- The Washington Times - Monday, November 8, 2004

Jolly good show

Remember the brilliant idea by the Guardian, a left-wing British newspaper, to help Sen. John Kerry win Ohio?

In 2000, Democrat Al Gore won Clark County, Ohio, by a slender margin of 324 votes. So, in its Oct. 13 issue, the Guardian announced “Operation Clark County.”

“The idea was simple: Give U.K. readers frustrated with the Bush administration a way to help drive him from office,” explains Andy Bowers at Slate.com. “The left-wing newspaper targeted one swing county in one swing state and invited readers to send one-on-one letters to independent American voters.”

More than 11,000 Guardian readers responded, but the foreign letter-writing campaign enraged Clark County residents, who replied with letters of their own denouncing the Brits as “stupid, yellow-toothed pansies.” And the director of Clark County’s board of elections observed tersely: “The American Revolution was fought for a reason.”

When Tuesday’s votes were tallied, President Bush won Clark County by 1,620 votes over Mr. Kerry. In fact, Mr. Bush’s vote total in the county this year (34,444) was 25 percent higher than his 2000 total of 27,660.

“The most significant stat here,” Mr. Bowers notes, “is how Clark County compares to the other 15 Ohio counties won by Gore in 2000. Kerry won every Gore county in Ohio except Clark. He even increased Gore’s winning margin in 12 of the 16. Nowhere among the Gore counties did more votes move from the blue to the red column than in Clark.”

Maureen’s meltdown

The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, who in her first postelection column last week accused President Bush of “dividing the country along fault lines of fear, intolerance, ignorance and religious rule,” apparently thinks she went too easy on the Republican. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that her second postelection column, published yesterday, bordered on the hysterical.

“Just how much did Karl Rove hate not being one of the cool guys in high school in the ‘60s? Enough to hatch schemes to marshal the forces of darkness to take over the country?” Miss Dowd asked.

“Oh, yeah,” she answered.

The columnist added: “W.’s presidency rushes backward, stifling possibilities, stirring intolerance, confusing church with state, blowing off the world, replacing science with religion, and facts with faith. We’re entering another dark age, more creationist than cutting edge, more premodern than postmodern. Instead of leading America to an exciting new reality, the Bushies cocoon in a scary, paranoid, regressive reality. Their new health care plan will probably be a return to leeches.

“America has always had strains of isolationism, nativism, chauvinism, puritanism and religious fanaticism. But most of our leaders, even our devout presidents, have tried to keep these impulses under control. Not this crew. They don’t call to our better angels; they summon our nasty devils.”

Miss Dowd repeated some of this yesterday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Her conservative colleague, William Safire, appeared on the program with her, and gently assured Miss Dowd that everything would be OK, and that someday the Democrats will return to power.

Love over hate

“Love is stronger than hate. That is the lesson of the 2004 election results,” Michael Barone writes in U.S. News & World Report.

“Millions of Democrats and leftists have been seething with hatred for George W. Bush for years, and many of them lined up before the polls opened to cast their votes against him — one reason, apparently, that the exit poll results turned out to favor Democrats more than did the actual results.

“But Republicans full of love, or at least affection, for George W. Bush turned out steadily later in the day or sent in their ballots days before. They have watched the ‘old media’ — the New York Times, the broadcast networks CBS, ABC, and NBC — beat up on Bush for the past year, and they have listened to the sneers and slurs directed at him by coastal elites for a long time. They did so loudly and clearly, giving Bush the first popular-vote majority for president in 16 years.”

Mob violence

An apparent mob of vandals attacked the North Carolina Republican Party headquarters in Raleigh, causing minor smoke damage, breaking windows and leaving vulgar messages, police said.

Three persons were arrested, the Associated Press reports.

In addition to the damage, the vandals left a burned effigy depicting President Bush and Sen. John Kerry, police said.

A police officer reported Friday night that about 100 people wearing masks and gloves were walking down a street near the headquarters, police Capt. D.S. Overman said.

Officers investigating that report found a second group “vandalizing and damaging” the Republican headquarters, said police Maj. D.R. Lane.

The vandalism was a “planned and orchestrated event,” police spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

“This is not a political statement,” Mr. Sughrue said. “A political statement is what we made Tuesday. This is a crime.”

The officers found several spent fireworks, poster boards with slogans and spray-painted expletives on the walls. At least two windows were broken and police said it appeared that the vandals tried to put incendiary devices inside the building.

The three persons arrested were charged with malicious damage to property using an incendiary device, a felony, Maj. Lane said. They remained in custody Saturday afternoon in lieu of $50,000 bail each, a jail spokeswoman said.

Good news

Not all Democrats are depressed over the election results.

“The good news is pro-life Democrats are winning campaigns,” says Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats For Life of America. “Pro-life Democrats win because they withstand the pressure of the national party and represent the values of their local communities.

“Evidence of this is in West Virginia. We won the governor’s race in West Virginia despite the fact that President Bush carried the state. We also won legislative races in states all over the country including Iowa, Missouri, Michigan and made the runoff in two separate congressional contests in Louisiana.”

Mrs. Day adds: “We are hopeful the national party will reassess its pro-abortion stance after the disastrous results of Tuesday night. They are costing us elections and abandoning our founding values of protecting and advocating for those who need a helping hand. At the top of that list should be helping protect the rights of the unborn.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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