Tuesday, November 14, 2006

once upon a Time (aka Time ain’t on our side)

I was in the subway yesterday, staring at the covers of the magazines at a newsstand while I waited for my train. My eye’s zeroed in on the cover of this week’s Time Magazine. There was a cover story about the elections written by pretend Democrat Joe Klein (yes, another intellectually bankrupt fake Dem named Joe), Why the Center is the New Place to Be, and while it at first got my hackles up, I then thought, fine, let’s call the Democratic position—the position that received a ringing endorsement last Tuesday—the center. I’m good with that. The Republicans have proven themselves to be the party of the extreme right; the Democrats have had to drag us back to the mainstream center.

This center has zero to do with (assholes) Joe Lieberman or John McCain, of course. This phony portrayal will be something all of us will unfortunately have to strain against for the next two years. This center is the center of long-time liberals, newly elected populists, and hard-working progressives. It is the center that wants to see us withdraw troops from Iraq, and hold the administration accountable at home. This is the center that wants to see a hike in the minimum wage and a drop in the price of prescription drugs. This is the center that wants to give the poor a leg up and see the rich pull their weight. This is the center that wants to live in hope instead of in fear; the center that favors ideas over ideology.

So, like I said, I’m fine with that. Or, I was, until I saw that Media Matters went and dug up the Time cover from November 1994—the one that announced that midterm’s Republican takeover of the House—and then I got a little less fine with it all.

I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything else—Time is hardly The Nation, after all—but I will never quite get over, I’m afraid, the double standard that seems to exist in the establishment media. This two-Time-ing, however, is especially fantastic when you do the math. As can be pointed out in a variety of ways, the size of this 2006 Democratic wave absolutely dwarfs the shift that the 1994 Time called a “Republican Stampede.”

I am especially fond of an analysis by Scientician that first rebukes Karl Rove’s latest whine that an additional 77,611 votes would have allowed the Republicans to hold on to the House, and then goes on to show that 70, 000 more votes for Democrats would have given the (already) landslide winners an additional 18 seats (or a shift of 35,000 votes from Dems to Repubs, because that’s how THE math works, Karl). The piece goes on to show that in 1994, the 25 Republican pickups were attained on a cumulative margin of fewer than 10,000 votes.

(It should also be noted that without Republican dirty tricks—voter suppression tactics like robocalls and misleading informational mailings and palm cards—many more close House races might would have swung Democratic.)

Oh, I could go on and on about this. If anyone was doing stampeding, it was this year’s voters, running pell-mell toward that big, blue, Democratic circle in that Venn diagram.

Isn’t it about time we all acknowledged this?


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