of incumbents who will be very vulnerable, compared with nobody I can think of on the GOP side.

Furthermore, I just don't think the American majority is capable of caring about real issues even when they get hit between the eyes. Even if the ranks of the uninsured rises to 75 million, the majority of Americans will still fear "big government health plans" more than the petri dishes of deadly diseases prevalent in our uninsured lower-class populations. Even if Ohio loses 250,000 more manufacturing jobs, the residents will still be more comfortable with permanent retail-based underemployment for their neighbors than they would be with voting for a candidate who doesn't support changing the Constitution to discriminate against gays marrying. Even if the body count in Iraq reaches 500,000 (Iraqis and Americans), "damn it, our national pride's on the line here...we have to stay the course." You get the picture. Any nation where nearly half of Bush voters believe we're in Iraq avenging the 9-11 attacks is a nation so entrenched in the proverbial fantasy world of spin that I don't know any way to humble them with reality.

Our country has just been crucified. I couldn't care less how much suffering Bush voters in their rural and exurban enclaves will endure in the next generation, and frankly I don't think they're capable of learning from it anyway. Nonetheless, there is still 48 percent of the American electorate, including all of us, who will be taken down with them....along with our kids and grandkids who will inherit the consequences of our unconscionable avarice, gluttony and dementia. It's for these people my heart bleeds and will continue to bleed for for the next four painful years and beyond.

Posted by: Mark at November 5, 2004 04:20 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I hardly think you can say the Jefferson "personifies" how our forefathers felt...he was one mind...and he believed in separation of church and state...not something that was widely agreed with...The Constitution only provided that the State not establish a Religion...or that the state shouldn't interfere with the free exercise of religion.

My forefathers founded Lexington, Massachussetts. Before they could incorporate as a town, they had to build a church and bring a pastor from England...that hardly sounds like a "wall" between church and state.

I'm not saying that the two should be intertwined...I'm just demonstrating that this thing is not a clear cut as many liberals would believe...you are the one who needs a little educating on this...and Jefferson is about the only guy I ever hear anyone quote on this matter.

Posted by: John at November 5, 2004 04:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I don't know if anyone has posted this yet.


Posted by: Dan Hogan at November 5, 2004 04:58 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Let's see, by my reckoning, we seem to be making remarkable progress with our grief. We heard Tuesday's results, and we couldn't believe it. We were in denial. For the next day or so, we were peeved big time. Then we tried to game our hope on the possibility of Ohio turning our way, and we prayed for help. Well, I did anyway; some good that did (As Homer [Simpson] once said, "...Lousy God..."). Now we are getting through our depression phase. We are almost through our grief, people. Except Mark. No offense, but you seem to be stuck in a unique mixture of anger and depression. It's understandable, though.

Posted by: Dale at November 5, 2004 05:51 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm going to cheer every single job loss anouncement in OH from now on. Aha -- there goes another factory. Yes, its cruel to the 49% who voted for Kerry, but I don't really care.

Posted by: mia at November 5, 2004 05:55 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I am not going to even touch this cheering for job losses and deaths in Iraq thing that has been going on here. That is absurd. I just hope he holds a fraudulent election in January, and pulls our boys out of there. It was a bad idea to go in, and it is a bad idea to stay. The sooner we get out, the less of our troops have to be killed, and that is all I am concerned about there.

I hope Bush creates jobs, and puts our people back to work. But we know that won't happen, because his policies favor big business over working America.

Finally, I hate to create an echo chamber, but Harry Reid. Come on. Our party sucks. We need a bold move. Harry Reid? Why? What does he bring to the table? Nothing. I have 2 suggestions for minority leader, although none would ever happen:

1. What about John Kerry? That way, for the next 2 years we could have an "I told you so" argument everytime Bush screws something up. Plus he is nationally recognized and would put his face on the party, since we have none right now. That is My plan B. Plan A is even more bold:

2. As absurd as it sounds to name a Freshmen Senator Senate Minority Leader, we should have chosen Barack Obama. Yeah, I know in the Senate you have to pay your dues and this is ridiculous level jumping. But talk about bringing a fresh, exciting face to the party. He would be the talk of the country, in a positive way. His face is really the face that we want on the Democratic Party as we go forward and try and reinvent ourselves.

Posted by: Sam at November 5, 2004 06:31 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I most certainly do not cheer any US deaths in Iraq.

I will cheer job losses in Ohio though. Sorry, but you brought it on yourself. People losing medical insurance ? Thats Ok, at least 2 guys can't get married.

Reid is not a bad choice. We need someone who's not in a blood red state, they can be too easily picked off. And SD, lets see if you get the corporate pork that Daschle brought home any more.

NV is not blood red, its purple. We need to get it into the blue column, and Reid will help us with that. WV is not likely to go blue in Presidential elections, so no point getting Rockfeller.

We could not use a deep blue state Senator either. People like Feinstein and Schumer would kill us nationally.

