March 03, 2004

Super (Thanks For Asking!) Tuesday

Well, the third major engagement of Campaign 2004 took place today, and those of us weak-kneed liberals unaccustomed to such military-speak were completely overwhelmed with envious fury when Big John Kerry emerged as the ultimate victor on the biggest day of the Democratic Primary. Oh sure, many non-Kerry supporters had accepted as early as Iowa or New Hampshire that their chosen candidate wouldn't make it, and most of the rest of us will be coming around...eventually. For now, though, I think lots of people will need a few hours, or even days, to hang back in the weeds and lick their wounds—none more so than the once-rabid supporters of Vermont Governor Howard Dean.

Yes, the Doctor ended his campaign back on February 18, amid rumors that he'd be endorsing John Edwards. Dean's supporters split into several maniacal factions upon their hero's exit from the primary stage, but most seemed to accept Dean's fate and would be supporting Edwards or Kerry against Bush in November. Aside from the suddenly ubiquitous and completely servile sentiment of "Dated Dean, Married Kerry!" one comment in particular was telling—a Deaniac from Wisconsin said something like "Kerry would get my vote, sure, but not my time," i.e. this guy had driven umpteen thousand miles for the Dean campaign and wasn't willing to do it for Kerry. For my part, I never counted myself among the hard-core Dean crowd—my support was admittedly soft and mostly centered on his pre-Iowa Gore-ing by the press, but it would have been nice to have a few more outbursts of Pure Screamadelica from the Doctor before he bowed out. I mean, he did win Vermont decisively. Why not, Howard? How about one last holler for old times' sake?

Bah. As for Johnny Sunshine, he put up a good fight against Kerry in WI but his wave had already crested in that state, and after coming close only in one other primary—Georgia, by 3.5%—Edwards closed his campaign early on Super Tuesday, peppering his concession speech with lots of praise for John Kerry. My brother was livid at this—the California polls hadn't even closed before Edwards threw in the towel.

"That Crisco-headed bastard!" fumed Bryn. "I was still registered as a Green, so I had to write in his name on the goddamn ballot—probably at the same time he was verbally fellating John Kerry!"

I laughed at the time, but soon realized that Kerry would be in for some tough weeks courtesy of the Illiberal Media, and El Lurcho may not have the long-term stamina to survive such an onslaught. It would have been hard on Edwards, too—he surely would have crashed into negative numbers during the long wasteland between now and the August Democratic Convention in Boston. Edwards would have ended up at some low-rent exorcism of bad karma, like the one held in the Harry Caray Restaurant in Chicago a few weeks ago, where the infamous "Bartman Ball" from the Cubs' ill-fated 2003 playoff appearance would be ceremoniously destroyed for all to see. Supposedly, baseball pariah Steve Bartman was invited to see the object of his awful fate removed from this universe forever, but he didn't show.

Okay, well, it might sound preposterous, but John Edwards would have bit the media bullet that bad, folks, and we'll never know now, will we? Or will we? The Dem convention may itself become a weirdly purgative phenomenon, for all I know—but then I've watched the 2003 Cubs, the Howard Dean campaign, and even my own band (at a dud UCSB Campbell Hall gig) get sucked into the vortex of oblivion, so maybe I'm just projecting. Stranger things have happened, of course; I myself finally donated to a political campaign for the first time—25 bucks for Kerry to try to narrow that 100-million-dollar chasm between himself and Bush/Cheney, so—-

Holy Crap, literally. This foul Super Tuesday screed was just interrupted by the appearance at my door of two card-carrying members of the God Squad, apparently out to save the degenerate souls of Isla Vista. A nice older WASPy lady with Barbie-pink lipstick and a younger vaguely Asian woman sidekick thought I might like to consider some of the things about the life of Jesus and our Creator at this Easter-y time of year. They were so nice that it was easy to say "No, thanks" to their simplified, "I can't deal with 16th century English" version of Biblical bullets, Q&A, and talking points. After I closed the door I had a laugh and remembered that my grandma used to (back in the 50s/60s) simply say, "No thank you, we're Buddhists" and that was that. At least these ladies today took "No thanks" for an answer and went on their merry way. Mazel tov!

Ahem. Anyway, the anti-Bushie money was my first-ever donation to a campaign. Never donated to Dean, or Nader or Gore or Clinton. Never been this afraid before of wacko fundies knocking down my door in the name of the LORD instead of nice old ladies stopping by for some sensible chitchat...and I will NOT have my cheery rock & roll indulgence interrupted, folks. I was listening to the breezy recent Sea & Cake album, which I finally picked up after about a year or so. Before that, it was "The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place" by Explosions In The Sky from Tejas and...and...

