Our interest in Bush's second term
Bush has already boasted that last week's election has given him "political capital which I intend to spend". How he interprets that "capital" and "spends" it is the big worry for those opposed to his policies at home and abroad.
I have to say I'm glad I didn't have to write this column two days ago. Because two days ago - Wednesday, the day the most important elections for the world since the elections held in Germany in 1932 broke the same way they did there then - I spent most of my time fielding phone calls, and watching my Inbox fill up with e-mails, from various parts of the world; and without exception they were shocked, heartbroken, despairing, numb. Mainly, numb.
The written word, they say, has a certain permanence; yet it's the phone calls I remember. Uniformly, the voices on the line had an unforgettable deadness about them. (Was I sounding that way too? I hoped not.)
Such a deadness! As if the psyches behind them had been put on 'Pause', and the words were rolling out on their own, unleavened by the human spirit.
If what those voices were expressing was grief, it was a grief beyond lamentation. It was the grief that comes over a mother of a newly-lost child after the hysterics and the wailing are over. Only, in this case there had presumably been no hysterics, and no wailing. And in this case, the dead child's name was Hope.
A lobotomy for democracy
The real problem is that many people cannot believe that the Republicans could be so arrogant and barefaced to do what it is obvious that they must have done. On KLAS-FM on Wednesday morning, the two presenters initially thought I was being funny when I said the election had been stolen. But it isn't funny, and forecasts horrendous consequences as we shall see in Fallujah shortly, and perhaps Haiti.
After the 2000 election I predicted that we were in for a hard time. I didn't think it was going to be this bad. I had no idea that democracy itself and its handmaiden, the press, were scheduled for prefrontal lobotomies.
The ultimate irony, of course, was provided by the American media which solemnly pronounced that Bush won the election on moral values, despite Enron, Halliburton, Iraq WMDs, Abu Ghraib, the Patriot Act and the host of other scandals.
If that represents morality, perhaps we should all get prefrontal lobotomies. We need to remember though, that nothing is ever over until we give up.