November 05, 2004

Purple America

This is what America looks like.


(Hat tip: Karrie Higgins via email.)

Posted by Michael J. Totten at November 5, 2004 06:20 PM

So what is the conclusion to be drawn from this? That we're all one family and just need a group hug to make it all better?

Today I got everybody from Chris Matthews to Gore Vidal telling me I'm a mindless bigot and a moron. Sorry, but my map is blue and red. Period.

Posted by: DennisThePeasant at November 5, 2004 08:12 PM

Animated GIF showing by county with intensity (darker for higher percentage win), 2000 followed by 2004 pause, then cycle again. Colors are reversed for some reason, blue is Bush, red is Gore/Kerry.


Posted by: Calvin at November 5, 2004 08:27 PM


what you SHOULD get from it is that we're
all one COUNTRY. And, as is proven by the
real map posted here, that your red and blue
map is a figment of your imagination. Black
and White issues (or Red and Blue states) is a pleasant,
simplistic, "lets have a fight" idea that needs
to dissapear.

Fighting is fun. Intelligent compromise is
hard work.

Posted by: Scott at November 5, 2004 09:03 PM

Better county-by-county purple maps at:

Posted by: htom at November 5, 2004 09:35 PM

I lived most of my life in Long Island and have lived in rural Florida for the last 6 years. Everyone is trying to nail down this expanding blue/red cultural divide. Here’s an anecdotal example from my experience.

Now when I watch Bill Maher and John Stewart (who I used to love) I see exactly what Victor Davis Hanson calls “post-modern snarkiness.” Wisecracking smart mouths that specialize in seeing the hypocrisy of it all, talk down to everyone, and have little real value to add.

Oh, they’re soooo clever these people aren’t they. And while they rake in millions tearing it all down, those “dumb red necks” they constantly insult (who are now my neighbors) fight Americas wars. Now when I see the likes of these two I just squirm. To think I used to be just like them - ugg.

Posted by: Joe Marino at November 5, 2004 09:39 PM

Another really neat active gif map here

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at November 5, 2004 10:04 PM

The unteachable ignorance of the red states.


Why Americans Hate Democrats—A Dialogue

"The history of the last four years shows that red state types, above all, do not want to be told what to do—they prefer to be ignorant. As a result, they are virtually unteachable.

See how simple it is? If we were not so ignorant we would do what we are told to do by our betters.

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at November 5, 2004 10:08 PM

It looks like all purple to me, - in other words, gay.

Posted by: RSN at November 5, 2004 10:09 PM

The county by county map is especially telling.

I live in King County, Washington,- in one of Seattle's Bluer neighborhoods (How much more blue can you get? None, none more blue.) The apartment across the hall from me is actually the unholy place where all leftie clap trap is mystically summoned into reality. My wife was wearing a Bush Cheney pin on her tough chick green army bag, till she decided it just wasn't safe.

But, though Washington as a whole went Blue, as soon as you're outside the city limits of Seattle you begin to see Red. The lead singer for Skinny Puppy once said that Seattle was run by P.C. Fascist Liberals, and the rest of the state by Redneck Morons. (There's the kind of equal opportunity hatred I used to sympathize with.)

The country may be looking purple from a distance, but look closer and you see that we largely live, sometimes quite uncomfortably, in enclaves of Blue and Red. This isn't only a geographic truth, of course.


Posted by: Saint Albatross at November 6, 2004 12:06 AM

No direct link so I captured NY Times Red/Blue map showing population density as bubbles:

Population Map Link

Posted by: Calvin at November 6, 2004 01:40 AM

I think this is meant to show that even in states which are solidly in one camp or the other have significant populations from the other camp living there.

Which is interesting, because when people describe Texas politics you usually get the impression that the place is wall-to-wall Republicans. But the map shows there is a pretty big Democrat population in that state. The same applies to places like Washington for the Democrats.

Posted by: sam at November 6, 2004 01:53 AM

I would like to see another map. One that does it by congressional district (not county), but adds a third dimension that plots the margin of victory. In 2000 we saw lots of towering blue peaks in the urban centers, and mainly red plateaus with some hills in the less densely populated ones. A 50-50 district would be sea-level. I'd like to compare 2000 with 2004.

The map could then, be normalized to electoral vote count for the state, to de-emphasize population density disparities. The WaPo, or one of those on-line pre-vote maps did something like that - normalized the size of the state geographically, to it's electoral college count.

Repeat the process with congressional races, and graphically look at the effects of gerrymandering/incumbancy, and see all those jagged peaks of red and blue, right next to each other.

Senate races would indicate how widespread the Senator's support is throughout the State - i.e., whether a senator represents the state as a whole, or just its major population center.

How did the 2000 Census affect the map? Did migration from Rust Belt to Bible Belt lower or raise the elevation levels?

Anyway, it would help folks digest better all the blue/red discussions going on.

Posted by: Ray Eckhart at November 6, 2004 03:26 AM

David Brooks piece this AM on the phenomenon:

The Values-Vote Myth

"The red and blue maps that have been popping up in the papers again this week are certainly striking, but they conceal as much as they reveal. I've spent the past four years traveling to 36 states and writing millions of words trying to understand this values divide, and I can tell you there is no one explanation. It's ridiculous to say, as some liberals have this week, that we are perpetually refighting the Scopes trial, with the metro forces of enlightenment and reason arrayed against the retro forces of dogma and reaction.