Kerry -- 2 problems. While I think Kerry would be a great choice, I fear he would not go over very well -- he would be seen as a failure (which i don't think he was).

Obama -- sorry, I disagree. I think he's a great star, but I think we need at least mimumal experience.

Posted by: mia at November 5, 2004 06:52 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Look at it this way: George is now stuck with his own mess. A mess so bad I never could see how Kerry or anybody else could clean it up. Whatever happens in Iraq is on his doorstep with his clear majority. If he messes the economy up with his tax cutting for the wealthy and uses it as an excuse to eliminate government services for everybody else, it is his mess. Kerry could never have done much with a Republican congress. At best we would have had four years of stalemate and gotten stuck with the blame for the mess Bush made. Those of you that are trying to figure out how we rebuild are on the right track. Incidentally lets look at all those rural counties that voted blue and see if we can figure out why they are so different. To start there are about six in Kentucky's Appalachian area and one in Virginia that are almost together. Yes, there poor, but a lot of poor counties in a lot of states went for George. Can we work on this?

Posted by: R at November 5, 2004 06:57 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I know you you didn't say that you wished for our soldier to be killed. Some people in other threads had said that. The way I wrote it (now that I read it over) made it sound like you had implied that and I apologize. I actually kind of agree with you on Obama. The only thing is the party is down in the dumps right now, and we really need something to excite the party and pick it up. Harry Reid isn't it. I don't know who would be there. Maybe Hillary Clinton, but I don't think it is the best idea to have her face be the face of the party. But we need someone who can do 3 things: (1)be effective, (2)bring good PR to the party, and (3)excite the base. I think Obama could do 2 and 3, but you are right, his lack of experience makes it difficult to do number 1. I think Harry Reid could do number 1, he clearly hasn't done 2 and 3 as of yet. Hillary Clinton would definitely do 1 and 3, and temporarily do number 2, but their might be bad long term effects. I don't know if there was a real good candidate who hit all 3 of those things. Hillary Clinton would allow us to have both our leaders in Congress be women, which is great PR. I know Chris Dodd was considering running, that was also a bad idea. Who knows.

By the way, we do have young stars in our party. When Bill Frist gives up his Senate seat to run for President, I think we can take that seat with Harold Ford. With him and Obama, we have 2 young, minority leaders who can really lead the party in a positive way for the next 20+ years.

Posted by: Sam at November 5, 2004 07:03 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I looked at the results on cnn.com and saw those blocks of counties you are talking about. There is no demographic information listed, but I have a feeling those counties probably have sizable African American populations.

Posted by: Sam at November 5, 2004 07:07 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Sam -- we need to get Hispanic leaders too, desperately. We have Salazar, but we need more. W e cannot cede the Hispanic vote to the Repubicans

Posted by: erg at November 5, 2004 07:11 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I cannot believe that peoplel here are actually hoping for job losses to people in Ohio. Is this your definition of being a liberal? We lost Ohio by less than 140,000 votes, so you want the entire state to go to hell? I'm sorry, but I feel that that's disgusting and no better than the Republicans who feel the same way about places like San Francisco ("let it get destroyed by an earthquake"). I have tolerance for a lot, but I don't have tolerance for such blind and blanket hatred and callousness.

Posted by: pepe at November 5, 2004 07:27 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

You are exactly right erg. We need visible Hispanic leadership. Kerry only won 55% of the Hispanic vote. That is a huge warning sign. We have Salazar as you said, but we need more. If the Hispanic vote slips away, God help us.

Posted by: Sam at November 5, 2004 07:32 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Pepe -- haven't you heard ? There are no job losses in Ohio. They are all a myth.

Amd incidentally, wishing that people who vote against their economic interests face the consequences of that is quite a bit different from wishing that they be destroyed in an Earthquake.

Posted by: erg at November 5, 2004 07:38 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The point is, I don't wish death, destruction, or misery on anybody. When someone says they are going to cheer each and every job loss in Ohio, or hope for terrorist attacks or natual disasters there or in other red states, that's inexcusable. I have family in Ohio, and I grew up there. Sure, I'm sorry Ohio didn't go for Kerry, but should I wish my family and friends up there economic misery and death because of the election?

By the way, I'm in a red state, NC, where I have lived the past 12 years. My NC county did its part, going for Kerry by a margin of 60% to only 39% for Bush. Do these same red-state haters hope that I lose my job, or that terrorists blow up Chapel Hill? I know people are angry and upset, but such heinous thoughts really should be kept private. Such comments do nothing but exacerbate the situation, which is not the way for the Democrats to win states like Ohio and North Carolina in the next election. Let's leave the hatred, insensitivity and intolerance to the conservatives, please!

Posted by: pepe at November 5, 2004 08:18 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Just because people are dumb enough to vote on "moral" grounds does not mean we have any right to tell them that "we hope you lose your lousy paying job so we can say I told you so". How can we call ourselves tolerant, and yet tell people who disagreed with us to go to hell? It makes no sense. Conservatives deserve the title of intolerant biggots, not us. And we shouldn't give them reason to call us that.

