I don't know whether to be very happy or very embarrassed that I live in New York after a result like Tuesday's election. People here are always referring to New York City as a bubble, an island if you will, completely separated from the rest of America. To say that I don't know anybody who voted for Bush would be a lie, but it is true that while I didn't make an effort to associate with only Kerry voters, I literally associate with only Kerry voters. Sarah has an arch Catholic friend who apparently voted for Bush on the issue of abortion. My personal beliefs on the issue of abortion are hardly as tidy as the typical Pro-Choice voter, but I do believe in the necessity of abortion rights and believe that those rights must be preserved. And while I don't allow myself to believe abortion will be outlawed over the course of the next four years, I will repeat again that the "political capital" line does make me uneasy. But even if the president doesn't have to worry about his own re-election, the party must remain cautious or they might lose the congress and the presidency next time around.
In her defense, I don't think Sarah's friend voted on some repressed urge to eliminate homosexuality which many Americans did. Last weekend there was a phone-in campaign in Ohio organized by Republicans saying that "We have to get Senator Kerry elected, so we can legalize Gay Marriage." Man, those guys fight dirty. And they won. This time pretty decidedly. Mandate. Mandate. Mandate.
Elsewhere in the world, Yasser Arafat is "knock-knock-knockin' on Heavens door," and the world sits with heavy anticipation to see if anybody's home. Or if it's still as hard as it used to be to get a table there. The real question is not whether Arafat will be given 21 virgins (or whatever) when he arrives at the pearly gates, but is instead what he will be leaving behind when, likely in the next few days, he finally does die. The news says he's been comatose since Thursday, but his advisers are quick to say it was a medically imposed--and completely reversible--coma. They wanted to make it clear to the Palestinian people that there was no brain death because they are clearly afraid of what will happen when his death is official.
The truth is that nobody knows. And everybody should be afraid. While it's possible that, since both Israeli and American officials have said time and again that they cannot negotiate with the PLO leader, Arafat's death will allow the peace process to begin again, but this outlook is optimistic at best. This isn't the outcome people fear. I don't think it's necessary to go into the horrible things that might result from the death of the long time figurehead of the Palestinian struggle. I'll just say that it could be bad and leave it at that.
Back in the New World, Sarah and I were on TV Monday night. We went to Rockefeller Center after work. Sarah works on 53rd and 6th right near all the major news outlets. NBC had Rockefeller Center made up into Democracy Plaza for all their major news broadcasts, so if you thought you saw us while Chris Matthews was interviewing Ben Ginsburg Monday Night, you were right. That was us in the top left-hand corner of the screen while the camera was on Ginsburg. I feel silly for just having been there, but felt like it was a little known news story that didn't get nearly enough play what with the election and everything.