Sunday, September 26, 2004


Eloise and I live in Southwest Minneapolis. It's a collection of pleasant neighborhoods, all filled with sturdy houses built in a variety of styles during the first third of the 20th century and arrayed along quiet tree-lined streets (notwithstanding past and present epidemics of Dutch Elm Disease), and all within minutes of Downtown, Uptown, Minnehaha Creek, and Minneapolis' famed Chain of Lakes. For instance, I run from my back door down to Lake Harriet, around its 2.75-mile circumference, and back home again several times a week, and that's a helluva a lot cheaper and more enjoyable than belonging to a health club. (I'm forgetting about January, of course, but that's the prerogative of every Minnesotan when the weather is September perfect like it is now.)

Alas, Southwest Minneapolis is also undoubtedly the United States' most monolithic bastion of reflexive upscale liberalism between San Francisco and the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The DFL Party (Minnesota's twist on the Democratic Party, short for Democratic-Farmer-Labor) has had both city government and the area's state and federal legislative seats locked up for a generation or more, and the precincts of Southwest Minneapolis typically back the Democratic Presidential candidate by a three-to-one margin.

Thus it's par for the course to see Kerry/Edwards lawn and window signs greatly outnumber Bush/Cheney signs around here. Six houses on our block alone sport Kerry signs--and two of them have two signs.

Yet there are, er, signs of change afoot. A month or two back, you'd be lucky to see one Bush sign for every 100 Kerry signs; now it's more like a ten-to-one ratio. Plus, one of our block's Kerry houses recently downgraded from a large-ish window sign to a barely visible bumper sticker.

And then there's this. The very first house in the neighborhood with a Bush sign that I noticed is on a busy arterial street about three blocks away from our house. It was a standard-sized lawn sign, positioned perpendicularly to the street, obviously to maximize its visibility to passing motorists.

The appearance of this speck of Bush flotsam in the heart of the Kerry armada so enraged the guy in the house across the street that he put these up in his yard:

Posted by Hello

I took this picture yesterday. When the signs were initially installed they weren't perpendicular to the street like they are now, and like the Bush sign across the street was. They were parallel, so it seems clear that he was responding to his neighbor.

And how did our Bushie take this? Not sitting down:

Posted by Hello

Game on, Garth.


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