feh
Kerry may not have been the strongest candidate, but he was solid. What's scary to me is that 51% of American voters would vote for Bush even against a weak candidate, let alone a strong one. I (sort of) understand people relating more to Republican values than to Democratic ones, but Bush being in office is bad for this country, regardless of party. Discounting scientific facts, espousing vigilante justice, and representing the United States as ignorant and arrogant--whatever your values, these things harm the people of the United States.

I don't think the Bush victory (and yes, he's won, it's just a formality at this point) is Armageddon, as some have argued, but it's still very, very bad.
--Max Wed Nov 3 08:25:09 2004
Truth be told, Armageddon sounds about right for a born-again Texan Lame Duck with a hankerin for big oil, big bombs, and big government.

If you thought Haliburton was at the tit in the first term, you haven't seen anything yet. They are the fifth wheel of this administration, and the words "no-bid" and "contract" are going to sound unfamiliar apart in the next four years. The national debt will skyrocket, making Reagan look like a fiscal conservative by comparison. Look to invest in home "environmental" technology (water filters, air filters), as Bush's war against the EPA lowers the bar shamelessly. Because I just can't have enough benzene and lead in my drinking water. With Rehnquist on the ropes, expect the Spring fashion to be black robes not so discretely covering evangelical crosses. Oh, and just wait until more of what that 87 billion in "contracting" has been buying us in Iraq is disclosed. Wait until the number of "contract" combattants (i.e. those not bound by the Geneva Convention) operating in Iraq becomes common knowledge, and why they are getting funding that is within an order of magnitude of that spent on our actual troops there. In about a year, once the GAO gets a hold of the accounting irregularities going on in cash in Iraq, the fur will fly. Wait until we have Iran Contra 2, when it is painfully revealed that the cash that was being used to buy these "contractors" was being funnelled either right back into stateside coffers or into the hands of militant Islamists. Oh the joy that will bring.

As for Kerry, he rolled over and played dead. Any decent candidate have skewered Bush on Iraq, Halliburton, Enron, taxes, oil prices, but he never drove the stake home. Why not? First and foremost because he let military service become a central issue when the only people who cared would be drinking swift boat kool-aid. As Clinton so pointedly drove home, "It's the economy, stupid." But Kerry never got traction on that.

But more importantly, look at the people Kerry surrounds himself with. Lots of foreign born billionaires in there: Soros, Heinz-Kerry. His wife has been a drag on the female vote all the way, especially in the critical soccer mom category. No voting block in this country identifies with a Mozambique born South African educated heiress, regardless of her charity work. Her obvious disdain for her husband's presidential asperations made her less charming. The history of their union looks even more like expedience, up until 2003 she was a registered republican, like her former husband, the good senator from Pennsylvania. She started seeing Kerry less than a year after her first husband died in a plane crash. Let's face it, Laura Bush was graceful and charming by comparison. The Republicans could not have selected a better Dem candidate. He was a paper tiger from the get go.

Kerry was the slimmest of hopes for changing the course of this nation. No democrat I know was enthusiastic about him as a candidate, rather they were enthusiastic for an opportunity to eject Bush. To bad we don't have a "vote of no confidence". To the nation, Kerry was neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm.
----Evil Bastard Wed Nov 3 09:49:48 2004
I'm equally downtrodden. I don't look forward to the next four years. If we thought the past four years were bad. . .I can see much more than Iraq as a hotspot of violence. Bush doesn't even have another election in four years to keep him in check! He just has to hope that nothing comes out into the open so that no one has room to impeach them. Even then, with the House and Senate full of Republicans, it would take a whole buttload of completely incontrivertable facts to actually depose of the heartless bastard.
--Mr. Lex Wed Nov 3 09:59:28 2004
To hammer home my point about Kerry voters being "anti-Bush" voters, take a look at

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/states/US/P/00/epolls.0.html

About half way down the page.
----Evil Bastard Wed Nov 3 10:11:41 2004
Interesting link, though I don't think the anti-Bush thing is such a big deal.

