Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Marshall Allen (photo by Frank Schindelbeck)

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(Updated with next morning's 2nd thoughts, below.)

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It’s fashionable in the artsy neighborhoods of liberal-ville and even moreso in the furthur suburbs of left-topia to pooh-pooh the significance of Tuesday’s election results, or, at best, to temper one’s immediate reaction of enthusiasm with foot-shuffling admissions that of course one doesn’t believe the Democrats’ hype that they’re actually any much good after all.

Pish posh.

True, with few exceptions, most Democrats would indeed pass as members of the local Conservative Party in any normally functioning industrialized democracy; true, many-to-most of them are in the pocket of various big business interests (but remember: “big business” is not a monolith, and some factions are more depredatory than others); true, too many of them supported Bush’s depraved, insane, evil war (and no, it simply will not do for any Democrat to say, doe-eyes welling with tears and lower lip a-trembling, “But, but, but, George Bush LIED to me!”; what transparent poppycock, what political cowardice, what moral ghastliness); and too few of them stood up to his neo-feudalist-hierocratic-medievalist-lying-freak court appointments.

All of this is true, and suburban left-topians won’t be mollified by my pointing out that in contrast with the culpability of a significant percentage of the Democrats, 99% of the Repubs voted lockstep with Bush more than 90% of the time (in other words, that 99% wicked is materially worse than 50% wicked), and that no Democratic Commander in Chief would have invaded Iraq in 2003 -- such distinctions are contemptible in left-topia. Fine; part of me admires the refusal to stay, as Bush’s people so surreally dismissed it, “reality based.”

Here’s the thing. (No, not That Thing!) (Or is It?)

It was clear in 2002, probably 2001, that Bush was going to invade Iraq, and no amount of Democratic resistance was going to stop him. General national strike would not have stopped him. Despite that, it was important to hit the streets, stand up and be counted, and show our faces in opposition.


To show the world that not all Americans are clueless and/or evil and/or insane, that a whole lot of millions of us oppose this mad wickedness.

I hope, but am by no means sure, that by depriving Bush of his lockstep majorities in Congress, we the voters have slowed down his wicked insane plans, and perhaps prevented the Next War. Like I said, I am by no means sure, but even if my hope is misplaced, we still have, in the eyes of the rest of the world, taken a significant public step away from the mad wickedness that has defined our foreign policies.

At least for now -- and I’ll take it with a hugely relieved sigh.

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If you’re wondering why a picture of the great alto saxophonist Marshall Allen adorns this post, I commend to you Carl’s tasty pictures and interesting thoughts on musical connections to the election (the comments of which include my embarrassing gaffe about Mr. Allen’s name; hence, this tributary picture and apologetic parenthesis -- my sincere apologies, Mr. Allen).

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Several songs underway for National Solo Album Month; even before the electoral relief came, I was psyched to be delving into the massy block of possibilities that constitute our language in search of lyrical outcroppings; and -- I’m delighted to see my virtual buddy Gary Oxford, better known in Blogville as Corndog, on the list.

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Next morning's 2nd thoughts: funny that I've gone done the thing I've dissed: I qualified my enthusiasm for the election results by distancing myself from the Democrats.

What I'm psyched about the elections:

Democratic chairs of the investigatory committees in Congress. No more free ride for the criminals in the White House.

No more free ride for Bush's judicial nominees. This is huge.

A lot of the Democrats are actual liberals. My rep, "Baghdad" Jim McDermott, is an MD who supports single-payer universal health care. He may chair a subcommittee on health issues. I'm not very optimistic on this one, but any progress here is good. More Dems than is commonly known support single-payer.

Undoing the Medicare drug benefit debacle.

No Social Security destruction.

Possibility of war de-escalation.

And, in general, a rejection of the Republicans' anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-minority rhetoric and policies. This is huge.

Funniest comment on Seattle's liberal rep I've recently read: Somewhere -- now I don't remember where, probably one of the dailies -- an article on the Democratic incumbents' strengthening positions from the Washington delegation. A Republican privately repeats some "outrageous'' thing McDermott has publicly said, gloating to one of Washington's less liberal Democratic Congressmen about how McDermott's "extremism" (example: "George Bush is lying us into this war," said about the Iraq invasion before it happened) will reflect badly on the Dems. The Democratic Congressman responds (paraphrase), "You have to understand, when he said that McDermott just made his vote total in the next election go from 77% to 79%."

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