In the News

Blogosphere Election Roundup

There are, quite literally, millions of blogs out there, but here are

my favourite writeups on the US election that I’ve seen. Feel free to

point out more in the comments!

Andrew Sullivan and I are in agreement (except, of course, that I dig chicks):

IT’S OVER: President

Bush is narrowly re-elected. It was a wild day with the biggest black

eyes for exit pollsters. I wanted Kerry to win. I believed he’d be more

able to unite the country at home, more fiscally conservative, more

socially inclusive, and better able to rally the world in a more

focused war on terror. I still do. But a slim majority of Americans

disagreed. And I’m a big believer in the deep wisdom of the American

people. They voted in huge numbers, and they made a judgment. Not a

huge and decisive victory by any means. But at least a victory that is

unlikely to be challenged. The president and his aides deserve

congratulations. And so, I think, does Senator Kerry, whose campaign

exceeded the low expectations of many of us.


the most fundamental fact of this campaign – and one of the reasons it

has been so bitter – is that we are at war. Our opponents at home are

not our enemies. The real enemy is the Jihadist terror network that,

even now, is murdering innocents and coalition soldiers in Iraq. Our

job now – all of us – is to support this president in that war, to back

those troops, and to pray for victory. We saw yesterday, in the

cold-blooded murder of a Dutch film-maker for his open criticism of

Islamist misogyny, that the enemy is still at large; and aiming

directly at our freedoms and security. In Fallujah, our troops are

poised for a vital battle against terrorists and theocrats intent on

derailing a free future for Iraq. Democracy is on the line there and

throughout the world. I’ve been more than a little frustrated by the

president’s handling of this war in the past year; but we have to draw

a line under that now. The past is the past. And George W. Bush is our

president. He deserves a fresh start, a chance to prove himself again,

and the constructive criticism of those of us who decided to back his

opponent. He needs our prayers and our support for the enormous tasks

still ahead of him. He has mine. Unequivocally.

The header currently under the title of

my pal Jeff Jarvis’ blog, BuzzMachine, has “The Post Election Peace Pledge”,

which was read alound on CNN last night. It’s worth a thousand times more than any Bush campaign loyalty oath:

I promise to… Support the President, even if I didn’t vote for

him….. Criticize the President, even if I did vote for him…..

Uphold standards of civilized discourse in blogs and in media while

pushing both to be better…. Unite as a nation, putting country over

party, as we work together to make America better.

Paul Wells takes the “youth vote”, the only group whose level of participation did not rise from 2000’s levels, to task:

The majestic Howard Dean

coalition — youth, new voters, the “wired,” the “disenfranchised”

— remains the France of electoral coalition-building: genuinely useful,

if only it would freaking show up for the freaking fight.

Sorry, but I’m a bit bitter about this. Participation soared across

every demographic, including the underestimated People Michael Moore

Likes to Make Fun Of. But the young-new-“disenfranchised” set sat

around and played Halo 2 on the X-box instead of, you know, freaking voting.

These are the same people who couldn’t be arsed to pick up the phones

at Dean headquarters in South Carolina when I was there in January.

(Fun Canadian fact: the Canadian leader who has put all of his hopes —

and I mean all his hopes — on the Howard Dean coalition of non-voting non-voters is Jack Layton. Explains a lot, really.)

Doc Searls, never failing in his role as adult supervision for the blogosphere, writes:

The real

story was, and remains, connected democracy. The tough lesson for those

of us on the Left is learning that those of us on the Right were no

less connected — just a lot less obvious about it.


don’t know what difference conservative Christians made in this

election, but I believe it wasn’t small. Evangelical churches (and not

just Landover Baptist) have done an admirable job of understanding, and

using, the Internet, just as they did deploying almost countless

“translator” transmitters

all over the FM band, all over the country — except in major

metropolitain areas where they might get more noticed. (Hit SCAN on a

car radio in Phoenix

and you’ll hear up to six religious FM signals before you get to 91 on

the dial.) Safe from the media mainstream (including the parts of it

here in the blogosphere), their strength has gone unnoticed. It’s

there, and it matters. A lot.

While we were “taking back” America, they were keeping it safe. From us. Eleven states voted to ban gay marriage. Whoa. 

Strict Fatherism beat Nurturant Parentism.

The job for progressives remains the same as it’s been since Reagan reframed political debate in 1980. 

Meanwhile, the job for techies is to leverage the best of the Libertarian agenda. That is, if we want to Save the Net.

On Metafilter, in response to a “Fuck Christians” snipe, comes this reply:

>> Fuck christians. Fuck them and their

>> backward minds.

> … And you people wonder why you lost …

Good Lord, is this what we have to look forward to over the next four

years? More demonizing, recriminations, hatred and anger?

To my friends on the Right: you won! Enjoy it, but don’t come around

here twisting the knife and then feigning indignation that people are

pissed off by it.

To my friends on Left: get over the anger and divisiveness. Anyone but

Bush ™ doesn’t work. We tried it for two years, and you know what?

We lost ground. Take a look at the electoral map. Regroup, and come up

with something positive and inclusive. That’s the only way to defend

against being marginalized.

This leads me to what my friend Dan Gillmor wrote today:

People say there are two Americas. I think there are at least three.

One is Bush’s America: an amalgam of the extreme Christian

“conservatives,” corporate interests and the builders of the burgeoning

national-security state.

Another is the Democratic “left”: wedded to the old, discredited politics in a time that demands creative thinking.

