(Laura looks a little concerned about the wife swapping part of the victory party)
The Bush campaign’s election victory marks a strategic triumph for one man’s ruthless and iconoclastic approach to ground-level politics.
In the last days of the race, a smile rarely left the face of Karl Rove, the president’s chief strategist, and now his upbeat mood has been justified.
Convinced that his candidate could have pulled off an easy win in 2000 if only more faithful Republicans had turned up at the polls, Mr Rove vowed to challenge the Democrats’ traditional status as the party pre-eminent at getting out the vote.
Over the past four years, he built up a volunteer network of more than 300,000 people in a pyramid system linking workers in individual precincts to national party strategists.
During the campaign, individual “precinct captains” received instructions from party headquarters, so that, for example, a specific anti-Kerry message put forward in a local or national TV ad could be rammed home on the doorsteps within hours.
Mr Bush’s campaign manager made no secret of the fact that the operation was modelled on “multi-level marketing schemes” such as Amway (or, to make a British comparison that might not find favour in the conservative US heartland, Ann Summers parties).
Volunteer “team leaders” who recruited more people were rewarded with gifts such as signed notes from Mr Bush.
I’m not having an easy time coming to terms with yesterday’s results, and neither, it seems, is Will Carroll.
I™m not interested in œreaching across the aisle. I™m not interested in œbuilding bridges any more. I™m not interested in explaining the nuances of educating the masses. I™m somehow numb and angry, forelorn and dismissive. As others are saying, you want him, you got him. The ones of us that didn™t want him, that did what we could to save the country, we™ll be the ones saying œtold you so when kids are dying in Iran, when the budget deficit explodes, when the Constitution is rewritten, when our gay friends are rendered illegal by archaic laws, when they bring back coat hangers as a medical instrument, when they rule the 14th Amendment is as œquaint as the Geneva conventions, and when somehow we are horribly reminded that Osama bin Laden is still free.
To quote Dick Cheney, œGo fuck yourself. For the freepers and the people that buy into the propaganda that the Roves and Atwaters gave them, you already have.