I'm writing this while enjoying one of the most satisfying moments of my day, one of the most satisfying moments known to humanity. It's morning. I prefer to take a sip, even two, from my favorite old oversized coffee cup, with a glazed blue-checker band, before firing up. My lighter has been acting up lately, but the pack of Winstons is nearly full -- and, hooray, the flame doesn't sputter as it did last night. The deep pull, after hours of sleeping abstinence, is ambrosial. The large box of Nicorette, planted on the desk corner at New Year's, doesn't have a chance, not today.
My advice, President Kerry, is that you assemble a political "A" team, install it in the West Wing, and fight like hell against the right over the next four years.
"We ought to have two real parties," President Franklin Delano Roosevelt told speechwriter and adviser Sam Rosenman in 1942, "one liberal and the other conservative." Now we have two parties. Less like the blue and the red than like the blue and the gray. You won the election by realizing this and defeating the GOP attack machine.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to stay the California recall election makes clear as never before that the entire effort to recall Gov. Gray Davis can only be understood in light of the Florida recount struggle of 2000 -- and of the larger efforts by the Republican Party to undermine democracy in order to seize and control power.