11.06.2002

But, But, I'm a Federalist!

As much as I really don't like quizzes, this one just charmed me.



And, yes, I'm a Federalist, but that bank wasn't such a bad idea after all. Go me!
But Will They Learn? Sources Say No

John Ellis thinks that a Democratic purge is "coming". I agree with his logic, that the Democratic party can't ideologically withstand the ratification of Bush's victory in 2000. However, I don't think there's automatically going to be a purge of the Dem leadership.

First off, no politician, especially not ones as hyped up on the fumes of power as modern day Democrats, is going to resign, a move equivalent to admitting defeat at the hands of the boy king. Ellis argues that the Dems are going to have to "think much more imaginately about the most important issues." Well, yeah, but only to win. There's no law saying that the Dems have to rebound from this immediately.

Who is going to do this thinking, pray tell? Gephardt is a sick old donkey; Daschle is a model for ineffective leadership; Terry M. is as useful as a rat in the pantry...so who? That's why Hillary is the only Democratic to gain from last night. She has a low enough profile that she wasn't visibly damaged by the defeat, and she has enough name recognition that she can, with a few smarts, waltz into power.

However, does Ellis really think that Hillary is the visionary leader that the Democrats need now? I sure hope not. The best we could hope for would be return to Bill-type policy, which, as has been shown over and over again, was not as great as we all thought it was.

I predict that there will be some internal reorganization, with individual Senators and Congressmen striving for recognition (voting against Bush, organizing bipartisan initiatives, the usual), but that it'll take until 2006 for the Democrats to fully regain power (2004 won't be successful because they haven't got anyone decent to run for President, which will hurt their party's entire campaign organization).

11.05.2002

Deja Vu All Over Again

Well, Fox News is reporting that the VNS service has crashed. VNS, for the uninitiated, is a joint project between a lot of the major news sources to report on exit polls and statistics. Basically, it's the backbone for the networks' statisticians when it comes time to call the elections. It's way cool (I was able to visit one of the stations using it, as I know one of the statisticians, so I've used it a bit, and trust me, if it works, it's awesome).

Problem is, it's not working. There isn't quite enough bandwidth on the system to have allowed all the networks to sign on, and even with that, there were a lot of worries that it would crash. Which it did. Two reasons why this isn't bad (it's actually a really, really good thing, provided it's not your job to call elections).

1) It'll cut down on speculation based on exit polls. Because of the portions of VNS that went down, the statisicians are left with raw information (plugged into a variety of models) as well as the results from past elections (divided up geographically as well as along party lines). As such, they're going to be really, really careful calling elections (not that they weren't already paranoid, the people I've spoken to refer to Florida like evangelicals refer to the Anunciation -- the beginning of a new era).

2) Television is going to be less frenetic tonight. Because they are going to have to work more, the stations hopefully won't harp upon the data, which is, to me, the least pleasent aspect of election night.

And, because the station knew I was a journalist, the condition on which I was allowed to visit was that I wouldn't report on how panicky everyone was that the system would crash. But since Fox News has broken it, I think they've scooped me.