Posted by: Dale at November 5, 2004 08:47 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Just for the record....THIS conservative mentioned the same feelings about the hatred...and even restrained himself to the point where I affirmed that I didn't even wish bad things on the people saying they wished people would die....with the exception of my comment about a punch in the face.

Posted by: John at November 5, 2004 08:47 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Pepe -- I do not wish death or destruction on anyone (except Osama). I do wish that some of the people who voted for Bush (only those people, not everyone else) in OH against their economic interests remember that when they can't get health care, or their job gets outsourced.

Posted by: erg at November 5, 2004 08:48 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

impeach him with what? the republican house or the republican senate?

Posted by: selena at November 5, 2004 09:09 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Mia. Many of the job losses in Ohio are in Cuyahoga (sorry, I never could spell it) county. Most of the job losses there are among huge Democratic Voters. They are suffering badly. I saw the lines on TV. I heard of the students in Knox county that waited untill 4 am the next morning in line just to get their votes in. And quite frankly, I am moved by everyone that made that sacrifice.

Nevertheless, while we were celebrating, I was concerned. The lines were not a sign of huge turnout. They were a sign of being shorted polling stations. The rural and suburban stations had virtually no waiting. The Thuglicans didn't have to cheat. All they had to do is stack the deck. And they indeed did it there and in Florida. Sure you hear about how Bush got 16% of the Black vote there instead of 10 because of the marriage thing (which really does disgust me because if you cannot fight for womeone else's civil rights how can you expect anyone else to fight for yours) but what about the other 80% that voted Democrat?

What shall we do? Do we leave them to their fate, turn our backs on them in their hour of greatest need merely because they got cheated by a totally corrupt regime in Ohio led by religious zealouts who spout morals but lack the moral fibre to run a fair election?

I don't know how Ohio election law works but it seems to me that if county election officials are elected, the first step is to put someone up for this mundane position and at least take back the apparatus in our own counties, and make sure NO VOTER is discouraged merely because they have family and CAN'T wait in line for 6 hours.

I believe Kerry won Ohio. But we'll never prove Fraud most likely. The way to prevent it in the future is to insist on a paper trail of every vote (not just summary data) Every vote. However, we could have easily had a fraudproof majority without the dirty tricks on the polling stations.

Posted by: joe at November 5, 2004 11:31 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The African-American vote was 88-11 for Kerry. Bush did not get 18% of the African American vote. That is a 2 percent change from 2000. Well, exit polls have a margin of error so it is statistically insignificant.

I agree with Joe's basic premise. We can't abandon our blue friends in red states. If we are to take back this country, they are going to be the backbone of our retaking of the country.

In this election there was record turnout, and still, more people did not vote then voted for either candidate. Our party needs to stop trying to cater to that 1% in the middle that might change its mind and that 5% that votes Republican that we think we can sway. Instead, we need to focus on the 40% of people that don't vote at all. We need new bold ideas to bring new people into the fray. We need a populist message, to lead a resurgence. The 3 states that had the highest percentage of people vote were Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota. We won all 3. We need to follow the Republican stategy. After 2000, Karl Rove found 4 million voters that he thought should be voting Republican but did not vote. They went from losing the popular vote by 500,000 to winning it by 3,500,000. We should look to our left. There are votes to be had on the left, much more then we will be able to take out of the Republican party. And when we win by bringing in these new free-thinking, tolerant, liberal people, we won't owe anything to the right wing of the country. We can rule the way we want, and make this country a better place.

Posted by: Sam at November 6, 2004 12:14 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I agree with the final state of grievance being "Impeachment", yet: you need a 2/3 majority in the Senate *iirc* in order to successfully impeach someone. [Or is it even 3/4?]

That again would mean a desertation of 40% of the current GOP Senators.

Sorry, but unless there is a *total* massacre of Republican incumbents in 2006, I don't see the slightest chance for this to happen.

[Not that I wouldn't wish for it... but I just don't think it's going to happen.]

Posted by: Bornheimer at November 6, 2004 03:51 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Y'know we seem to be missing something. Kerry as Senate leader would work, but it's irrelevant. All the Senate leadership is good for these days is to give the opposition Saturday radio address. We need to look in Governor's mansions for our next standard bearer, and I can think of no better choice than a Hispanic, with a name that plays in every time zone. A man with experience as an Ambassador and a Cabinet member.

Our best choice in 2008, Bill Richardson.

