By Anna Pulley
By Erin Sherbert
By Chris Roberts
By Erin Sherbert
By Rachel Swan
By Joe Eskenazi
By Erin Sherbert
By Erin Sherbert
It's been the talk of coffee shops, university classrooms, and workplaces across San Francisco for the past two weeks: How, exactly, did President Bush win a second term? In a city that saw 83 percent of its residents cast ballots for Democratic nominee John Kerry, the reaction to Bush's relatively easy re-election has been a mixture of anger, sadness, and stunned disbelief. Are the folks touting morals and values in all those red states really so different from us? And, most important, what should Democrats do now? The only sound louder than that made by hand-wringing has been the clamor of argument and denials about the myriad problems facing the minority party. Are you, too, an apologist for the hopes and dreams of Democrats? Take our quiz and find out!
1) On Election Day, early exit polls showed John Kerry enjoying small leads in several key eastern states, sending a surge of enthusiasm through his Democratic supporters. By midafternoon, however, waves of pro-Bush voters were descending on polls, reversing Kerry's fortunes. What was going through your head as you watched the tide turn and the Republicans begin to rack up states?
A) Election? Wait, wasn't everyone watching NBA opening night on TNT?
B) I kept thinking: "Yeah, but if we take California, we can totallypull this thing off!" (Bonus point for watching the election returns in a Berkeley-area bar.)
C) A bullet.
2) It's been widely reported that many voters in red states said moral issues were a deciding factor in their vote. Coupled with the amendments against gay marriage that passed in 11 of those states, many political analysts have argued that a stirred-up religious right effectively won Bush the election. How do you explain the divergent attitudes between those voters and most San Franciscans?
A) David Bowie. You either get him or you don't.
B) Um, have you seen the tourists around town lately? I don't think too many of them set the ol' TiVo to the Bravo channel, if you know what I mean.
C) Oh, c'mon. We have more in common than you think. The only real difference is that some folks believe in an invisible old man who sprinkled humans and animals on the Earth a few thousand years ago from his home atop the clouds, and the rest of us are grown-ups.
3) Several prominent Democrats, including California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, have criticized San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom for pushing the gay-marriage issue so fervently in an election year. Do you think he was wrong to help bring the topic into the courts and the national spotlight?
A) That depends. Are a few precious weeks of delusional ecstasy worth a lifetime of legalized discrimination?
B) Stop being paranoid. I'm sure President Bush will only nominate judges who possess an open mind, a sense of equality for all, and a commitment to truth and justice. Also, I'm from Neptune.
C) Personally, I think the mayor suffered far more damage when his wife bragged about his large "package" at an October gay-rights fund-raiser in New York. I mean, how in the world does a handsome, rich, husky-voiced politician recover from a public disclosure like that?
4) President Bush is interpreting his victory -- in both the popular and Electoral College votes, this time -- as a mandate from the people. His aides have hinted that he intends to spend his newfound "political capital" on issues ranging from gay marriage to the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade. What do you think his re-election means for the country?
A) Impeachment hearings.
B) Another tax cut, probably. And you know what that means: another brand-new VCR.
C) Let's look on the bright side: It's great news for the backroom abortionist industry. (Bonus point for idly wondering if Halliburton is in that line of work.)
5) Controversial Attorney General John Ashcroft resigned a few days after Bush's victory, writing to the president, "The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved." What's your reaction to Ashcroft's departure, and how would you rate his performance?
B) Look, I'm just glad he hand-wrote his resignation to the president to ensure confidentiality. You just can't be too careful in these times when America is secure from crime and terror.
C) You know, it's a shame. Ashcroft will probably go down in history as a maniacal slayer of civil rights, when he really should be remembered as the man who lost a Senate race to a dead guy.
6) In the wake of this year's stunning loss, Democrats insist they will do plenty of soul-searching to establish a new direction for the party. Former presidential candidate Howard Dean has said he'd be interested in becoming chairman of the party's national committee, a move that would signal a leftward shift. Do you think the party should reach out to more hard-core leftists and defectors to the Greens?
A) Yes. You mean the Communist Party, I'm assuming.
B) Reach out to them, sure. But don't actually touchthem.