1. Shock – Started about 7pm PST, 11/2.
2. Denial – Most lefty blogs are still here, trying to assert that “Kerry won” and we wuz robbed.
3. Bargaining – Harry Reid will call for filibusters! Does the Supreme Court have a quorum rule?
4. Guilt – Did I give enough money? What else could I have done?
5. Anger – Fucking Kerry was a jerk. The Iowa / NH primary system is bogus.
6. Depression – Should I even have children?
7. Acceptance and hope – [Candidate Name] 2008!
One thing I don’t see a lot of people mention is sort of the opposite of some of the Dem-hope-spin. I heard Pelosi say yesterday that Kerry got the second most votes ever. That means that Bush got the most votes ever. It means that a few years ago, this election would have been a Kerry blowout, but there has been a rightward turn in this country.
I don’t think a lot of people dispute that, but I also don’t think a lot of people, especially on the left side of the Internet are really taking it too seriously. They pay lip service, sure, but when the chips are down, they’re willing to put their hopes and prayers on a candidate like Kerry, whose only hope to win was a high turnout in his favor. He was never going to start a movement unless he won and was a preisdent for the ages; in other words, his candidacy had no chance of this.
The problem is, a movement candidate, like Nader or Dean, has little chance of winning.
Lots of people talk about Goldwater and the seeds he sew. I wonder if LBJ hadn’t botched Viet Nam, or even if he had just run again, if we would be having this discussion. Today, of course, we have the very real likelihood that Iraq will end up being worse than Viet Nam, if not in actual combat fatalities in terms of everything else.
But, whether or not it had anything to do with Goldwater, conservatives were able to build a movement in response to the social uphevals of the times, and the reflexive latter-day New Deal government program for all that ails you mainstream political culture.
They knew what their mission was. And we’re starting to identify what ours is.