I remember how heartbroken I was watching the recount of the Bush/Gore election. I knew we had more votes than they did but I also knew that they wanted to win more than Gore's team did. I knew that they would do whatever it took to take control, while the Democrats had (and still have) an almost British, "That's not cricket, old chap," attitude.
Four years later I woke up at dawn to drive to Vegas from Venice Beach to get out the vote for Kerry in the battleground state of Nevada. I didn't mind going door to door from one soulless, week-old subdivision to another. I didn't mind being chased by a snarling pitbull down a street and over a fence. My reasons were not completely saintly, however. I was sure we were going to win so figured on canvassing till the polls closed then partying up and down the Strip all night. The nightmare occupation was finally about to be over, "VB Day", Victory against Bush was upon us!
Instead, that night, in some space-themed bar inside the Mandalay Bay, I guzzled dirty martinis while watching Fox News, ubiquitous on TV sets around the casino. I couldn't look anyone in the eye. I felt surrounded by bloated Red Staters, like a partisan in enemy-occupied Italy.
The day before the election I read every paper, every blog imaginable. I had contributed debate prep to the Kerry campaign and some one liners that he had actually used. Yet the day after the election and for months afterwards I didn't touch a newspaper.
The Bush Administration/Fox News/right-wing hate radio echo chamber seemed to have a stranglehold on my country, pumping it full of lies daily.
With little help from the MSM the blogosphere and The Daily Show and now the Colbert Report are striking back at the Empire and I swear it seems to be crumbling before our eyes. Bush at 34% approval? In the U.S.? He's probably got 36% among the insurgents, in Iraq.
O'Reilly and Limbaugh, our modern-day McCarthys, are clearly under-informed jackasses, yet for so long their lunacy was mistaken for conventional wisdom. Now, just watch the Colbert Report once and you can never watch O'Reilly the same way again. Instead of wanting to scratch his image off your set with a screwdriver you can now gleefully cackle at his aggressive ignorance.
Remember what Rumsfeld said about Europe, "Oh they're Old Europe, they don't really matter"? Well, O'Reilly and Limbaugh, court jesters of a failed American monarchy, are old media. Grandpa may be in the home watching O'Reilly, but the kids are watching Colbert (in between the crystal-meth fueled polysexual love-a-thons and satanic ritual pet beheadings O'Reilly wants us to believe our left-leaning youth are up to).