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Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children.

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Irish Elk
Thursday, November 04, 2004  

I'm all for magnanimity in victory.

But those taking the results of this week's election with considerably less grace than Sen. Kerry, who dismiss the majority of American voters as fools or worse, are welcome to a Mike Myers Axe Murderer Scots karate chop:

"You know, Scotland has its own martial arts. Yeah, it's called Fuck You. It's mostly just head butting and then kicking people when they're on the ground."

Cake Eater Chronicles expresses a similar sentiment.

* * *

Here is TBogg, a blogger on the Left who averages more than 7,300 visits a day, and who was not pleased with Tuesday's election results:

Four more years of scientific decisions being made by people who believe in a ghost in the clouds.

Four more years of debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay off.

Four more years of racists and lunatics for judicial appointments.

Four more years of looting the treasury and squandering it on corporate cronies.

Four more years of making enemies faster than we can kill them.

Four more years of fear and darkness and racism and hatred and stupidity and guns and bad country music.

I look at the big map and all of the red in flyover country and I feel like I've been locked in a room with the slow learners. We have become the country that pulls a dry cleaning bag over its head to play astronaut.

James Wolcott nails it with a sledgehammer:

"Good, Go Ahead, America, Choke on Your Own Vomit, You Deserve to Die."

This condescending jackass may not speak for everyone on the Left, but he reflects a tendency that has become far too prevalent in the Democratic Party of Michael Moore, and which the supposed Party of the Common Man should shake unless it really wants to consign itself permanently to minority status.

Seething contempt for those who disagree with you - in this case, a majority of American voters - is not liberal but profoundly illiberal.

It is not tolerant but profoundly intolerant.

It is not democratic but profoundly un-democratic.

It indicates not sympathy but profound dislike for the masses of common folk.

And it says more about the purveyor than about the supposed fools being dismissed.

* * *

This election could be one of the best things that ever happened to the Democratic Party, if the party accepts the need to remake itself. I still think a great many - perhaps most - Americans would be inclined to vote Democratic if the party presented centrist candidates who looked out for the little guy while respecting the little guy's faith and values; who championed the small and local and colorful in the face of the corporate juggernaut; who challenged citizens to sacrifice as well as to do great things, and who advanced a positive vision of America as a force for good in the world.

The Wall Street Journal writes today in an editorial titled "The Moral Minority":

[L]et's be candid with our Democratic friends: On Tuesday, a majority of the American electorate took a look at their party and asked, "Who are these people?" Who are George Soros, Michael Moore, Tim Robbins, Susan Sontag, Teresa Heinz Kerry and all these other self-anointed spokespersons for everything good and true? And what does a party that is dominated by a loose coalition of the coastal intelligentsia, billionaires with too much spare time, the trial lawyers' association, the Hollywood Actors' Guild, rock stars and unionized labor have in common with what's quaintly known as Middle America? The majority's answers were (a) not us; and (b) not a whole lot.

This is a Democratic Party in which nostalgia for tradition is too often considered racism, opposition to gay marriage is bigotry, misgiving about abortion is misogyny, Christian fundamentalism is like Islamic fundamentalism, discussion about gender roles is sexism, and confidence in America's global purpose is cultural imperialism. To put it mildly,
this is not the values system to which most Americans adhere.

Now, however, Democrats have an opportunity to reassess their attitudes. With luck, the election will finally have shattered the myth that Mr. Bush is a "selected," democratically illegitimate president. Democrats may also take the lesson that a political strategy which invites Americans to share in their contempt for the President's intelligence, moral values and religious beliefs -- basically, the Al Gore sighing technique writ large -- is not a winner. That's especially true when the President's intelligence, values and beliefs roughly coincide with those of middle Americans.

* * *

Peggy Noonan finds much to savor in Tuesday's vote:

Every time the big networks and big broadsheet national newspapers tried to pull off a bit of pro-liberal mischief...the yeomen of the blogosphere and AM radio and the Internet took them down. It was to me a great historical development in the history of politics in America. It was Agincourt. It was the yeomen of King Harry taking down the French aristocracy with new technology and rough guts. God bless the pajama-clad yeomen of America.

* * *

At The Poor Man, the suggestion that the Democratic Party must shift rightward to compete nationally leads one commenter to respond:

No. As Truman said, "If you give people a choice between a Republican and a Republican, they'll choose the Republican".

The thing is, this is not Harry Truman's Democratic Party: the Left that has steered the party since '72 is, if anything, heir to the tradition of the banjo-Bolshevik Pete Seeger-Paul Robeson Henry Wallace Progressives who ran against Harry Truman in '48.

Harry Truman would never have let Michael Moore sit in the presidential box.


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