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    "When many cures are offered for a disease, it means the disease is not curable" -Anton Chekhov

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    Tuesday, September 14, 2004

    Pulse of the People: It's been almost two months since I last did a "Pulse of the People," and oh, my how things have changed. The conventions, the Swiftvets, and now the CBS Guard memos have all added new twists to the race. Polls now show Bush ahead in Ohio. But in my office, he's still got a fight ahead of him.

    This is the third Presidential election since I began practicing in this area, in this practice. Most of my patients have been with me for all of those years. And this is the first time that I've ever seen so much political activism among them. A lot of them come in now wearing Kerry/Edwards buttons. Some of them preach to me about the evilness of Bush, running down what can only be described as Michael Moore Talking Points. The most memorable, was from a man who's surely old enough to remember Johnson and Nixon describing Bush as "the most corrupt President in my memory." One woman asked that I avoid giving her any medications that could make her drowsy - she had a Kerry rally to attend. And another patient told me he had to get better by the weekend so he could canvass for Kerry. This, even though, according to this data base, my area is heavily pro-Bush.

    The one thing all of these patients have in common is that they're union members. And the unions see this as a fight for their life:

    According to an AFL-CIO lobbyist, Clinton was told two weeks ago that this election was not about his reputation but rather the survival of organized labor in the United States.

    'Clinton was told -- and it's something that he knew anyway, we think -- that four more years of Republican control on Capitol Hill and in the White House could weaken organized labor to the point where we wouldn't be able to help Democrats the way are now,' says the AFL-CIO lobbyist.

    And it shows. Here's a union leader firing up her canvassers:

    "This isn't some ``namby-pamby'' mission to get out the vote no matter what," she told the volunteers.

    ``It's about getting the vote out for (Democratic candidate John) Kerry. We're not screwing around. We want them to know what Bush has done to working families. This is war.''

    And like war, apparently everything's fair. The activists are so vocal, it makes it hard to tell which way the wind's blowing. Even the Democratic mayor of a Democratic stronghold is hedging his bets:

    "In a sense, we have both bets covered,'' Mayor George M. McKelvey said. "The Democrats, you know, they're going to deliver probably their traditional 60 percent of the vote. So, if Kerry's elected, he's sure going to deliver something to them, right? If Kerry's not elected and Bush is elected, I guess I'm the go-to guy."

    It's all very confusing, but I'm going to modify my original prediction that Ohio will go to Kerry and predict it will be as close as Florida 2000 (and maybe just as contentious), unless RatherGate has an impact. (So far, everyone seems very unaware, but that could change as more mainstream media investigate CBS's apparent malfeascence.)

    UPDATE: Slate's Election Scorecard has Ohio going solid for Bush as of September 16. Go figure. Guess the unions aren't making much of a dent.

    posted by Sydney on 9/14/2004 10:12:00 PM 0 comments


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