"In Portland, Ore., a city so staunchly liberal that it is sometimes called the People's Republic of Portland, the outcome of the presidential race was absorbed with the levity of a mass funeral. Given the gravity of things, there was really only one thing that Wilder Schmaltz, a 25-year-old Portland artist who had refused to remove the anti-Bush button from his lapel, felt he could do. He called a friend and headed straight to the Red and Black Cafe, an all-organic, wheat-free, vegetarian coffee and food shop, which is run as a collective and is a popular hangout of the Socialist Party USA's candidate for president, Walt Brown.There may be a few folks in places like North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Vietnam, and Tibet who would gladly share Mr. Conklin's suffering in the Red and Black Café under the totalitarian regime he finds in Portland.
'I figured that in this place we wouldn't run the risk of being around any cheering Republicans,' Mr. Schmaltz said. Upon entering the cafe, Mr. Schmaltz, who is Jewish, grabbed off the cafe's bookshelf 'A Beggar in Jerusalem,' by Elie Wiesel, and read it glumly over a bowl of vegetarian chili. 'Something Jewish will do me good right now,' he said.
At the next table, Tchula Z, 33, an artist and part-time barista at her sister's coffee shop, who uses only Z as a last name, said she woke up Wednesday, learned that Mr. Bush had won and 'smoked a cigarette and freaked out.' She added, 'You know, as Janis Joplin said, 'Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.' I think people should start using that line again.' Her friend Tracy Conklin, 45, a freelance writer and photographer, was equally dark, concluding that there was no hope and only isolation for those on the left. I am prepared to keep my head down, possibly for the rest of my life, under a totalitarian regime,"
In the Boston Globe, Joan Vennochi speculates on the possibility that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court provided ammunition for Bush when they ruled that the Massachusetts constitution required the Commonwealth to sanction gay marriage. She ends her column thus:
This year, the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl and the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. For the second time in 16 years, a son of Massachusetts tried for the White House and failed. Sharing initials with the last presidential candidate from Massachusetts to win the presidency is not enough. If the presidency is the goal, a candidate needs more in common with the rest of America.Not.
What a sobering thought.