Please send as far and wide as possible.
Editor, The Konformist
Wednesday, November 8th, 2006
LANDSLIDE! ...a big thanks from Michael Moore
You did it! We did it! The impossible has happened: A majority of
Americans have soundly and forcefully removed Bush's party from
control of the House of Representatives and the Republicans have
also, miraculously, been tossed out of running our United States
Senate. This was done because the American people wanted to make two
things crystal clear: End this war, and stop Mr. Bush from doing any
more damage to this country we love. That is what this election was
about. Nothing else. Just that. And it's a message that has sent
shock waves throughout Washington -- and a note of hope around this
Now the real work begins. Unless we stay on top of these Democrats
to do the right thing, they will do what they've always done: Screw
it up. Big Time. They helped Bush start this war, and now they
should make amends.
But let's take a day to rejoice and revel in a rare victory for our
side -- the side that doesn't believe in unprovoked invasions of
other countries. This is your day, my friends. You have worked hard
for it. I can't tell you how proud I am to count all of you as part
of the greater American mainstream we now occupy. Thank you for all
the time you gave this week to get out the vote. Some of you have
been at this since the large demonstrations of February 2003 when we
tried to stop the war before it started. Only 10-20% of the country
agreed with us at that time. Remember how lonely that was? Some
people were even booed! Now, 60% of the country agrees with our
position. They are us and we are them. What a nice, strange, hopeful
A woman, for the first time in our history, will be Speaker of the
House. The attempt to ban all abortion in the conservative state of
South Dakota was defeated. Laws to raise the minimum wage were
passed. Democrats were elected to fill Tom DeLay's and Mark Foley's
seats. Detroit's John Conyers, Jr. is going to be the Chairman of
the House Judiciary Committee. The Democratic governor of Michigan
beat the CEO from Amway. The little township next to where I live in
Michigan voted Democratic for the first time since... ever. And on
and on and on. The good news will continue throughout today. Let's
enjoy it. Savor it. And use it to get Congress to finally listen to
If you want to do one thing today, send an email or a letter to both
of your senators and your member of Congress and tell them, in no
uncertain terms, what this election means: End the war -- and don't
let George W. Bush get away with any more of his bright ideas.
Congratulations, again! Now let's go find a spine for the Dems to do
the job we've sent them there to do.
Yours in victory (for once!),
P.S. Thanks for all those photos you sent me of you with your brooms
at your polling places. They're still coming in and we're posting
them here throughout the day. And for those of you who asked
how "Sicko" is coming along, the answer is: better than we ever
expected! We're hard at work in the edit room and it will be in
theaters in June. Thanks again, everyone, for your support.
The American revolution of 2006 and beyond
November 9, 2006
The concession by George Allen today confirms that James Webb has
won in Virginia, a victory that gives the Democrats a majority in
the Senate, completing the party's sweep of both houses of the
Congress and ratifying the repudiation of President Bush and his
policies, especially in the Iraq war.
Bush's radical presidency was the number one issue in the mid-term
elections. Republican candidates lived in fear that they would
receive calls from the White House suggesting that the president
wanted to campaign for them. His last minute blitz in Montana on
behalf of Senator Conrad Burns seemed momentarily to lift the
beleaguered incumbent, but virtually the moment Air Force One
departed the Republican sank once again, this time for good. In
Florida, the Republican candidate for governor, Charles Crist, fled
upon the president's arrival at a rally on his behalf in the state
capital of Tallahassee. Crist's disloyalty and rudeness, leaving
Bush in the lurch, was the better part of wisdom. Crist, like other
Republicans caught in the storm, managed to survive only by avoiding
him. The once eagerly sought presidential photo-op had become the
kiss of death.
Before the spotlight turns to the repositioning of the president,
the appointment of a new secretary of defense and the machinations
of the new 110th Democratic Congress, it is worthwhile to sift
through the extraordinary election returns, which contain the
makings of a further realignment of American politics in the
presidential election of 2008 and beyond.
Bush's radical presidency consolidated the grip of Southern
conservatism over the Republican party. He completed the "Southern
Strategy" launched by Richard Nixon in 1968 in the aftermath of the
civil rights movement, a strategy that assimilated the Dixiecrat
George Wallace third party into the Republican ranks. Over time, the
strategy that was supposed to be an add-on to the traditional GOP
engulfed it. Bush finished the project that Nixon began. Karl Rove,
his chief political aide, hypothesized a permanent national majority
rooted in a Southern Strategy in which the rest of the country was
an add-on. But in his quest for realignment Rove has left a rump
regional party mired in the swamps of Dixie. What purpose does Rove
with his scenarios of polarization now serve Bush?
