A blog by an American expatriate living in the heart of New Europe

"It's a lateral transfer" -- George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States
my photo
  Warsaw, Poland

view profile | e-mail Gustav

*roundtrip ticket

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

How's the Weather?

This time of year, in such a political environment, political parties grab onto anything they can to snag an extra tenth or hundredth of a percentage at the polls. At least that's what you would guess. So how come the Democrats aren't?

You know what I just saw on T.V.-- for the second time today? A report on BBC world about how more and more doctors are refusing to prescribe, and more and more pharmacists are refusing to fill the prescriptions for--

Wait wait, lemme guess!

1. Accutane, an acne drug linked to teen suicide?
A: That would make too much sense.

2. Medical Marijuana?
A: If only that were an issue. . .

3. Anti-Depressants to Democrats?
A: In an attempt to make Democrats so depressed that they might not go to the polls? Good guess, but--

No, no, no. The answer is the birth-control pill. The pill! Are we really going to have this debate? They've got doctors saying that taking the pill (not the morning-after pill, but your normal, everyday, contraceptive pill) is tantamount to abortion. Have I entered a time machine? Do they not realize that for every egg that is accidentally fertilized and doesn't survive because of the pill, that there are actually thousands of abortions prevented by it?

What's the point? It's this: doctors and pharmacists who refuse to allow access to the pill will remain a minority, that's true; but for the next month or so, the issue of abortion is on the tube to get the GOP base fired up, and to remind those undecideds about the abortion issue-- something that might swing more religious undecideds to the Republicans.

Nothing new, nothing new you might say, and you'd be right. But you'd be wrong if you thought the Dems were doing the same thing. Oh no. Playing offense is just not their thing.

How is the weather in the States anyway? Nice? I heard things are pretty crazy in Florida, with a possiblility that Hurricane Ivan might hit the state, the third hurricane in less than a month. My sympathy goes out to those living there. Please protect yourselves and stay safe.

And on the political pages all I see is how George W. Bush can play the sympathetic leader in that state. Am I the only one seeing a Democratic opening here?

In the past few years, especially last year, as many of those who live in Poland might remember that we had quite mild winters. Many of my friends who have lived here for longer, or for their whole lives have said that weather used to be much more predictible here. Winters used to be full of snow-- not rain and muck. Winters were cold, but white. There were snowmen, snowball fights, etc.
And, to be honest, there still are. Just fewer and fewer. The weather is getting stranger and more extreme. Just look at this summer in Warsaw. We had spring from March to July: Not your usual Warsaw summer, with the hot days starting in early May.

Yes yes, I'm getting to the point. Here: Why aren't the Democrats bringing the Environment into the debate? This is the first election in recent memory where the Environment has been such a marginal issue. Where have you gone Robert Kennnedy Jr.??
It seems to me that Kerry, with his logical and comprehensible energy policy (the idea that we ought to be at the forefront of renewable fuels-- leading, not following), could make substantial gains in places like Florida, where weather changes are already visible. Sure sure, there are good years and bad years for hurricanes. But 3 in one month? Has it ever happened since they've been recording? The scientists will figure out whether the changes in the weather are linked to Global Warming. That could take years. There are those of us out there who find the possibility frighteningly believable. The Kerry team needs to start talking about the environment in Florida.

And yes, I know that nobody should be making a political issue out of the suffering caused by these hurricanes. First of all, George and Jeb already are making a political issue out of this by linking it to their so-called compassionate-conservatism, and are taking advantage of the situation to throw heaps of money on Florida before the election. And promoting Kerry's position on the Environment is not making an issue out of the suffering, it's making an issue out of the Environment, which should have been a huge issue in the first place-- and it's making an issue out of it in a place which has felt the early pangs of our environment's death throes.

The Democrats have chosen to pick a fight on Gun Control this week-- fittingly, since by unabashedly not renewing a ban on ASSAULT WEAPONS (!!!!) the Republicans deserve a fight. Problem is, Gun Control brings more Republicans to the polls than Democrats. The issue might swing a few soccer moms, yes indeed, but that's no reason to neglect the Environment. As an issue, it could also help in places like the Pacific Northwest, where Kerry isn't as strong as he should be, and in New England, where Kerry is losing ground, as in Maine. (see today's electoral-vote.com).

Then again, perhaps Kerry is spending so much time trying to win back states like Ohio and West Virginia-- states in the Midwest that were in his column just a few weeks ago-- that he doesn't have any time to reach for those precious 27 electoral votes in Florida.

And if the Environment, on which Kerry clearly trumps Bush, doesn't become an issue soon, he won't have to reach for Florida at all-- because it will be in the Bush column come November 2nd, and with it, the Presidency of the United States.


Post a Comment


Create a Link

< Main

american expat piękna polska michigan, my michigan Pijemy po polsku - Kickin' it Polish style Warsaw Station on Feedburner subscribe to my feed my feed