In the first place, there is an immense diversity of opinion within regions, towns and families. Second, the values divide is a complex layering of conflicting views about faith, leadership, individualism, American exceptionalism, suburbia, Wal-Mart, decorum, economic opportunity, natural law, manliness, bourgeois virtues and a zillion other issues."

Posted by: Ray Eckhart at November 6, 2004 04:33 AM

'Fighting is fun. Intelligent compromise is
hard work.'---Scott

No compromise with STUPIDITY is possible or even desirable.No compromise with a collection of DEFEATISTS headed by Kennedy,Pelosi,Dean,fueled by Michael Moore insanity is acceptable.This is not politics as usual;this is an existential devide and is therefore a zero sum game.For one world view to prosper the other must wither and die.
Put more simply ----- there can be no meeting of the minds between staying in Iraq until the job gets done and bugging out 'with honor'.These are mutually exclusive conditions.
When one party has gone off the deep end and is floundering in a morass of its own design,tolerance and understanding of its madness is not really a viable response.It is the responsibility of the Democratic Party to clean up its act and develope a forward looking agenda so that it can present a reasoned alternative.That means to be frank a PURGE of the 'leftist'wing of the party.Until then,compromise merely encourages the loons to hang in there and try to completely subvert a once great institution.This is not good for either the institution or for the greater society it supposedly reflects.
This is NOT a Rodney King moment.

Posted by: dougf at November 6, 2004 07:38 AM

1) compromise with Dems on the domestic spending agenda;

2) give them a little on the gay issue;

3) utterly crush them and stamp them out on the foreign policy issues.

Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 07:50 AM

You're right.

Unfortunately it is nothing at all like what our government looks like.

Theme for the 2006 midterms: end one-party rule.

Posted by: Katherine at November 6, 2004 08:46 AM

And I'll say it again: you may be able to explain the presidency without the moral values/antigay vote. You cannot explain the Oklahoma, South Carolina, Kentucky Senate races without it, and probably not the South Dakota race either.

Posted by: Katherine at November 6, 2004 08:51 AM

DennisThePeasant has a point. Reaching for consensus doesn't involve conceding that we who voted for Bush are homophobic fundamentalist ijits.

Kerry's concession speech was actually very gracious, public spirited, and unifying. To bad the bomb throwers on the Left voted against his opponent instead of for him; then they might have actually listened to "their" candidate's finest speech. Instead, they've gotten battier since the election.

I guess it really is "four more years".

Posted by: Mark Poling at November 6, 2004 08:52 AM


Daschle lost in S Dakota because Thune correctly pointed him out as an obstructionist gridlocker. Daschle filibustered anything that came to him with an R stamped on it, and forced it back to be rewritten by Dems before he'd even look at it. He did that every day, all day long. Then he ran ads of himself hugging Bush. People aren't as stupid as Dems think they are.

I don't know about the other senate races you mentioned, but I would agree that yeah, those constituencies are conservative. But that's no more controversial than saying the Northeast is Liberal. So what.

Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 09:01 AM

I was observing the behavior of tree rats in the hood. They seem to move left then right and then make unpredictable spurts up then down and like to sleep in the middle of the day.

They also have really cute butts.

Posted by: d-rod at November 6, 2004 09:10 AM

Sorry, Scott, but "intelligent compromise" seems to be little more than an attempt to induce the victors to hand the defeated that which they could not win outright.

I'm not in the mood for it.

I've put up with a ton of shit over the past four years from all my left-leaning friends (and ex-friends), from every half-wit who can manage to get another half-wit to put a microphone in front of his face, and from every officious busybody in the known world who thinks they have all figured out better than I do.

So excuse me if today, in the midst of an all-out attempt to invalidate my vote and disenfranchise me, if I seem a bit cranky. I won, and I don't see any particular reason at this point to start playing surrender-monkey and giving group hugs to ensure a twit like Katherine is placated.

If that was my goal in life, I'd have voted Kerry/Edwards in the first place.

Posted by: DennisThePeasant at November 6, 2004 09:20 AM

except when he voted for the Iraq War, Medicare and Energy bills, and did nothing to stop others from voting for the marriage amendment, both rounds of tax cuts, the Ashcroft confirmation....

I'm not too broken up about losing Daschle. 45 Senators who might have their act together are better than 46 who do not.

I thought gay marriage might explain why Daschle lost in 2004 when Johnson won in 2002. They made the same charges of obstructionism then, and made it a referendum on Daschle, and could have expressed disapproval without losing the clout of the party leader. And the opponent was the same guy. But then, I don't really know South Dakota politics.

To call Coburn, DeMint and Bunning conservatives is an insult to conservatives, but maybe it's an accurate one. Wouldn't really know.