After the midterm elections, the GOP has become a regional party of
the south. And, in the future, Republicans can only hold their base
by asserting their conservatism, which alienates the rest of the
country. More than ever, the Republicans are dependent upon white
evangelical voters in the south and sparsely populated Rocky
Mountain states. The Republican coalition, its much-touted "big
tent," has nearly collapsed.
Republicans under Bush are beginning a downward spiral that
parallels the decline of the Democrats. From 1968 through 1988, the
story of the Democratic party had been its internal disintegration
and reduction to its base. Clinton's presidency served as an
interregnum, which might have broken the Republicans had his vice-
president, Al Gore, been permitted to assume the office he won by a
popular majority but was thwarted by the conservative bloc on the
The 2006 elections have started to hollow out the Republican party
outside the south. Of the Democratic gains reported thus far (there
are still races too close to call), 11 of 36 House seats held by
Republicans in the north-east were captured; that is, nearly one-
third of the Republicans there were wiped out. In the Midwest, nine
of 60 flipped, that is, 15%. These Republicans are not the more
conservative members, but the most liberal and prominent moderates
in their party. According to an unpublished post-election study by
Thomas Schaller, a University of Maryland political scientist, 14 of
48 of the most "liberal" Republicans were defeated.
The Democrats who defeated them can be expected to hold these seats
indefinitely. Historically Republican districts going back to the
founding of the GOP in the civil war are turning into Democratic
bastions. After the failure of Reconstruction, the south became
wholly Democratic, the "solid south", and the basis of a Democratic
party that was mostly out of power, unless the Republicans split,
until the rise of Franklin D Roosevelt and the New Deal during the
great depression. The pre-FDR Republicans, after Reconstruction,
gave up on ever building a two-party system in the south. Instead,
in reaction to the solid south, the Republicans consolidated
national power in the solid north.
This post-civil war/pre-New Deal pattern is now turned on its head.
Voting patterns today almost exactly resemble voting patterns of the
late 19th and early 20th centuries, but with the parties in reverse
The Democratic party that has advanced from the 2006 elections
reasserts the solid north, with inroads in the metropolitan states
of the west, and, like the GOP of the past, challenges in the states
of the peripheral south such as Arkansas, Tennessee and Virginia.
This Democratic party has never existed before. It is a center-left
party with wings that can flap together. The party's opposition to
the Republicans on economic equity and social tolerance are its
The pace of this realignment is uncertain, but the underlying
dynamics are not. That the Senate fell to the Democrats in Virginia
is telling about the weakness of the Republicans and suggestive
about the future. Senator George Allen represented the fulfillment
of the Republican Southern Strategy. He intended to use his win in
this contest as a platform for his presidential campaign in 2008. He
had already assembled around him throngs of experienced and
expensive Republican political consultants. James Webb, who had
originally been a Democrat, but become a Republican long ago and
rose to be Reagan's secretary of the navy, returned to his roots in
response to Bush. His victory represents the emergence of a
Democratic party that even has a new appeal in the upper south.
Sidney Blumenthal will discuss his new book, How Bush Rules, at the
Guardian Newsroom in London on November 15. For details see
R.I. senator may leave Republican Party
By MICHELLE R. SMITH, Associated Press Writer
Fri Nov 10, 2006
Two days after losing a bid for a second term, Sen. Lincoln Chafee
(news, bio, voting record) said he was unsure whether he would
remain a Republican.
Chafee lost to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in a race seen as a
referendum on President Bush and the GOP. On Thursday, he was asked
whether he would stick with the Republican Party or become an
independent or Democrat.
"I haven't made any decisions. I just haven't even thought about
where my place is," Chafee said at a news conference. When pressed
on whether his comments indicated he might leave the GOP, he
replied: "That's fair."
Chafee, 53, is a lifelong Republican who has represented Rhode
Island for seven years. His father held the same seat for 23 years
He is the most liberal Republican in the Senate and was the sole
Senate Republican to vote against the war in Iraq. But that was not
enough to prevail against Whitehouse, who shared many of Chafee's
views but was a Democrat in a heavily Democratic state.
Chafee said he has not decided what to do after leaving office, but
he hoped to stay involved in public life. He said his loss may have
helped the country by switching control of Congress.
"The people have spoken all across America. They want the Democrats
and Republicans to work together," he said. "I think the president
now is going to have to talk to the Democrats. I think that's going
to be good for America."
Chafee said he waged a lonely campaign to bring the party to the
middle. He described attending weekly lunches with fellow GOP
senators and standing up to argue his point of view, often alone.
"There were times walking into my caucus room where it wasn't fun,"
he said, adding that he stayed with the GOP largely because it
helped him bring federal dollars home to Rhode Island.