Posted by: Lord Dragon at November 6, 2004 11:04 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

To Top1 (especially),
I too feel a great grief for everyone who will be hurt. I'm still going in and out of denial!! As far as the "consequences" of this thing, it's not that I'm HOPING for it. The whole reason we were so concerned was BECAUSE IT WAS going to happen (we think)- the job lossess, Iraq, the whole mess. In a way, WE were putting Kerry in "harm's way", because he WOULD have gotten all the blame for Bush's mess. What hurts me most is still the same thing "Man's inhumanity to man". How can you not care about ANYBODY who is hurting or poor or coming home in a wheelchair? I became rich and did not stop caring.
As far as religion, these Fundamentalists don't believe in God anymore than we do,; they aren't even going by their own scriptures. It just gives them POWER in numbers. And they could care less about the "innocent" babies being aborted. They are just as "innocent" when they are born, but I never heard one word of concern for the massive amount of child abuse. The only reason they pick on abortion is 1. To keep women supressed and 2. It is too "intangible" to prove or disprove.
And as far as our country being founded on "religion":
All this arguing about ���God��� is useless and irrelevant. ���God��� and ���Christianity��� are NOT the same thing. People claim this country was ���founded on Christianity���. It was not. Jesus is not mentioned in ANY of our government documents. He is not mentioned in our Constitution, Bill of Rights or anywhere else. Jesus is not in the Declaration of Independence. It says ���the Laws of Nature and Nature���s God���, the ���Creator���, and ���a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind���, and a ���firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence���. This country was founded on the ideal that everyone has the freedom to worship or interpret ���God��� in their own way. The Bible is NOT the law of this country ���the Constitution is.

Posted by: Kim at November 6, 2004 01:38 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Whoops, I meant "Mark" about the grief.

Posted by: Kim at November 6, 2004 01:40 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Uh, guys, the impeachment thing was a joke.

Posted by: DavidNYC at November 6, 2004 06:46 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

i wouldn`t worry about 2008 yet, the republican party could self -destruct in the next 4 years.the demographics favor democrats in the future as the hispanic population grows and white
anglo`s slowly die out.
the democrats should have a decent chance as long as they don`t nominate hillary, everyone needs to unite to stop her. also richardson may be hispanic but he doesn`t have a hispanic name,so a lot of hispanics wouldn`t even know he`s one of thwm.

Posted by: joel at November 7, 2004 08:21 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Although I am hardly what you would call a "fundamentalist" (and probably should be in a church somewhere this morning...but am not), I think you are WAY off the mark. To suggest that fundamentalist are trying to suppress women rather than protect what they deem as life is just not accurate. First of all, you are in no position to speak to other people's motivations, and secondly, it makes you appear to be an elitist. People believe what they believe for their own reasons...I doubt very seriously that fundamentalist want to suppress women.

As far as the Puritanical roots of this Nation. This nation is a "Godly" nation, even if we use a generic term for God in our founding documents. However, our forefathers were largely comprised of Puritans who fled England, because they did not want to be told what they could preach or believe (such as teaching from the "Book of Sports"). They were staunch Christians, who felt that the Government should not interfere with their free exercise of religion, whatever shape it took. Although Thomas Jefferson spoke of a "wall" between church and state, his views did not accurately represent the people. Those were HIS views. The church was actually VERY involved in many aspects of early life in this country.

I agree...we live in a changing world, and Christianity is not the only religion present in this country now. In keeping with the Constitution, people should not be persecuted for believing what they want...what was happening in England in the 1600's is NOT what is happening today in the US...actually quite the opposite.

If a school teacher is a Christian, and wants to read her bible in her classroom during her break, she should be allowed to...as long as she doesn't use her position to "preach" to her pupils. The Constitution says that the government should not interfere with the free exercise of Religion. Points like this have become blurred in recent years by a litany of lawsuits that seem to recast the Constitution as expressing freedom FROM religion rather than freedom OF religion.

And when the Constitution speaks of providence, they were framing it in a Christian context, because that is all they knew...luckily, our forebears were brilliant enough to cast a wide net, to prevent the exclusion of other religions today.

Just MHO.

Posted by: John at November 7, 2004 10:11 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Actually, our forbearers were pretty much deists. Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, these guys were not religious. As for our forefathers being puritanical, not all of them. The forefathers who settled on Plymouth Rock were fleeing persecution. They ironically came here and started persecuting other people. They did not come here for religious freedom, they came here to set up their own theocracy.

But we had other forefathers. Those who moved to Virginia. These people were basically non-religious profiteers (hence the American capitalist spirit). They traded tobacco and slaves.

Our forefathers did not want to prevent the exclusion of other religions. They wanted to prevent the inclusion of all religions. There is no doubt in any political or religious scholar's mind that when the forefathers crafted the Constition, and they wrote, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" that they meant separation of church and state. The courts have affirmed this. Now, they did not specifically word it that way, so that is why there is a dispute.

Not to delve to much into Constitutional law, but it does not have to be written directly into the Constitution. When the Courts interpret that the Constitution says something, it says it whether it is stated explicitly or not. That is why abortion is protected. Because the Supreme Court ruled that it was inferred in the Constitution. So is separation of Church and State. So, the only way to eliminate that gap is to appoint new judges. Then someone can file a lawsuit saying prayer in schools, for example, does not violate the Constitution. No lower court judge will touch that, and it will go to the Supreme Court. If they choose to side with the person who filed the lawsuit, they can redefine what "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" means. But as af now, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" means separation of church and state.