I suspect there’s a third America: members of an increasingly

radical middle that will become more obvious in the next few years,

tolerant of those who are different and aware that the big problems of

our times are being ignored — or made worse — by those in power today.

That third America needs a candidate. Or, maybe, a new party.

Let me close with a local blogger — one with whom I often agree to disagree on political issues. Here’s Accordion City’s Kathy “Relapsed Catholic” Shaidle, who graciously writes:

I didn’t take Jeff Jarvis’ pledge (which was recited on CNN last night!) but can offer this crappy prayer type thing:


pray for George Bush, even if you didn’t vote for him. Especially if

you did. Don’t try to think of something clever to say, like, “Give him

wisdom” if you can’t think of the “right” words. Just pray, “God bless

George Bush”. God knows what we want and need better than we do.

Although I’d throw in a “keep him safe” because, well, because. That eventuality really worries me, now more than ever.


do the same for John Kerry, even if you voted for him. Especially if

you didn’t. We are commanded to pray for our “enemies”, our opponents.

This does both them and us good. Try it if you don’t believe me. I know

it’s hard, but just squeeze out the first “God bless John Kerry” and

you’ll be surprised how easily the rest come out. If you can’t bring

yourself to pray for John Kerry (or George Bush), pray for the

willingness to pray for them, some day. Again: this works amazing


Catholics don’t need to be told: take up your rosaries.

This isn’t something I can explain to non-Catholics. But those of you

who know, know.

Don’t pray for victory. Just pray. God’s will will be done regardless. Pray to accept whatever happens.

8 replies on “Blogosphere Election Roundup”

Good “Lord”!

What’s the difference between the extremist Muslims claiming Islam is the true religion and Catholics praying for Bush?!

Joey, maybe I shouldn’t come to your party – as much as I want to wish you a happy birthday and give well wishes to you and Ms Red Head. I’m not sure I could contain myself in a room with Relapsed Catholic.

Maybe you could invite her arch enemy from the Toronto Star?


Well, consider this:

1. The party will be spread over several rooms: living room, dining room, kitchen, my room, Paul’s room and the back deck. Over 90 people have replied “yes” to the evite. Had enough of a particular conversation or person? You have options.

Remember, it’s a birthday party in a house, not a forced meeting of minds in a small sealed room.

2. Oh yeah, I disagree with Kathy all the time. And she with me. We spar online every now and again (and each of us will say “I won!” at the end).

It’s easy to take shots across each other’s bows in writing. In our face-to-face meetings, we get along, because while we disapprove of many aspects of each other’s politics, there’s enough that we have in common that there’s room for some kind of friendship.

It’s easy to completely dismiss the possibility of getting along with Kathy based on her politics and her blog. However, doing that is a dangerous oversimplifcation. You dehumanize her into a cipher, which — if you think about it — is exactly what’s happening in the US, where left and right have completely demonized each other, preferring to hang out in their own echo chambers, shunning any kind of bridging dialogue.

We talk about making peace all the time, and how if only world leaders could engage in a dialogue, war could be avoided. Here’s a golden opportunity to walk the walk in a “think global, act local” sense.

3. That’s a serious leap of illogic you’re taking there, equating an extremist Muslim declaring war on The Great Satan to a Catholic praying for God to shed some grace and guidance upon Bush. And Kerry.

I hope you’ll still come to the party!

Not all extremist Muslims are declarign jihad on America but whatever.

You’re right however, Joey. Nevertheless, I can no longer even skim through her blog for my own health and well-being (not to mention my hair which I tend to pull out while reading her “journalism”).

I will forgo a night of my left-wing crazy-ass politics to raise a glass in honour of your hot Jewish Bride-to-be. HOTT! Oh, and wish you a happy b-day too.

This reply is to the brave “anonymous” poster lamenting his inability to contain himself in the same room as Kathy Shaidle. Please do come to the party I look forward to your prescence. I am certain it would do you a world of good to introduce yourself to enlightened people, to hear views beyond your limited circle. You clearly need exposure to the light of reason and civilty.

Have a good day.

Arnie Lemaire (Relapsed Catholics Boyfriend)

Seriously Joey, thanks for your gracious-as-usual comment, but really: I’m happy to take a raincheck rather than cause any upset. This is your night and not a meeting of the debating society, and I certainly wasn’t going to treat it as such — heck, my Ronald Reagan t-shirt will be in the wash, from the blogger bash the night before… 🙂

And don’t worry: Arnie’s not “an ex-Golden Gloves champ” (in-joke at “my enemy at the Star’s” expense, who I’m actually not fighting with. I sent her an apology for my last extremely uncharitable post, and she graciously and promptly accepted. I still think she’s dead wrong about pretty much everything — but I’d also like to make it to at least purgatory some day, too.)

I am really (as Bette Davis once put it) “more amiable than rumour would have it.”

Have a super night!!

Hey, Kathy!

I think you and Arnie should still come. Besides, talking politics is generally much nicer in real life.

Yes, there’ll probably be a lot of talk about the election, but there probably will be an equal amount of talk about the whole “getting married” thing. Amongst this crowd, a large percentage are single and have been asking me questions about the Land of Marriage as if I were Marco Polo, having just returned from China.

Don’t share *too* much of your explorations. Hehehehehe.

Personally, I feel more like Helen Keller than Marco Polo.

By the way, I would spare a prayer not only for Bush and Kerry, but for the Edwards as well; they must be going through an incredibly tough time.

—Allan of Rough Days.

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