easy to explain. It has nothing to do with old names and faces, and Paul Wellstone's memorial service played only a minor part. The Democrats lost for one reason: Bush is still reaping the political benefits of 9/11. It's impossible for me to believe that in a country that held on to old farts like Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond for so long that the Democrats were being punished for "old blood." While 9/11 was a tragedy for this country, it was a political godsend to GW Bush. You'd be hardpressed to find another time in this country's history when a political party was rewarded while the economy was so crappy. It only makes sense in light of one event: 9/11. Bush is the "good guy" because he happened to be president when we got smacked in the mouth, and he uttered those cheap, bravado cowboy lines that Americans love. Every Bush crime is overlooked; he hasn't had to answer for a thing. Such was the trauma and anger we experienced on 9/11 that a man who sent another to Vietnam in his place could become a hero for wanting military justice. Any other candidate would have fared just as well politically, if he had been politically fortunate enough to stand on a pile of rubble in New York City and swear to get the bad guys. (The irony here, of course, is that we still haven't actually gotten the bad guys). And when Bush went around the country to the close races, this astoundingly lucky man, who has been given everything he ever had, scored big wins by appealing to the many Americans who like cheap heroes.