Posted by: Sam at November 7, 2004 12:13 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I'm not sure if I understand you correctly, but prayer IS allowed in schools under the current interpretation of the Constitution...the only prohibited activity is "school sponsored" prayer.

Also...I disagree on your interpretation of separation of church and state. It does not imply complete separation...or Jefferson's "wall." Certainly, the center of much early public life was the church. Nothing you say can change that. The government should not tell us what to believe, but we are permitted to believe what we want publicly. And to exercise that belief publicly. The only constraints are when you use government resources to promote one religion.

Posted by: John at November 7, 2004 01:23 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Well, as far as the Founders are concerned, partially correct. Washington, Jefferson and I think Madison and Monroe, Deists, nominally Episcopalians. All 3 Adams' (I include Samuel)and Hancock, Unitarians.

Posted by: Lord Dragon at November 7, 2004 01:46 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Fine, school sponsored prayer is not allowed in public schools. If you want to get into a semantic argument about it, when people say prayer in schools, they mean, school sponsored prayer.

Second, "I disagree on your interpretation of separation of church and state". That is not my interpretation, that is how the courts have interpreted it, as I explained above. You might read "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" as saying that "The only constraints are when you use government resources to promote one religion", but that is not how the courts have interpreted it. So, as of now, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" means separation of church and state. That can definitely change though, because, as you noted it is not explicitly written into the Constitution. If Bush appoints new judges who re-interpret the meaning of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", then your interpretation might become the law. But as of now, it is separation of church and state.

Posted by: Sam at November 7, 2004 01:52 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I think we probably agree more than we realize. I think my point is more on the interpretation of "Separation of church and state." Again...it comes down to semantics. I think it has been popularly argued that the two should never intertwine...

Yet they do. And I think sometimes we cut off our noses to spite our face. Some of the rhetoric coming from the far left is ridiculous. I would give as an example the recent scuffle in California over having an official seal changed to remove the cross. Is that cross a religious element or a historical one? Obviously when they incorporated, the seal was designed to incorporate themes from the area. I would argue that the cross does not promote one religion over another, but rather indicates the history of the area.

The same can be said of the ten commandments being posted in courthouses. A historical document which is one of the very first legal documents ever written certainly has a historical place in a courthouse. I think it would be foolish to tear down the Supreme Court and rebuild it without the religious symbols carved into the building. They are a part of our history, and don't mean that one religion takes precedence over another.

My belief is that the Constitution was worded to prevent the Government from establishing a state religion. That's what I believe the pre-eminent idea was.

Also...to the best of my knowledge the 55 founding fathers were:

Of various Christian denominations and were members of orthodox Christian churches and many were even evangelical Christians. Which were 29 Anglicans, 16 to 18 were Calvinists, 2 were Methodists, 2 were Lutherans, 2 were Roman Catholic, 1 lapsed Quaker and sometimes Anglican, and 1 open deist, who was Benjamin Franklin who attended every kind of Christian worship, called for public prayer, and contributed to all denominations.

Posted by: John at November 7, 2004 02:57 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I do have respect for the pro-life position and feel we need to address issues such as reducing abortions thru sex education and personal responsibility -- what the fundamtalists hate to mention is that US teen pregnancy reates are 5-10 times the rates in other more "secular" nations where sexual relations are considered acceptable by most of the population. So we do need to find a middle ground, but as for fundametalists not being against womens rights -- a few years ago the Southern baptists declared that a wife has no right but to obey her husband, and this is apparently a common theme in evangelical weddings, as I was shocked to see first hand. No, fundamtalists (of any religion) are backwards and dangerous and I'll make no appologies for saying it. Incidentally, Christian fundamentalists, religiously conservative Jews, have the highest divorce rates in the US ...

Posted by: Marc at November 7, 2004 04:29 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

btw, I'll agree with John. In Montreal, there is a big cross on the top of Mt. Royal and it never bothered me b/c it s ahistoric thing (true, I have no experience of how the Catholic chruch has victimized children and native American children especially in Canada). Here in Fort Collins, there is a megachurch that has been allowed to build an enormous cross perhap 60 feet high in front of their church. I am not a Christian and do not want to be confronted by this spectacle every morning if I live in a nearby neighborhood. Were I a Christian, I'd be offended by the turning of religion into a commercial product.

If the Ten Commandments placed previously in courthosues offend some, why not move them into a less central postions and keep them as acknolwedgement of my ancestors role in inspiring our law. Putting the Commandments in new courthouses, however, is an endorsement of religion.

Posted by: Marc at November 7, 2004 04:35 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Well, that 10 commandments monument in Alabama was being used as a religious symbol. Justice Moore put it in there because he said he wanted criminals to know who their "ultimate judge" is. That is unacceptable.

