Josh Marshall takes the long view
And he makes a lot of sense:
Take time to feel the desolation and disappointment. But I remain confident that time is not on the side of the kind of values and politics that President Bush represents. It took conservatives two decades to build up the institutional muscle they have today. Though I was always nervous about the result, I thought we could win this election. But it was always naive to believe that that sort of institutional heft could be put together in 24 or 36 months.
I know what Josh means about desolation and disappointment -- the sense of loss I feel today can only be compared to a death in the family. I volunteered for the Kerry-Edwards campaign, and I dipped into my savings to contribute the individual maximum. When a "shy person" like me makes phone calls to complete strangers, something is indeed happening: a commitment that took me WAY out of my comfort zone. And the overwhelmingly positive response convinced me that we would win.
This is how hard we worked: Kerry carried Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He -- and we -- made history. That's a freaking miracle -- but today, it's cold comfort.
The really heartbreaking part, for me, is that we couldn't deliver the election for the best-qualified candidate of my lifetime. I believe with all my heart that John Kerry would be a great president. And he is uniquely qualified to meet the challenges facing us today. This was no failure on his part: it's (a) the result of rigged voting machines or (b) a colossal failure of judgment on the part of the electorate, take your pick. Either way, the result is the same.
I wish I could share Josh's optimism. As it is, I will look to my leader -- John Kerry -- for direction going forward.