...and where was I? Has this ugly missive degenerated into just another idiot typing? No, I remember now. Super Tuesday, of course. Anyway, what we might end up dealing with in November could be one or more of several disturbing scenarios: multiple repeats of Florida 2000 in Missouri or Ohio or both (they're so evenly split it's scary), with a few other swing states thrown in for good measure. However, what we might see this time around, election-wise, is a multiple repeat of Florida '00 in Missouri or Ohio or both (they are so evenly divided it's scary), with a few other swing states tossed in for good measure. Bush/Cheny is dropping their nuclear ad-bomb on basic cable tomorrow, and it's gonna be sprawled over 17 states that are in play (AZ, AR, FL, IA, ME, MI, MN, MO, NM, NH, NV, OH, OR, PA, WA, WV, and WI). Given that only about 7% of the actual voting electoriate is soft enough to swing either way, that's a lot of money on not too many voters, but hey, there was only a 537-vote discrepancy in Florida before those Angry Hired Yuppies started rioting for Bush and closed the thing down. Kerry needs to conduct a big fight on a national scale, stay in the news all year, and for God's sake try and shave off some of that bloviating senatorial language from his stump speech. He should show no mercy, for he will assuredly receive none from rabidly partisian Republicans.

Besides the convention in Boston later this summer, Kerry's got another chance to keep in the spotlight: his choice for second-banana/attack dog, or as Mr. Gore used to call it, the "vice-presidency." John Edwards was full to bursting yesterday with positive Kerry-isms, and many have read that as angling tor the bottom of the ticket, but I'm not so sure. Edwards brings no assurances that he can deliver specific states (unlike his primary performance as a generally well-liked candidate by some Republicans & Independents). He's still pretty drenched behind the ears, having only been a senator for 5 years, and I can imagine Kerry not believing that the young dude has what it takes to be President Now, which, though a big deal, is all the VP is really supposed to be. Big John doesn't need to pick someone to fight for him, cause he'll be doing much of the trench warfare himself, and anyway, Edwards' charismatic charm will make Kerry look like an uglier Al Gore. So if Edwards ain't it how come the early exit last night? Well, if he hadn't quit, he'd surely be getting the calls today to do so. Maybe Edwards has basically proven his case to the party that he can run a national campaign, since he did so much better than projected, and will be able to run with full party support in 2008 if Kerry stumbles like a jackass this year- Edwards might not be president now, but he seems to be saying he Could Be in the future.

Other conventional-bloviator Veepy Wisdom seems to cling to the idea of a strong, "battle-tested" congresscritter or governor from some critical swing state. Dick Gephardt (Missouri) and Bob Graham (Florida), both once candidates themselves, would represent this idea pretty well, even though both of them are already hopeless losers who won't even be running for their own re-election at this point. Bill Richardson (New Mexico) has a lengthy resume as well, and people always cite (like people will in this latently-racist country) that he could, as a Latino, bring in a sizeable Hispanic vote. There's also Mary Landrieu (Lousiana), who ran her 2002 campaign directly against the President, since he'd stumped for her opponent, and won in a squeaker. The further down the list we go—and there are many more where these jokers came from—the weaker and more useless the choice, so maybe we should just knock it on the head right now and go into some semi-hibernation before the convention, mmmkay?

Oh wait, almost forgot—here in Santa Barbara, the 3rd district supervisorial race was decisively won by Republican Brooks Firestone. Guess all those lame-ass negative ads paid off. Oh well- I might not even live here anymore by September so whatever. State & federal seats (Barbara Boxer & Lois Capps) are still only in their primary stages, and since the two women are unopposed by any other Democrat we won't hear much from them til later this year. Anyway, the Super Tuesday numbers are below. Kerry stomped mercilessly over everyone everywhere except, as Deaniacs will surely be reminding us forever, Vermont:

California: Kerry 67%, Edwards 18%.
Georgia: Kerry 46%, Edwards 42%
Maryland: Kerry 60%, Edwards 25%
Ohio: Kerry 52%, Edwards 34%
Rhode Island: Kerry 71%, Edwards 19%
Minnesota: Kerry 51%, Edwards 27%
New York: Kerry 61%, Edwards 20%
Connecticut: Kerry 58%, Edwards 24%
Massachusetts: Kerry 72%, Edwards 18%
and....Vermont: Dean 58%, Kerry 34%

That's all folks. See you in August.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails