Preview: Cubs Now!
Most Infrequently Updated Cubs Blog Around!
Two and a half years after posting last, I'm doin so tonight. Eight games to go, a game and a half lead. The Cubs should pull this off. More later.
No One's Reading, So What The Hell?
One of the most boring debates on sports messageboards is who is, or what makes, a fan. You're not going to get me into this. Scroll down this
if you're into it. You also know that a discussion has been brought near to the bottom when someone
decides that folks are interested in the fact that he makes six figures.
There's no right or wrong reason to be a fan. Think about it, most players take the LaTroy view that they are "playing for the other 24 guys" in the lockerroom. Indeed, if you took the entire Cubs roster, put it in St. Louis, and brought the D-Rays roster, dressed them in Cubbie blue, I'd root for the Cubs. We are indeed rooting for laundry. It's irrational, but it is what it is.
So, if someone wants to bitch about the Cubs, complain they are unlikable, or just a crappy team, so be it. They can still be a Cubs fan if they truly hold that as part of their identity. Just as you can be a Cubs fan, enjoy rooting for the team, care little about the statistical nuiances of the game, as long as you hold that as part of your identity.
I'm a Cubs fan. There's no reason for it. I enjoy the statistical aspect of the game, I like discussing strategy, complaining about Dusty, bitching that Corey needs to understand the value of a walk, and generally everything that is funny
about the Cubs. But I'm not going to get my borderline personality into a tizzy when someone says that they like the Cubs without an in depth understanding of the game. So be it.
One Tenth OverIncredible isn't it? I haven't updated mainly because I think Andy Dolan does a much better job at summing up the Cubs than anyone else, and it's overkill to post there and here. But I wanted to express my feelings in a longer fashion.The Cubs split in St. Louis. Last night's win will ultimately prove more costly than today's loss. Nomar is out at least two months with a ruptured tendon, ripping his groin muscle away from the bone. That probably hurt. The two to three month prognosis translates to 6 months in Cubs' training staff years. My guess is that the Cubs will not resign Nomar after the season. If that's right, his career Cubs stats will be: 57 Games, 216AB, .264/.326/.389, 4HR, 24 RBI. Really, really sad.Nomar was going to hit. Regression to the mean works both ways. Just as Derrek Lee is not going to hit .417 this year, so Nomar would have approached .300/.350/.500. It's sad because during his stint with the Cubs, he seemed to enjoy playing for the team and the fans. The fans liked him. He seems like a good guy. Just a sad thing.Nomar's injury coupled with today's loss got me off my ass. This is the second time the Cubs have been shutout this year. Like the previous time, Ryan Dempster pitched a solid game (six innings, one earned run), with nothing to show for it, but a shrinking ERA. Dempster is doing an adequate job of filling in for Matt Clement, both in performance and in taking tough-luck losses. (Next time, the Sun Times' resident jack-ass mentions that the Cubs really miss Clement, remember that Clement was so awful that he was benched for the "pennant run" last season. He's also getting paid a ridiculous amount of money for a guy who has a career record of 70/75 and an ERA of 4.32. Good riddance, Matt.)But today's game highlighted the worst aspects of Dusty Baker's management style. I'm tired of Dusty-bashing (the forced use of Neifi at second, while not sound, worked, prior to Nomar's injury). But his complete failure to look at statistics as a guide to match-ups pisses me off. He's managed the Cubs for three years during which Mike Remlinger has occupied a prominent space in the bullpen. Remlinger is a useful pitcher, if used to his strengths. While a lefty, Mike dominates righties and gets toasted by lefties. His splits for this year? .300/.417/.400 vs lefties, .083/.083/.083 vs. righties. Small sample size? Sure, but it holds up over the last three years: .266/.329/.428 vs. lefties, .184/.289/.273 vs. righties. Three years, strong statistical evidence that Remlinger, despite being left-handed, should not be brought into a game to get a lefty out. Three years, long enough for a manager watching every game, every inning, every pitch to figure it out.So, today, with the Cubs down 1-0 in the bottom of the eigth, with Michael Wuertz having retired four batters in a row, Dusty decides to bring in Remlinger to face Larry Walker. The only explanation for the move is a lefty-lefty match-up. It wasn't based on an individual match-up as Walker was hitting 444/565/722 in 18 at-bats against Remlinger. Remlinger proceeds to give up a homerun to Walker. Dusty then takes him out because Pubols is a righty. You know, the kind of hitter Remlinger is actually really good against. Two more runs given up by Chad Fox. 4-0 and it's over.Now, Dusty would claim to be playing the percentages. Lefty-lefty match-ups are generally preferable. That's the book. Gotta take Remlinger out against righties, righties hit lefties hard. But that's the aggregate and using the aggregate when you have special knowledge about the specific makes no sense. Dusty can't be excused for this. I've known about Remlinger's inverse split for three years. So have you, presumably, if you're reading a presumed-dead Cubs blog. But it's the easy way--lefty-lefty matchup is the rule, I was just following the rule.It would be nice to see someone really make him justify his use of pitchers in the ninth. This is pretty easy stuff to figure out. [...]
Kerry Wood is set to pitch tomorrow. He was scratched once for a bad back. Then pushed back a day to get in his full five days between starts. No one is buying this crap. The disaster of last spring and regular season has left the Cubs with zero credibility when it comes to the status of injuries.
If Wood starts tomorrow, I'll regain some interest in the season. But if Wood's scratched, and Prior's out indefinitely, there's really no point in pretending the Cubs will be competitive this season. So, for all our sake, let's hope the man can take the hill tomorrow, or 1999 will seem like a dream season.
Within days of hearing that Kerry Wood is suffering from bursitis, we learn today that Mark Prior
is suffering from elbow inflammation and irritation on the ulnar nerve. Wood is "playing catch" on flat ground at least until Wednesday when he may pitch off a mound. Prior? Well, he's out indefinitely. That's not good.
When asked about the injury to Wood, Dusty Baker said "Back in the old days, everything was bursitis." Well, now a days everything's ball-bearings. But that provides no relief to this Cubs fan. The only possible argument or hope that the Cubs would be better this year than last was that they would have a full seasons from Wood, Prior, and Garciapara. If Prior and Wood go down, we're looking at a team reminiscent of those grand mid-90's Cubs squads, with Rusch, Mitre and Dempster filling the roles of Kevin Foster, Amaury Telemaco and Jim Bullinger. [Hey! Don't forget Frank Castillo.--I've tried.]
Before jumping out the window, though, we should at least wait a week to see if there is quick progress. But like you, I have no patience for another spring-long Prior watch. Chuck at Ivy Chat
makes much of a "window of opportunity" for the Cubs--win now when we have Prior, Wood, and Zambrano. But if Prior and Wood aren't able to pitch complete seasons, there's no opportunity at all--just another forgetable season.
Leave A Message
As I start this up again, please leave a message if I don't have your link up or if your link has changed.
To date, spring training hasn't produced anything of interest. I, like you, am tired of anything Sammy. I can't say that I've always hated him. It's impossible to deny that he put on one of the greatest five year runs in the history of baseball. But honestly, I've never understood why it is so important for some people to lord their success over others. Fine, you're a stud, now turn off the damn music. It's a symbol of power I guess, like a dog pissing on a tree.
But at this point, anyone who harbors good will for the guy just isn't paying attention. Which was why I found it absurd last weekend to drive down Randall Road in Geneva, and see a 10' by 8' poster saluting Sammy and crying about the trade. Think about that, taking the time to make a poster and hang it on your back fence for all the world to see, honoring a guy who forced his way out of town by being an ass.
We all waste time. Semi-annually updating a Cubs blog seems like a waste of time. But all I could think of when I saw that piece of hagiography was "good Lord, what's wrong with these folks."
Brand New Day
For the last few folks who have dribbled in here, thanks for your patience. I didn't write because, quite honestly, I haven't had much to say. I didn't want to play along with the daily "is Sammy gone?" game that was the off-season. I wanted to hold my tongue, wait to see what the end result was going to be, and only then vent or applaud the Cubs off-season moves. But at this point, we obviously know that Sosa is gone to Baltimore for Jerry Hairston Jr and two fairly middling prospects. The Cubs appear not to have saved much money on this deal (eating 12 million from this year's salary, plus an additional 3.5 million for a severance, plus 2 million for Hairston). The Cubs signed Jeromy Burnitz to a deal at about 5.5 million. With the possible exception of a deal for a closer, we now know what we are looking at.
We're looking at a team that, with the exception of a full-season of Nomar Garciaparra and a healthy Mark Prior, is not as good as last season's team. Granted, those two exceptions may swallow the statement whole, but it would have been nice to go into the season confident that the team made the moves necessary to win. It didn't happen because other teams opened their wallets with much less care than in the previous two years. For example, I had hoped the Cubs could swing a deal for J.D. Drew, but the Dodgers gave him a five year, $55 million contract. Drew had an outstanding year with the Braves, and has always been a stand-out lefthanded hitter when healthy but it was the first year he'd played more than 135 games. A pretty risky scenario.
Once Drew was gone, I'd hoped that the Cubs would get Beltran. But it was clear that after his performance in last years NLCS, he was going to be expensive. The Mets' 7 year deal seems over the top to me.
Magglio Ordonez was the final hope. Everyone has questions about his ability to play after last season's injury. Everyone, that is, except the Tigers who gave him a bigger contract than Drew. I'd hoped that he'd go for a Nomar type contract, but with the NHL closed for the season, Little Ceasar had money to burn. Burn it he did.
So the Cubs settled for Burnitz. The trade for Sosa was simply a dump. Sosa's tiresome at this point, but the Cubs are going to lose his and Alou's production. It's not fair to expect that Burnitz, Hollandsworth, Dubois and Hairston will make it up. Thus, the Cubs need extra production from Patterson and Garciaparra and better pitching from Wood and Prior. More later.
Anything Dumber Than Royalty?
Seriously, suppose your tax dollars went to support a bunch of half-wit idiots like the British Royal family
. I've always hated the idea of royalty and have never heard an explantion for why a nation like the UK can support it. Dressing up as a Nazi? "Poor taste." In America, you make a comment like Notre Dame isn't getting the "black athlete," and you're a pariah.
As to the Cubs, I have nothing interesting to say. Congratulations to Ryno. You've heard that, though. The off-season isn't over. The Cubs outfield is sickly at this point. I'm in a wait and see mode until further notice.
Good Ol' Joe
Joe at the View from the Bleachers
is having his annual best Cubs blog contest, and he was kind enough to nominate this site. If you like this site, I'd appreciate it if you'd go over an vote for it. Again, here it is.
Patience, My Brothers
The winter solstice is upon us, and the days are too damn short. For baseball fans, this is a long, boring time. It's not worth chasing down every rumor about where Sammy's going, for what, and what Hendry will do with the money saved. So you're left with...not much really. That leads to impatience and a desire to trade just for the hell of trading.
Patience is key. The Cubs need to be players in the market, but can't blindly trade just to give us something to read and talk about. We're not privy to the inner-workings and machinations going on in the Tower. But suffice it to say, the Cubs starting outfield will not be Sosa, Patterson, and DuBois/Hollandsworth. Panic prior to the New Year makes no sense. The Cubs have in place the best infield in baseball; before the market shakes out, the Cubs will have a nice outfield as well.
The Clean and the Clear
Will Carroll got his name in lights. Well, in the New York Times Op-Ed Page. Good for him. I don't know him other than his writings on
all-baseball.com (I don't pay for BP), and for decorum sake, I'll keep my mouth shut on what I thought of his political writing.
But his piece in the Times was extremely unconvincing, perhaps because he was not able fully to articulate his argument due to the Times' word limit. But as I understand his argument, Carroll claims that criticizing Bonds and his phenomenal performance over the past five years is simply uninformed finger-pointing because we do not know whether or to what extent steroids help performance. Carroll seems to retreat from this position at the end, but, in any event, the lack of definitive scientific proof regarding the effects of steroids should not excuse Bonds' cheating.
A common argument made against those who deny steroids' performance-enhancing effects is that the athlete must think it improves his performance, or he would not risk the medical effects that accompany use. Of course, that does not prove that steroids have the performance-enhancing effect, but I think it should shift the burden to those who believe that use does not have those effects. Further, all
professional sports leagues, the Olympics, cycling, and track and field organizations ban the substances because of the unfair advantage that cheaters receive and the accompanying risks to health. Again, for those wishing to argue against the enhancing effects of steroids, why should we doubt the conclusions of the organizations and athletes with the most to gain/lose, financially and otherwise?
Carroll concedes that steroids do in fact make the user stronger. But he then states we have little or no idea what these drugs accomplish. Do stronger players hit the ball farther, swing the bat quicker or throw the ball harder? The appeal is that because no tests have compared the clean from "the clear," we can make no conclusions. Bob Dylan might respond "you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." Of course, stronger men will swing a bat faster and generate more power. The distance a ball travels depends on the force with which it is hit (and its trajectory off the bat). Force comes from bat speed (and the mass of the bat). Strong men are able to fell a tree more quickly because they generate more force with their axe--i.e. they swing an axe of a given weight faster than a weaker man. Why wouldn't the same be true for bat speed? (Honestly, if you have a compelling reason why this analogy is wrong, please leave a comment.) In any event, strength seems to be pretty closely tied to bat speed.
Carroll continues: [T]here are no credible studies that connect drug use
to improved performance, nor any that determine what cost these athletes
may be paying. In 2004, Major League Baseball financed its first research grants with the pathetic sum of $100,000. The league values science about as much as one-third of the salary of the last player on the bench. What I don't understand is what such a study would look like. Animal controls wouldn't work because the question is not whether steroids improve strength, but whether the improved strength corresponds to better baseball skills. Computer models? Perhaps, strength can be shown to generate greater bat speed, but as I mentioned above, that
seems pretty much beyond argument.
Obviously, the best studies would compare athletes using steroids, comparing their juiced performance to past performance, and comparing on-going performance to those with the closest age and statistical correlation. Such a study has the obvious disavantage of being illegal, immoral, and violative of the relevant collective bargaining[...]
ESPN 1000 reports that the Cubs have agreed to a one year deal with Nomar. The deal reportedly is incentive heavy, with Nomar getting up to $11 Million. No option for either Nomar or the Cubs.
1 year, eight million base with incentives to 11. Cubs also sign Todd Walker--per ComCast Chicago. I am reporting a two year, $14 million deal with Jim Sundberg to replace Paul Bako as Greg Maddux's personal caddy, but what do I know.
Got to watch the Big Red for the first time this year, and it makes me wistful for what could have been. Had Alondo Tucker been healthy last season, with Devin Harris leading the way, Wisconsin would have been an easy top ten team (though they were ranked as such for most of the year, they got screwed by the committee). In any event, they would have been tough to knock out of the tournament.
Wisconsin, alone among Big Ten teams, beat their ACC counterpart, Maryland, tonight. Michigan State looked good, losing to Duke on the road. I haven't seen the Illini play this year, but remember that Tucker was Freshman of the Year over both Deron Williams and Dee Brown two years ago. I think Williams is over-rated. I remember the way Devin Harris schooled the Illini guards at Madison last season. While the Illini crushed Gonzaga (while my Badgers got smoked at Pepperdine), I'll reserve judgment on the legitimacy of the Illini until they get smoked tomorrow by Wake Forest.
Me before Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. Ah, my smile would be gone in about 3 hours. (image) (image)
Long, Cold Four Months
It's times like these that I remember how much baseball means to me. The first snow has fallen in Chicago (though it was gone within two days), and the snow reminds me that we have to endure four more months without baseball. If you are reading this in the Chicago area, I don't have to tell you that these are the four worst months of the year. Long, cold nights with short grey, sunless days jammed in between.
My happiness depends on me being able to direct attention onto something external. Unfortunately, I'm not seeing much going on right now that interests me. The hot stove league is not heating up so far (at least for the Cubs, although I'd be happy if I were an A's fan). The election is over, and my Badgers folded like a tent. They also lost to Pepperdine in hoops last night. So, to the folks who have stopped by, I ask the question: what is a good way to get through these grey days until opening day? What keeps you happy in late January?
Twisting Slowly, Slowly...
No watches Keith Olbermann. I don't either because, outside of his ESPN career, he's been an embarassment. But I think he gives a good illustration of the difference between blogging and journalism.
Olbermann has gone on for three days about alleged voting irregularities. Each day, he's pretty much given up the ghost on what he reported the last night. He goes on TV and says there are irregularities with Cuyahoga county and that there are counties in Florida which are overwhelmingly Democratic but voted for Bush. Well, within a day or two, those alleged controversies are shot down (Cuyahoga county's "irregularities"--i.e. more votes in certain precincts than voters--are show to be due to the election commission's strange (though not fruadulent) decision to assign absentee votes across precincts and the Florida counties acted exactly as they did in 2000). He later is forced to admit as much.
Keith has made a stupendous ass of himself. He's embarassing on TV, but would be marginally acceptable if he were simply writing a blog. In a blog, you can note something strange, ask for comments, check the comments against facts, and say "oh yeah. My fault." On TV, you're stuck. Journalists are supposed to have the loose ends of a story tied up before you go on a rant and question the democratic legitimacy of an election. Keith ignored that, and it's not legitimate to make others try to clean up the mess he made on TV (though, on a blog, that's legitimate!).
I have to say, as a Bush supporter, this burns me up. Bush won. It was a relatively clean election. Remember that it was Joe Lockhart who was trying to stop any questions about irregularities on the day of the election (because he thought Kerry won at the time!). Keith should be pounded and hounded for his irresponsible reporting.
Keith then posts on his blog that the election is like the blow-up weeble wobbles (you knock one argument down, and another pops up). Well, yes, things in a big country are strange. But if you look at them, examine them, and discover the truth, most often there's not much fraud there. That doesn't mean that once your bullshit gets knocked down, you get to go on to another bullshit story. It means you nail your story before you broadcast it. Olbermann has made a fool of himself and his show should go the way of "Allen Keyes is making sense."
P.S. I'll be guest blogging for Bill at The Rooftop Report
. Bill apologized to me for his small readership. Hah! The 30 sets of eyes who look at this on a daily basis can read my blabberings over there along with his regulars. Also check out the new Cubs blog at 1060 West
. That's Addison. Home of Jake and Elwood.
Stick to Sports
No, not me. Keith. Keith Olbermann
, in his second go around as a self-important
non-sports talking-head, is becoming ridiculous and making a fool of himself. Keith thought he was really going to blow the lid off the election results by demonstrating that there was voter fraud. You can see the white specks of spittle as he continues his uninformed ravings tonight on "Countdown" (which is running ever more asymptotically towards a zero Nielson rating).
A little background. Keith thinks he has some startling evidence that that one county in Ohio closed its vote-counting from public view. The county's explanation of a terror threat seems weird. Okay. But the actual results
of this count are consistent with the 2000 results, with a modest gain for Bush. The increase in turnout in the county is consistent with voting patterns in Ohio as a whole and population growth in the county. Moral of the story, some county official screwed up, but nothing much more to see here.
Oh but Keith's not done. He just can't believe the results of several counties in Florida where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by as much as seven to one. See, he says, in these counties, Bush won overwhelming majorities. Inexplicable, he says in his breathless tone. Why, even the fair-minded John Conyers is upset! Where's the outrage? Where are the other mainstream media? Keith notes dryly that he got all of this right of the state's voting results. Others could do the same.
Well, others have done the same, Keith. They just knew enough to shut up. Don't think Daily Kos might have liked to run with this? Josh Marshall? The New York Times? Slate
looked at the issue and discovered Keith was a wind-bag (though that's been pretty obvious since 1998). See this guy
Those Florida counties
he spoke of went overwhelmingly for Bush in 2000 as well, despite the fact that the entire election was closer and his opponent was a southerner. These counties are populated by white southerners. They still may have a nominal connection to the Democratic party, but don't vote for Democratic presidential candidates, particularly ones from the north.
It's funny that basic research skills like looking at past results and other controls would have prevented Keith from making an ass of himself.
Spend an hour reading and reflecting on this
. Now, do you think these folks have, in their rage, have added anything that might change the results of a future election? Folks, the losers are clueless. Just as you can't put lipstick on a pig and call her beautiful, you can't dress up a liberal welfare state and call it "values."
David Brooks, the Cubs, and Other Musings
, the New York Times resident conservative (or at least, the conservative that troubles liberals least) has his thoughts on the the election and what "values voters" mean. He makes a plausible, but not entirely convincing, case that the answer is "not much." He says that the answer to why Bush won is that the majority of voters believe that they're safer with Bush as president than with Kerry.
I think that it is true that the United States is safer with Bush than with Kerry. That belief, however, requires some argument. That is, it's not self-evidently true. A certain amount of that belief is based on the fact that Bush's insistence on the US's right to act unilaterally is better than Kerry's die-hard insistence on a multilateral solution. It seems complex to me but intuitive to a lot of people. Brooks also ignores the resentment that millions have of coastal elites telling them what is right and how dumb they are for disagreeing.
But one of the things that interests me is the relationship this has to baseball and the Cubs. I've gotten comments and e-mails (unfortunatley, not the number that I'd like) saying that I should drop all political talk and stick to baseball. The thing that interests me is that saber-geeks should appreciate the degree that the election results proves the power of statistical analysis. Bush won because he increased his turnout in counties, towns, and precincts he needed to. Karl Rove is a Billy Beene in disguise. Ignore certain obvious and superficial points, concentrate on certain overlooked and valuable points, and this thing is winnable. Get voters in certain counties fired up, and this or that fact that everyone is going on about will be washed away.
For me, when it comes to sabermetrics, the only thing I can tell that is important is: draw more walks, hit more extra-base hits, strikeout a lot of opposing batters, and don't walk 'em. That seems to be the approach that the Republicans took in this election (under the radar-screen, get your voters jazzed about the fact that your candidate is with them on certain issues, don't make major errors, hit them where they're weak, direct market your voters, etc.). Democrats need to learn this lesson: don't nominate a guy who has no ability to relate to most people and seems to disdain them.
The Cubs need to look at 2004 in the whole. What were they missing? They didn't draw walks. Baker disdains walks ("this ain't little league"). Look at what went wrong; study the situation in real depth. Make the necessary changes, both personnel and approach. And turn 2005 around.
Notorious Man of the People, Hero of the Workingclass, and Michigan State Spartan fan Michael Moore sent me his seventeen reasons not to slit my wrists! Mr. Moore lists reason # 7 as: "Once again we are reminded that the buckeye is a nut, and not just any old nut -- a poisonous nut. A great nation was felled by a poisonous nut.
May Ohio State pay dearly this Saturday when it faces Michigan."
One problem there Mike. Ohio State isn't playing my Michigan Wolverines this Saturday. They're playing your Spartans! Please take off your green S hat now. Go Blue!
PS: I'll be happy to forward you this e-mail, as I'm sure he'll have it corrected and deny that such an e-mail ever went out.
Special Schadenfreude Edition
Since I began reading his columns on the New York Times Op-Ed page, I've always belived that Paul Krugman was the least fair and most reactionary writer in large circulation. However, he has given me joy today, the sublime joy of schadenfreude. Here is Krugman's
article from Tuesday:
"I always get a little choked up when I go to the local school to cast my vote. The humbleness of the surroundings only emphasizes the majesty of the process: this is democracy, America’s great gift to the world, in action. But over the last few days I’ve been seeing pictures from Florida that are even more majestic. They show long lines of voters, snaking through buildings and on down the sidewalk: citizens patiently waiting to do their civic duty. Those people still believe in American democracy; and because they do, so do I"
Ah, those majestic citizens, so civic minded, so American, so patriotic. Today
, Krugman's view of a majority of those majestic citizens has changed. They are "intolerant," ignorant radicals and extremists.
Well, Paul needs a nap. He's taking some time to himself. Hopefully, he'll be writing his textbook in a padded room. When "the people," those brave masses waiting in line, let you down, it's time for a break.
Oh, the joy! The sweet, sweet joy!
Something profound has happened. With war, terrorism, a struggling economy, and forty million people without health insurance, I don't understand how cultural issues could have been the largest concern of the electorate. It never was on the front-burner of the election. I haven't culled the exit polls sufficiently to understand this. I'm not entirely comfortable with it, but it's something that those who consider themselves part of the "cultural elite" need to think a lot about.
I live in Chicago. I work with hyper-educated professionals. My friends, my wife, and much of my family are as well. Out of respect to my friends, I don't talk about the election with them. On the other hand, I've talked with my brother about it. He is an english professor at a university in my home town. It's hard to describe the anger he is feeling right now. He thinks that the country has been taken over by evangelical "water-heads" too ignorant to see what is really important in their lives. He sees no need to compromise with the winner and no need to grapple with the fact that there is a profound cultural gap.
But if it is true that the plurality of people voted based on moral values, those in urban areas, academia, and other cultural institutions need to examine what that means. First and foremost, I think it means that gay marriage needs time before it is accepted. Do not
attempt to impose it on the country through the courts. People are coming around to total equality for gays, but they want to think about it and decide upon it themselves.
The president's cousin, John Ellis
, makes some interesting points. People are mad about the sexualizing of children and the increasing mainstreaming of pornography. The cultural sewer needs to be reexamined. John Kerry never disassociated himself from it and openly embraced an entertainment industry which seemed hostile to tens of millions of its consumers. On the other hand, George Bush openly embraced traditionalism.
You can complain about the people who decided the election, but the foot knows best where the shoe squeezes. Political power depends on governing majorities. Disdain and disgust feel good for a short time, but it's not a solution. I can't tell you what happened. I haven't heard a good explanation, but it's extremely important.
Urban Elites And "Moral Values"
The map posted below is misleading. President Bush won comfortably by 3,500,000 popular votes and a solid majority of the electoral college. But he didn't win 90% of the country.
Still, the map shows that outside of urban areas, the Democratic party is in sad shape. If you get the Tribune, look at the back page. But for Cook County, Bush would have won Illinois. The majority of Kerry's votes came from urban areas, but that wasn't enough. The vast numbers of rural, suburban, and exurban voters gave Bush the win. Why?
I thought the most important issues were the GWOT and Iraq. Democrats may have thought the economy would be the key. Well, the plurality of voters cited moral values as their chief concern. I'm going to study the exit polls and post something on this in the coming days. This seems incredibly important to me--urban vs. non-urban and the values voter. There are screechy voices out there. Give them a few weeks to calm down. But let's take a careful look at what happened, and consider what it means for the future.
I have my thoughts.