Tuesday, November 09, 2004

John Ashcroft Resigns; Shredding of Constitution Left Unstarted.

The irony of the demonization of Ashcroft by the Democrats is that if they hadn't robbed him of his Senate seat in 2000 with their usual "steal what we can't win legitimately" antics, he wouldn't have been around to do the most disgraceful act an Attorney General has ever committed in office: Sing a stupid song he'd written about eagles at a press conference.

WTF was THAT about?!?!? Show some f*cking dignity you tool. Gah!!!! Orin Hatch doesn't do that!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Election numbers don't give Bush a free pass
By Luther Keith - The Detroit News - 8 November 2004

Maybe it's just me but ... there's something unsettling in this rush by political pundits, headline writers and many of the Republican Party faithful to proclaim President Bush's convincing re-election victory as a grand mandate to impose his will on America. Some of this perhaps can be written off as the understandable euphoria over winning a hard-fought and often bitter campaign over Democrat challenger Sen. John Kerry.

More Americans responded to the president's conservative appeal to moral values, his strategy on the war on terrorism and his tax-cut-driven economic policies. No amount of excuses by the Democrats - Kerry was a bad campaigner, or his message didn't really get out - can diminish the triumph of the president and vice presidential running mate Dick Cheney.

Compared to the 2000 election, where Bush narrowly lost the popular vote to Al Gore but won in the Electoral College based on a Supreme Court ruling, this year's election represents a dramatic reversal of fortune.

Buoyed by Republican gains in the House of Representatives and Senate, where the GOP holds majorities, the president made it clear he is prepared to implement the agenda that won him voter approval by a 51-48 percent margin.

"I earned political capital and now I intend to spend it," he said at a news conference last week. "You've heard the agenda: Social Security and tax reform, moving this economy forward, education, fighting and winning the war on terror."

That's not a surprising statement. This is exactly what the president said during his campaign.

The president clearly believes that "the voters of America set the direction of our nation for the next four years."

But despite much of the chatter from many of the president's boosters - you can catch a slice of this by tuning in to almost any conservative talk radio show - the president's re-election does not meet the historical test of grand mandates when you examine the history of presidential elections.

Much has been made of the fact that the president attracted more votes than any candidate in presidential history, 59,209,925 in a record voter turnout. However, it's just as true that Kerry polled more votes than any winning or losing presidential candidate in history prior to this year's election, more than 55 million.

That's a staggering number of people that the president has yet to win over.

Bush's 3 percent popular vote margin of victory is the lowest of any president since Jimmy Carter beat Gerald Ford by 2 percent in 1976 and the lowest of any Republican president since Richard Nixon edged Hubert Humphrey by less than 1 percent in 1968.

And he fell well short of legitimate landslide margins of popular vote victories by Republicans Ronald Reagan in 1984, 18.2 percent; Richard Nixon in 1972, 23.1 percent; and Democrat Lyndon Johnson in 1964, 22.5 percent.

Even former president Bill Clinton, who never had a landslide victory, posted popular vote victory margins exceeding Bush, winning by 5.5 percent in 1992 and 8.5 percent in 1996.

Yet, the Republicans and the conservative movement never ceded him ground as having a mandate to impose an exclusively Democrat and liberal agenda on the nation. They continued to challenge, debate and engage in the war of ideas before reclaiming the White House in 2000.
Even if he accepts the notion that he has been given a mandate, President Bush seems to understand that does not mean he has a free pass do whatever he wants. He has spoken of trying to produce a bipartisan consensus on the tough issues in the days ahead, trying to unify the nation and reaching out to those who did not support him.

Losing a presidential election is not like losing a war to a conquering army with the victor claiming all the spoils.

The "losers" are still Americans, and their voices still deserve to be heard.

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Two Nations Under God
By Thomas L. Friedman - New York Times - 4 November 2004

Well, as Grandma used to say, at least I still have my health. ...

I often begin writing columns by interviewing myself. I did that yesterday, asking myself this: Why didn't I feel totally depressed after George H. W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis, or even when George W. Bush defeated Al Gore? Why did I wake up feeling deeply troubled yesterday?

Answer: whatever differences I felt with the elder Bush were over what was the right policy. There was much he ultimately did that I ended up admiring. And when George W. Bush was elected four years ago on a platform of compassionate conservatism, after running from the middle, I assumed the same would be true with him. (Wrong.) But what troubled me yesterday was my feeling that this election was tipped because of an outpouring of support for George Bush by people who don't just favor different policies than I do - they favor a whole different kind of America. We don't just disagree on what America should be doing; we disagree on what America is.

Is it a country that does not intrude into people's sexual preferences and the marriage unions they want to make? Is it a country that allows a woman to have control over her body? Is it a country where the line between church and state bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers should be inviolate? Is it a country where religion doesn't trump science? And, most important, is it a country whose president mobilizes its deep moral energies to unite us - instead of dividing us from one another and from the world?

At one level this election was about nothing. None of the real problems facing the nation were really discussed. But at another level, without warning, it actually became about everything. Partly that happened because so many Supreme Court seats are at stake, and partly because Mr. Bush's base is pushing so hard to legislate social issues and extend the boundaries of religion that it felt as if we were rewriting the Constitution, not electing a president. I felt as if I registered to vote, but when I showed up the Constitutional Convention broke out.

The election results reaffirmed that. Despite an utterly incompetent war performance in Iraq and a stagnant economy, Mr. Bush held onto the same basic core of states that he won four years ago - as if nothing had happened. It seemed as if people were not voting on his performance. It seemed as if they were voting for what team they were on.

This was not an election. This was station identification. I'd bet anything that if the election ballots hadn't had the names Bush and Kerry on them but simply asked instead, "Do you watch Fox TV or read The New York Times?" the Electoral College would have broken the exact same way.

My problem with the Christian fundamentalists supporting Mr. Bush is not their spiritual energy or the fact that I am of a different faith. It is the way in which he and they have used that religious energy to promote divisions and intolerance at home and abroad. I respect that moral energy, but wish that Democrats could find a way to tap it for different ends.

"The Democrats have ceded to Republicans a monopoly on the moral and spiritual sources of American politics," noted the Harvard University political theorist Michael J. Sandel. "They will not recover as a party until they again have candidates who can speak to those moral and spiritual yearnings - but turn them to progressive purposes in domestic policy and foreign affairs."

I've always had a simple motto when it comes to politics: Never put yourself in a position where your party wins only if your country fails. This column will absolutely not be rooting for George Bush to fail so Democrats can make a comeback. If the Democrats make a comeback, it must not be by default, because the country has lapsed into a total mess, but because they have nominated a candidate who can win with a positive message that connects with America's heartland.

Meanwhile, there is a lot of talk that Mr. Bush has a mandate for his far right policies. Yes, he does have a mandate, but he also has a date - a date with history. If Mr. Bush can salvage the war in Iraq, forge a solution for dealing with our entitlements crisis - which can be done only with a bipartisan approach and a more sane fiscal policy - upgrade America's competitiveness, prevent Iran from going nuclear and produce a solution for our energy crunch, history will say that he used his mandate to lead to great effect. If he pushes for still more tax cuts and fails to solve our real problems, his date with history will be a very unpleasant one - no matter what mandate he has.