...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

November 03, 2004



Yes, i was right. Kiss my feet, because i was almost alone in my defiance of "the conventional wisdom." (Which i recognized as liberal spin and never wisdom.) My confidence in the American people never wavered. i also don't think it's wrong to gloat. Go ahead, lets all gloat. Feel free, we've earned it, and until the liberals graciously concede, why should we be gracious in victory?

Update: And don't get me started about the so-called "youth vote." Memo to MTV: We chose, you lose! Jonah Goldberg deserves to be quoted in full here:

Look I don't know what the final tally will be. But it's now clear that the youth vote just didn't show. The liberal blogosphere is grumpy and introspective about it. I love it for reasons I will be writing about for months to come. The cult of the youth voter remains, once again, the most absurd, bogus, childish, romantic and misguided joke of liberal American politics. Period.
i couldn't agree more.

Update 2: Kerry is scheduled to concede at 10:00 a.m. PST. i still wanna gloat though. How 'bout i gloat for as long as it took Gore to give in last time? Would that be so inappropriate?

Update 3: Vodkapundit has more on the Nelson Muntz meme. Maybe someone should start a Dick Cheney as Mr. Burns meme. "Eeexcelent."

Update 4: Sarah says "Let them eat cake!"

Update 5: Robbie at Urban:Grounds reveals the dirty little secret behind all that Blue State vs. Red State nonsense.

Posted by annika, Nov. 3, 2004 |
Rubric: annikapunditry


The AP is reporting that Kerry has called President Bush and conceded. Can we still gloat for just a little longer?

Posted by: Robbie on Nov. 3, 2004

I've been gloating since 2AM(Central). My best gloating posts are at Moxie's blog. There are many sore losers out there. I got banned from some forums by some pissed Left-wing admin. Mox has a damn troll spamming her site now with "Moxie blows & Bush sucks" over and over and over again.

Oh, I am so happy that the UN, Europe, Hollywood, college faculty nationwide, and the damned Kerry-fawning media have failed miserably to manipulate the public's opinions of who they should vote for. I'm soaking all of this up like UV rays. Don't let it end.......Michael Moore's tears taste so sweet now.

Posted by: reagan80 on Nov. 3, 2004

If you want my tears, have them. Your side won on the issues and on turnout. It's a devastating election for us liberals -- the sort that leads to long periods of wandering in the wilderness.

By the way, I learned today that the term for what you are doing, Annika, is "votenfreude". It's Andrew Sullivan's term for delighting less in your candidate's victory than in the disappointment of those whom you oppose. It's human, but unseemly.

I have conceded graciously on my blog. We got whupped. The crushing votes on same-sex marriage across the USA devastate me. The one piece of good news from Cali was Boxer's huge margin and the passage of the children's hospital bond (61) and the tax on millionaires (63). Oh, and Salazar in Colorado was nice. And I had been worried about my pal Russ Feingold in Wisconsin. But that's grasping at straws today.

You won. This lefty grants you your triumph.

Posted by: Hugo on Nov. 3, 2004

Oh, and Annika, I would love to kiss your feet. But my fiancee's toes are the only ones I let near my mouth. My grudging admiration shall suffice, I hope!

Posted by: Hugo on Nov. 3, 2004

Hugo, you're all class. :-)

Posted by: annika on Nov. 3, 2004

No poetry yet. I now declare annika's comments hijacked to "Post a Racy Limerick" day:

annika looks good in her shoes.
It's not like that's really news.
Boots, pumps, or flats,
She won't crush your cats,
And her tush will wipe away your blues!

Hmmm. My other one is better, but it might get me put on annika's shit list.

Posted by: Victor on Nov. 3, 2004

Thank God.

Posted by: Matt on Nov. 3, 2004

I'd gloat, but I'd lose my job. I haven't even said much in the office today and people are snappish. But I do so love the graphic for this post. If I had a Nelson shirt, I'd be wearing it right now.

