October 2004


I was taking out my trash yesterday, when my landlords came home. Don and Louise were just getting back from West Virginia where they have spent every weekend for the last few months, working for the Kerry campaign. We said hello, and then Louise told me things are really crazy in West Virginia.

Apparently registered voters there (newly registered Democrats by some odd coincidence) are getting phone calls telling them they, in fact, are not registered. So Louise was spending the day calling all of the confused, but registered voters back – to tell them they are definitely registered and can vote with pride on Tuesday. Her husband Don spent the day canvassing for Kerry and being called a fag and a baby killer.

Atrios heard about the story today and reported it on his blog. Seems the calls can be traced to the Eastern Panhandle Republican Party headquarters in West Virginia — and they have been warned before to stop making the calls.

Republican National Committee Chair Ed Gillespie was on one of the morning shows today saying that his only goal is to prevent voter fraud during this election. He said he wants to make sure that people who don’t exist are not allowed to vote on Tuesday. Apparently the voter files include newly registered voters named Dick Tracy and Mary Poppins among others.

While I applaud Mr. Gillespie’s interest in making sure only real people vote on Tuesday, something tells me that Mary Poppins won’t be showing up to vote anywhere in the US, and if she does, she will probably have to show ID. Seems to me the RNC and Ed Gillespie should be more concerned about the real-life people being disenfranchised in West Virginia and elsewhere.

Crossposted on my blog at EchoDitto

I have been thinking a lot lately about politics. To be fair, I have always thought a lot about politics, but since I have been working at the DCCC I find myself thinking more and more about the difference between politics and Politics – and what that difference will mean on November 3.

Big “P” Politics is what the world watches during election season and ignores the rest of the time. Big “P” Politics is conventions and news shows, kissing babies and sordid, career-ending affairs. It is tv ads we can recite in our sleep and lawn signs with American flags. Big “P” Politics is fun (mostly) every few years, but it has not much really to do with our lives.

Then there is little “p” politics. Little “p” politics is about the caliber of the schools our kids go to and whether our trash gets picked up on time. It is about whether we can enjoy stoop sitting with our neighbors or have to sit in our houses with the doors locked. It is about the quality of life we lead and the richness of our communities.

So here is the problem as I see it. It seems this election cycle we have seen a few people active in politics becoming more active in Politics. And we have seen a lot of people interested in Politics paying a little more attention to politics. All of this has been sparked by an overwhelming disgust with the current administration coupled with a way to share and discuss that disgust with people hundreds of miles away – the internet.

My question, and the thing I am trying to figure out is – what happens to all this energy on November 3? Will the people active in politics stay involved in Politics between now and the next election? Will the people obsessed with Politics start paying more attention to politics? And how can the internet play a role in both? If you figure this one out, let me know.

blog – n. (blawg) a personal Web site that provides updated headlines and news articles of other sites that are of interest to the user, also may include journal entries, commentaries and recommendations compiled by the user; also written web log, Weblog; also called blog

So I have the news articles and the journal entries. And I am working on the recommendations, but I am still sorely lacking comments. I could leave comments for myself, but that would only depress me.

So please, do me a favor and if you visit the site, leave a comment! Anything at all will do. “Jen, that is the stupidest thing you ever said in your whole life”, or “Why the hell do we care about a blimp?”, or even “what is an Atrios?”.

It would make my day, and you might even meet a new friend or two. Go ahead, give it a try – click on “comments” and say whatever comes to mind.

After the debates last night, Atrios posted a call-in number and password for an open Bush-Cheney conference call.

Seems a few of us checked it out…

Who won the debate? No question, Kerry rocked!

I watched the debate tonight with a group of co-workers and friends. By the end of the evening, we were all guffawing with pleasure and cringing in embarassment at the man we loosely call President. To be quite honest, I was afraid we would be doing these things about Kerry.

All in all, a wonderful night.