Wash. Post editorial acknowledged Republicans dominated in "negative
campaigning" but said it was "because they were the ones on the
Thursday November 9, 2006
Summary: In an editorial, The Washington Post asserted that "[t]he
worst offenders" of "negative campaigning" were "Republicans, but
that probably was because they were the ones on the defensive." In
fact, Republicans also employed vicious smears in winning the 2002
and 2004 elections.
In a November 9 editorial, headlined "A Better Way," which discussed
how "[n]egative campaigning hit new lows this year," citing four
tactics used by Republicans this election cycle, The Washington Post
asserted that "[t]he worst offenders ... were Republicans, but that
probably was because they were the ones on the defensive." In fact,
Republicans also employed vicious smears in winning the 2002 and
2004 elections. For instance, during the 2002 Georgia Senate race,
then-Republican challenger Saxby Chambliss linked then-incumbent
Sen. Max Cleland, a former Army captain who lost three limbs during
the Vietnam War, to Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden and attacked
Cleland's record on national security. During the 2004 presidential
race, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (now Swift Vets and POWs for
Truth), which backed President Bush, also employed smear tactics to
falsely attack Sen. John Kerry's (D-MA) record during and after his
service in Vietnam, a smear previously noted by the Post's editorial
Additionally, the Post editorial cited the "sleazy new practices
such as robo-calls designed to annoy and deceive voters" but did not
note that they were employed by Republicans, not Democrats, as its
own reporting has. The editorial also referred to "the Election Day
disgrace of Maryland's top two elected officials sanctioning the use
of a clearly false campaign flier and then compounding the insult to
the targeted Prince George's County audience by using out-of-state
homeless people to distribute the material" but did not note that
the campaign was conducted by Republicans. As the Post reported on
November 7, "Inaccurate sample ballots describing Republican Gov.
Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Senate candidate Michael S. Steele as
Democrats were handed out to voters in at least four polling sites
in Prince George's County."
Despite the Post editorial's suggestion, Republicans have a history
of engaging in controversial attacks on their Democratic opponents
and such attacks are not unique to the 2006 midterms. For instance,
as Media Matters for America has previously noted, during that 2002
Georgia Senate race, Chambliss aired advertisements against Cleland
that featured footage of Saddam and bin Laden and attacked Cleland
on his record on national security. As the Post itself reported in a
July 3, 2003, article:
It [the ad] opened with pictures of Osama bin Laden and Saddam
Hussein. "As America faces terrorists and extremist dictators," said
a narrator, "Max Cleland runs television ads claiming he has the
courage to lead. He says he supports President Bush at every
opportunity, but that's not the truth. Since July, Max Cleland voted
against President Bush's vital homeland security efforts 11 times!"
The Chambliss ad was immediately condemned, as the Post reported, by
Republican Sens. John McCain (AZ) -- who said of the ad, "[I]t's
worse than disgraceful, it's reprehensible" -- and Chuck Hagel (NE) -
- who threatened to run an ad denouncing Republican officials if
they didn't pull it off the air.
Additionally, in 2004, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth became
famous for airing false and discredited ads attacking Kerry's
Vietnam service record. Among other things, the Swift Boat Veterans
accused Kerry of lying to receive the medals he was awarded during
his service and of betraying the troops by giving anti-war testimony
before Congress in 1971. An August 24, 2004, Post editorial
condemned the ads, stating that "ads by the group calling itself
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth had crossed the line in smearing the
service that earned Mr. Kerry three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and
a Silver Star." The editorial further noted that "additional
evidence has emerged, in reporting by The Post's Michael Dobbs and
in other papers, that further discredits the group's claims."
The Post's editorial reflects a pattern among the media in
denouncing "dirty campaigning" and suggesting both parties are
culpable, while providing only Republican transgressions as
examples, as Media Matters has previously noted (here and here). For
instance, the October 25 broadcast of ABC's Nightline reported
that "both sides are playing a serious game of hardball"
with "mudslinging" attack ads hitting "below the belt," focusing
entirely on a handful of controversial Republican ads that garnered
wide media attention and were broadly condemned, both for their
inaccuracies and their personal attacks. But the report did not cite
one instance in which a Democrat had made similar attacks. Likewise,
in an online report on how recent campaigns advertisements
are "getting ugly," ABC News, unable to point to a single instance
of "nasty" attacks from Democratic candidates or their supporters,
suggested it is only a matter of time before "the left" begins
to "unleash its garbage as well." ABC News offered no evidence to
back up its assertion.
And just in case you think it's all good news...