Marc, I completely agree with you. I am pro-choice, but I respect pro-lifers, except for abortion clinic bombers. I think it is important that the pro-life movement realize that, while abortion is a right that every women should have, it is not the desired outcome. It is not a form of birth control. Through sex education we need to limit the number of pregnancies that lead to abortion. When women showed up at the Democratic Convention wearing shirts that said "I had an abortion", I, as a pro-choice liberal Democrat was offended. Abortion is a serious thing, not something to be applied hap-hazardly.

Posted by: Sam at November 7, 2004 05:23 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I actually agree (in most part) with both of you on the issue of Abortion. I am against the partial birth abortion, but do not think that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. I think that there should always be exceptions regarding the mother's life, and other exceptional circumstances. I also agree that abortion should not be used as a form of birth control.

As far as fundamentalists go...I am not sure if this is symantical or not, but I think that it is unfair to brush believers with the broader stroke of the belief system. I am not a fundamentalist, but I doubt that most of them hold views that place women in a subservant role.

As far as the Clayton Lee Wagners and Eric Rudolphs...they hardly speak for the conservative Christian public. Although I am not much of a church-going individual, I know that Christian doctrine teaches respect for life, and killing people to make a point violates that principle. I don't think you would find many people that would condone their actions.

Posted by: John at November 7, 2004 05:45 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

The separation of church and state is not in the Constitution. The Constitution bans Congress from making a state sanctioned religion.

Posted by: DFuller at November 8, 2004 11:06 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

To be honest, it was a miracle that we kept some of our blue states. McGreevey and Davis left NJ and CA in pretty poor shape. Luckily for us, those are the two most liberal states in the union, besides MA of course. Hopefully, NJ can get on the right track with a new governor. CA is run by someone who claims to be a Republican. I actually thought it was funny to see Arnold showing up at Bush rallies. They couldn���t be too opposite on major social issues. Arnold is trumping Bush���s effort to limit research on new stem cells.

Posted by: DFuller at November 8, 2004 11:26 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Here's one thing work mentioning. Regardless of the role that faith actually played in the election (and I believe it was crucial in OH, which decided the election), it is important for us to emphasize this issue. Even the religious right wants to emphasize it, since they want their own important to be recognized.

Why ? 2 reasons
1) Because the Dems do need to pay attention on this issue. Just as the Dems managed to weaken gun control as an issue this time around (from what I see), they need to do the same thing wrt faith based issues.
2) This is slightly demagogic, but ... this is a great opportunity for us to pick up social moderate votes.

I believe that the NorthEast will not in general vote for anyone who's not a social moderate, barring very unusual circumstances. Ditto for the left coast. I also think that WI, MN, which are trending rightward, have enough of a streak of social moderation to not vote for people who are not social moderates under most circumstances.

Even FL, I think will have a hard time voting for non-social moderates at the PResidential level unless its a Bush sibling running after 4 hurricanes.

So we can use the spectre of the religious right to bring economically conservative socially liberal suburban voters back into the Dem fold. At least in places like CA, if there is one thing that affluent professionals dislike more than expensing stock options, its the possibility of a government influenced by the religious right.

Incidentally, Bush's plan to court Jewish votes seems to be largely a busy. He picked up a few extra points this time, but at least some of that may be attributable to the absence of Leiberman and to the fact that Bush probably did worse than expected last time among Jews because of his close associations with Jim Baker, the Saudis etc.

Posted by: erg at November 8, 2004 11:33 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Guys goodmorning. DId anyone see the London based "MIRROR" magazine/newspaper entitled how can 59,500,000 people be so stupid? I tell you guys we do not have a chance unless people stop voting religion before their pocketbooks! I wish James Carville was right when he said it's the "economy stupid." Earlier people were discusing how people in the red states voted against thier personal benefit. I just say let them find out the hard way; over the next 4 years. It fustrates me guys! Democrates are for the working poor and middle class yet republicans continue to win!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: godfrey at November 8, 2004 12:29 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Here is what I think happened this year:

Last year Bush had high approval ratings and no top candidates wanted to run. We were stuck with Clark, Dean, Graham, Gephardt, Lieberman, Kerry, Kucinich, and Sharpton.

Clark - no experience
Graham ��� too old
Lieberman - too far right
Dean, Kucinich and Sharpton - too far left
Gephardt - no charisma

We were left with Kerry. I wished Biden would have run but he didn���t. I think Biden would have taken Bush pretty easily. I would have run a Biden-Gephardt ticket in 2004. This would have won IA, OH and MO and all the states Kerry won.

Posted by: DFuller at November 8, 2004 01:23 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Dfuller -- I agree. In fact, a candidate more or less has to decide to run sometime in late 2002. Gore bowed out, possibly thinking that Bush was unbeatable. Note that Bill Clinton decided to run against a supposedly unbeatable Bush 1 in 1991, and won, so maybe some other candidates should have taken the risk.

