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November 07, 2006


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Noel Maurer

Mwa hah to the hah on the hah-hah tip.

And America returns to normal. I no longer feel like I'm living in a 1980s comic book. A country with difficult issues and intractable problems and ideological divides, problematic institutions and a bizarre political culture. But I feel like I am again living in a serious country.

I hope it lasts.

Bernard Guerrero

I hope we crush you like bugs in 2008. :^)

Noel Maurer

You know, Bernard, my sense of humor has still not returned regarding the malfeasance or your political party or the pusillanimity of its supporters. If you wish to have a serious conversation about the 2008 election in another forum, I am willing, but you should know that the current election results have done nothing to ease my distaste for your political jokes.

I assume, of course, that the emoticon denotes that you were joking.

From previous statements of yours, I have reason to believe that the lack of change in my attitude surprises you.

Andrew Reeves

I no longer feel like I'm living in a 1980s comic book...

We can retain at least some of the comic-book ness if the Dems don't scrub the airborne laser cannon that is scheduled to be fielded within the next few years...


I can't believe no one has commented on my Mexlamocommusexual photo of Daniel Ortega yet.

Andrew, the specific comic Noel is thinking of is Howard Chaykin's American Flagg.

(There are possible upsides of living in a Howard Chaykin world, as I once pointed out to Doug: the women always have perfect, if clenched, teeth; and the word "spung" is redundant there.)

Bernard, I am reminded of the motto on a T-shirt worn by a nearly ambulatory 400-pound man I once saw in Brooklyn, presumably on one of his forays from his stepmother's basement for Doritos while his Starfleet uniform was being cleaned: "You lost. Get over it."

Actually, I look forward to the purge and the re-admission of the Republican Party back into the ranks of humanity. Also, the skull. (I will have the skull, oh yes.)

Bernard Guerrero

No, Noel, I didn't expect you, even in the midst of victory, to be other than your normal, tedious self. Your distaste for my jokes and belief system is long noted, FWIW, and finds its mirror-image here. I am, however, surprised that you kept your reply to only three fairly short paragraphs, so I suppose that the day finds you in a chipper mood after all.

You may take the emoticon as an indication that I'm amused by something. In this case, the object of my amusement would be your apparently vast feelings of relief, given that I suspect not much of any practical significance is going to change, based on both the incoming leadership's statements and political reality. I'll happily take you up on the offer of a debate on that score or '08, if you have an alternative forum in mind. And if you'd care to draft a list of specific points that you think might be changed in the near future, perhaps we can start wagering on those points well in advance of the next election...

Bernard Guerrero

Over it? I haven't felt particularly under it. I dare say I was more annoyed by the ridiculously long trip over the GWB this evening. People see 5 drops of rain and apparently lose the ability to drive. Road-rage will be the death of me.

I am reminded of the motto on a T-shirt worn by a nearly ambulatory 400-pound man I once saw in Brooklyn The Hell you say? I didn't think he lived in Brooklyn, I placed him in Toms River or Kearny or such. But you're a fan of semiotics; sometimes the medium is the message. :^)

James Bodi

Plus, Rummy got the boot. Congratulations. Though I suspect there won't be much rejoicing in the insurance industry here in Bermuda at a Democratic Congress, what the hell, *I'm* not in the dismal biz.

The Ortega photo would make excellent negative-reinforcement material for those "turn your gay kid straight" camps.

Noel Maurer

You know my email, Bernard. Feel free to email with an explanation as to why you wanted the Republican Party to win this election. Also, feel free to email me about why you think there is no difference between George Allen, whose political future has been happily ruined, and other potential presidents. I'll only respond if you make sense.

I find it ironic that you're the one that started in on the insults about my character, when all I insulted was the political party that you support. We lost personal respect for each other some time back, unfortunately. You could regain it, but only if you would stop being supercilious, which may or may not be something that you care enough to do.

My feelings of relief are due to the fact that the mechanisms of democratic accountability do indeed seem to be functioning. It would be very nice if the GOP turned into a responsible party that could be entrusted with the reigns of government in the wake of this election. You, of course, don't seem to believe that is possible, but you are not a serious person.

After all, stating that elections don't matter is not a sign of serious analysis. You might want to start with the concept of the counterfactual and move on from there. I say "might," however, because of the obvious fact that you are completely hypocritical and clearly don't believe what you say.

On a more practical note, you don't seem to have heard of the sunset clauses in a rather large number of bills, and you don't seem to believe that the Bush Administration would have tried to reintroduce various reforms had they won the election. Ni modo, Bernard. Enjoy life in that little bubble you've created for yourself. With luck, the responsible voters of this country will allow you to keep it.