Posted by: ken on Nov. 3, 2004

You're a good sport, Hugo. You're a better man than me by taking this news so gracefully because if it were the other way around I would be bouncing off the walls and having chronic road rage for the next couple years......

Posted by: reagan80 on Nov. 3, 2004

There once was a rude boy named Victor,
Who shook like the scale of Sir Richter.
He spied a cute lass,
And grabbed hold of her ass.
If she took twenty bucks he'd have lick'd her.


Posted by: annika on Nov. 3, 2004

There are a lot of class clowns in this room. Better call the professor to break it up.

Posted by: d-rod on Nov. 3, 2004

Disgruntled, disappointed and sad
I honor the fact you're all glad --
but this vulgar verse
gets worse and worse
and Annie, it's making me mad...

Posted by: Hugo on Nov. 3, 2004

Gloat if you wish, whatever, this election has once again given support for a few of my pet observations about American electoral politics and the American people.
1. The party that is willing to assume the lowest common denominator and then pander to it wins. Republicans do it with alacrity, Democrats finds it sticks in their craw.

2. Christians can always be counted on to react to threats of encroaching moral terpitude. Tell them you are the candidate who will stomp the homosexual agenda and you have their vote. One third of the votes cast yesterday were by evn

3. Americans are very comfortable being lied to if the lies can create an illusion that they perfer to a reality they dislike.

Menken-"No one in this world, so far as I know ... has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people."

P.T.Barnum-" There is a sucker born every minute."

Menken-"I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind - that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking."

Menken-" I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious."

The Bush administration has for 4 years lied and pandered to the worst impluses of the American public and has been rewarded with the opportunity to continue undesturbed. Americans have chosen and they will rue the day. Who ever said Americans were afraid of a man with a big dick and a jar of vaselene.

"Democracy is the theory that holds that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." Menken

Posted by: mike on Nov. 3, 2004

annika, why don't you gloat till the next Iraqi loses an arm.

Posted by: fairest on Nov. 3, 2004

Yes, let's be happy about the small number of youth voters. It is good when an extremely low percentage votes. Yay democracy!

Posted by: BT on Nov. 3, 2004

You guys are funny. Aesop wrote a fable about people like you. You know which one i'm talking about. i'd quote it, but this comment thread has exceeded it's limit of pithy quotations already.

The tribe has spoken. If i felt the way you do, i'd emigrate. You should consider it. i'll hold the door for you.

Posted by: annika on Nov. 3, 2004

Gee, Annie, I hardly know what to do with these illuminati around. Can't you, like, call out the digital Sturmabteilung to kick their asses or something? I mean, between the guy who can't stop quoting "Menken" (sic) and the razor-sharp intellect that gives us "gloat till the next Iraqi loses an arm," I'm feeling awfully ignorant and backward. A little gratuitous violence would really cheer me up. Cuz Bushies are all into that shit, right?

"AMERICA, FUCK YEAH! So lick my butt, and suck on my balls!"

Posted by: Matt on Nov. 3, 2004

Ah, BT, I first voted when I turned 18 in 2000. I voted again this time around. It's not my fault that my peers would rather get stoned while watching the Real World instead of voting for the prez. I'm kinda glad they sat out this election anyway since most of them probably get their political news from Puff Daddy and Eminem. I wouldn't want the uninformed, apolitical morons of my generation to impose their ignorance and stupidity on the rest of us.

Shamefully, my sister doesn't keep up with politics either since she's more interested in sorority crap than keeping tabs on the guys that could potentially get access to The Football(nuclear button). At least she voted for Bush even though she doesn't know exactly why.

Posted by: reagan80 on Nov. 3, 2004

Stoned is the only way i could watch The Real World. ;-)

Posted by: annika! on Nov. 3, 2004

OK guys, get over it. We are all Americans.

Let's go fuck the bad guys.

Posted by: shelly on Nov. 3, 2004

From Aala, a Iraqi blogger:

"Congratulations to all American people and to our Iraqi people for this great outcome of the American Elections. This was a great statement by the American people; a statement showing the quality and backbone of this people and affirming their worth and qualification as world leaders".

"All those who have been following my blog from the start should know how I feel towards El Bush, the Avenger, the Lion-Heart and I cannot hide my happiness for this outcome, purely from a personal feeling of gratitude for what he has done for us, despite all the pain and hardships that we suffered and still do. But the objective is so great and so important that all sacrifices and difficulties pale when contemplating the benefits and goals that are hoped for".

I am gloating that the Iraqis think all Republicans are heros.

Posted by: jake on Nov. 3, 2004

Funny one on Laura Ingraham today vis the "youth vote". "P-duddy" LMAO

Posted by: Casca on Nov. 3, 2004

Hey -it's almost time for Laguna Beach on MTV. Kristen is gonna dance on the bar in Cabo!

Everybody do a shot!

Posted by: d-rod on Nov. 3, 2004


Notice how it is only living Iraqi's that seem to like the Republicans American army?

I wonder what the outcome of the poll would be if the dead spoke.

Posted by: mike on Nov. 4, 2004

"I wonder what the outcome of the poll would be if the dead spoke."

My understanding is that in Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis and New Orleans they vote overwhelmingly Democratic.

Posted by: Dave J on Nov. 4, 2004


You are the wit! Always the best way to parry the tough questions.

Hey Shelly,

Too bad you weren't at Abu Gravesite, your wish could have come true.

Posted by: mike on Nov. 4, 2004

If it were possible to poll the dead, poll all of them.

Posted by: annika on Nov. 4, 2004


If you wish to cling to this naive belief that our efforts in Iraq were motivated by humanitarian concerns, be my guest. It is more proof of what I said yesterday, lies that create a truth you like are preferable to truths that describe a reality you find abhorrent.

And give me you fax number so I might send you a prospectus for a few nice bridges that are surplus to the needs of the city here in Brooklyn or I could offer you a great deal on few choice acres of land in Colorado that would make some mighty fine homesteads. It is the land Neil Bush defaulted on after he loaned himself the money from Silverado S&L to buy and develop it. Oh, wait, you already own it since the S&L was bought out with government money. Sorry

Posted by: mike on Nov. 4, 2004

*exasperated sigh*

Okay, once more, since you haven't been reading me for very long. We didn't go to war in Iraq for humanitarian reasons. We went to prevent Hussein from cooperating with terrorists and to provide a foothold for democracy in the Islamic world, to change the mindset that creates terrorism.

Humanitarianism, the fact that an oppressed people are now free of a brutal mass murdering dictator, was an effect of our efforts in Iraq. But i think it's telling that you don't respond to my point. Instead you pull the old "liberal bob and weave." i point out that we did a good thing - you say we did it for the wrong reason.

Posted by: annika on Nov. 4, 2004

The humanitarian reasons were there, stated right up front - albeit as a secondary consideration.

But given the humanitarian reasons, the war in Iraq was indisputably the right thing to do, and on those grounds it has been massively successful.

Liberals are always complaining when we do the right thing for (what they consider) the wrong reason. They'd much rather do the wrong thing for (what they believe is) the right reason.

Posted by: Pixy Misa on Nov. 4, 2004

Sigh.......back at you, oh, wise sage,

I did not bob and weave. I am not the least convinced that the outcome of this adventure will realize any of the goals you assume whether direct or indirect consequences. It is not disingenuous to ask if the price paid in human suffering is worth the goal. The mass graves were the outcome of the slaughter of the troops and civilians that in response to George I tried, with help expected, to stand up and fight to over through Saddam. They failed, were abandoned by the US and many thousands were killed. This is not quite murder.

The belief that Saddam was in league with terrorists and was going to provide them with neat effective weapons was an airy justification to invade a country. Maybe he would have maybe not. Certainly he hadn't and was more than likely an enemy of fundamentalists since he ran a secular government, something they abhor.

As to forcing democracy onto a population that, now that the overriding military is gone, is reverting to religious alliances, I have my doubts.

Democracy is not a glass of milk you put out on the table and everyone agrees it is god’s gift to humanity. This is the way the Bushies seem to operate. It is far more complicated and far less of a golden opportunity. There are large groups of people that prefer the format of a benevolent King than a participatory democracy. In the case of Islamists, the adored, sage Ayatollah is fine with them.

I think the whole adventure in Iraq is a sad, brutal effort by a bunch of angry men, who insist, against the advice and judgment of more learned students of the region, to foist their democratic "values" on a population did not ask for them, and has shown very little appreciation.

I will not get into the poor planning of the logistics and the typically corrupt corporate implementation of American contractors at this time.

Posted by: mike on Nov. 4, 2004

i actually like that response very much, since you've stated positions that reasonable people can differ on, namely whether the price is worth the goal, whether we should "force" democracy on anyone, whether it can work over there, whether pre-emption is wise, or an over-reaction, and even the "poor-planning" and "corruption" issues. You and i disagree on all those points, but i think its much more constructive for people to discuss them than to dispute the obvious point that Saddam was torturing and killing Iraqis before, and now he's not.

Posted by: annika "wise sage" on Nov. 4, 2004


"This is not quite murder." Oh? When I'm dragged off in the middle of the night and tortured to death because I once ate lunch with a guy who was later tortured to give up names of "traitors," I'll take great comfort in knowing that it's "not quite murder"? What do you call it? Those graves aren't all full of combatants who took up arms against the regime, Mike. Many were men, women and children who were slaughtered en masse because someone thought they might not subscribe 100% to the cult of Saddam -- or just for kicks. Do you know anything about the history of Baathist Iraq, or do you just parrot whatever Michael Moore happens to be saying today? What, you think Iraq was all "flowering meadows and rainbow skies and rivers made of chocolate, where the children danced and laughed and played with gumdrop smiles" before 1991? You and Sean Penn.

"Certainly he hadn't and was more than likely an enemy of fundamentalists since he ran a secular government, something they abhor." I take it you're not familiar with the old adage that the enemy of my enemy is my friend? Churchill abhored the Bolsheviks, but it didn's stop him from buddying up to Stalin long enough to crush the Nazis. Stalin and Hitler abhored one another, but it didn't stop them from cooperating to divide Poland. Syria -- the other secular, Baathist autocracy in the Middle East -- sponsors Hezbollah, a group of . . . wait for it . . . Islamist terrorists, whose stated goal is (Shi'ite) theocracy! How many dozens of examples from history do you need before you'll admit that this is a specious argument? The links between Saddam and terrorists are well documented. The fact that they may not (or, on the other hand, may) have included direct links to al Qaeda, yet, is of little consequence to me as a voter. The mere realistic possibility was enough to make sitting around the U.N. Building with our thumbs up our butts dangerously irresponsible, in my view.

Finally, I suggest you broaden your reading list to include some sources other than the New York Times. If you did, you might learn that a great many of those people you seem to see as incapable of handling democracy or appreciating liberty are in fact just as capable as ultra-civilized, postmodern, Western secularists, like our beloved American left. For example, the Afghans -- who'd never before experienced anything like democracy, and who were about as backward as any people on Earth, but who turned out in droves to participate in the democratic process when given the chance. Or like the Japanese, another backward people with absolutely no experience with democracy, and who fought like hell for years to resist its advance, but are now thriving under it -- despite its having been imposed on them at gunpoint, and despite having real reason to be bitter at the invaders.

None of that guarantees democracy will work in Iraq. But you've done a rotten job of justifying your assumption that it won't.

Posted by: Matt on Nov. 4, 2004


I will not much longer reply to people who grit their teeth, clench their butt and begin a bullying response to someone who has had the temerity to have a world view they do not share or whose argument they deem ineffective. If you have something to share that might illuminate why you think the Iraqi’s will embrace democracy and create a functioning government, please offer up something other than the tired examples of the mid-century occupations by the allies of conquered countries. Also, the verdict on what the Afghan. experiment has produced is not yet rendered. Only those with an agenda would jump to the fore to support their case with the simple fact that they were registered and showed up Election Day. Is that all democracy is? Oh, and to you point about the "murder" of the occupants of the mass graves, I limited myself to the group I defined. I do not dispute the horror's of the Saddam govenment, NO ONE DOES, so I wonder why the Right keeps harping on this issue as if Liberals think he was a sweet fella and only the enlightened can see otherwise. Why can you not, ever, recognize that if I(we) disagree with your policy and tactics, we are not also blind half wits who wish FTD would deliver to Bagdad? It says something to me about how secure you are in your position.

Posted by: mike on Nov. 4, 2004

"Or like the Japanese, another backward people with absolutely no experience with democracy..."

Whil I'm not disagreering with your larger point, that's not really accurate, Matt. Until the military got actively involved in politics, Japan from the Meiji Restoration in the 1880's up until the mid-1920's had some limited experience with democracy. Yes, the franchise was limited, but then it was in the UK as well; indeed, one might compare the degree of democracy to the UK before the 1911 Parliament Act started the process of disempowering the House of Lords.

Posted by: Dave J on Nov. 4, 2004

Very nice post, and I liked the Nelson image so much, I stole it, and now it resides on my blog.

With regard to the implosion of the Crats of Dem, I can only say "Haa ha!"

Posted by: Mark on Nov. 4, 2004


"I do not dispute the horror's of the Saddam govenment, NO ONE DOES . . . "


"The mass graves were the outcome of the slaughter of the troops and civilians that in response to George I tried, with help expected, to stand up and fight to over through Saddam. They failed, were abandoned by the US and many thousands were killed. This is not quite murder."

"The mass graves." Not "some of the mass graves" or even "many of the mass graves" -- just, "the mass graves." Where's the limitation here? If this paragraph wasn't intended to minimize the moral implications of those mass graves you're talking about, then you should learn to express yourself more clearly. The right might stop hammering this point if leftists would stop making asinine statements that, like yours, make it sound as if lefties consider all those dead innocents unworthy of inclusion in the moral calculus. If you disagree in your moral judgment regarding the costs and benefits of the war, fine -- just include all relevant factors, and weight them honestly.

"something other than the tired examples of the mid-century occupations by the allies of conquered countries . . . "

Why? What, exactly, is it about those examples that, in your view, makes them "tired" and -- I gather -- irrelevant?

"the verdict on what the Afghan. experiment has produced is not yet rendered. . . "

Certainly that's true. But then, the verdict on what the American experiment has produced is not yet rendered, either. However, the signs are encouraging in both cases. In the case of the Afghans, there was extraordinary turnout despite dire threats to life and limb by the remnants of the Taliban regime. In this country we fairly crap our pants about voter "intimidation" when someone suggests it might be a good idea to have some cops at or near the polls. The commitment to and enthusiasm for the democratic process displayed by the Afghan people is positively inspiring, and is in itself a tremendously positive sign. Their system will not be as liberal as what we're accustomed to in the West -- not for some time, at least, though perhaps later -- but I doubt that it has to be in order for us to have accomplished our objective in Afghanistan, or for their lives to be radically improved. And I have no intention of creating an overly rosy picture, here. It's still a violent, rough-and-tumble country, and by no means would I call it a stable democracy. Then again, five years after the U.S. Constitution was ratified, George Washington was calling out the militia to put down the Whiskey Rebellion. Two years before its ratification there there had been Shay's Rebellion. And seventy-two years later we entered a four-year civil war that cost hundreds of thousands of lives and nearly ended us. So the fact that things start off rough isn't necessarily an indication of impending doom for a fledgling democracy.

As to Iraq, there's much about the history and dynamics of the country that's encouraging (a history of secularism; a relatively educated populace capable of contributing to a modern economy and building a decent quality of life; a limited number of factions; a majority faction whose leading figure, while no Western-style progressive, shows signs of sanity). There's a lot that we haven't done very well there, and we need to get a lot smarter about it. We certainly could fuck things up irretrievably if we're not careful. But whence the implication that Iraqis simply aren't interested in democracy, or can't handle it?

