Goodbye to all that

Oddly enough, Sen. John Kerry's classiest move during this presidential campaign came when he finally did the very thing that probably lost him the election — be all things to all people. Kerry kept his commitment to his supporters to make sure there was no way he could have contested the pivotal state of Ohio, and simultaneously declined to get down in the gutter with Al Gore and drag the election into the waning days of the Christmas shopping season. Kerry called the President to concede and then addressed the nation in gracious spirit when it was obvious Kerry could not win the election. Kerry smartly left Gore by himself in the cesspool of American political history, and elevated his image in the eyes of many.

But reflecting upon what was won and what was avoided brings on a calm satisfaction and a slight grin. No more bug—eyed Joe Lockhart. No more dopey 'Livestrong' bracelets peeking out from French cuffs. No more limp—wristed salutes. No more Teresa and her gin—soaked raisins. No Carter and Clinton appointees returning like roaches to the federal government. No more boring, unmemorable speeches. No more barn jacket. No swearing in Joe Biden as Secretary of State. No more talk of good hair from men. No more trying to decipher just what the hell Kerry's plan was for the nation. No more of the standard bearer of the world's oldest political party endorsing and echoing the mad ravings of an overweight and overexposed propagandist, speculating on how the doer of deeds on September 11, 2001, was somehow wrong in not alarming a bunch of little kids.

Lost in all of the fervor and urgency of the horserace is the fact that the first presidential election following the most devastating foreign attack on our soil went off without a hitch. Aside from the prankster who spilled harmless white powder in a couple of polling places, al Qaeda was nowhere to be found. The nation went to the polls amid relative quiet and made their choices without fear of homicide bombers or hooded, sword—wielding kidnappers creating mass chaos and panic. The streets teemed with American voters, not American blood. Everlasting credit is due to the President, John Ashcroft, and all of those who protect our borders and our infrastructure. As much as a military victory, the peaceful administration of our electoral process is an eloquent demonstration to our enemies that we will not be cowed, and our freedom will not be denied. Oh, and by the way, we don't need no stinkin' international observers.

The defeat of Tom Daschle is another soothing farewell. It is difficult to think of another politician who seemed to revel in the strategy of obstruction more than Daschle. Democrats mindlessly pointed the finger at the President and accused him of failing to be a 'uniter,' but Daschle and his crew continually blocked the President's judicial appointments and made himself a laughingstock as he flailed about in his 'concern' and 'grave concern' regarding the President's 'miserable failure' at diplomacy which 'forced' us into war, never mind that once upon a time 'We have exhausted all of our diplomatic effort to get the Iraqis to comply with their own agreements and with international law. Given that... we have got to force them to comply, and we are doing so militarily.' Perhaps the Democrats will pluck a serious statesman from their ranks to lead their minority in the Senate. But I don't think Joe Lieberman has a chance.

Just as satisfying as the President's reelection and the defeat of Daschle was the total meltdown at CBS, which encapsulated the performance and deteriorating status of the mainstream media throughout the campaign. Dan Rather & Co. kept Ohio in play until late Wednesday morning. At 5:55 a.m., Lesley Stahl, perhaps mortified at the prospects of the electoral punishment administered by the Republican Party, four more years of a President the media despise, lack of sleep, or all of the above, decided she needed to lecture the Bush—Cheney campaign on the subject of graciousness.

Following Andy Card's victory message to the President's supporters gathered at the Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., in which Card announced that the President wanted to allow Sen. Kerry to ponder and reflect on what he should do, Stahl pronounced the Bush—Cheney team as 'ungracious.' Stahl whined that this is not how it is done, that the candidates first needed to wait for the all—knowing media ('us,' as she said) to call each state, and then wait for the opponent to concede. Only then could one declare victory. Of course! For shame, Bush—Cheney! That formula worked so well last time, and she and her colleagues in the media and friends in the Democratic Party had nothing at all to do with the power—mad mindset that led to Gore's insistence on creating a climate of racial division and a Constitutional crisis the likes of which had never been seen in this nation. How gauche of the President!

Even Rather, who all night stumbled and stammered — and was so mortified that it was not a landslide for Kerry that he looked like a frightened little boy — found it hard to stomach Stahl's sanctimony. Rather looked incredulous during Stahl's rant, and perhaps realized that it was the final nail in the coffin that houses the once—spotless reputation of CBS News. Rather shot Stahl a quizzical look and addressed her as if she was a silly intern who was hired because her daddy had some pull in the newsroom.

'Politics ain't tee ball,' he intoned. 'It sure is hardball.' Rather's face swiveled to look at a grim—looking, beard scratching Ed Bradley, in a desperate quest for approval before quickly moving to another subject. But Rather knew right then that the jig was up. He and his band of knaves had been humiliated and defeated by the dastardly Swift Boat vets who dared to utilize their free speech, a simple—minded, stubborn President who would not allow the media to call the tune, and his knuckledragging, journalistically untrained minions in the blogosphere.

Lord, it was beautiful to watch.

Matt May is a freelance writer and can be reached at matthewtmay@yahoo.com

Oddly enough, Sen. John Kerry's classiest move during this presidential campaign came when he finally did the very thing that probably lost him the election — be all things to all people. Kerry kept his commitment to his supporters to make sure there was no way he could have contested the pivotal state of Ohio, and simultaneously declined to get down in the gutter with Al Gore and drag the election into the waning days of the Christmas shopping season. Kerry called the President to concede and then addressed the nation in gracious spirit when it was obvious Kerry could not win the election. Kerry smartly left Gore by himself in the cesspool of American political history, and elevated his image in the eyes of many.

But reflecting upon what was won and what was avoided brings on a calm satisfaction and a slight grin. No more bug—eyed Joe Lockhart. No more dopey 'Livestrong' bracelets peeking out from French cuffs. No more limp—wristed salutes. No more Teresa and her gin—soaked raisins. No Carter and Clinton appointees returning like roaches to the federal government. No more boring, unmemorable speeches. No more barn jacket. No swearing in Joe Biden as Secretary of State. No more talk of good hair from men. No more trying to decipher just what the hell Kerry's plan was for the nation. No more of the standard bearer of the world's oldest political party endorsing and echoing the mad ravings of an overweight and overexposed propagandist, speculating on how the doer of deeds on September 11, 2001, was somehow wrong in not alarming a bunch of little kids.

Lost in all of the fervor and urgency of the horserace is the fact that the first presidential election following the most devastating foreign attack on our soil went off without a hitch. Aside from the prankster who spilled harmless white powder in a couple of polling places, al Qaeda was nowhere to be found. The nation went to the polls amid relative quiet and made their choices without fear of homicide bombers or hooded, sword—wielding kidnappers creating mass chaos and panic. The streets teemed with American voters, not American blood. Everlasting credit is due to the President, John Ashcroft, and all of those who protect our borders and our infrastructure. As much as a military victory, the peaceful administration of our electoral process is an eloquent demonstration to our enemies that we will not be cowed, and our freedom will not be denied. Oh, and by the way, we don't need no stinkin' international observers.

The defeat of Tom Daschle is another soothing farewell. It is difficult to think of another politician who seemed to revel in the strategy of obstruction more than Daschle. Democrats mindlessly pointed the finger at the President and accused him of failing to be a 'uniter,' but Daschle and his crew continually blocked the President's judicial appointments and made himself a laughingstock as he flailed about in his 'concern' and 'grave concern' regarding the President's 'miserable failure' at diplomacy which 'forced' us into war, never mind that once upon a time 'We have exhausted all of our diplomatic effort to get the Iraqis to comply with their own agreements and with international law. Given that... we have got to force them to comply, and we are doing so militarily.' Perhaps the Democrats will pluck a serious statesman from their ranks to lead their minority in the Senate. But I don't think Joe Lieberman has a chance.

Just as satisfying as the President's reelection and the defeat of Daschle was the total meltdown at CBS, which encapsulated the performance and deteriorating status of the mainstream media throughout the campaign. Dan Rather & Co. kept Ohio in play until late Wednesday morning. At 5:55 a.m., Lesley Stahl, perhaps mortified at the prospects of the electoral punishment administered by the Republican Party, four more years of a President the media despise, lack of sleep, or all of the above, decided she needed to lecture the Bush—Cheney campaign on the subject of graciousness.

Following Andy Card's victory message to the President's supporters gathered at the Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., in which Card announced that the President wanted to allow Sen. Kerry to ponder and reflect on what he should do, Stahl pronounced the Bush—Cheney team as 'ungracious.' Stahl whined that this is not how it is done, that the candidates first needed to wait for the all—knowing media ('us,' as she said) to call each state, and then wait for the opponent to concede. Only then could one declare victory. Of course! For shame, Bush—Cheney! That formula worked so well last time, and she and her colleagues in the media and friends in the Democratic Party had nothing at all to do with the power—mad mindset that led to Gore's insistence on creating a climate of racial division and a Constitutional crisis the likes of which had never been seen in this nation. How gauche of the President!

Even Rather, who all night stumbled and stammered — and was so mortified that it was not a landslide for Kerry that he looked like a frightened little boy — found it hard to stomach Stahl's sanctimony. Rather looked incredulous during Stahl's rant, and perhaps realized that it was the final nail in the coffin that houses the once—spotless reputation of CBS News. Rather shot Stahl a quizzical look and addressed her as if she was a silly intern who was hired because her daddy had some pull in the newsroom.

'Politics ain't tee ball,' he intoned. 'It sure is hardball.' Rather's face swiveled to look at a grim—looking, beard scratching Ed Bradley, in a desperate quest for approval before quickly moving to another subject. But Rather knew right then that the jig was up. He and his band of knaves had been humiliated and defeated by the dastardly Swift Boat vets who dared to utilize their free speech, a simple—minded, stubborn President who would not allow the media to call the tune, and his knuckledragging, journalistically untrained minions in the blogosphere.

Lord, it was beautiful to watch.

Matt May is a freelance writer and can be reached at matthewtmay@yahoo.com