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Friday, November 05, 2004

Weekend Break

Posted by DavidNYC

I think I'm gonna take a break from blogging for the weekend. Next week, we'll come back, do some more wrap-up, and then decide where to take this site. In the meantime, please feel free to use this as an open thread.

Oh, by the way, did anyone happen to catch this headline in the New York Times? This has to be the bizarrest story I've seen in a long time: Warplane Strafes a School in New Jersey. Now we know what it probably feels like to live in Fallujah.

And my life just gets weirder and weirder. This happened just one subway stop away from where I live:


Yeah, it's time to take a break alright.

Posted at 05:43 PM in Site News | Technorati


Please consider some way to keep your site permanent -- as an organizing tool for the ongoing battle against the forces of darkness. We all need to stand our ground and FIGHT. No whining, no finger pointing. When the enemy is at the gate, you saddle up and ride out to battle them.

Posted by: Matt at November 5, 2004 11:00 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The link for the Jersey story does not work.

Posted by: David Trinh at November 5, 2004 11:33 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Try this link for the strafing story: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/05/nyregion/05strafe.html?ex=1257310800&en=5cc792b5b36c4d11&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland

And yes, it is as bizarre as the title.

Posted by: Luke Francl at November 6, 2004 02:08 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The Washington DC Metro, which in spite of that accident is one of the great subways of the world, is an achievement of the Democrats. It was part of LBJ's Great Society.

Social Security, also a Democratic achievement that has almost elimated destitution among the elderly that was once common, is now under threat. I hope the Democrats remain united in their opposition to Bush's destructive agenda.

My brief response to this election and this site...

I was struggling with feelings that we'd lose this election for months, and this site kept propping me up. In retrospect, I'm mildly annoyed that my questions as to why this site allocated such a large percentage of the undecided vote to Kerry went largely unanswered. I know, however, that your intentions were good and that you folks we're stuggling to understand the election just as everyone else was. I appreciate your efforts and your great site, and I hope you will convert it into a discussion of how to respond to Bush, and how to build Democratic victories in elections beginning next year.

One of the shocking results of the election is that it yet again it undermines the electoral college. In 2000, as we all know, Bush lost the popular vote but still won (stole) the election. This year, as has been pointed out, a mere shift of 150,000 votes out of nearly 120 million cast (about one tenth of one percent) might have shifted the election to Kerry, even though Bush won the popular vote by 3 million. Strange. Does that make us into new lovers of the electoral college, or is that just one more reason to do away with it? Also, does anyone have update popular vote figures, is Bush's lead of 3 million being cut down as it is being counted up? What's the latest vote in Ohio with the provisional ballots?

Overall, I think the Kerry campaign's major mistake was that they didn't really wage an effective counter attack to Bush's negative ads until the last 5-6 weeks. I remember being in a hotel room right after Kerry won the nomination (back in April, I think), and watching ad after ad attacking Kerry, without a response from Kerry. Ultimately Kerry did not respond in April, May, June, July, August, and early September. They ran positive ads but few attack ads. That was a mistake that I'm still upset about. They should have used ugly clips of Bush being Bush to tarnish him from the beginning.

My final comment was that I'm glad that guy who hated pepe

Posted by: Ben at November 6, 2004 11:51 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

So, DavidNYC, what are your final thoughts on your Swing State Project? Did you learn what you hoped to? Did your site meet your expectations? One thing I learned from it all is that polls and history aren't always reliable. My conclusion would be that polls work in identifying which state are most likely to be swing states, but once we know that, polls aren't too reliable in telling us which way they will swing.

Unlike Ben, on the eve of the election, this side led me to believe that perhaps Kerry would surprise, because maybe all those young people with only cell phones (and therefore not a part of the polls) would take us over the top. I never believed that 80% of undecided voters would break for Kerry. That seemed too good to be true. Still, as you know, I was not not overly optimisitic for most of the campaign. It's ironic, then, that this site somehow made me think Kerry couldn't lose one the eve of the campaign. Go figure. That made election night all the more harder to bear, because at the last minute this site and the polls gave me hope, which proved all too ephemeral.