Finally, since you consider democratization the solution of simpletons, you must have a far better plan. Please enlighten me. What would President Mike do? But I caution you: If it involves the term, "U.N.," not only will I laugh but you will have permanently discredited yourself.

Posted by: Mike on Nov. 4, 2004

Huh. Weird. The footer of that last post should say "Posted by Matt."

Posted by: Matt on Nov. 4, 2004


I stand corrected. Thank you for pointing out the error. I'll have to read up on this issue a little more.

Posted by: Matt on Nov. 4, 2004

Matt, FYI, here's the text of the 1889 Meiji Constitution: http://history.hanover.edu/texts/1889con.html

Posted by: Dave J on Nov. 4, 2004

Hi Mike, Raygun, Matt

I guess the simple answer as to what I would have done is nothing. I do not envision the role of the US to look over the various governments around the world deciding which it shall invade and which it shall leave alone. The situation in Iraq could have easily continued for many more years with various sanctions and inspectors to keep the baser impulses of Saddam under control. I firmly believe this is all a pretext for securing oil. Nothing altruistic about it. China is the threat we really fear and “terrorism” is the cover that is allowing us to secure a better position in the larger battleground, that of access to raw materials.

As to the moral implications of rescuing a distressed population I have very mixed feelings. Although I am deeply concerned about human suffering and oppression, liberty and freedom, I try not to make the mistake of believing that we or anybody can use a hammer other than to separate warring parties. We could probably have used a hammer to intercede in Rowanda, maybe now in the Sudan, or as we did in Bosnia. The possibility of humanitarian intervention is nice to imagine but not an easy reality to affect.. How does one leave and not allow the parties to simply go back to their old ways? How does one stay and afford the cost and political complications. I don't have the answer. Wilson thought a League of Nations could provide a venue where these conflicts and disputes could be aired and solutions, including force, could be implimented.

How has that gone, you ask? Well, at times it has worked and at other times not so well.

Other than the country with the biggest hammer running around trying to impose its will, which I think is no solution, I don't have a better idea than to use the UN, or form alliances. Or do you think we can continue as we have for the next 50 to 100 years?

Crushing Iraq, ruining the infrastructure, destroying the status quo, killing possibly 100,000 civilians according to an article in the Lancet last week, toppling the dictator, underestimating the allegiance of the people to their respective religious affiliations, and on and on, could not be, in my opinion, the best we could have done. Maybe the goal of liberation and removal of a possible threat was noble and protective at the same time, but the methods, justification, and execution have been deceitful, innept, under equipped, careless and so far a tragic failure.

The fact that Rumsefeld still has his job in unbelievable. What Kerry said quite clearly, time after time was that someone else, employing a different set of advisors and world view might be able to develop a better endgame. He never said he would not continue the fight. Never said he would turn his back and pull the troops out. But that is exactly what Bush kept telling America he would do. He lied. He basically lied about everything. And in the face of a situation in Iraq that is clearly out of control, an infrastructure that has not been rebuilt, schools that have not been reopened, an economy that has not been restarted, he looked everyone in the eye and said he do it all again without the least bit of irony. Very sad, very sick. But at the same time he convinces many people that any other way (Kerry's) would be worse. How much worse could it be?

Posted by: mike on Nov. 5, 2004

"the country with the biggest hammer running around trying to impose its will"

If that country is the United States of America, i'm all for it. In fact i LOVE the idea!

Posted by: annika! on Nov. 5, 2004

I knew you would!

Posted by: mike on Nov. 6, 2004

Read this one on the walls of a lecture hall at the University of Illinois at Chicago (Go Flames!):

There once was a man named Dave,
Who kept a dead whore in his cave.
When asked of the smell,
he said "What the hell?
"Look at all the money I saved."


Posted by: Mark on Nov. 8, 2004