Feeling a little better. Even the most sensitive liberal can’t mope forever.
Kindle linked to a map by someone suggesting we reconfigure the borders in light of Tuesday’s results. I’m linking to it here because it’s really funny, but also because it effectively makes a really sobering point: you really could mush all the red states together and make one big gay-marriage-hating super state. The only Bush state not connected to another one is Alaska. John Edwards wasn’t kidding when he said there were two Americas, but why is that one so big?
This is why, despite all the criticism of the Kerry campaign that we’ll hear over the next few weeks, I really wonder if Kerry could have won this one, at least using the resources and knowledge he had when he was nominated. I don’t mean to be fatalistic–I’m sure there’s some way that the Democrats could have pulled it off, especially with the benefit of hindsight–but probably 90% of the electorate had their minds made up from the very beginning, and just enough of the remaining 10% was too scared and too born-again to vote for Kerry. Short of nominating Joe Lieberman, how do you appeal to those people?
Reading the shellshocked columnists at the New York Times (even William Safire seemed to be trying to spare everyone’s feelings), there were a couple points that stood out. Thomas Friedman wrote, “Despite an utterly incompetent war performance in Iraq and a stagnant economy, Mr. Bush held onto the same basic core of states that he won four years ago – as if nothing had happened. It seemed as if people were not voting on his performance. It seemed as if they were voting for what team they were on.” That to me is exactly right, which is why those initiatives banning gay marriage were such a smart move. One side is fur the destruction of marriage, one is agin it. You’re not one of those faggot-lovers, are you?
Maureen Dowd ridiculed the idea that the President was going to try to be bipartisan–if he didn’t try after losing in 2000, why would he try after winning this year?–and pointed out that division is essential to the Rove strategy: “The president got re-elected by dividing the country along fault lines of fear, intolerance, ignorance and religious rule.”
So that’s what we’ve got: city versus suburb and country. Secularists versus religionists. Metrosexuals versus homophobes. It’s not a battle over policy, it’s a battle over geography. And we’re losing.
(At least this has been good for my blog. It’s been pretty bad for my homework, though.)
Update: Like twenty minutes after posting this, I see that The Onion has added a headline: “America Comes Out Agin The Gay Marryin’.” It’s gotten to the point where I quote the Onion before I read it.