I can't believe that it all comes down to Ohio. I knew that was a bad sign, when I visited Cleveland this summer, all my buddy's blue collar friends thought it was weird that I was for Kerry.
--Kirk Wed Nov 3 10:46:37 2004
Well. . .looks as if Kerry's officially conceding at 1 today.
--Mr. Lex Wed Nov 3 11:12:31 2004
It sucks. I guess we should look on the bright side, the anti-Bush side go just a little under 50% of the vote. Like how the Democrats responded to Nader grabbing such a high percentage of the vote in 2000 and how they would respond to delegates going to other Democratic candidates in the primaries, these votes give the parties an idea of the way that people in this country are thinking on the issues. The final tallying, for the popular and the electoral colleges, were pretty close. Becoming more conservative could very much alienate many voters in the next election. Then again, becoming more liberal could very much alienate voters for the Democrats. Both sides will have to analyze the data and adjust their stands, strategies, etc. etc. in the future to try getting more of the American public's consensus. I guess the only problem, from the point of view of people like me, lies in the fact that even though the liberal voters got a good chunk of the vote, the conservative voters got a good chunk of the vote, too. We supposedly have entered a new historical Age, also, though. The future is still open. . .for now.
--Mr. Lex Wed Nov 3 12:44:40 2004
How surprising is it really that there are two Americas? The Northeast and the Left Coast, who have a very different set of values than the Heartland and the South.

More telling to me than Kirk's exit poll figure to me was that more people thought Senator Kerry was telling them what they wanted to hear than what he really believed.

President Bush can take pride in collecting the most votes ever for a Presidential candidate. With record turnout, he won the popular and electoral vote. The voice of the American people has spoken.

What is a dismal failure of the Democratic message and candidate is a triumph of the democratic process.
--Cole Wed Nov 3 13:42:26 2004
Cole raises some good points. Makes me think about two competing truths. First, there was a reason that the founders of this country emphasized the rights of individual states to self-govern and reserved a very limited amount of power for the federal government. Second, as our society becomes more mobile and more global, cooperation and coordination amongst all the states grows more important.

Note the conflict between these two facts. On the one hand, Massachusetts society really is different from Oklahoma society, so it makes sense to have different laws. On the other, people move between the two states regularly (yes, really) due to jobs, school, change of lifestyle, etc., and both states are part of the USA. Do we really want Massachusetts and Oklahoma to be almost two completely independent nation-states with completely different education, health care, and general legal systems?

I guess the long and short of it is that politics are complicated in a country of 275 million people scattered across several million square miles.
--Max Wed Nov 3 14:21:09 2004
"President Bush can take pride in collecting the most votes ever for a Presidential candidate" -- that's one of the most retarded things I ever heard. The population is larger, and after the 2000 experience Nader got next to Nada...in 1996 Perot still got votes because it wasn't expected to be a close race.
--Kirk Wed Nov 3 15:52:15 2004
The people have spoken. Though from my brief look at the map on usatoday.com, even some non swing states were close.

I agree that Kerry didn't have a clear message, didn't call Bush to task for the more costlier items of the last administration, and the whole Vietnam thing backfired badly.

This week I saw probably the most effective advertisement. A bunch of college students at a party talking about what they will be doing the next year. "But what the draft?" one of the asks....

--ericball Wed Nov 3 16:12:05 2004
Have to agree with Kirk on the highest amount of votes comment. Then again, I think the point might be that this election brought out the biggest percentage of the population and registered voters to the polls.

Max does make a good point about the pull of the Republic and the Federation of the US. That's part of what I argued yesterday with the Electoral College argument. There's a possibility that a lot of our angst about this kind of stuff probably does come from the fact of the mobility of the country and the fact that each state does have a lot of power, especially when the states conflict with each other (eg Gay marriage and civil unions -- why do we need a Defense of Marriage Act if marriage is a state legislated thing?).
--Mr. Lex Wed Nov 3 16:50:27 2004
" why do we need a Defense of Marriage Act if marriage is a state legislated "

The "fair faith and credit clause" generally gets states to recognize marriages done in other states....get married in Ohio, you're not unmarried when you drive into Kentucky, that kind of thing. DoMA says that doesn't have to apply, so it's tougher for say a gay couple to sue for recognition after being married in a state that does that.

The historical parallels between this and stopping white and black people from marrying together go blissfully ignored. Because the Bible says its an abomination, you know, but doesn't being black is a sin. Per se.
--Kirk Thu Nov 4 08:05:21 2004
"... one of the most retarded things I've ever heard..."

I can understand your political disappointment, but that was rather an unfair and mean-spirited response to someone who has been nothing but supportive of you personally. 

If you can't treat others thoughts and ideas with respect, why bother to solicit them. I know I won't bother to share again.

Take care of yourself.
--Cole Thu Nov 4 21:32:44 2004
Sorry Cole. I've been cranky lately. And really genuinely upset at 51% being considered a mandate giving Bush "political capital that he intends to spend".
--Kirk Fri Nov 5 08:19:34 2004
Thuhgot it wouldn't to give it a shot. I was right.
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