That said, I have enjoyed the site and all the interaction and (mostly) intelligent and engaging dialogue with folks here. I hope you don't pull the plug on it, David. It seems like you could take it into numerous directions if you so choose. Whatever you decide, however, thanks for taking so much of your time to bring us all together.

Posted by: pepe at November 6, 2004 01:13 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I was listening the radio in the car earlier today and I heard President Clinton stated that we have allowed Republicans to define the Democratic party rather than defining ourselves. Perhaps this is where we need to start. A marketing campaign "Why I am a Democrat" starring the former President, other popular non-polarizing democrats and not so famous, but committed democrats like ourselves.

Posted by: Sue at November 6, 2004 02:18 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Ben, what was your final comment about the guy who hated me? It seems that whatever you intended to say got cut off! Pepe's just curious!

Posted by: pepe at November 6, 2004 02:34 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Yes, my comment was cut off. I can't remember exactly what I wrote, but it was something along the lines of: I'm glad that the guy who hated you made peace with you at the end, and that you graciously accepted his apology. However, I did not enjoy that most of the people who questioned the Kerry campaign, or even the somewhat optimistic assumptions of this site, were labelled "Republicans." It seemed rather silly, but I think it was also unconstructive.

The point of the "guy who hated pepe" was that we, and those like us, were playing into the hands of Karl Rove, and that we needed to be more like Rove in our 100% unwavering belief and support of our candidate. In some ways, I do think that Democrats need to be more like Rove, in that we need to use the attack strategies the Republicans have used since 1988 to attempt to tarnish the Republicans, as they have tarnished us. But I don't think we need to move to the uncritical belief that our candidates and our campaigns are always right, or always on the right track. A dose of realism, tempered by at least some optimism, is necessary to figure out how we are going to win again. At least that's what I think....

Again, I have enjoyed this site, and learned from it, and I even learned something from the guy who hated pepe.

Posted by: Ben at November 6, 2004 05:25 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

In an electoral vote system, the popular vote total is misleading. In states like Michigan and Wisconsin, where the result is close, you have 70% turnout. In other states that don't matter, like Texas, California and New York, the turnout was pretty bad. Who knows what the popular vote would look like if there was no electoral college?

Sue, I think that is a great idea. We need a good PR campaign to redefine the party. I think now is the time to start. People are still interested in politics. If we wait and do it to close to the next election, it will get drowned out in the storm of political ads.

Posted by: Sam at November 7, 2004 03:31 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Whatever you do, keep slinging it at us!

If I were a true party guy I would be encouraging your hatred - because all of those name-calling stickers and signs out there actually were a huge help to the Republicans. The Democrats did our work for us - they united our factions and brought out energy and commitment. Michael Moore elected George W. Bush - the "fahrenheit factor" was decisive, no doubt about it. All the Republicans had to do was point and say: "See? Told 'ya..."

As a youngster on the soccer pitch, I learned from a wise coach that if you can keep a smile on your face - it is going to intimidate your opponent. And if you can get your opponent to cuss and whine - they are doing half the work of causing their own defeat - and (in effect) are helping you give 150%! And finally, if you go into a contest without respecting your opponent - those are the competitions that, if you lose, you are going to lose badly. Give it your all, play fair - win or lose show some grace to your opponents. All of these wise coaching maxims have application to the 2004 elections. As a kid, I don't seem to recall having ever been on any teams with the guy who grew up to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee - right Terry McAuliffe?


Posted by: The Urbane R at November 7, 2004 02:11 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Mr. NYC, let me add my voice to the clamour calling for your continued strong presence in the blogosphere. I myself felt that you did an excellent job explaining your predictions in such a way that readers could evaluate their accuracy and reliability on their own. And, in addition to the renewed urgency of civic participation I felt during this election year, I gained through SSP a new insight into the process of figuring out how we might take a look at the map to get a bit more of America blue -- something that's vitally necessary to continued Democratic success. You're someone who can help us remember how to plan. Thank you for your yeoman work and excellent product.

I'm glad to see the DC Metro isn't keeping you down; I myself have been looking into alternative means of transportation. (wink).

Posted by: shimamoto at November 8, 2004 03:06 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment