Thursday, November 04, 2004

You go, Arlen!

The importance of the disappearing moderate wing of the Republican Party cannot be overstated. The few moderates that remain--people like Senators John McCain, Lincoln Chafee, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins--must work extremely hard to keep their party from falling off the right-wing deep end. It will be difficult, but they must save their party from itself.

Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter, who was just reelected on Tuesday, wasted no time in speaking out against the president:

Specter, as presumptive chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary
Committee, suggested that he would block any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court who opposed abortion rights. Reiterating his position that a woman's right to choose is "inviolate," he said overturning Roe v. Wade today would be akin to trying to reverse Brown v. Board of Education, the court's 1954 landmark desegregation decision.

Barring unforeseen GOP objections, Specter, 74, should assume the committee chairmanship in January. He also sent an unsubtle message to the White House that he expects nominees for the federal bench to be of the highest caliber, and took a critical swipe at the stature of the current court.

At a news conference less than 12 hours after winning a record fifth Senate term, Specter wasted no time in asserting himself.

"If you have a race that is won by a percent or two, you have a narrowly divided country, and that's not a traditional mandate," he said. "President Bush will have that very much in mind."

"The number-one item on my agenda is to try to move the party to the center," Specter said. "I want to focus on the politics of inclusion."

I must say Specter's got a lot of balls, because he is sure to get lambasted by the growing Christian wing of the Republican Party.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Emotional swing state

One week ago, I was flying high. The Red Sox had won the World Series, and I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. Today, of course, I'm devastated.

Last night, as I lay in bed trying to go to sleep, I felt as though I was sprawled out on the canvass of a boxing ring. It was as though I had battled my way through a 15-round bout, only to get knocked out in the last minute of the fight.

I'm glad it's over. And, to echo my brother, I'm glad Bush won definitively. The American people have spoken, and that must be accepted. I may disagree with their choice, I may think they failed to understand the damage that George W. Bush has caused, I may believe their priorities are questionable--but, again, if I love democracy as much as I say I do, I must accept their decision.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

It's a beautiful day

It isn't very often that a line of people sends chills down my spine. But it happened this morning. While approaching the Davis Square T station, I saw a long queue of people patiently waiting for an opportunity to perform their civic duty and vote. It altered my plans--I certainly would have been late for work if I voted this morning as I had originally intended.

It was a beautiful. I have often believed that the citizens of this nation simply do not understand that the right to vote is an incredible priviledge. But if that line this morning and the news reports are any kind of indication, I'm dead wrong. When the stakes are high--when passions are inflamed--people will speak.

I voted about two hours ago, and as always, it felt wonderful. There's nothing quite like saying, "You're my servant."