To your comments, I would add
Graham -- too old and a little weird, and a little boring.

Leiberman -- Probably not capable of the kind of vicious brawling required in the campaign. Also, I frankly doubt that Christian Conservatives would have voted for a Jewish President. They wouldn't have said it openly, but they wouldn't have voted for him.

Gephardt -- Too old and tired, and he could not have carried Missouri. If he were that popular in MO, he would have been Senator.

Clark -- On paper, the strongest candidate. But he could not run an effective campaign (lack of experience, probably). Also, there's no doubt that the Republicans would have attacked him. They had already brought out Tommy Franks and Schwarzkopf to do just that.

I really doubt that Biden could have won either. All his Senate votes would have been dragged out as well, and remember the plagiarism scandal ?

Hillary would have been destroyed.

Maybe Gray Davis could have run if he hadn't been destroyed in the CA power crisis. Bob Kerrey if he hadn't had problems with Vietnam war atrocity accusations. And so on ..

Posted by: erg at November 8, 2004 01:49 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


It sounds like you think kind-of like me. The voting records of Senators are very easy to distort. That is the reason I hope we can get a strong candidate in 2008 that is a governor of a Midwest, Southern, or Western state. I was thinking that we will probably have to run a female for Vice President. If Hilary runs in 2008 and is defeated in the primaries, we will need a female on the ticket or risk losing the female vote. The best candidate I can see out there right now is Governor Warner of VA. For VP I currently like Senator Landrieu of LA.

Posted by: DFuller at November 8, 2004 02:22 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Originally, I thought Bill Richardson of New Mexico was a risky move for VP selection given that his candidacy would bring divisive immigration issues to the campaign forefront and alienate blue-collar whites whose $15 union jobs of yesterday are now $8 an hour non-union jobs filled by Hispanics today. However, the successes of Ken Salazar and Mel Martinez at winning statewide elections in majority white states have made me rethink that contention....not to mention the fact that a seven-point erosion in Hispanic support in four years for the Dems cannot be treated lightly. Given that Governors make the best candidates and that Richardson is experienced and widely accepted as an intelligent centrist, I would put him on the short list for 2008 candidates. As for Edwards, I think his political career is over.

Gephardt and Lieberman are often regarded as the "shoulda been candidates" in some circles, but I fail to see how either of them would have been any more successful than Kerry. I don't think I could have voted for Lieberman. The only issues in which he opposes Bush are the culture war issues which have very little influence on my vote. His support for most of Bush's policies would probably ensured a low turnout among Dems or a massive Nader factor.

As for Gephardt, he was a sincere guy who came across as a phony. When I listened to him speak, he evoked unpleasant memories of Al Gore, even though a comparison to that political opportunist is highly unfair. Nonetheless, Gephardt's failure to hang onto his union worker base among Democratic activists in the caucuses of neighboring Iowa last January makes it hard for me to believe that he could been successful in carrying Ohio and West Virginia. Furthermore, I thought the stupidest statement I'd ever heard a politician say was Howard Dean's condescending remark about wanting the votes of Southerners with Confederate flags on their trucks. I was proven wrong a week later, however, when Gephardt stated he DIDN'T want the votes of Southerners with Confederate flags on their trucks. Generally, when one is running for elected office, it's probably not a good idea to proclaim groups of people whose vote you DON'T want.

Posted by: Mark at November 8, 2004 03:58 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

This forum is the most entertainment I've had it quite awhile on the internet. The perspective (or should I say lack of) you guys are expressing against our country is exactly why your elitest and dangerous views will destine the Democratic party to 40 years in the wilderness. As a long-standing Republican that comes from a family of long-standing Democrats, I can only say it's sad to watch the loyal party of Democrats degrade into wishing harm on people whether it's their life or their jobs.

As always, the wisdom of the American public has come through for the good of our country by protecting all of us from the likes and views expressed by many on this forum.

Thank God for the wisdom of "the People".

Posted by: Pete at November 8, 2004 04:54 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Mark --- Bill Richardson has the serious problem of his disastrous Energy Secretary run, when there were security problems at Los Alamos. There are also rumors that he has Clintonian problems.

You're abslutely correct why Howard Dean could not have won. While he was absolutely correct in that the Democratic Party needs those votes, he sounded condescending (and insulting to Blue Collar voters who dont have the Confederate flag on their car). And it pretty much guaranteed that he can't get the black vote.

Incidentally, MN seems to have come through this time, and the state level looks good as well. They have to replace the Dem Senator though -- his shutting down his office will kill him at the polls.

Posted by: erg at November 8, 2004 07:17 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

As for wishing harm on others, I realize no one here really means it but even as hyperbole its something that shouldn't be said. Yes, why do people vote against better work conditions, better economic initiatives, and an effective approach to foreign policy, all because one guy is "likable," had better attack ads and one-liners, or whatever. All I say is I hope Iraq is resolved peacefully DESPITE Bush's screw-ups (hey, even Lugar and Chuck Hagel call him incompetent) and I feel bad to see Iraqi civilians, our own troops, and even some duped Iraqi kids getting killed in this mess.

As for people wishing others harm, I remember the night the Iraq war started I was on a camping trip. Two of the guys I was with were ROTC members (one, btw, who called Bush an "idiot") and had brought a radio. One right-wing private school conservative on that trip really supported the war. When the issue of casualties came up, he said, "Come on, everyone knows the enlisted men are just cannon fodder." I've heard similar things plenty of times, including that the military is a great opportunity for working class and minority Americans, and that "I would never serve in war but I would always support our government" (a college Republican friend). My dad is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and would rather spit on Dick Cheney than vote for him, given the way Ol' (5 Draft Deferments) Dick talks about troops as objects rather than people.

So lets not throw stone here.

Posted by: Marc at November 8, 2004 07:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

erg, I wouldn't get too excited about Minnesota's strong Democratic showing this year, because the internals are far less promising. Due to unprecedented turnout and the lack of Nader factor, Kerry was able to win by 20 points or better in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, home to Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the state's liberal suburbs. On the other hand, the nine counties surrounding them (which are growing at a blistering pace) all went for Bush by wider margins than they did in 2000. As it stands now, if voter turnout exceeds 70% in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, Democrats can still pull off three-point victories in Minnesota. Two years from now, when there are another 100,000 new Republicans in exurbia, it will only become that much more difficult to win here.

And like you said, Mark Dayton's awkward moves including but not limited to his Chicken Little performance fleeing DC last month after a perceived terrorist threat is certain to make him highly vulnerable in 2006. The good news is that Dayton's approval ratings barely moved after the incident, so a fate of certain defeat isn't sealed for him yet. His likely challenger, slimeball GOP Congressman Mark Kennedy, will be formidable however for a variety of different reasons. In non-Presidential election years, the rural areas of Minnesota are considerably more Democratic than they have been for Gore or Kerry, so Dayton is likely to get some help there. He'll need it....because he certainly can't count on 70% in Minneapolis in 2006, or for upper-crust Edina to extend its Democratic voting streak beyond one year.

The local gains by the Minnesota State House were impressive and unexpected, proving that even many of our conservative areas are still open to ticket-splitting. Again, though, turnout allowed some of these seats to turn blue. Given that several of the new Dems are in traditionally Republican areas, they'll be particularly vulnerable in 2006 when we revert to the typical rate of voter turnout again.

Posted by: Mark at November 8, 2004 08:23 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Where are these people coming from that are voting Republican? This is really just a general question for all states. Do people move out of the cities then become Republicans? They have to be moving from somewhere. The 100,000 person population growth has to be diminishing the population somewhere else. If these people are moving out of the city, won't they be liberal? Are that many people fleeing the cities and changing their political affiliations? It does not make any sense to me. I know what you are saying is correct though, because there is a similar phenomena all over the country, with these exurb counties growing and becoming Republican strongholds. But where are these people coming from?

Posted by: Sam at November 8, 2004 11:17 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Sam, I think many, at least here in Minnesota are coming from the farm and factory towns throughout the rural regions of the state. I graduated high school in a farm town of 1,200 people in the southern edge of Minnesota. I would say the majority of my former classmates are now living somewhere in the Twin Cities metro area, including the vast majority of those with college degrees. I'm one of the few who has remained in the rural part of the state, and the size of my paychecks compared to theirs reflect it. Given that the core regions of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro have been settled (and the fact that small-town boys and girls like to live closer to nature), the city-bound newbies end up building on the outskirts of the metro when they become economically solvent enough. These sons and daughters of rural farmers and factory workers aren't necessarily indoctrinated in Republican party dogma. Minnesota's long-standing populist tradition has kept our rural areas far bluer than their counterparts in other regions of the country. Nonetheless, most have conservative social values and once they become bigshots with college degrees, six-figure incomes, an SUV and a mortgage, they no longer have a reason to cling to the populism of their parents...and the Republican party seems awfully attractive.

As I said, this is how I see the situation unfolding in Minnesota. I'm not sure if that's necessarily the case in exurban sprawl zones throughout the nation, but generally it takes a "cowboy" type to want to drive three hours a day just to have their own private Idaho 40 miles from the city where they work....so many of the same rules likely apply across the nation.

Posted by: Mark at November 9, 2004 01:58 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The process of indoctrination is a serious threat in suburbia. Texas has a lot of transplants from the northern part of the country. They tend to get indoctrinated into the Texas Radical Right. I could be different in Minnesota. Here, the church is typically the center of social activity. That might be part of the reason the Radical Right seems to take over here. Also, the Texas mindset is closer to a frontier one. Even though we have three huge metropolitan areas people still think they are on the frontier.

Posted by: DFuller at November 9, 2004 08:52 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment