November 03, 2004

Why Kerry Lost

It may be presumptuous to say John Kerry lost the election for the reasons I personally voted against him. But I’ve decided to say it anyway.

I didn’t vote for George W. Bush in 2000. I’ve never voted for any Republican president. This time was my first. And I did so because of the Terror War.

I know quite a few people who didn’t support Bush last time but did support him this time. And every single one of them did so for the same reasons I did. Because of the Terror War. Because Kerry could not be trusted.

I don’t know of anyone, anywhere, who swung from Al Gore to George W. Bush because of gay marriage, tax cuts, or for any other reason. I’m not saying they don’t exist. But if they do exist, I haven’t heard of ’em. They’re an invisible, miniscule minority.

There aren’t enough of us liberal hawks, disgruntled Democrats, neo-neoconservatives - or whatever else you might want to call us - to trigger a political realignment. But it does appear we can swing an election. At least we can help. And though I don’t think of myself as conservative (I did just vote for a Democratic Congress), my alienation from the liberal party is total. A political party that thinks crying Halliburton! is a grown-up response to anti-totalitarian war just isn’t serious.

I may vote for the Democratic candidate next time around. Then again, I might not. I’ll be watching what happens over the next four years, trying to decide if I’m part of the new wave of neoconservatives or if I’m just Independent. We shall see.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at November 3, 2004 08:52 PM
Comments

I’ll be watching what happens over the next four years, trying to decide if I’m part of the new wave of neoconservatives or if I’m just Independent.

I figured you were just confused :-)

Congrats on getting your guy in. Wish it had turned out different, and here's hoping your reasons for voting for him are prescient.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 3, 2004 08:56 PM

I, too, voted for W because I think he was the stronger of the two candidates re: national security, despite his fuck-ups and inability to speak very well. I was talking with my boss today about the election, and she said she voted for Bush because she thought it was bad for a new president to come in during a war. I agree.

I've been an Independent since I first registered to vote, by the way, but I have right of center leanings. If that makes me a "neocon," so be it.

Posted by: Shana Barrow at November 3, 2004 09:10 PM

I'm a registered independent and I didn't vote for Bush last time, nor was I about to start this time. I'm not about to begin a long rant as to why I voted against Bush (and there are many, count them many, reasons why).

But, I just want to say that I hope that you're right in your assumption. I hope that Mr. Bush starts carrying through on at least one of his promises- to work with the Dems. And, I hope that he cleans up the unnecessary mess he made in Iraq.

If not, I'm blaming you. ;P

Posted by: sjp at November 3, 2004 09:22 PM

"A political party that thinks crying Halliburton! is a grown-up response to anti-totalitarian war just isn?t serious".
You summed up my position right there. Michael Moore was the final nail in that coffin.

Posted by: Gman at November 3, 2004 09:26 PM

Michael, no offense buddy, but I think you don't know any of those folks because you live in Portland. Plain and simple. Every exit poll under the sun so far has shown that Bush won for no other reason than the fact that Karl Rove's strategy to turn out the evangelicals worked.

CNN has some great stuff on this. Kerry won something like 86% of self-describing "liberals" and 55% of self-describing "moderates". In other words, he captured the center and still lost, defying decades of conventional logic. Bush won due to the fact that, because of gay marriage and stem-cells, for every 2 liberals that came to the polls there were 3 conservatives.

Maybe it says something pretty profound about the state of contemporary liberalism in America that the only major American center-left party in a two-party system can capture BOTH the left and the center and still lose, but I don't think that something has anything to do with terrorism. Among people that voted for Bush, the #1 stated concern was "moral values". Second was "jobs and the economy". Third was "terrorism".

Bush's reelection was driven by a bunch of folks freaked out over the thought of gay marriage and stem-cell research. Your argument falls apart under the weight of empirical evidence, my friend.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at November 3, 2004 09:29 PM

PS...

And for everyone agreeing with Michael's opinion on this, try and keep in mind that the blogosphere is not America. It is a bubble.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at November 3, 2004 09:31 PM

PPS...

And for everyone hoping that Bush will reach out to Democrats, keep in mind where those votes came from that put him in office. They came squarely from his base and he owes them big time. He won 51% of the vote but is already claiming a "broad victory". I think that says it all right there.

Yglesias is right, we are about to see "Bush Unleashed".

Posted by: Grant McEntire at November 3, 2004 09:38 PM

And for anyone fed up with a guy who goes on and on and on and on commenting, there's the saving realization that HE is the one living in his own personal and pittifully small bubble. LOL.

Posted by: Miguel at November 3, 2004 09:45 PM

Moral includes more than gay marriage and abortion and stem cell research, all of which I am not against.

Posted by: Loren at November 3, 2004 09:48 PM

MIGUEL...

Dude, I'm citing hard evidence. My bubble is called the real world. Your evidence is where again?

Posted by: Grant McEntire at November 3, 2004 10:09 PM

I'm with Grant on why Michael doesn't know anybody who sat out 2000 but voted this time because of gay marriage. I think that a lot of people who didn't vote because of the drunk driving story that broke just before the 2000 election, did this time, because they feel more confidence in his character and values. I don't think that alone accounted for this win, any more than saying he held his Republican base accounts for it or that National Security Democrats does. There were a lot of people who said the country was going the wrong way because we went to war in Iraq, but there isn't a good way to separate them from those who said the same thing because of gay marriage.
I don't think you can dismiss the fact that 11 states were voting on constitutional amendments against gay marriage and that most of them passed.
There is never one single thing that accounts for all the votes. It's usually just the few swing voters either way that bring it to the tipping point. If you start saying, "Without my group you wouldn't have won," because that applies to every demographic that supported you. Without the solid Republicans who came out, Bush wouldn't have won either.

I think that Bush tried to restore civility when he came into office in 2001, but the Democrats were having none of it. Homosexuality has become so divisive because of the absolutism about it on both sides. However, I think that it is easier for religious people to agree to live and let live than it is for them to agree that opposing gay marriage makes you a Nazi bigot.

Why is gay marriage so essential to society? I think that civil unions are a reasonable compromise that answers the legal reasons given for it. What's left is the desire of gays for validation of their orientation by the rest of society. But what good is a validation that you know people don't feel? A lot of blacks still feel rage against our racists society, even though they've been given all the legal equality that can be given. The gay marriage issue is a lot like the affirmative action issue in that regard.

All we can do is agree to disagree on these issues and vote on the ones we think are more important at the time, such as national security. What good is gay marriage to anybody if none of us can feel safe at the mall?

As I keep saying, the most important civil right is life. First secure that, then we can all go back to our liberal/conservative differences.

Posted by: AST at November 3, 2004 10:13 PM

MIGUEL...

And did I mention I'm a liberal living in Indiana? Sadly, there are no bubbles for folks like me here.

AST...

Aside from everything else you said, don't you kind of think it's a rehashing of "separate but equal" to say, "Here you go gays, you can have all of our legal rights but we're going to call it something else because you're not married." To me, this is merely history repeating itself.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at November 3, 2004 10:21 PM

Hope there is more research on this 'moral' vote. I think maybe Grant is right that this is where Rove's strategy was from the begining.

It worries me when the new senate republican majority says they will 'aggressively' persue their agenda. (Sorry don't have a link, heard it on the news last night) Which Republican agenda will that be? He mentioned energy/environment, judges, taxes. We'll see.

Posted by: Mark Hamm at November 3, 2004 10:26 PM

Quote: AST
"Why is gay marriage so essential to society? I think that civil unions are a reasonable compromise....."

It is essential because there is this funny historical document that says something along the lines of....."All men are created equal...."

Suggesting gays should have to accept a 'reasonable compromise' is akin to the 3/5 'compromise'.

Posted by: Roger Williams at November 3, 2004 10:34 PM

Grant,

Bush gained over 8 mil new voters. The evangelicals at most account for half that.

As for "self-described" moderates, vast swaths of the MSM culture describes themselves that way, while their approach to those that they perceive to be immoderate, i.e. nearly half the electorate, apparently, is decidedly immoderate itself.

This clear intolerance of dissenting views from the MSM gospel, on issues ranging from the War to, yes, stem-cell research and gay marriage, worked against them.

Andrew Sullivan's suggestion of greater scope for federalism will actually find majority support (though the majority will be somewhat different than Bush's, it will include a great many of the unwashed masses the MSM, and you Grant, so blithely dismiss).

Many of us would just appreciate some respect for diversity...

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at November 3, 2004 10:37 PM

MJT,

I obviously backed W for the same reason you did, and I completely agree with your assessment of the modern liberal stance. Thanks for taking the time to explore the issues, call out politically-alligned propaganda, and help us all find a common truth.

I know there are people out there who think I'm a typical military right-wing superhawk, but it's just not so. I just care about the troops I serve with, and I couldn't imagine a guy like Kerry in charge of them. In fact, I'd consider voting for that Obama guy if the Dems would put him up instead of Hillary in '08 (as if). Glad that's 4 years off!

Great job on Instapundit, and keep fighting the good fight!

Posted by: $lick at November 3, 2004 10:39 PM

Why did Kerry lose?

Why have so many Democrats lost in the last twenty-five years?

Shrum

Conservative-left coalitions (isolationism, overly critical instead of constructive, "fight, fight, fight", demonizing polemics) don't cut it.

We are a liberal country.

Bush has built a liberal-conservative coalition against the left.

Bush's contempt for the left is his weakness, but given the liberal soul of this country, it will take a liberal-left coalition to exploit it.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at November 3, 2004 10:44 PM

Grant,

What you say makes perfect sense except for one thing. In every poll I've seen for years on this subject, the number of self-described "conservatives" is twice as large as the number of self-described "liberals." So if Kerry gets all the liberal vote and 55 percent of the moderate vote, he loses. The "right" is larger than the "left." So the Democrats need to mind the center in a really big way.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 3, 2004 10:46 PM

Ged of Earthsea (i've enjoyed that series too),

I'm sorry I haven't examined numbers enough to be definitive in this response, but my general understanding of how the votes went is that every portion of the electorate proportionately increased. The youth vote, considered to be John Kerry's tide, increased to record levels, but in the same dismal proportion to the rest of the electorate. The exception was in fact the anti-gay marriage voters, who turned out exceptionally for the anti-gay marriage ballot measures.

Posted by: Eric Slusser at November 3, 2004 10:54 PM

Why can't someone oppose gay marriage simply because its a really really, stupid, silly idea?

I doubt even half the gay community really wants it. Turning marriage into a joke will hurt low-income single women and certain minority communities. Having well-to-do liberals hyperventilating over this issue only highlights their selfishness and tunnelvision.

Oh, yeah. Explaining to a child why a lady and a chubby guy with tits and an ill-fitting suit are getting married is gonna be real fun.

Posted by: Raymond at November 3, 2004 11:18 PM

Eric,

Certainly the anti-gay marriage voters (comprised of, yes, some bigots, also those who favor persuading the public over relying on judicial fiat - the latter need to more clearly disown the former, BTW) made a difference, but to say it made all the difference (Bush increasing his percentage in 45 of 50 states, coattails, et. al.) I think deprives the Democratic party of a much needed opportunity for reflection.

If you feel like you must be fighters, fighters, fighters, at least pick an enemy outside the borders. It's a wartime thing.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at November 4, 2004 12:18 AM

Hey Grant, guess what? I voted for Bush, I live in Portland just like MJT, and I'm from the Midwest -- from Illinois, a blue state in a sea of red, but all of my family lives in Missouri. And guess what else? I don't know a single person who swung from Gore to Bush because of anything but the Terror War. Am I in a bubble? I just moved here two years ago and still know and talk to plenty of people in the Midwest.

Let me tell you something: None of the fundies voted for Gore the first time around; DUI and all, Bush was still their man because Gore was the guy who worked with Captain Blow Job (in their eyes). Between Bush, Republican, and Gore, Democrat, not a single fundamentalist Christian I've ever met picked Gore. And those are the people scared of stem cells and abortions and gays. Sure, more evangelics came out this time because they were riled up, but that doesn't explain all the rest.

What are "morals"? If you're given a list of choices as to why you voted for Bush over Kerry, morals, terrorism, economy, or hair, how would you express that you simply didn't trust the man to do the job you know must now be done? Which one describes your view that you had no confidence in Mr. Weathervane, didn't believe he had any principles, thought he lied under oath in Senate testimony, betrayed his brothers in arms with his post-Vietnam activity, and hasn't accomplished anything in the time he's been in the Senate besides pooh-poohing military weapons and a war to drive out a tyrant who invaded his neighbor in an area of immense economic importance to us, and has now labeled our allies -- those vaunted allies we absolutely MUST have before taking any security-related action -- "coerced," "bribed," and "puppets,"? Would "morals" pretty much sum up your disagreement? Just curious.

Maybe gay marriage and stem cells are a hot button issue for you. Maybe also for evangelicals, too. But maybe, just maybe, there's more to "morals" than the two or three issues the Democrats have picked out to claim the high ground. Maybe character has a little something to do with it too.

Posted by: Jennifer at November 4, 2004 12:19 AM

Um, Raymond... how does allowing gay people to marry "turn it into a joke"?

Most straight people today (in the West) dont seem to want it (marriage) either, should we ban it for straight people too?

If you think explaining gay marriage to a child is difficult, try explaining why mommy and daddy are getting a divorce.

Gay marriage doesnt threaten the institution, straight people with no respect for the institution the ones to be affriad of (which is more than 50% of all those (straight people) who wed.

Ask Britney.

Posted by: sean at November 4, 2004 12:24 AM

"A political party that thinks crying Halliburton! is a grown-up response to anti-totalitarian war just isn’t serious."

And a party who decides to campaign on a cynical "fuck the fags" amendment to the constitution is really serious (if you think that the anti-gay marriage campaign was anything but that, you are being intellectually dishonest). It's not just the war, it's what we are fighting for. GW and his cronies want our country to be closer to Afghanistan than to Britain.

And as for the "anti-totalitarian war"--you can't be serious. I supported ths war, but I now regret it--I actually thought it WAS about WMD, and it wasn't, you just admitted it.

And finally, what's wrong with crying "Halliburten," don't you think that pointing out some very odd conflicts of interest in where all the contracts over a fucking war are going are worth pointing out---oh I guess that makes me not a grown-up.

JACK, a Gulf War I vet (where were you Michael? I saw death, you didn't.)

P.S. It's also very grown up to accuse a vet like Kerry of being "a traitor" (read any right wing blog) because he spoke out against the war when he got home---isn't that what we would want a vet to do if he disagreed with the war? ISNT THAT WHAT WE ARE FIGHTING FOR?????????

Posted by: Totten the Sellout at November 4, 2004 12:35 AM

"Explaining to a child why a lady and a chubby guy with tits and an ill-fitting suit are getting married is gonna be real fun."

I think you answered your own question: pure homophobia. And it's worth pointing out for the umpteenth time that Massachusetts (you know the state of gay marriage) has the lowest divorce rate in the nation. And turning marriage into a joke? I assume that was a joke, we heterosexuals have done a pretty good job of that in the last fifty years.

JACK

PS Gay marriage is not about homophobia, and the impeachment was not about sex. Crazy logic from those of you on the right.

PPS BTW, Kerry did pretty damn good in the end, 48 percent of us voted for him, more than any other losing challenger to an incumbent president in, well, at least since 1948 (but it could be even longer).

PPS We dems are still angry but in a few months we will accept the Bush Presidency, and not spend 60 million dollars trying to unearth crazy things about his personal life in an effort to impeach him. Unlike you Republicans (and that includes you Totten--quit denying it) after Clinton won in '96.

Posted by: Jack at November 4, 2004 12:41 AM

Jack -

The complaint is not that Kerry complained about the war... but that he complained before he volunteered to go, then he asked for a prestigious assignment that most closely resembled JFK's, then he took a 'technical out' to come home, THEN made a political career out of complaining about the war, and now he wants to lead us during one?!!!

Not to mentioned that he implied that all his fellow swiftboat officers were cowards - "but (only) I stayed behind!".

Besides which, the claim that only those who served in the military can comment about it would have left us without either Lincoln or FDR.

Oh, and your pique would have been more respectable if you had listed your real email address.

Posted by: sean at November 4, 2004 12:46 AM

I am a gay man in a red state who voted for Bush. I hate the Federal Marriage Amendment, but I am not a single issue voter. My vote is based on my philosophy of government, which is minimalist. Unfortunately, this year I had a bad choice : Bush the big government "conservative" , or Kerry the bigger government "liberal". Of course, terrorism was also major issue for me this time.

That said, the Democrat Party is in big trouble. The very changes which the Democrats need to make require them to alienate a significant part of the base of their party. Therefore, Democrats take a pass on education reform, lest they offend the teachers unions. They take a pass on Social Security reform to placate the AARP. Don't dare advocate tort reform, or the monetary support of the Trial Lawyers Association will dry up. It is almost as though Democrats have come to represent people who do not want to take responsiblity for their actions.

So, the Democrats are trapped. Alienate the base they need in the hope that they will appeal to the red states ( which they must do to get a majority ), or go for broke, embrace Michael Moore and Howard Dean, and commit suicide as party.

Posted by: freeguy at November 4, 2004 12:51 AM

Oh, and Jack, calling Mike a Republican because he voted for one, just one, and over half a dozen other Democrats this year is just silly.

Oregon Atty General - Hardy Myers (Dem)
Oregon Sec of State - Bill Bradburry (Dem)
Oregon Treasuer - Randall Edwards (Dem)
US Senator - ROn Wyden (Dem)
US Congress - David Wu (Dem)
Oregon Senate - Kate Brown (Dem)
Oregon House - Diane Rosenbaum (Dem)

I dont know if you should automaticaly call him a Democrat, especially if he denies it, but maybe you should at least call him an independant.

Posted by: sean at November 4, 2004 01:04 AM

Michael Totten: "It may be presumptuous to say John Kerry lost the election for the reasons I personally voted against him. But I’ve decided to say it anyway."

Heh. "I'm generalizing from one example here, but everyone generalizes from one example." Vlad Taltos in Issola.

Posted by: Bill Woods at November 4, 2004 01:56 AM

Harry Truman was President when I was born. He is my model for a Democratic President. I think that's called imprinting.

So, where are the Truman Democrats? I haven't seen anything remotely like Harry in the Democratic Party since Scoop Jackson.

The closest match we have to Harry Truman today is George Bush. I voted for George Bush.

If the Democrats can do something positive and constructive that would make Harry proud then I will vote for Democrats. The Democrats have two years to put something together for the midterm elections (sort of a mid term exam, really.) I sincerely hope they make good use of the time.

Posted by: Fred Boness at November 4, 2004 01:58 AM

You know lots of people who voted for Bush because of the terror war, I know lots of people who believe we are more likely to be murdered in our sleep because Bush is incompetent. Also, Bush lost in a 90-10 landslide. And the country overwhelmingly supports gay marriage.

Whee! Anecdote by data is fun!

I know you have to put these "moral values" exit polls in the same lock box as your knowledge of Abu Ghraib, extraordinary rendition, the torture memos, the current situation in Iraq, Allawi's human rights records, the detentions of immigrants and abuses in the Brooklyn MDC, and too many other things for me to list so you can continue to kid yourself about whose side you're on and about Bush being a liberal. But it's not real convincing to us actual liberals.

Posted by: Katherine at November 4, 2004 02:10 AM

Dear Mr. Totten Just read your last post, and your comment about a political party crying "halliburton" is probably the best summation of everything that has occurred recently. As a former Lib, and dreamy eyed young man, who came face to face with a George McGovern in 1972, and abruptly grew up, I am gratified to see young people thinking these things through, and coming to grips with the reality that there is sometimes a very ugly world out there that must be dealt with. Regards, Tom

Posted by: Tom Dennis at November 4, 2004 02:21 AM

I also could easily have voted for a Democrat this time. I've been a registered Democrat in Maryland for the last 10 years, and I despise Bush. I voted for him, though. It's literally true that the party could have picked an average guy off the street, and I would have voted for him over Bush. You're quite wrong, Michael, if you think religious zealots and "family values" types are a "miniscule" segment of Bush supporters. You could have easily disabused yourself of this notion by going out for a day or two, as I did, and actively campaigning for Bush with the party faithful. I assure you, you would have met a lot of this "miniscule" minority. They had me climbing up the wall. It honestly still surprises me that the Democrats could have picked a candidate I simply couldn't support, even over Bush, even though I have no illusions whatsoever about the nature and strength of his core constituency. The party really shot itself in the foot this time. Its leadership and activists were clueless. They've been listening to each others rants for so long that they really weren't aware that veterans like me (and the Swiftboat Vets) might object to a candidate with a history of opening private negotiations with the enemy in time of war, and of comparing people like me, who put themselves in harms way in Vietnam, to Genghis Khan, and then refusing to apologize for it. Astute people on the left realized this. Martin Peretz, for example, pointed it out very clearly in "The New Republic." The Party wasn't listening. Kerry and the rest of the leadership also revealed their complete cluelessness when it comes to Europe. My son has lived in Germany for the last four years, and I regularly follow the German media. The media there, in France, and, for that matter, in many other European countries, have been successfully peddling hatred of the United States for many years. They have continued to do it because the European public greedily laps it up. This did not start with Bush, who has served as a convenient fig leaf for the hate mongering of the Europeans, but was, if anything more virulent than it is now under Clinton. No way were my son and I going to vote for someone who evidently wasn't even aware of what's been going on the last ten years, and actually wants to reward these people by sucking up to them.

I have no regrets about voting for Bush, even though I dislike virtually everything he stands for. If I did have any doubts, I could quickly dispell them by going over to the Daily Kos and reading the comments of Kerry's core constituency. They demonstrate their great love of democracy by making baseless claims that the election was "stolen" using the evil Diebold voting machines, without the faintest shred of real evidenceto back up that claim. A lot of them want to run off to Canada. Good riddance! These pathetic elitists demonstrate their deep love of the people by ranting about how Bush was elected by slack-jawed yokels and brainwashed minions of Rove. So long, democracy, if people like that ever gain real power. Our democracy will become one of the "people's democracies" some of us were familiar with before 1989. They honestly believe that the people will buy into their "progressive" nostrums if they only explain them more carefully. If the Democratic Party wants to win, it needs to launch these people. Here's hoping the Party will learn the right lesson from this election. I am pro-choice, in favor of separation of church and state, pro gun control, and I strongly opposed going to war in Iraq. Is the party really so clueless that it can't gain the support of people like me in defeating candidates like Bush? I sincerely hope it gets a clue before 2008.

Posted by: Helian at November 4, 2004 02:57 AM

So exit polls said that most Bush supporters voted over moral values? Would these happen to be the same exit polls that predicted a Kerry landslide?

Posted by: John Nowak at November 4, 2004 03:54 AM

For all of those that feel the Republican Party has been hijacked by the Evangelicals I say "Get a grip!". There are 59 million citizens that voted for the President this week. There are NOT that many evangelicals in the US. What they are though is exceptionally well organized. Think about it. They are Evangelical. They believe they have a requirement to talk to others that have not been saved and to get them to accept Jesus Christ as the Savior. It would not be hard to focus that same infrastructure on getting people to vote.

For those that believe the Evil Genius Carl Rove is behind it all, you might just be right. Heavy emphasis on the "Genius".

I disagree with the President on more than I agree with him on. I am SO relieved he was reelected. The Left needs to take a good, hard look at itself. It is irrelevant and will remain so until it stops with the Michael Moore worship and addresses me (and the 100 million citizens just like me). You say the Left isn't about Michael Moore? I answer "Who was that sitting next to President Carter at your convention?" I don't believe the average Liberal is any more enamored with Mr. Moore than I am but you are allowing your message to be hijacked.

PS: For everyone that voted this week, give yourself a pat on the back. I've been in alot of shithole countries scattered around this world. What we did over a 30 hour period was absolutely astounding. Kudos to the President and kudos to Senator Kerry for being a gentleman at the end.

PPS: I had an especially evil thought on the way home last night. If you are a sick, twisted, Republican and want to drive Michael Moore insane start talking about "JEB Bush for 2008!".

Semper Fi

Posted by: RickM at November 4, 2004 04:06 AM

So New York and Washington D.C. -- in fact the entire Northeast corridor -- voted for John Kerry by significant margins. Presumably they would not have if they felt he could not keep them safe.

It must be acknowledged that these places are much more at risk for foreign terrorist attack than, say, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, or Texas.

So we have the "safe" red states making a choice on, as you allege, security grounds, on behalf of the "blue" states that are actually at risk!

Does this strike anyone else as perverse?

Posted by: Mithras at November 4, 2004 04:31 AM

btw, thanks for helping provide our "instafix" while Glenn was out. I've added this site to my favorites and look forward to reading it regularly.
Tim

Posted by: tim at November 4, 2004 04:43 AM

Michael, I think you're stuck in your bubble -- urban, crunchy, Portland. You may not know anyone who went from Gore to Bush over gay marriage. I don't either. I live in a similar bubble here in Chicago. But looking at the exits, I'm having a very tough time concluding that gay marriage wasn't what drove some rural and blue collar democrats to Bush. I'm gay, a single issue voter (the war), and a Bush supporter, but as the Rove strategy has become more undeniable, it is tearing me up.

Posted by: Michael at November 4, 2004 04:45 AM

@ Mithras

"So we have the 'safe' red states making a choice on, as you allege, security grounds, on behalf of the blue states that are actually at risk!"

"Safe" you say? Sure thing, Mithras, just ask the citizens of Oklahoma City.

Posted by: Helian at November 4, 2004 05:00 AM

anyone who thinks the extent of the criticism against the totalitarian war was simply crying "halliburton" cant be taken seriously whatsoever...

what won this election was simple:

white people are scared of the colored arabs who want to kill us... when fear comes into play, you go with the person who appeals to your base instinct, no room for complexities...

Mithras hit it on the head, the states that terrorists care ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT vote for bush in spades, but the states that have the most to fear because they are the most valuable go for kerry... what is the explanation for that?? mine is simple, the blue states are the least racially diverse while the red ones are the most...

Posted by: Jim at November 4, 2004 05:18 AM

helian, a white man blew up ok city... where is the war on disaffected white militia men who think the US govt is bad.. there are plenty out there and they live in your country, not in iraq...

one more reason the hidden racist nature of this country was just confirmed in the last election... god forbid one arab blew up that ok city bldg... we know what the reaction would have been...

Posted by: JIm at November 4, 2004 05:20 AM

Kerry was quite a good candidate for the Democrats. I think he maximized the party's current natural constituency, which may max out today at 252 electoral votes. The decade long decline of the Democratic party is the greatest unreported political story of a generation. Thanks, Jack Risko

http://www.dinocrat.com/archives/2004/11/03/there-is-no-national-democratic-party-majority-in-the-united-states-in-2004/

Posted by: jack risko at November 4, 2004 05:22 AM

"A political party that thinks crying Halliburton! is a grown-up response to anti-totalitarian war just isn’t serious".

Hmmm... wasn't his war an attempt to rid the states of a serious threat from non-existent weapons of mass destruction?

If we're in the business of battling anti-totalitarian regimes, we'd better pack a lunch; we'll be at it for a long while, and at great expense in both tax dollars and human lives.

One more thing… doe's anyone here have specific reasons for not wanting a change in the Presidency during war time... other than a warm and tingly feeling? Has the educational system in America fallen so short that its people vote by instinct rather than objective and critical analysis?

Posted by: Benny-The-Jet at November 4, 2004 05:25 AM

@ JIm

"helian a white man blew up ok city...where is the war on disaffected white militia men..."

Gee, JIm, I dunno. Ask Timothy McVeigh or Terry Nichols to speak at the next meeting of your local moonbat club. I'm sure they'll fill you in.

"one more reason the hidden racist nature of this country was just confirmed in the last election..."

Want to see a hidden rascist nature, JIm? Take a look in the mirror.

Posted by: Helian at November 4, 2004 05:47 AM

Hmmm... wasn't his war an attempt to rid the states of a serious threat from non-existent weapons of mass destruction?

Of course it was- if you're a talking-point wielding pseudo-intellectual with no sense of reality.

What was our war with Hitler about? Was he the guy that bombed us at Pearl Harbor? Don't think so. Sometimes the world produces dangerous leaders, and one lesson that history taught us is that it's better to remove them sooner than later.

We're not reckless cowboys going around demolishing any regime that we don't like- if we were, North Korea and Iran would have been dealt with long ago. There are many factors that were used to gauge the threat of Saddam's regime specifically, and the possibility of WMD's was just one of them. You speak your logic based your perception of reality- don't expect the rest of us to buy into your twisted spin...

does anyone here have specific reasons for not wanting a change in the Presidency during war time?

Tell you what, smart guy- join the Army, go to war, and while you're on the battlefield- I want you to ask yourself that same question.

Things sure seem pretty black and white when you're musing about all the world's problems from the comforts of your air-conditioned living room, huh?

Posted by: $lick at November 4, 2004 05:51 AM

Jack Risko,

Thanks for the link. People like you help me keep my sanity.

"the hidden racist nature of this country was just confirmed in the last election"
-Jim

I'm an atheist independent living in a blue state(NJ). Comments like these are why I don't want the Democratic Party anywhere near the White House.

Posted by: Ind NJ at November 4, 2004 05:55 AM

Hello Michael,

I have read your "blog" on why you assume that Bush won and Kerry lost.

Michael:"I didn’t vote for George W. Bush in 2000. I’ve never voted for any Republican president. This time was my first. And I did so because of the Terror War."

Well I am GERMAN and as a German we are outspoken, yet reserved and not conceited at the same time. If you were in Europe you could check out your views on America from a different angle. Because I believe America is not the only country on this OUR WORLD... meaning a world for all of us.... so we should all be selfish for all of us.... We globalize our markets, get goods from everywhere... and export to everywhere .... but our IDEALS don´t seem to be global.... I DONT WANT ANY WAR.... NO WAR ON TERROR .... NO RELIGIOUS WAR...... JUST NO WAR AT ALL....
I know that there is a war or a conflict going on somewhere on this world most of the time... and there is terror.... however there is also a different approach to handle war on terror....

I suggest you read up some history of near East countries, their lifes and their believes and why it is possible for young people to become suicide bombers…. If you make all poor regions on this world prosperous this will stop automatically… I do not mean Americanise other regions but make it possible for people with different believes to live a humane life in their way and you will see that a number of these conflicts would stop and I believe people could then coexist. Israel and Palistina are different as they claim the same land for each side.
We in the EUROPEAN UNION have lots of different cultures, languages and religions…. However we try to handle our conflicts in a democratic way…. Meaning also we don’t always get what we want….
And as Kerry said in his gracious concession speech: “….In the days ahead, we must find common cause. We must join in common effort, without remorse or recrimination, without anger or rancor. America is in need of unity and longing for a larger measure of compassion….. I hope President Bush will advance those values in the coming years….” And a little later in this speech: “ I believe that what we started in this campaign will not end here.”…. meaning that in the Senate he will carry on pushing the ideals of the Democratic Party for all Americans….

In my understanding he would have been the President America needed especially to end the war on terror. He is not unreliable or untrustworthy or not American in his views to end the war on terror. It is a pity that a lot of Americans have not seen this…..
The words “war on terror” have been engraved in the minds and brains of people without an offer for a viable solution…. Getting results is what Americans usually want…. Pity you did not trust a new President to achieve just this.
I always understood that Americans are open for new ventures. If a head of a company (CEO) is not getting results he is quickly replaced by someone who will bring results..... This happens all the time WHY NOT IN THE MOST IMPORTANT OFFICE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA??

Regard Liane from Germany

Posted by: Liane at November 4, 2004 06:04 AM

Like the brilliant article "The liberal case for Bush" also this one perfectly hits the point. The crusade for democracy is a too important thing to leave it to old-fashioned conservatives. One can be a former Bush opponent, generally liberal, maybe even libertarian, and still have prayed that Bush will win this election.

Anyway I never understood why the NeoCons are called NeoCons, given their sometimes even radical left roots. It's also not by chance that the few open supporters of the liberation of Iraq here in Europe have at least a leftist background as well. So I'd prefer another label, maybe something like arm(or)ed liberals ;-) or the like.

Posted by: Paul13 at November 4, 2004 06:28 AM

@ Liane

"Well, I am GERMAN and as a German we are outspoken yet reserved and not conceited at the same time. If you were in Europe you would check out your views on America from a different angle."

You know what, Liane, if you and the other Germans are such humane, progressive people who want to promote international understanding and eliminate war, why not start by working to put a stop to the hate mongering attacks on the US that appear every day in your mass media? The message about the US is absolutely uniform in the German mass media, with the exception of a few tabloids. We are the evil empire, and Bush is the devil incarnate. Want to see what I am saying documented? Just check out Davids Medienkritik. You'll see covers of the German so-called "news" magazines, such as SPIEGEL and STERN that show Bush as Rambo and Americans as gun-toting fanatics, a big cowboy boot decorated with a US flag poised to crush German workers, etc., etc., all reminiscent of Julius Streicher's caricatures of the Jews. This cancer has been rapidly metastasizing for the last 10 years because hate sells in Germany today just as well as it did in 1933. The German people buy it up eagerly. Want proof, Liane? Check out your local book store. You'll see big stacks of Michael Moore's books along with conspiracy theory "revelations" about 9/11. It galls me that people like you dare to lecture Americans about their "duties" to the international community. Good luck to anyone who speaks only German if he wants to inform himself about the real issues relating to Kyoto, the ICC, the war in Iraq, or whatever. There are no blogs or talk radio capable of counterbalancing the prevailing hatemongering spin against the US in the German mass media. The typical German eagerly buys that spin, and thinks that the Iraq war is about oil, that the US won't agree to Kyoto because Americans are all a bunch of selfish, mindless louts, and that he himself, as opposed to the "simple" Americans, is "well informed" about the US because he reads the propaganda in DER SPIEGEL every day. Want to do some real good in the world, Liane. Stop obsessing about the US and work to counteract the hate mongering against us in your mass media. While you're at it support the few German bloggers who are bravely struggling to counteract the prevailing media spin. Wuldoblogger and Medienkritik come to mind. Finally, notice that the "moral high ground" you're standing on is very shaky. We're not interested in pious lectures from people who lack the humility to look in the mirror and see their own faults.

MfG, Helian

Posted by: Helian at November 4, 2004 06:37 AM

figures helian had no coherent response... he knows the real answer... america wont support a war against its own terrorists, only those of a different color and nationality... dispute that..

ind from NJ, aka "republican in a democratic state", it must feel weird to be a minority finally...

Posted by: Jim at November 4, 2004 06:41 AM

ludicrous statement of the week:

"We're not interested in pious lectures from people who lack the humility to look in the mirror and see their own faults."

aint that a case of the pot calling the kettle black...

Posted by: Jim at November 4, 2004 06:44 AM

You said you don't know of anyone who voted for George Bush in 2000 and Kerry in 2004 because of domestic issues. Well I did even though I supported the war in Iraq and Afganistan and like the President's vision of the war on terror. The reason I changed is what the hell is the point of winning the war if we lose what we stand for at home by selling our souls to the Christian right and bankrupt the country by have the largest expansion of federal government bar Lyndon Johnson? Even if we win the war on terrorism (and I know we will), it will be a pyrrhic victory if the whole damn country is bankrupt in 15 years and we've lost our technological edge because the religous right have effectively stiffled the edge intellectual curiosity that keeps us on top.

Posted by: John at November 4, 2004 06:45 AM

Jim,

My political opinions have always in the minority.

Posted by: Ind NJ at November 4, 2004 06:48 AM

I think there may be enough of us former Dems who have been abandoned by the party of Michael Moore.

What do we do? Register as Democrat again and work for change within the party? Form a new party? Bull Moose Too!

A liberal, center aligned party would attract a good many Republicans uncomfortable with their own shouters.

Jim

Posted by: Jim at November 4, 2004 06:58 AM

I hear you, John, and can't say I blame you for voting the way you did. Bush doesn't exactly give me the warm fuzzies either. The problem is, as this election showed, that Kerry wasn't the answer. The Democratic Party needs to shed its 60's baby boomer "progressive" baggage once and for all and find someone who can unite the country. I honestly can't believe it's that hard. Is it really impossible to find someone with a little common sense who hasn't negotiated with our enemies in time of war and hasn't spent his whole career as an opportunist, constantly reaching for high office but never doing much of anything once he'd achieved those offices?

Posted by: Helian at November 4, 2004 07:00 AM

there is no democratic party anymore, since this country has given up the illusion it ever was a real democracy.... representative republic is the correct term and its NOT a democracy, do your homework... democrats need to borrow from rove's playbook and start to take away their positions like clinton did while also appealing to people's base instincts like bush does...

Posted by: Jim at November 4, 2004 07:04 AM

This seems like a very easy dispute to settle. Are there no polls or research that show how many Gore voters switched to Bush? We can all argue with anecdotal evidence all we want - I personally don't know a single Gore voter who switched to Bush. I do know a lot of moderate Republicans who aren't very happy with Bush's social and economic policies but stuck with him because of the War on Terror. I think these are more likely Michael's people. If you believe the MSM, there are a fair number of liberals who switched to Bush because of the War in NJ and NY, maybe in Oregon as well, but they obviously didn't help Bush win the election since those states still went Blue overall. Bush won the Presidency in Florida and Ohio and the evidence seems overwhelming that those two states did not go for Bush because of the War, they went because of "values." If Michael thinks liberal hawks swung the election show us some evidence.

Posted by: vanya at November 4, 2004 07:08 AM

So New York and Washington D.C. -- in fact the entire Northeast corridor -- voted for John Kerry by significant margins. Presumably they would not have if they felt he could not keep them safe.

It must be acknowledged that these places are much more at risk for foreign terrorist attack than, say, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, or Texas.

So we have the "safe" red states making a choice on, as you allege, security grounds, on behalf of the "blue" states that are actually at risk!

Daily Show talking points does not an argument make.

Posted by: Court at November 4, 2004 07:09 AM

To Lilian from Germany:

You suggest that we read up on our history regarding the Middle East. I suggest that you read up on YOUR history. The American military thwarted German fascism TWICE last century, thank you. And we're up to the task again with Islamic fascists. The fact that Germany is now a pacifist nation is instructive- it took two world wars to accomplish it- and we won. The world is infinitely better off for it.

Posted by: kreiz at November 4, 2004 07:19 AM

but one thing the "new" democratic party should NOT do, is start pandering to the south... we forget that this is a region that would have kept segregation legal had it been on the national ballot in the sixties and still thinks its cool to fly a flag that is the equivalent of the nazi flag to some people... how all of a sudden this region became the "heartland of america" is a mystery to me... there are certain things that you just cant leave up to the masses....

there is no mandate that excludes the entire northeast, the entire west coast, and the major manufacturing/industrial centers of the midwest... its absurd to see how people are claiming he has a mandate...

Posted by: Jim at November 4, 2004 07:21 AM
I DONT WANT ANY WAR.... NO WAR ON TERROR .... NO RELIGIOUS WAR...... JUST NO WAR AT ALL....

Liane: Amen to that. Neither do I. But here's the deal. You don't always pick your wars. They often pick you, especially when all you want to do is go about your own business. Just ask Poland and Pearl Harbor.

Yes, that was a low blow. But here is the clincher. You are at war with whomever thinks they are at war with you - Be it the Third Reich, Al Queda, Crazy Ned the Wino, or your next door neighbor. When a panzer division rolls over your daisies, when Hijackers take your passenger airplane on a detour to Manhattan, or when a or when Ned comes after you with a broken bottle, or when your neighbor builds his backyard fence 10 feet into your property line, you just can't sit there and say, not me dude, I want peace. Because by the time you finish, they'll have already walked right through you.

Posted by: Bill at November 4, 2004 07:25 AM

A question for the liberal hawks:

Assuming that you have a natural affinity for democrats on economic/social issues, how much foreign policy credibility would you need from a democrat to vote for him.

A. A consistent and articulate John Kerry who hammered home his arguments about Iraq being a diversion, poor post-war planning/execution, and the need for public and traditional diplomacy.

B. A consitent and articulate John Kerry who hammered home a Lieberman message of aggressiveness combined with better competence.

C. Joseph Lieberman.

Posted by: Eric Slusser at November 4, 2004 07:25 AM

Kind of interesting to draw a north-south line from the western border of Minnesota to the Gulf, and throw in Texas. Now, look at the distribution of red and blue. Hmmm... Now, tell me again, who won the Civil War?

Posted by: Helian at November 4, 2004 07:27 AM

This thread is priceless. A superior example of why the Dems got beat in 2002 and 2004. Rather than examine their own positions, their own failings, assessing whether or not their ideas are correct and if they are why they failed to resonate (YOU GOT SMOKED, down 4 senators including Daschle etc.) the left's conclusions are:

1. Bigotry drove the election, bigots are bad
2. Red states should defer to blue states on terrorism;
3. Bush wants a theocracy, religion is bad
4. People vote against their own interests, people are stupid.

Heck, even if thatis correct it is a worthless level of analysis. It doesn't persuade, it alienates and it doesn't provide a mechanism for change in a any case. Nice goin'! Although it is better than the Kossite stuff I've been reading.

Do you want a productive analysis? Look in the mirror always.

1. Your candidate was an aloof Boston Brahmin who generated little enthusiasm and no personal connection (70% of Kerry votes were anti-Bush, NOT pro-Kerry), why'd you pick him in the first place?

2. How do you win in the face of the value disconnect between lefties and the majority of voters?

3. What does it mean that you lost Senate Seats and House seats in addition to the White House? How do you do a better job in the Red States?

But I'd prefer you keep thinking the way you're thinking. It'll keep dangerously weak hands away from the levers of power.

Posted by: spc67 at November 4, 2004 07:45 AM

I could have considered "B" but we didn't get it despite being told over and over by my friends that that was what he was actually saying -- when they weren't pointing out that he was really saying "A". And I must confess that those times when they were trying to sell me on "A" and "B" were in those small and rare islands of sanity between the screams of "Bush-Hitler/Bush-Moron/Bush-Halliburton/Bush-Stole-the-election-and-probably-my-lunch-I-put-in-the-office-fridge-last-week." Confused and Frustrated by my answer? Now you know how I felt in evaluating Kerry.

As for "C"... I don't know, Eric. He wasn't running so he wasn't able to speak as a candidate. I liked some of what he said as a sideliner but the dynamics change when you are trying (or should be trying) to talk to most of the electorate. I'm a little tired of playing could-a-would-a-should-a….

Posted by: Bill at November 4, 2004 07:48 AM

I get sick and tired of the WMD issue. So many idiots out there forget that Kerry, Edwards and our entire government along with nearly every other country in the world thought that Iraq had WMD's. The reason is because SADAM wanted it that way. He thought he could keep the world at bay forever. He could just sit there and build his mansions and the rest of the world (other than his buddies the French and Germans) could go F themselves. I hate seeing our young men(and women) die. Our young men have died all over the world in war and I thank God for them. It is by their sweat and blood that we have such a wonderful and blessed country. I hope the blood will stop flowing soon in Iraq and the Iraqis can take over and run their country without mass graves and torture. The libs in this county for some reason can't see the fact that Iraq was a miserable place for millions who now may have a chance at freedom. In the process, the terrorist are fighting us in Iraq and not in Boston etc. The military is in existence to fight war. Thank God we have brave young and old willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice so we can sit here and have this discussion. Our firefighters in this country have fires to fight etc. Let's hope that is all they are needed for in this country in the future. God Bless America!

Posted by: Scott K at November 4, 2004 07:51 AM

Eric, the answer is B

kerry's advisors just didnt learn from rove... there are certain positions you can take that will upset your base, but not enough to cause them to vote for the other guy... look at bush and illegal immigration and deficit spending... conservatives dont like bush's record in those areas, but they aint vote for kerry...

kerry just didnt understand he could have taken away bush's position on the war by supporting it completely, but saying it was run incompetently... yes the antiwar crowd wouldnt have liked that, but they wanted bush out of office so badly, they would have lived with it... plus they realized we were stuck there, and cut and run would have made it worse.. kerry failed in articulating it in such a way so he came off as a flip flopper... notice how bush never came off as a flip flopper even when there was AMPLE evidence of his flip flops on policy..

2 lessons to be learned here:

1) no more lifetime senators as candidates, their record will be used against them and no context for their votes will be provided to help explain why they voted a certain way... governors or one term senators ONLY...
2) no more women running campaigns... rove is a pit bull, a purebreed at that... you dont put poodles in with pit bulls.. if 2000 and 2004 didnt show that females just dont have the ruthlessness needed to defeat republicans, we'll continue to lose elections...

Posted by: Jim at November 4, 2004 07:56 AM

1. Bigotry drove the election, bigots are bad

This is obvious, nothing to examine here.. Put a black man up for president(even obama) or a women(even hillary) and we'll see it fleshed out even more...

2. Red states should defer to blue states on terrorism;

Yes, we're in the line of fire, you're not. Why should Wyoming get more anti terrorism dollars per person than New York??? Are you kidding me?? Osama cares more about Antarctica than some of these red states...

3. Bush wants a theocracy, religion is bad

Religion isnt bad, its bad when you start making policy decisions BASED on religion... Religion has NO place in politics, especially in a diverse nation that has SEVERAL forms of religion...

4. People vote against their own interests, people are stupid.

Pretty obvious here, cant wait until these Ohio farmers and factory workers see where they stand in 4 years... Thinking this administration has any sort of policy that supports them outside of terrorism... Same for my state of florida, wait until these people on the gulf coast have their first major oil spill wash up on their beaches..

what needs to change is how the argument is being made to america... the south is a lost cause, see my post above but there are several states that have a 50-50 breakdown which can be swung the other way if someone articulates the positions better...

the messengers and the message need to be changed, but the thrust of the argument will still be the same...

Posted by: Jim at November 4, 2004 08:07 AM

and a traitor.

Posted by: You're simply an idiot at November 4, 2004 08:10 AM

LOL, Jim, I hope you are running Dem campaigns from now on. You'll be the new Bohb Shrum!

Just for the record, I was in the WTC in 1993 and lost a dozen colleagues in 2001. I worked at the WTC for 10 years. It's those kinds of assumptions, and a willingness to write off the Red States that will lead to a near-permanent Dem minority.

People vote values folks. The Electorate obviously is willing to put national interests over their own as well. But keep playing the division game, it worked out well so far huh?

Posted by: spc67 at November 4, 2004 08:15 AM

liane from germany,

you may not be interested in "no terror war", but it may well be interested in you. note that theo van gogh, greatgrandson of vincent van gogh's brother, was assassinated in holland by a muslim terrorist two days ago. the murderer shot van gogh 6 times and attempted to cut off his head.

van gogh had dared to make a film about some of the abuse islamic males deal out to women. so now he's dead. explain to me how it's safe to say one word critical of islamic fundamentalism in your sacred EU.

michel houellebecq (author of "the elementary particles", the best recent novel about france)was taken to court and charged with "hate speech" because one of his characters (who is an atheist) says that all religions are stupid but that of them all, islam is the stupidest. he got out of france lucky not to have been gunned down like van gogh.

it's not acceptable to doubt or debate with these people. to be really safe you should shut up and convert.

talk is cheap when you criticize americans, however. you can say whatever you want. we don't care.

Posted by: miklos rosza at November 4, 2004 08:16 AM

Oh yeah, can you imagine if a Righty said "no more women running campaigns?"

Posted by: spc67 at November 4, 2004 08:16 AM

freeguy,

"That said, the Democrat Party is in big trouble. The very changes which the Democrats need to make require them to alienate a significant part of the base of their party. Therefore, Democrats take a pass on education reform, lest they offend the teachers unions. They take a pass on Social Security reform to placate the AARP. Don't dare advocate tort reform, or the monetary support of the Trial Lawyers Association will dry up. It is almost as though Democrats have come to represent people who do not want to take responsiblity for their actions."

Well said. This is the conservative-left coalition I was talking about. The Dems need to find a way to flip to the liberal positions on these issues. This may cost them numbers short term, though judging by this blog, there is a lot of pent-up liberal support they are alienating, but those they gain are just the kind of folks most skilled at building the new organization they need.

I say "they" instead of "we" not because I'm conservative, but because I'm one of those liberals for Bush I hope they can win over.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at November 4, 2004 08:28 AM

spc67, they dont have to, they just dont let the women near the top of the decision chain...

Posted by: Jim at November 4, 2004 08:32 AM

spc67, they dont have to, they just dont let the women near the top of the decision chain...

Sandy O'Connor, Karen Hughes and Condi Rice are on your other line.

Posted by: spc67 at November 4, 2004 08:39 AM

scalia, karl rove and dick cheney are on your other line right now... the women you mention below answer to these men...

Posted by: Jim at November 4, 2004 08:50 AM
Sandy O'Connor, Karen Hughes and Condi Rice are on your other line.

Tsk Tsk, SP:

Rice, O'Connor, and Hughes aren't "authentic" womyn. They are Ersatz females who are tools of the Totemic hegemonic patriarchy dedicated to aiding the oppression of their sisters and the rest of The Other.

Ya see, SP... ya gotta be hip with their lingo if you want to debate the new left.

Posted by: Bill at November 4, 2004 08:51 AM

Is any one else here concerned about single party rule?

This concentration of power will either be bad for the Republican party or bad for the country.

Best case scenario: Republican party fractures into religious right and right leaning pragmatists. Moderate Republicans join with moderate Democrats to hold White House accountable, and put the brakes on far-right court appointments. Perhaps strong 3rd party emerges from center, even?

Worst case scenario: Republicans close ranks, and country continues on it's rightward trajectory. First abortion rights go, followed by many civil liberties, especially those related to religious freedom. Looming debt eclipses terrorism as biggest national security threat.

Posted by: sivert at November 4, 2004 08:52 AM

Good questions spc67:

"1. Your candidate was an aloof Boston Brahmin who generated little enthusiasm and no personal connection (70% of Kerry votes were anti-Bush, NOT pro-Kerry), why'd you pick him in the first place?" There weren't many alternatives. Do you think Dean would have fared better? Lieberman would have been wiped out - he talks the talk on foreign policy but he is actually worse than Kerry in terms of actual accomplishments. At least Kerry helped take down BCCI. And yes,Bush hatred also made it difficult to get an accomomdating politican like Lieberman nominated. Bush is the kind of person you either like or dislike. The first time I saw him in 1999 I thought "what an obnoxious a-hole." He rubs a lot of people the wrong way and to his credit he's been able to use that effectively to make his opponents look irrational. Part of this is certainly cultural not political - very few people on the left really hate Mitt Romney or Pataki. I like Giuliani because he's my kind of guy - a tough NY Italian. Bush is like one of those evil waspy frat guys in Animal House. If the Repubs are smart they'll keep nominating this type of guy because they keep the Michael Moores in busines. Also, the Democrats weakness in the South is poisoning the pool of potential nominees. The best candidate for a Democrat is a moderate southern governor. It's not a big pool these days - Warner is probably the Dems best bet but he wasn't ready in 2004.

"2. How do you win in the face of the value disconnect between lefties and the majority of voters?" The cultural divide in this country is real - the Democrats cannot move very far to the right on values without alienating 40% of the country. Still, values is basically code for abortion and gays. The majority of voters support moderate Democratic values on abortion, so there is no disconnect. Democrats went too far in 2004 on late term abortion and gay marriage. But by 2008 gay marriage will be less of an issue than it is today - this is an area where the "liberal" media really has an effect, it will gradually be normalized. I don't think these particular "values" are going to be as important next time. I think Red State values are inevitability going to trend more "liberal", what you're seeing now is the backlash as traditionalists realize they're losing ground.

"3. What does it mean that you lost Senate Seats and House seats in addition to the White House? How do you do a better job in the Red States?"
You probably don't in the near term. Red States are overrepresented in terms of senators per capita since most are very thinly populated compared to NY or California. Without a rejiggering of the Constitution the Senate and House are always going to overrepresent rural America.

Posted by: vanya at November 4, 2004 09:02 AM

The statement that 55% of self-described moderates voted for Kerry is not the same as the statement that Kerry got the majority of the votes from the center. I suppose that it depends on what one's definition of the center is, but, if we choose the median of the electorate, it voted for Bush. That's why he got a majority.

If the Democratic party were the party of the center, there would be more than 201 Democratic congressmen and fewer than 233 Republican congressmen in the next Congress. If the Democratic party were the party of the center, there would have been a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives at some point in the past ten years. If the Democratic party were the party of the center, there would be more than 44 Democratic Senators in the next Congress, and it would not have taken a Republican Senator's death (Paul Coverdell), followed by the appointment of a Democratic Senator (Zell Miller) by a Democratic governor (Roy Barnes) plus a party change by a Republican Senator (Jim Jeffords) to give the Democrats their only majority in the past ten years. If the Democrats were the party of the center, twenty-eight states, including the four most populous states, would not have Republican governors.

The Democrats have gone from 57 Senators during the first two years of Clinton's administration to 44 (plus effectively Democratic Jim Jeffords) in January 2005. In the same period, they have gone from 258 congressmen to 201.

Tell me that the center of the American political spectrum is wrong, but don't try to tell me that most of its members vote Democratic.

Posted by: Silicon Valley Jim at November 4, 2004 09:11 AM

"This thread is priceless. A superior example of why the Dems got beat in 2002 and 2004. Rather than examine their own positions, their own failings, assessing whether or not their ideas are correct and if they are why they failed to resonate......
But I'd prefer you keep thinking the way you're thinking. It'll keep dangerously weak hands away from the levers of power"---- spc67

Exactly.I personally hope that the Moore-Pelosi-Dean-Kennedy delusionals keep on trucking until the miserable remnants of the 'old'Democratic Party are finally all driven out of it as was Zell Miller.Then politics will become much simpler.We can have a 'normal' governing party and a 'normal'opposition party.I have made the repeated point that the Democrats are a totally bankrupt entity,and I saw nothing in the campaign that made me reconsider.Now they are all pinning their hopes on Hillary and Obama as if these single 'personalities'are the solution to their intellectual and moral decay.
Yah,thats the ticket !!!

Posted by: dougf at November 4, 2004 09:21 AM

Exit polling data beyond the "moral values" question suggests that Michael's thesis is exactly right: Bush won in large part because he expanded his support among liberals. Against Gore in 2000, Bush won a scant 13% of the vote from self-described liberals:

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2000/results/index.epolls.html

Against Kerry, however, Bush earned an astounding 19% of the liberal vote:

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/2004/la-na-assess4nov04,0,2268585.story?coll=la-home-headlines

A 6% percent leap, according to polls. Nearly one-fifths of Bush's supporters are liberal. This must be the most undercovered shift of the entire election. It's roughly the same jump evidenced among American Jews, but then, liberals are a far larger subsection of voters (32% in the 2004 election.)

A 6% leap, even after a domestic policies that has just about zero appeal to liberals. A 6% leap, even after a mountain, a tornado, a tsunami of liberal criticism against Bush, mainly for his domestic policies (and rightly so). What other possible explanation for this substantial increase of liberal support can there be-- except for an increase in liberal support for Bush's policies in the war against Islamist terrorism, and the spread of democracy in the Middle East?

I think it's safe to say, had Bush not earned this liberal support, he would have lost the election. So Michael is right. He is part of this unrecognized 6% shift. And liberals need to stop wondering why religious conservatives voted for Bush, and spend some time wondering why 1 in 5 of them cast their lot for the man.

Posted by: Wagner James Au at November 4, 2004 09:27 AM

Jim: what won this election was simple:

white people are scared of the colored arabs who want to kill us

I'm a white guy. I voted for Bush. And I'm going to Libya in two weeks - without fear. Get a grip, buddy.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 4, 2004 09:30 AM

Um, but Michael -- Republican Pres. Bush WON. Re-election. The ABB guy did not win.
Kerry, and Nader, and Badnarik, and others, did not win. "Why Kerry Lost" is not the right question.

It was mostly a referendum on Bush -- is the imposition of democracy on an unwilling, terrorism supporting Arab Islamic Oil-filled ME the best strategy for making America safer?

I think yes, and totally agree with your desire to win the War on Terror.

Bush competence in Afghanistan helped. On the economy, 5.4 unemployment, low inflation, low interest rates -- kinda unrealistic to expect better, isn't it? (But, uh, under Clinton's dot.com bubble it WAS better -- can't we have a sustainable bubble expansion? No.)

But, in understanding how good or bad is Bush, the alternative is important.

I don't think ANY Democratic Party alternative would have beaten Bush in 2004.

Because of morals. Because Peace (and genocide) is NOT more moral than fighting evil.

Had a Zell Miller Dem run (Lieberman?), Nader would have gotten on the ballot everywhere, maybe with Dean?, and some Ross Perot 92 sized vote would have sucked out some 5-10% from the Dems -- so Liberal Hawks like you could have voted straight Dem, but Bush's "morals-based" victory would have been clearer.
http://www.tomgrey.motime.com/1099581990#368736

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at November 4, 2004 09:31 AM

Michael -- don't take this personal...but I'm angry and I find what you write here to be completely foolish.

President Bush did not need your vote to win. Nor the vote of any Paul Berman reading eccentrics flirting with neoconservative ideas. Don't flatter yourself.

And he doesn't owe the election to people who switched from Gore to Bush. Basically, voters who switched between '00 and '04 canceled each other out.

He won because of an unprecidented increase in turnout by the Evangelical, Fundamentalist or Traditionalist Christian Right in Ohio and Florida. These same people elected a man to the Senate in Oklahoma who supports the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions, and a Senator from South Carolina who supports laws banning gay people or unmarried mothers from teaching in public schools. They won Ohio and Florida, and they are particularly responsible for the 4 million popular vote plurality. He OWES them his second term, big time. He doesn't owe you shit.

Suggestion: go down to some coffeeshop on Hawthorne (love Portland, lived there for a year in the mid-eighties), celebrate Arafat's death while gloating at the miserable lefties in your midst. Then pick up a copy of today's New York Times and read about the people you have cast your lot with instead of all the leftist losers in your midst. Go to the Election special section, bottom left hand corner article, of which I attach a small excerpt:

Some Bush Supporters Say They Anticipate a 'Revolution' By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

"Exulting in their electoral victories, President Bush's conservative supporters immediately turned to staking out mandates for an ambitious agenda of long-cherished goals, including privatizing Social Security, banning same-sex marriage, remaking the Supreme Court and overturning the court's decisions in support of abortion rights.

"Now comes the revolution," Richard Viguerie, the dean of conservative direct mail, told about a dozen fellow movement stalwarts gathered around a television here... "If you don't implement a conservative agenda now, when do you?"

"Dr. James C. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family and an influential evangelical Protestant, said he had issued a warning to a "White House operative" who called yesterday morning to thank him for his help. Dr. Dobson said he told the caller that many Christians believed the country "on the verge of self-destruction" as it abandoned traditional family roles. He argued that "through prayer and the involvement of millions of evangelicals, and mainline Protestants and Catholics, God has given us a reprieve."

"But I believe it is a short reprieve," he continued, adding that conservatives now had four years to pass an amendment banning same-sex marriage, to stop abortion and embryonic stem-cell research, and most of all to remake the Supreme Court. "I believe that the Bush administration now needs to be more aggressive in pursuing those values, and if they don't do it I believe they will pay a price in four years," he said."

You've cast your lot with these people, Michael, because you like GWB's stand on the Middle East. He owes these people. He doesn't owe you, or Roger Simon, or Mary, or any other latte-sipping liberal hawk, jack shit.

Sorry for my intemperate tone. I stand behind what I say.

Posted by: Markus Rose at November 4, 2004 09:57 AM

Markus,

If Dubya implements James Dobson's agenda (and I mean for real) the Republican Party will be a smoking ruin in 2008. I, for one, will vote for a yellow dog Democrat next time.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 4, 2004 10:06 AM

Vanya, good responses

Also, the Democrats weakness in the South is poisoning the pool of potential nominees. The best candidate for a Democrat is a moderate southern governor. It's not a big pool these days - Warner is probably the Dems best bet but he wasn't ready in 2004.

I think you're right about this. The Dems have a cultural problem that doesn't allow them to get a good crop from an area thay MUST have. So what do you do?

The cultural divide in this country is real - the Democrats cannot move very far to the right on values without alienating 40% of the country.

Of course they can. What they need to do is stop
trying to jam things down everybody's throat all the while crying "bigotry" if you disagree. I support gay marriage, but go for it the right way, not through activist judges, but through legislation. If you can't convince enough people? You have a problem.

Still, values is basically code for abortion and gays.

No, it is more broad than that. It includes individual responsibility, promiscuity, crime, drugs and other things. Most importantly it involves the willingness to say certain human actions are morally wrong.

The majority of voters support moderate Democratic values on abortion, so there is no disconnect.

Depends. If you mean abortion on demand, then no they don't.

Democrats went too far in 2004 on late term abortion and gay marriage. But by 2008 gay marriage will be less of an issue than it is today - this is an area where the "liberal" media really has an effect, it will gradually be normalized. I don't think these particular "values" are going to be as important next time. I think Red State values are inevitability going to trend more "liberal", what you're seeing now is the backlash as traditionalists realize they're losing ground.

Traditionalists losing ground? Did you see the same election I did? Having said that, I think you are right, but it is a 25 year issue, not a four year issue.

You probably don't [do better in the Senate]in the near term. Red States are overrepresented in terms of senators per capita since most are very thinly populated compared to NY or California. Without a rejiggering of the Constitution the Senate and House are always going to overrepresent rural America

Yup, but if you don't do better, then you are going to see an increasingly conservative judiciary, meaning your other option is to try an get your agenda passed legislatively in republican dominated State Houses. You're in a catch-22.

Jim:, O'Connor answers to Scalia? Read up on the Supreme Court buddy as for the others, you said "near the top" bbbbzzzzzzzz. Thanks for playing.

Bill:LOL, thanks, I had left my post-modern, leftist linguistic handbook at home!

Posted by: spc67 at November 4, 2004 10:09 AM

People in Ohio and Florida elected Senators in Oklahoma and South Carolina?

Quick! Alert Greg Palast! Kerry Won!

If by the end of Senator Coburn's career in the Senate, we are in fact executing physicians who perform abortions, I will retract my sarcasm.

I was hoping Brad Carson would win - but I don't live in Oklahoma (or Ohio or Florida), so I couldn't vote for him.

Just kidding (about the Ohio/Florida thing), Markus.

I'm disgusted with the bigotry that moved many Americans in this election. And I voted for Kerry, largely because of Bush's domestic agenda - although I have reservations about his foreign policy too.

But the sad fact is that we only have two choices, each of which comes with a bundle of policy issues.

If someone supports a Bushian view of the WoT (and I share some of those views, at least when juxtaposed to some of Kerry's), and they feel that's the most important issue facing them, I don't see how they are supposed to vote for Kerry just because a large percentage of Americans are, strangely in my view, against Gay marriage.

For me, I just am hoping that when SC justices start retiring, that Arlen Spector is true to his word that he will block anti-Roe v. Wade judges from going through committee.

And the funny thing, if Atrios had had his way, and Hoeffel had beaten Spector, than a pro-Life Republican would have his spot as head of Judiciary, and then women and pro-Choicers would have been screwed in the name of Atrios' pet candidate and the seniority rules in the Senate.

Thanks for taking the long-view, Duncan.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at November 4, 2004 10:29 AM

my alienation from the liberal party is total. A political party that thinks crying Halliburton! is a grown-up response to anti-totalitarian war just isn’t serious.

Exactly.

Posted by: David at November 4, 2004 10:34 AM

A political party that thinks crying Halliburton! is a grown-up response to anti-totalitarian war just isn’t serious.

I agree, and the fact that many Dems have adopted that as a war cry (pun intended) has been extremely troubling for me, as have a lot of other trends in the Dem party.

However, I have enough faith in America to think, no matter who is President, that we will continue fighting the totalitarian forces that seek to harm us. I also am not a fan of the domestic agenda which comes with an endorsement Bush's WoT (which I fully support, although I don't agree with every single move - but who does?).

This election posed a difficult choice for a lot of people, including myself. I'm jealous of those who felt the choice was a complete no-brainer.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at November 4, 2004 10:42 AM

"It is almost as though Democrats have come to represent people who do not want to take responsiblity for their actions."

Bingo. Values is NOT just code for abortions and gays. Joe Manchin (D) won big here in West Virginia (Bush by 13%!) by articulating a positive values-based campaign. When asked what it meant to be a Democrat, he said:

"The Democratic Party is the party of social responsibility."

BTW, the "social" here is superfluous. Social and personal responsibility are not mutually exclusive.

"'We're not interested in pious lectures from people who lack the humility to look in the mirror and see their own faults.'"

aint that a case of the pot calling the kettle black..."

Indeed it may be, but that doesn't mean the kettle might not be sorely in need of some polish...

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at November 4, 2004 10:46 AM

I completely agree with your reason for why Bush won this lesson. It was my #1 reason for voting for him too. I have 2 children, and I couldn't trust John Kerry to protect them and their future. However, based on some of the articles that I've read online by liberal columnists and such, because I voted for Bush, I am not intelligent and do not have the capacity to understand the complexity of the issues. Why is it OK for them to insult almost 60 million people?

Posted by: employedbyFeds at November 4, 2004 10:46 AM

OFF TOPIC,

$lick,

I read this article http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1104-01.htm (yes its at a leftist site but, it's from the LA Times and doesn't require a registration to read)

Do you have any insight on this? The story seems nearly unbelieveable. I can't imagine that these guys are being totally honest.

Tosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at November 4, 2004 10:47 AM

I haven't read through all these 80 + comments so I'm probably repeating alot of people but I agree completely with Michael. It was the war on terror that took me from a Democratic tkt. in 2000 to Bush in 2004. I wish there had been a different choice but there wasn't. Every militay family I know voted for Bush. We didn't trust or believe in John Kerry.

Michael Moore being adopted by the democrats at their convention (remember who he was sitting beside) didn't help their cause one bit. Michael Moore must be very depressed knowing that his sweep of 27 states in the last month signing up college students to vote failed terribly. 17% didn't change from the 2000 election.

In all hind sight I don't undertand picking a running mate for vice President that you know won't even carry his own state. Not to mention that he (Kerry) drove almost an entire profession away from him by his choice of Vice president. I bet the percentage of the medical profession voting to put a mal-practice attorney in position to one day be President was probably in a very low percentage.

Posted by: Cathy at November 4, 2004 10:47 AM

The "moral values" question goes beyond same-sex marriage and civil unions. I can't find the CNN poll now, but earlier this year I recall people put same-sex marriage at number 26 on their list of important issues, despite the conclusions Andrew Sullivan is trying to draw.

Posted by: d-rod at November 4, 2004 10:51 AM

Ged of Earthsea,

I agree that personal responsibility is entwined completely with social responsibility.

I don't agree with the decision made here in Ohio to ban both Gay marriages and domestic partnerships, but it is the right and responsibility of the State of Ohio to determine how Ohio will deal with the gay marriage issue. The people spoke, the bill passed and democracy (for better or worse) worked.

Eleven states have taken personal responsibility and made their own decisions regarding this issue. Democracy worked.

Passing a federal amendment to the constitution removes this personal responsibility/social responsibility from the basic unit of government. This is a bad idea. California is not Arkansas. Arkansas is free to ban within their state and California is free to permit, within their state (esp if they ask the voters to ok such a thing first).

The same is true of Medical Marijuana laws. States have taken Personal Responsibility, and citizens have taken Personal Responsibility voting to permit doctors to recommend marijuana for some types of illness. For the federal government to interefere with this is, again, taking the freedom and responsibility away from the citizens.

I hope that the roumers of Ashcroft's departure will open the way for a more balanced/small government Republican to take the helm.

I hope...

Posted by: Ratatosk at November 4, 2004 10:59 AM

Tosk -

I would agree with you, but for my absolute confidence that those on the Left cannot be trusted to respect the views of conservative states. We won't have to wait long before the first few gay couples married in Mass. move to Miss. and demand recognition of their "marriage." I don't like the idea of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, but if that is what is needed to keep the courts out of it, then so be it. I am willing to have the issue submitted to the democratic process on a state-by-state basis and to accept the results either way. I am not willing to be told that I must accept legislation from the bench by a bunch of unelected judges who think they are better than me.

Posted by: Ben at November 4, 2004 11:14 AM

@ d-rod

"The "moral values" question goes beyound same-sex marriage and civil unions. I can't find the CNN poll now, but earlier this year I recall people putting same-sex marriage at number 26 on their list of important issues, despite the conclusions Andrew Sullivan is trying to draw."

I agree, d-rod, albeit based on anecdotal evidence. I spoke to a lot of the Republican rank and file during the last week, and "family values" was definitely high on their list of hot-button issues, but, at least for the people I talked to, "family values" was by no means a code word for "pro-life" or "anti-gay." I know a lot of people are upset with Sully for endorsing Kerry. I certainly was. Try putting yourself in his shoes, though. You might have gotten a little emotional about the gay-bashing, too. I think Sully was wrong this time, but he has some other characteristics worth considering. He is no ideologue, a fine thinker, an honest man, and still well worth reading and heeding.

Posted by: Helian at November 4, 2004 11:24 AM

Sure - Sully is a great read, great writer and all. I still read his blog almost daily.

Posted by: d-rod at November 4, 2004 11:37 AM

For me the moral value card came in but it was under the flag of integrity... as in having issues with voting for something before voting against it... saying that you are going to rebuild international alliances while dissing the new Iraqi PM, Poland, the UK and Australia, ... floating a draft meme while calling for manditory volunteerism to graduate from high school... etc...

Then there was the little things that didn't really affect my vote like falling like a dork in the snow and having to blame someone else for it. It's a character thing.

I didn't vote on moral values explicitly (Being Senator, Defense and the Continued War on Fascism was) but the more I looked at the "Values" side of the coin, I kept thinking, GOD this Kerry is a wanker. Heck, Howard Dean and Hillary started to look good to me.

Posted by: Bill at November 4, 2004 11:39 AM

My voting history:
Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Bush.

I've written an essay to my fellow Democrats that has received positive responses several other places, so I'm shamelessly plugging it here:
http://backseatphilosopher.blogspot.com/2004/11/to-my-fellow-democrats.html

I'm interested in feedback.

Posted by: A B at November 4, 2004 11:44 AM

Ben,

Based, at least on the way that the amendment here in Ohio was worded, there would be no basis for a gay couple married elsewhere to demand recognition. That's the way that the US is supposed to function. Each State can decide internal issues for itself, allowing for "50 flavors of freedom". People can live in States that best fit their values.

The most that should be done is a constitutional amendment that makes it clear that the defination of marriage in a state rests solely with that state.

Federalism was the original intent of the founding fathers, it works, it is working right now and it can work in the future if we use our rational thought, not our emotional feelings.

:)

Tosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at November 4, 2004 11:48 AM

dougf -- just curious, after us Dems go the Whig route, would your hypothetical 'normal' governing party and 'normal'opposition' party differ on any issues? If political debate is just like a dispute between round-earthers and flat-earthers, why not just one party?

Posted by: markus rose at November 4, 2004 11:49 AM

PS - If the States would simply have maintained Common Law marriage, they could easily have seperated 'marriage' the way that it's traditionally been done for hundreds of years.

Cannon Law Marriage - Traditional marriage handled by the Church (historically) now also handled by ther State.

Common Law Marriage - Traditional marriage defined by the participants and the law. Common law marriage would state that any couple living together for a set period of time, who declare themselves married, would have the various protections of a marriage (hospital visitation rights, inheritence, insurance etc). This could easily apply to both heterosexual couples, like my beloved and myself who have devoted ourselves to each other in ceremony, live together, make ends meet together etc. It could equally apply to gays.

There are plenty of answers to our problems, if we first extract ourselves from the dogma of christian funddamentalism and then look at the options in a non=-partisan, rational manner.

But, I could be wrong,

Tosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at November 4, 2004 11:53 AM

I'm a Republican. I voted for Bush. I've voted Republican the last three times. I'd vote Democrat if the names on the ballot were Joe Lieberman vs. Pat Buchanan. That's how highly I rate the War on Terror in my priorities. Other conservative friends of mine (one of which is an Evangelical Pro-Lifer) feel the same way. I doubt our opinion is unique.

Posted by: tsmonk at November 4, 2004 12:00 PM

The Democrats - at least many segments of them - are blaming everything and everybody for their defeat. Everything except the real reason: the emptiness of their message and their cause.

If the Democrats want to have any hope of returning as a major and viable party, they'll do well to return it to where it was in the days of Harry Truman.

For the last few decades, they've been taken over by left-leaning types, particularly academics, whose one hope in life is that they can influence young minds to their cause.

The Democrats' grand vision of a socialist-style America simply will not play out in the country which was built on individual worth, individual effort, and individuals caring for their neighbor.

Their grand vision of being able to fix any societal ill by passing more and more laws, and collecting more and more taxes from the people who succeed through hard work and determination, is not likely to be received any better in the future than it is now.

Posted by: Mike at November 4, 2004 12:11 PM

Probably already covered earlier, but considering how badly the exit polls missed the mark, any demographic data coming from them has to be treated as highly suspect.

For a good breakdown of pre-election demographics, see this Pew Poll. Their predicted outcome was extremely close to the final tally, making me trust the internals even more. The demogrpahic tables are well worth studying. For instance, they found that Bush's strongest age group was the 25-34 set. (How many of those were first time voters? That may be why the Dems were so shocked that big turnout <> Democratic victory). The only age groups Kerry led in were the 18-24 and 75+.

By education level, Kerry led only among those with advanced degrees and high-school dropouts.

Blaming the messenger (Kerry) or the bogemen (evangelicals) won't put the Democratic Party in a better position in four years. Figuring out why the Democrats don't appeal to the middle of the bell curves might.

Posted by: Mark Poling at November 4, 2004 12:53 PM

Mike,

I agree completely with the folly of a socialist movement in America.

However, it was also the intent of this great country that personal liberty trumped everything until "my fist hits your face". States rights are key, as well as the limited use of the states legislative power.

This I think is where most of the moderate and moderate left would like to be. Personal liberty used to be the domain of the Republicans, but it seems now, that neither party is holding this torch.

If the dems brought themselves back from the far left, embraced personal liberty (which is truly where civil rights and civil liberties are best served)I think that they would do much better.

Government cannot fix the United States, noly the citizens, who own the government, the land and all of the resources of this great nation can fix it. They must have the freedom, though, to explore all of the options that are available to us in this fast paced and changing world.

At one time America was a country of Freedom First, Security Second. This has steadily fallen by the wayside, especially since the Civil War. We would do well to go back to that sort of government.

If the Dem's would let the Libertarians help them build a platform, there's not much that could stand in its way. I think that there may be quite a constiuancy for such a party.

I have been researching how one would start a third party, but I think that it's obvious at this point that a third party is never going to gain real traction as long as the Democrats and Rebublicans maintain control. George Bush Sr. in a radio interview last week, stated that he prefers the two-party system due to stability. I don'[t necessarily disagree, but it means the modification of one party is necessary for change.

The Republicans seem to be trending toward a more moral conservative/chirstian conservative party, and thats fine. The Dems need to become a more centrist, libretarian party focused on civil liberites through personal liberties.

Of course, the Republicans could toss off the more extreme right, but after this election, I doubt that will happen.

Just the thoughts of a squirrel,

Tosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at November 4, 2004 12:54 PM

Kerry led among with advanced degrees and high school dropouts? Ha! The undereducated and the insular overeducated. Such wonderful irony.

Posted by: Zacek at November 4, 2004 12:59 PM

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/04/americas_oregon_voters/html/1.stm

They should have interviewed MJT for this.

#7 is kind of cute, in an Uma kind of way.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at November 4, 2004 01:01 PM

Kerry lost because he was a terrible candidate with a terrible message.
Marriage is not a right, the government shouldn't even be involved in it. The only reason they even weighed in on it was so they could get more taxes from it. Gays should be happy with civil unions which give them the same rights as heteros that get married at City Hall. But no, they want to call it a marriage well personally I don't care what you call your union.
Bush won because he has a more poitive outlook then Kerry and thats all that matters. As far as turnout, In Nj the polls had longer lines then I've ever seen with no anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot and everbody knew that Kerry would win the state. Instead of belly-aching why not have an agenda that makes America Better not worse(more liberal). Gay marriage will just result in more gay divorces and make more money for lawyers.

Now all of you go watch Queer eye for the Conservative guy...hehehe

I suggest all of you quit waiting for the government to do something for you, it's a waste of time.

Posted by: Barney at November 4, 2004 01:27 PM

I am really getting tired of reading smug lectures from people who clearly are perfectly content with today's Republican Party about what is wrong with the Democrats. Your advice always comes down to the same thing: become the Republican party. Congratulations. Just like Zell Miller -- you've found your niche. We just had an election that proves if anything that the last thing this country needs is a one-party state. So leave us alone to figure what we need to increase our appeal, not to you, but to real swing voters.

On the other hand, I DO want to hear from every single Gore voter who voted for Bush, but who is not entirely happy with the Republicans.

Mike -- Yeah I like Harry Truman, too, he was the first President who proposed a comprehensive national health insurance system that would cover everyone.

The idea that anyone is proposing socialism would be a joke, if not for the fact that so many people are willing to believe it. This country has moved so incredibly far to the right over the past thirty years with regard to economic matters, it is a joke.

Posted by: markus rose at November 4, 2004 02:28 PM

so you want to move incredibly far to the left with regard to economic matters, then? But you are not proposing socialism, even in a German sense? hmm, forgive me if I'm a bit confused here.

Posted by: David at November 4, 2004 03:04 PM

Markus -

I don't know what the others want, but I would like to have a sane opposition party that could win elections once in a while.

Posted by: Ben at November 4, 2004 03:09 PM

Markus,
I work around the government and believe me you don't want them having any say in your health.
The only people in this country who can't get healthcare is who? Everyone can go to a hospital and get care and if you want better care get rid of illegals who are killing the system for Americans. So go get a good job and if it doesn't have health insurance buy it yourself you whiny bum.

Posted by: barney at November 4, 2004 03:16 PM

"So we have the "safe" red states making a choice on, as you allege, security grounds, on behalf of the "blue" states that are actually at risk!

Does this strike anyone else as perverse?"

Oh my yes.

Today I feel, for the first time in my life, about rural, red, socially conservative America, exactly what they seem to have felt about me for most of my life.

And I didn't get it from the Daily Show. I remarked to my husband three hours before the daily show, "they just re-elected a candidate whose policies will make us more likely to die in a terrorist attack because they were too busy trying to stop our gay friends from getting married to pay attention to the war. The next time we're attacked I will know will exactly how much to believe those headlines that say "We are all New Yorkers."

That's a slight oversimplification, but 5% of voters in Michigan said they came to vote because of the gay marriage issue. It didn't swing that state, but Ohio is probably more socially conservative. It might well have swung Ohio. And there is no other way to explain Coburn, Bunning, and DeMint's comfortable victories.

You might also want to read about the mailings and the push polls.

Oh, by the way, the Jewish vote:
74 Kerry, 25 Bush. But those people don't pay any attention to the terrorism issue.

Posted by: Katherine at November 4, 2004 03:23 PM

dougf -- just curious, after us Dems go the Whig route, would your hypothetical 'normal' governing party and 'normal'opposition' party differ on any issues? If political debate is just like a dispute between round-earthers and flat-earthers, why not just one party?---MR

Of course they would differ on the issues.But since the 'opposition'party had surrendered itself to the loonie tune wing of itself,almost by definition,it would 'normally' be out of power and confined to gnashing its teeth in the outer darkness.In itself this situation would not be good for democracy but as a transition stage it is absolutely required.Only when the 'loons'are purged from the party can it restructure(intellectually and morally)itself to present a VIABLE alternative to the prevailing ideology.
Any group that considers it a good thing to have that revolting fat slug,Michael Moore,sitting in a prime box at its CONVENTION has no future in a sane world.It's not that I adore Republicans or supply-side economics;I just despise the left wing of the Dems without reservation.It needs to be purged so it can cuddle up to Ralphie and his assorted wingnuts and allow the rest to construct a new social coaltion.

Posted by: dougf at November 4, 2004 03:57 PM

Katherine,

"So we have the "safe" red states making a choice on, as you allege, security grounds, on behalf of the "blue" states that are actually at risk!

Maybe it's the fact that the red states care about all of America not just the elitist,leftist,
like you who think the gay issue has any importance at all.

When you grow up you will understand that the real America is not Portrayed on Will and Grace.

Posted by: barney at November 4, 2004 04:26 PM

I have to say that the folks who claim that the anti-gay marriage vote drove W's victory are full of prunes. I've just had a look through CNN's election website and did some numbers comparisons. In nearly every state that had gay marriage initiatives on the ballot, the percentage of people voting against gay marriage outnumbered (and often far outnumbered) the percentage of people voting for Bush. In two states, MI and OR, the popular vote went for Kerry and gay marriage still lost out. The only state in which the vote against gay marriage even approximated the vote for W was ND, and in UT (of all places) the percentage vote for W was greater than the percentage vote against gay marriage.

Numbers can be pesky, can't they?

Posted by: Brian Swisher at November 4, 2004 04:43 PM

How can anyone equate Harry "The Buck Stops Here" Truman with George "The Buck Stops Anywhere But Here" Bush? Give us break.

I don't think the progressive agenda is dead. Kerry, a hopelessly flawed candidate, still managed 49% of the vote and but for a 100,000 or so votes in Ohio would be the president-elect at the moment. However, Kerry just could not deliver any coherent message. He didn't even bother to explain his pathetically long-winded theme "Stronger at Home, Respected in the World". Why do we need to be respected in world? Because it makes us safer.

If I felt that Bush and company were actually making us safer, I could agree with almost everything that is being written here, but I don't see it, Michael. I think we did the right thing in Afghanistan and I try to imagine what the situation in the world would be like if we put all are efforts into completely dismantling al Qaeda and the Taliban. Boasts that we've captured or killed 75% of the al Qaeda leadership is meaningless. It's like cutting legs off a starfish.

We're in some serious trouble in Iraq. Even you agree with reasons for going there in the first place, it's hard to make the argument that the post-invasion period has been anything but a complete disaster. Saddam was a criminal. It's great that he's rotting in our prison. But at what price? We had that cocksucker so pinned down that he couldn't maintain the weapons systems that we accused him of having. Now what have we got? Chaos with a growing touch of Iranian Shiism.

I'm not one of these progressives who want to see team Bush fail just so we can hit him over the head with it. Now that he's re-elected, I wish him and the team the wisdom to find a solution that will result in peace in Iraq and a safer world.

I have no idea if Bush can do it. I have no idea whether or not Kerry could have done it. He certainly didn't articulate it. At the very least he could have campaigned on "I agree with everything the president has done, save the post-invasion", but whatever message he did have was undermined by his inability to explain his irreconcilable voting record.

It’s troubling that Kerry’s poor candidacy and inability to articulate a clear WOT strategy has driven so many people, including Michael, to abandon every other issue.

Posted by: Andrew at November 4, 2004 04:47 PM

Mike,
I don't think pointing to a few blogs of people who moved from the Democratic party to the Republican party indicates a trend. I could point to just as many people, military families, who voted for Kerry because of the poor management of the conflict. If you look at the statistics people jumped ship in both directions. In most of the states I looked at based on the exit polls posted on CNN it indicated that 7 percent of Republicans voted for Kerry and 9 percent of Democrats voted for Bush. To me this seems to point to the fact that the contry is complicated and conflicted. I believe it is a failure of your thinking that you narrow and simplify complicated issues.
Alan

Posted by: Alan at November 4, 2004 05:05 PM

Alan: I don't think pointing to a few blogs of people who moved from the Democratic party to the Republican party indicates a trend

Of course not. But Bush won the popular vote this time. And he didn't win it last time. That's a trend. And we're a big part of it.

If you want to shrug off the fact that Bush is more popular now than he was before, including among people who voted for Gore, go ahead. See how that works for ya next time around.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 4, 2004 05:18 PM

It's so obvious that the Democrats will learn nothing. I think I will have no choice but to change my party registration. When I hear the left speak (and I mean the broad left not the far left) I hear people who could care less about the vast middle swath of this country except to the extent they can pick off enough votes to swing Missouri and Ohio. When I hear middle Americans like the country star Daryl Worley speak of the war on terror I hear them speak of the attack on AMERICA not the attack on New York and Washington. My God these people care about New Yorkers and New York could give a rats ass about them and their dreams and their concerns. If they vote Republican "they foolishly vote against their economic interests." Thanks Karl Marx for the sociology lesson on the dialectic. I don't need it. And Bush is WAY to smart a coalition builder to listen to the bomb throwers and push through a radical conservative agenda. He understands that laws can be reversed and he is interested primarily in winning the war on terror and reforming the tax code. The problem is if he dares nominate a judge who might possibly take a conservative approach to constitutional law, he will be called a right-wing zealot. I am not a Republican and I want a viable two party system. But the Democrats are being eaten alive and they fail to realize it.

Posted by: Doug at November 4, 2004 07:27 PM

Hello and good morning to all of you on the Blog,

It is the time zone difference …. Therefore I will respond only now and try to keep it simple in order not to be misinterpreted or abused… I have not abused anyone, I was uttering an opinion. MY PERSONAL OPINION. There is freedom of speech and thought in both of our countries. On this board I may be a minority as regards to the favoured outcome of the presidential election 2004. But look around you… approx. 48% Americans think also Kerry should have been given the chance to get into Office. When I wrote on this board, I was not really aware that this could be a problem…. As for me I have no problem to tolerate different opinions to mine. I am always ready to learn. However a number of people here on the board also talk about other countries and their approach to keep peace or get it back, so I think I can utter my feeling and hope for tolerance from all of you. I may still give advice and you are welcome to do just the same…. I don´t negate the feeling of others…. However just throwing history at me is not a communicative way and not constructive….. I am fully aware of our history. I am yet like probably most on this board from a different generation. And I believe also countries and their administration can learn and do better and NOT REPEAT HISTORY….

On election day I have spent all night (until 8 am GMT+1) at the America House in Frankfurt Germany (by invitation only) with many expatriates and Germans with an American affinity. There I was not in the minority wearing a “John Kerry for president” badge… even though Bush followers or supporters were a minority we were all glued to CNN on a number of big screens waiting for progress and drank beer and wine together. Mr. Bush simplified the issues. I personally believe things never are as straight forward as they seem at first glance. But as you would have read in the papers all European administrations have already congratulated Bush and offered their cooperation.

Life goes on…. So we ought to get on with things and make the best of it.

@ Jim
Thank you for not misinterpreting what I really wanted to portray, some of your fellow bloggers assumed instead of reading ALL of it.
@ Bill
Unfortunately I agree with you. Nevertheless the point I wanted to make was that Kerry (in my mind and also in the mind of 48% of your fellow country men and women) had deserved a chance... It is the fear of the Americans that Mr. Bush is banking on... and I must admit with success.

@ Helian
@ kreiz
Sorry to have extracted so much rancor… I can only tell you that I am a Cosmopolitan European German… and in that order. The history as I wrote at the start of this article has happened and now we are all to make sure it will not repeat….. Both of you are feeding the cliché and I can assure you reality is not like that and we are not endangered to fall back into that track. And yes you won the war… and again yes you helped us onto our feet and again yes we are grateful…. Yet we have own opinions and ways to feel about how to tackle TERROR successfully (long term) and I never negated there wasn´t any … our government is doing everything within our laws and democratic means to hunt terrorists down and bring them to justice.
Both of you will probably know that we are (Germans) doing a good job in Afganistan to keep peace and help democratise the country (long term … we all know it will take some time … but it least it has started into the right direction). And our forces are too small and not trained for certain war jobs. Since the cold war ended 1989/1990 a number of the tasks of our army were made redundant and we are reorganising the army. With our present economical means it will still take some time. You will also be aware of the fact that over the last 50 years our welfare state is “broke” and to reform all this is again taking some time and is going to be hurtful to a lot of Germans…. And because overheads for cost of labor is so high we have problems to compete with world prices…. And a problem you also have…. a number of jobs are being outsourced into India or Hong Kong, Eastern Europe or….. or…. Wherever the same job is done for a competitive price. We have high unemployment and slow economic growth….. Trying to take on an American virtue, we are being positive and carry on to get back into a bull market with more than 2,9% growth.

@ helian
mass media: Spiegel and STERN…. Mass media is our daily tabloid BILD … everybody reads it but it is always overboard and the general public knows that…. Spiegel is a left-wingish weekly political magazine and is just as harsh at times with domestic topics as with foreign topics and it does not represent the GERMAN view … the article represents the editors view, so it is a personal opinion and NOT SUCKED UP by all GERMANS. Apart from the fact that SPIEGEL does not have such a large circulation. I am afraid to say we do not fit into the cliché you are trying to impose on the Germans.

Also STERN is a weekly journal with mainly gossip (of little or no importance), society read (whoever thinks belongs in there ), sometime geographical and touristic articles with some claim and to get the circulation up also a hot topic more or less qualified …. Often less qualified and researched and the writing journalist often has legal actions to defend against…. Again it is not a MASS Media, the weekly circulation is less than the one of SPIEGEL… and kindly just believe me, Germans don´t take this information too serious especially since you get a lot of other daily papers “Frankfurter Allgemeine” “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, German Financial Times, Tageszeitung Berlin and many others to just mention a few countrywide distributed serious papers to read up what happens in Germany and outside in the world.

Another real mass media I would like to offer is: The internet….. www…… and there you will find everything in order to really make up your OWN opinion. And not to forget CNN … we all have CNN , CBS… and of course 25 and more stations via satellite including the BBC in good old England….

Europe has – I said that before – many cultures and many languages.. So your argument those Germans not being able to read and/or speak “English” can only follow onesided views of STERN and SPIEGEL in understanding the USA and oppose to the administration…. I am afraid I have to again put this view of yours straight: In Europe most children learn 1 – 2 or even more foreign languages early at school, first foreign language mostly being ENGLISH, than FRENCH, SPANISH AND ITALIAN and lately pupils and universities adopt courses to learn Polish, Chinese, Japanese and what ever else you would want to learn. I think because we grow up in such a multinational surrounding (all European countries can fit into North America, probably even without using up space of Canada) we are confronted with all these languages so that we learn at least ENGLISH as a common denominator.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: Even though I do not understand those 52% in the US who would not want a change in office…. I tolerate and respect the peoples choice. On the other side people from other parts in the world who have a different opinion are NOT automatically Fascists.

My views result from knowing people from different countries, living and working with them and reading diverse media not allowing the one or the other radical opinion to pass my scrutiny. (I have lived in England for more than 10 years, stayed in France 1 ½ year as a student and travelled and stayed in USA for quite some time).

To all of you: HAVE A NICE DAY

Regards from this end of the world
LIANE

Posted by: Liane at November 5, 2004 06:36 AM

@HELIAN
One more for Helian. You were referring to Michael Moore and his books and films. They are not taken seriously except on a funny note. A lot of what he writes has a comical side to it. Just as I like some the TV talkers (Jay Lenno) who are satirical and funny. We can also read up on "Bushisms". This is very funny too. The command of the English or American language is mandatory for this read.

Many kind regards
Liane

Posted by: Liane at November 5, 2004 07:02 AM

MJT - I too am a Democrat who voted for W. Your words describe my feelings exactly. I am so disgusted with the Democratic party - I hope they find the answer by 2008! Also as many liberals have expressed their fear of the christian right wing, I must express my fear of the Michael Moore/Hollywood (talk about living in a sphere)/Al Sharpton lefts!

Posted by: Federalhillgirl at November 5, 2004 08:42 AM

Tom Dennis wrote:

"As a former Lib, and dreamy eyed young man, who came face to face with a George McGovern in 1972, and abruptly grew up, I am gratified to see young people thinking these things through, and coming to grips with the reality that there is sometimes a very ugly world out there that must be dealt with."

I take it you think it was good that McGovern lost, then. You're glad that Nixon fella won, are you? How'd that work out for you?

Posted by: Joseph Galleria at November 5, 2004 11:09 AM

@Liane

"I suggest you read up some history of near East countries, their lifes and their believes and why it is possible for young people to become suicide bombers"

Why is it, exactly, that you think you are so much wiser than we are that you are entitled to condescend to us like this? (Didn't you tell us that Germans weren't conceited?) What was it that tipped you off to the fact that we were completely ignorant of the Near East compared to you, and, therefore, need to "read up" on it? More importantly, what makes you think that the people who frequent this blog haven't seen the ludicrous "root causes" BS you're trying to peddle demolished 100 times over by some very intelligent bloggers, and are, therefore, likely to have the scales fall from their eyes on this issue and suddenly become "enlightened" (like the Germans) by reading "some history of the Near East?" Finally, what, exactly, are the Germans doing to make the suicide bombers "prosperous," and, no doubt, as docile and filled with love of their fellow man as the Germans, other than, as we have all seen amply documented lately, selling the components of chemical weapons facilities and uranium enrichment plants to their leaders?

"The history as I wrote at the start of this article has happened and now we are all to make sure it will not repeat….. Both of you are feeding the cliché and I can assure you reality is not like that and we are not endangered to fall back into that track."

Why is it, if it is so wrong to "feed chiche's" that such a large number of Germans spend large portions of their waking hours rifling through history to find examples of how Americans have mistreated the Indians, promoted slavery, and behaved in a generally vile and tyrannical fashion without ever making an attempt to look at both sides of the story? How is it that history that happened 200 years ago is "relevant," but history that happened 60 years ago is "irrelevant?" I doubt whether the Germans really learned anything from WWII, other than that hatred of the Jews must be carefully hidden, although hatred of the US can be expressed openly and fobbed off as “objective criticism.” You don’t have to take my word for it, though. Some representative covers of German “news” magazines can be seen by checking out Davids Medienkritik at http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/. Use your browser to compare them with some of the work Julius Streicher and the Nazis did to promote their “objective criticism” of the Jews, and then tell me with a straight face that you see no similarities. Let him beware whom the shoe fits.

“Spiegel is a left-wingish weekly political magazine and is just as harsh at times with domestic topics as with foreign topics and it does not represent the GERMAN view … the article represents the editors view, so it is a personal opinion and NOT SUCKED UP by all GERMANS.”

Spiegel is Germany’s largest attempt at a serious news magazine. It is quite true that its major contribution to German culture has been to “enrich” the language with an incredibly refined capacity to express hatred, scorn and contempt. However, the lion’s share of that hatred, scorn, and contempt is obsessively lavished on the US. They do not continue their America bashing, which often crowds out most of the news about Germany proper, on their website, SPIEGEL ONLINE, because it merely represents the point of view of the editors. They do it because it sells. If the German people didn’t buy hatred, Spiegel wouldn’t sell it. Don’t think Spiegel is a representative German publication? It doesn’t matter. Run across the political spectrum from left to right, and coverage of the US is depressingly uniform. During one of my last trips to Germany, guess whose smiling face I saw leering down at me from the cover of the neo-Nazi “German National Newspaper?” Why, it was Noam Chomsky! Turns out the neo-Nazi’s consider him a model US citizen, worthy of the highest praise, because he’s so useful as a source of anti-US propaganda. Can you imagine what they would do with their own Noam Chomsky’s if they ever came to power? FAZ, SDZ, you name it, Liane, it doesn’t make any difference. The nuance and “intellectual level” may vary somewhat, but the one-sided bashing of the US is there regardless of where you look. Think German TV is any different? Just check out David’s website for a fisking of the election night coverage.

In a word, Liane, you, and most other German’s, have their heads deep in the sand. You are in denial about the fact that Germany still has a big problem with hate. That is not acceptable to me and it should not be acceptable to any American, because the lion’s share of that hate is currently directed towards the United States. Some intelligent Germans are beginning to feel revulsion at the obvious slant in coverage of the United States, but they are still, unfortunately, a tiny minority. Many more like them are needed, as well as viable alternatives to the German mainstream media for coverage of the news. I, for one, will remain completely indifferent to German complaints about the US until they show an elementary comprehension that they are not guiltless themselves.

“One more for Helian. You were referring to Michael Moore and his books and films. They are not taken seriously except on a funny note. A lot of what he writes has a comical side to it. Just as I like some the TV talkers (Jay Lenno) who are satirical and funny.”

Right, Liane, reeeaaalll funny. Michael is a huge hit in Germany, and occasionally lectures there for big bucks, all because he’s such a great comedian. (Guess we should really be thanking him for relieving his gullible German dupes of so many euros and bringing them back home.) C’mon, Liane, get a clue. By the way, Fahrenheit 911 appeared on German TV just before the election, and easily topped the ratings that night. How funny!

Posted by: helian at November 5, 2004 11:29 AM

Pardon me for butting as a limey observer from Liverpool), but Michael seems to miss the point big time. There isn't a 'war on terror'. There's a war on Iraq, which was off limits to Al Quaeda and the like before Dubya opened it up for them. Truth is, any 'democrat' who voted for Bush has voted to outlaw abortion, screw up health care even further, demonise gays, trash jobs - and all to allow Bush and his allies to make money in Iraq. If you don't believe me, listen to Paul Wolfowitz who said before the war 'If you think this war is going to cost any money you'd be wrong' (I paraphrase). In other words big oil and big construction (is there such a thing?) will make loads of money out of this. Unlike the American GI and the Scottish Black Watch soldiers. I don't despair of America but I do despair of some Americans.

Posted by: Pete Cresswell at November 5, 2004 12:38 PM

@Pete

"Truth is, any 'democrat' who voted for Bush has voted to outlaw abortion, screw up health care even further, demonise gays, trash jobs - and all to allow Bush and his allies to make money in Iraq."

Still, Pete, in spite of all that, isn't it at least encouraging that the world is so simple?

Posted by: Helian at November 5, 2004 01:02 PM

@helian
Hello Helian, why can you not believe me that it is a misconception that all Germans cannot see the facts (your facts!) And why do you have to be offensive? I do not offend you at least I am not intending to.

If you think I am conceited - I can live with that. However I would wish, you would not generalize. There are 80 Mio people living here and you may at least grant approx. 50% of the Germans not to believe everything Michael Moore comes up with. He is an entertainer, actor, writer and producer obviously also a good business man. Germany is a free country. If "Fahrenheit 911" has been shown on TV, I am not aware of. However it was shown in the movies... I have seen it being advertised... So what! We were not electing a new president... I cannot see why this should have had any relevance on the American election.

If anything: Michael Moore has helped George W. Bush rather than John Kerry with his appearances at conventions in the States (you can read this up in US articles). Over here he is only someone who has made onesided films. Noone thinks the film is a balanced view of America.

And SPIEGEL or STERN readers are not all complete idiots who read an article and then fall back into stone age... SPIEGEL is anyway not read by most people as the used language is opulent and it is arduous to read long articles. This is further evidence that SPIEGEL is NOT mass media. It is read by some intellectuals and some students. ….. The normal crowd does not read SPIEGEL.

51% of the Americans have voted for Bush and 48% Americans wanted a fresh start. That is democracy.... Those 48% Kerry voters will also have to live with George W. Bush for FOUR MORE YEARS....

There are conservative Germans, social democrates and liberal thinking ones and people who think the environment is the most important. We are a multifaceted society just like America.

What qualifies you to generalize and abuse all Germans "to have their heads deep in the sand" and tell me "about the fact that Germany still has a big problem with hate" Sorry I am afraid you are mistaken. Believe it or not... If you came to Germany yourself and stayed for a while, a couple of weeks or so, you would be able to see for yourself.

Do I call you an American "dupe"? NO, so please restrain yourself with condescending remarks toward groups of people. This only disqualifies your message.

I came to this blog realizing that the views here are mainly pro Bush.... therefore I knew a lot of people might not sympathise with my preference. A preference which has no direct consequence to my life as I am living in Germany. However, I am of the opinion that Kerry would have taken other positions into consideration (but still would have done the best for your country - the United States).

There are also Germans (believe it or not) who are in favour of George W. As you can see, they would consequently oppose my view. One can discuss the pros and cons and arrive at a new viewpoint or have one´s own standpoint confirmed.

I can only suggest to you not to be that radical in your views. I know most Germans love Americans (the people) not necessarily the Administration and the political class.

Liane

Posted by: Liane at November 5, 2004 01:57 PM

@ Pete from Liverpool....
Wow I am fighting here not to be abused, only because I feel Kerry would have a better choice and as a result I have to defend the whole of my nation (Germans) and you just argue plainly... respect.
Liane

Posted by: Liane at November 5, 2004 02:13 PM

It's pretty simple to me - liberals were simply unappealing to move the middle. With threats of "everyone that doesn't vote for Kerry" = most responed with a cynical "oh really?" and voted the opposite way.

The politics of hatred of Michael Moore sewed the seeds of failure. A rigid, non-inclussive, non-tolerant approach to liberalism is an oxymoron - Kerry lost because his supporters earned that loss.

Posted by: frank at November 6, 2004 02:49 PM

"I have no idea if Bush can do it."

He can't, alone. When our hearts and minds brigades (i.e. the media) decide to quit taking down the president and start convincing moderate muslims that they have better alternatives to terrorism (um, like democracy), then WE can do it.

Sure, it helps Bush, but they're stuck with him for another four years regardless, but it's also a good start on rebuilding their credibility.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at November 6, 2004 03:46 PM

Markus,

One thing to consider: the "far-right" hordes that have re-elected president Bush were all educated, at least K-12 and a substantial number on the university level as well, by an education establishment that has been dominated throughout this period by the enthusiastic left.

Do you have so little faith in their influence? Might those you see as "far-right" just be seeking some balance for the new values their educators have given them, and they have largely embraced.

We just might be more tolerant than you give us credit for. We do have you to thank for that...

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at November 6, 2004 06:23 PM

Kerry lost the 2004 election the moment he made the comment that he could win without the south!
that was a very stupid thing for him to say.
history and simple math tells us that no democrat has a chance without winning some southern states.
Kerry said Al Gore could have won without a single southern state had he carried New Hampshire, Kerry won that state lost the south and the election !!! HAHAHAHA Win without the South Now BITCH!

I hear a lot of Democrats say they can win without carrying a state in Dixie, which has 180 electorial votes more than any other region. Many times history has answered that question and once again the answer is a strong NOPE AIN'T A GONNA HAPPEN.

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