Conyers Toes Party Line: No Impeachment
Something Is Extremely 'Rotten In The State Of Denmark'
Friday, November 10, 2006
The latest Democrat "saviour" to flip flop 180 degrees in light of
their victory is Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich. Presumed to become
chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in January, Conyers today
said that impeachment of President Bush "is off the table."
"In this campaign, there was an orchestrated right-wing effort to
distort my position on impeachment," Conyers said in a statement
released by his Judiciary Committee spokesman. "The incoming speaker
(Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.) has said that impeachment is off the
table. I am in total agreement with her on this issue: Impeachment
is off the table."
Conyers seems to have forgotten that last December he laid out the
grounds for impeachment in a 350 page long report called "The
Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception,
Manipulation, Torture, Retribution and Cover-ups in the Iraq War"
and later updated to add "illegal domestic surveillance."
For a while Conyers was the darling of left leaning bloggers and
At this site, we are especially proud of the new Conyers
Report, "The Constitution in Crisis." By purchasing this book, you
have the opportunity to own a part of history and help the
Congressman hold the Bush Administration accountable. Your
assistance in helping Congressman Conyers become the next Chairman
of the House Judiciary Committee will bring us one step closer to
getting the American people the answers from this Administration
that they deserve.
Conyers is so admirable. One of the very few in Congress who still
has integrity and principles. It is too bad that he does not get
more MSM coverage but why would they do that? He might upset the
Republican and Corporate plans for total control and could expose
their nefarious doings.
He is risking much by not following the official DNC program too, in
addition to challenging the Bushies.
- Huffington Post
In december 2005, upon release of the report, Conyers stated:
The Report concludes that a number of these actions amount to prima
facie evidence (evidence sufficiently strong to presume the
allegations are true) that federal criminal laws have been violated.
Legal violations span from false statements to Congress to
whistleblower laws... The Report also concludes that these charges
clearly rise to the level of impeachable conduct... In response to
the Report, I have already taken a number of actions. First, I have
introduced a resolution (H. Res. 635) creating a Select Committee
with subpoena authority to investigate the misconduct of the Bush
Administration with regard to the Iraq war and report on possible
So Conyers was already underway with setting up investigations into
impeachable offences, but now he says that impeachment is off the
table? Clearly he has been given orders to toe the party line or
face the consequences.
Despite the fact that 86% want to see the President impeached,
leading Democrats have already ruled this out. The same leading
Democrats that voted for the war in Afghanistan, for the Patriot
Act, for Homeland Security and against a bill that simply condemned
torture of prisoners in Iraq.
After Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean, Conyers is the latest Democrat
to show us their true colours once in power.
Conyers and the other Democrats highlight precisely why we need to
regroup, consolidate and redouble our efforts in light of the
theatrical shift of power in Washington to the left. Because as soon
as this happened, overnight, the truth movement lost a great deal of
support from those that believe the job is now done.
Taking note of many reader comments over the past few days I have
noticed a startling uprise in the amount of negative and dismissive
feedback from some readers. Evidently those who expected us to be
out dancing in the streets at the news of a Democrat landslide in
Washington have been bitterly disappointed.
We have never once suggested that the solution to a corrupt and
fascist Neocon leadership is a passive and capitulating Democrat
sideshow leadership, so why is it any surprise that we are
continuing on the same course as before?
Comments such as the following emphasize my point:
"You can only have it one way. What the hell is up with you people.
The whole time the Bush regime was in power you begged for change.
Now you have it, but your still complaining."
Yes we are seeking change, but not a simple change of personnel as
we have witnessed this week. As we reported yesterday "There's no
doubt about it, to see frothing Neo-Cons who have been strutting
around like John Wayne for the past five years finally eat humble
pie is a breath of fresh air, but let's not be so deluded as to
think that the Neo-Con agenda, which took decades to craft, was
simply brushed aside by the victory of a party that has supported
Bush every step of the way on major issues."
Seeing Bush on TV admitting he'd took a hell of a beating was great,
for about five minutes, then he started laughing and joking about it
and talking about pushing forward to work closely with a new crowd.
Is rolling over and going back to sleep going to get Bush impeached?
Should we shut down the websites now and go save the whales or
something else we'd all love to be doing if we didn't have to
relentlessly keep fighting to stop our leaders killing our freedoms?
Within hours the Democratic elite have shown us that they don't give
a damn about holding the Bush administration up to scrutiny. With no
effective opposition in the form of a political party it is up to
the people to continue to demand justice and to continue to attempt
to reign in those who have heinously abused their power.
Thomas Jefferson described Congress as "a body to which the people
send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question
everything and yield nothing."
In light of this how can any representative say something like
impeachment is 'off the table?'