Thursday, November 04, 2004

Even a Short Distance Brings Clarity

I am now able to articulate a few things that I was able to work through after a few beers and some sleep. I hope that this is more articulate than the recent downtrodden posts.

  • 51% is not a "mandate." LBJ and Reagan won landslides -- THOSE were mandates. 51% means that things are divided. Just because Bush actually won the popular AND electoral vote this time does not create a "mandate"(this is aimed more at the media than Bush, although Cheney is shooting his mouth off, as always). Hell, Clinton won 370-168 in 1992 and 379-159 in 1996, and I don't recall Cheney calling those "mandates".
  • While I did not vote for Bush, I am not bothered by a Republican winning, or with Republicans winning more seats in Congress. What bugs me is that the extreme right agenda will now be front and center. I don't like extremists of either side, because they are never consistent (and then call the other side flip-floppers). Cherry-picking the Bible verses you like and then taking them literally does not make you a good Christian -- it makes you inconsistent and ignorant (the same being true for wholesale criticism of the Bible).
  • Bush is not a traditional conservative, so I don't get why moderate Republicans voted for him, beyond partisan loyalty. (See an upcoming CNB post for more on that.) I have found Bush to be antipodal to the Republican party I grew up with. Reagan, for all his "voodoo economics" and deficit spending (which pissed me off, even in adolescence) at least had the good sense to work as an internationalist in foreign policy (absent his forays into Central America and illegal dealings with Iran). Even the first Pres. Bush formed international coalitions (absent the foray into Panama to get his former buddy Noriega) with our now-former traditional allies. If you don't believe me, check out what some traditional conservatives say about GW Bush.
  • Democrats are not dead, but they need to regroup. As CNB already suggested (along with most of the world), Terry McAuliffe must get his walking papers if this party is to survive. They also need to remain on Bush's case, as being Republicanesque ain't working. Republicans aren't ashamed to be Republicans, so why should Democrats be ashamed? For a better explanation, read Mrs. CNB's post. That broad is all right.
  • More people need to vote than old people and the religious right. While it would seem that this country is generally socially conservative, it sure doesn't seem that way to me -- then again, I live in a major metropolis in a blue state, so maybe I am not objective. I would hope all Americans share common values, but, again, I could be wrong. Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn has some lucid commentary on the "moral values" issue.