Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Election

Lest my earlier post (Donkey Dying) seem too pessimistic, let's remember that this election was never in the bag for the Democrats. Incumbents are always tough to beat, but plenty of people convinced themselves that with negative right/wrong track numbers and a soft economy, and then Iraq on top of it, Bush was certain to go down. Well, Bush never moved into the clear danger range of job approval (below 45 percent), the right track/wrong track numbers were never that bad, and the economy has been gaining strength after a relatively shallow recession. Bush was never as vulnerable as his father in 1992 or Jimmy Carter in 1980. The other thing to remember is that this election was pretty much a replay of 2000. Bush won, but only with 51% of the vote. No landslide there.

Nonetheless, as my earlier post pointed out, the Republicans made some significant gains and the Democrats will have to think hard about how to get back on top. I for one think Kerry ran a pretty good campaign. He unified the party and had 3 very strong debate performances, so I don't think that was the problem. The real problem is how Democrats can begin to capture a majority of voters on foreign policy and on social/moral issues. The absolute worse thing they can do is take the attitude that the election reflects some deep flaw in the intelligence or values of the American people.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

> The absolute wors[t] thing they can do is take the attitude that the election reflects some deep flaw in the intelligence or values of the American people.

If they want to remain viable politically (pragmatism, not principles), then, yes, Democrats probably need to adopt me-too policies on foreign policy (more hawkish) and on social issues (more puritannical). It seems, however, that the intelligence and values of the American people -- especially those evangelical Christians who skipped the last election but appear turned out in droves this time -- are indeed a problem, a big problem if America is to progress, not regress.

MWS said...

"It seems, however, that the intelligence and values of the American people -- especially those evangelical Christians who skipped the last election but appear turned out in droves this time -- are indeed a problem, a big problem if America is to progress, not regress."

I guess we just need to stop this democracy bit because Americans are just too dumb to have the vote. Why don't we let college professors run the country?

Anonymous said...

klinkner is such a pollyanna about the the level of intelligence found in the voters. But, yes, let us make a few invidious distinctions between the blue and the red counties as seen on the purple map. Just guessing that the blue counties will show higher GDP, higher incomes, higher achievements in education, more passports, greater appreciation of curry restaurants, more intellectual sophistication.
And, pray, should the blue counties continue to see their tax monies transferred in the form of ridiculous crop subsidies to a bunch of bumpkins who vote for a moron like W? Maybe they should be made to wait for Jesus to bring their pork chops. But when they bring their little kids with appendicitis to the county hospital paid for out of block grants from other people's tax money, we will have to act because we know, even when they spit on gay couples, that W. does not give one shit about their medical care. It is a bitch.
Let Jesusland go. You will pay for it anyway. Find a ticket that can win a few border or southwestern states to add to the north-center and the enlightened coasts.