Bernard, this was a completely different person from the Sage of Tuckerton (who is now living in Oakland, CA, incidentally). Youngish, topping six feet, a fine shock of dark hair, but he was laboring for breath at every step. He had a low-affect, dull-eyed facial expression that screamed, "I've read 4000 science fiction books and nothing else."

If I had a camera with me, I might have taken a photo, except the guy was so clearly unwell physically and emotionally.

It was like running into this guy, face to face. No B.O. though.

Mike R.

On the national level, I'm pretty pleased with the results myself. I think a loss for the Republicans and a win for the Democrats will stimulate both parties to curb some of their negative tendencies. Well, one can hope anyways.

For me, it was also the fist election I've ever had were I voted straight down a party line. I didn't exactly feel good about doing that as neither party really represents me, but the canidates of one party were _such_ non-entities that I didn't feel like I had much choice. Ah well.

The New York City Math Teacher

The skull did come up in conversation Wednesday.
Consensus was that the skull would have to wait until after the physical autopsy, which will follow the epistemological autopsy by some intervening stretch years to decades, depending on how long it takes (took?) for him to pick up where he left off in 1990.

When I did my 260 mile round trip Tuesday (like a grunion at full moon), the lack of variety on the local ballot shocked me. What had been a vigorously contested ballot with two healthy parties vying for local, state, and national offices had degenerated to a choiceless melange of cross-endorsed and unopposed incumbents.

Well, there was also the perennial loony who was running on the "Rent Is Too High" party line.

Francis Burdett

You know I feel remiss for not even knowing that an anti-gay marriage was on the ballot in Wisconsin. I knew of others but somehow had overlooked Wisconsin. The Amendment passed 59.4 to 40.6.

Wisconsin joined Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Virginia in this election cycle.

Arizona rejected such and amendment by a vote of 51 to 49.

Perhaps interestingly enough South Dakota was the next lowest percentage for an anti-gay marriage amendment: 52 to 48.

Randy McDonald

We can retain at least some of the comic-book ness if the Dems don't scrub the airborne laser cannon that is scheduled to be fielded within the next few years...

And, of course, the orbiting micropain pain satellites, protected by the Bush Administration's declaration that space is an American preserve.

This comes far too late fror the millions of Irqis whose lives have been blighted--and the hundred(s?) of thousands whose lives have been ended altogether--by the policies of the United States as guided by the Bush Administration. Oops. But, hey, things are good for the States now, right?

Randy McDonald

Sorry--that was supposed to be "microwave pain ray." My mistake.


Frankie, that's true, and while the outcome of the vote didn't surprise me -- I had privately guessed 45% to 55% -- it really pissed me off. I know the reasons why: fake-religious types and the GOP GOTV beating the gay drum in the small towns on the one hand, and Madison as a safe haven on the other; but it still galls.

Fun fact: Madison's bishop brought up the issue in a recorded statement _played at Mass_ throughout the diocese immediately before the election. (Some people walked out.)

At least, as a sleazy Republican tactic to swing the elections, it failed. The Democrats won the Governor's house and also the state Senate -- a huge shift -- and brought the Assembly close to parity. The courts aren't fond of the ban either, because there are some civil union benefits already in place in Wisconsin, including some among state employees.

And Tammy Baldwin won re-election! I used to see her at Amy's Cafe.

Randy... dude. I mean this kindly: who on Earth are you trying to impress here?

Randy McDonald

[W]ho on Earth are you trying to impress here?

Not a soul. I _am_ glad that things are looking up for the United States. It's just a pity that this happy shift couldn't have been achieved before Iraq was wrecked.

On a related note, I'd like to recommend Martha Nussbaum's Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law. The distinction that she draws between anger (potentially constructive and reconciliatory) and disgust (nearly always destructive of its subject, even annhilatory) is something that I've decided I have to keep in mind. The world, see.

Noel Maurer

Randy, since you do seem to feel as strongly about the administration as I do, a "thank you" to the American electorate is the appropriate response, don't you think?


I share Noel's relief that the USA's sometimes sketchy version of the democratic process seems to have worked this time -- the voting machine problems in Katherine Harris' old seat in FL seem to be incompetence rather than the direct fraud so many on the left are worried about.

I did my bit holding a sign for Paul Hodes and relaying vote totals in Keene, NH. (That was the nearest place where I could affect the Congress, MA-01 being pretty solid for the incumbent Dem.) I was actually pretty impressed by the spectacle of democracy in action -- I met a lot of nice people on both sides. My anecdotal observation in a usually fairly evenly divided ward was that Dems were turning out at presidential-election levels with Repubs turning out at midterm levels or less. Maybe the relatively libertarian NH Republicans have finally had it with the national party, but their inaction cost their locals as well -- the NH state House is now Dem for the first time since around 1922.

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