Posted by: Katherine at November 6, 2004 09:21 AM


not good enough. There's a laundry list of bills, good bills that both sides could have compromised on, that died in the Senat because of purely cynical political manueverings on his part. He simply did not want an "R" stamped on anything passed in the Senate, and he calculated the gridlock would be blamed on the majority. He calculated wrong.

Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 09:33 AM

She's not purple, but she voted for Kerry:

‘I have some pride. I would strap a bomb on myself and blow myself up as a suicide bomber rather than call myself an American,’” according to Wray. He said the woman also ranted that terrorists are “freedom fighters.”

Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 10:04 AM

I get a kick out of the purple map. Some Democrats are apparently trying to find some encouraging news. It ain’t gonna work. The hell with this purple stuff---the real map which demands our attention is the electoral college one. And looking at it should demoralize even the most optimistic Democrat. The Republicans probably retain a virtual lock on a minimal of some 45% of the vote in the red states. That means, at worst, they may only have to convert a little more than 5% of other remaining voters and their candidate wins the presidency.

Do I have any more bad news for the Democrats? Oh, indeed I do. The Republicans are now the masters of getting out their vote. The Democrats are the minor leaguers in this respect. Things get even worse: Condoleezza Rice in 2008. Do I hear some screams of anguish in the distance? Must we keep the razor blades and dangerous narcotics away from our Democratic friends? Will most of them move to Canada or France?

Posted by: David Thomson at November 6, 2004 10:15 AM

David T.,

Dems had to PAY their volunteers (in crack).

Condi vs Hilary in 2008?

Dems running against an African American woman-- it's their worst nightmare. Maybe we can put Condi in a wheelchair and cover all the bases.

Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 10:20 AM

There’s something else I must address: the stupid notion that some voters are voting against their economic interests. This is pure bull excrement. What is actually occurring is that many Democrats realize that quasi-socialist policies are not beneficial to anyone regardless of their financial status. Furthermore, almost all middle class voters are now members of the investor class. They do not perceive themselves as wallowing in poverty and despair. What about the growing discrepancy in wealth? Aren’t a few Americans like Bill Gates increasing their percentage of the overall wealth? There is a simple answer to this question: So what! The hell with this John Rawls type of idiocy. When everything is said and done, the economic pie is getting bigger. Almost all of us are getting a bigger slice.

Posted by: David Thomson at November 6, 2004 10:49 AM

“There is a simple answer to this question: So what!”

The above is perhaps not grammatically correct. Allow me to slightly rephrase it.

There is a simple response to this question: Big sexually intercoursing deal!

Posted by: David Thomson at November 6, 2004 10:54 AM

Sure, David. Like the Republicans would actually nominate a black OR a woman for president.

Posted by: flipster at November 6, 2004 10:56 AM

That's right Flipster, Republicans are eeeevil racists and misogynists, and Bush is Hitler, and Dems have lost 5 of the last 7 elections.

Keep running against cartoons, and keep losing. It suits me just fine.

Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 11:02 AM

Katherine: Unfortunately it is nothing at all like what our government looks like.

Actually, it is. There are a lot of Democrats in it. I wish there were a few more, but you can't get everything you want.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 6, 2004 11:08 AM

No, David. It's actually three of the last seven elections.

Posted by: flipster at November 6, 2004 11:28 AM


two words:

Electoral College

Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 11:31 AM

As far as the first part of your response goes, you said it, I didn't.

Posted by: flipster at November 6, 2004 11:32 AM

Two words: Voter Disenfranchisement.

Posted by: flipster at November 6, 2004 11:33 AM

Daschle represented the national Democratic party interests in the senate. His South Dakota senate seat was used as the justification to be in the senate and play the national stage.

South Dakota voters wanted a senator to represent them and their interests. How insolent if not downright uppity of them. Pfeh!

Posted by: Lee at November 6, 2004 11:38 AM


two words:

No proof

Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 11:42 AM

Posted by: flipster at November 6, 2004 12:08 PM


there are pictures of a chimpy Bush on that website, LOL!

Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 12:12 PM

Posted by: flipster at November 6, 2004 12:16 PM


See Marc Cooper on Greg Palast.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 6, 2004 12:20 PM

Am I through in making Democrats more fearful of the future? Not by a long shot. I forgot to earlier mention the increasing marginalization of the MSM. These less than perfect people (how’s that for being subtle and polite?) helped to keep the election close. If it had not been for the New York Times, CBS, and the other major media organizations---George W. Bush would have won by at least another ten points. By 2008, the old media will be of secondary importance. The new media comprising the blogs may very well dominate along with the talk radio programs and the cable networks. George W. Bush does not have to be wildly successful. If he is deemed to merely be moderately so---the Democrats will still be royally shafted. Condoleezza Rice should have an easy time of it.

Posted by: David Thomson at November 6, 2004 12:32 PM

You mean the corporate media, David? Yeah, they were REALLY anti-Bush. Sure they were.

Codoleezza Rice???

Posted by: flipster at November 6, 2004 12:49 PM


we call it the MSM-- main stream media. The same media that thought missing explosives in Iraq was BIG NEWS before the election; but not a peep about it after the election.

Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 12:52 PM

“Two words: Voter Disenfranchisement.”

Oh gee whiz, I almost forgot about this serious problem. The Democrats have a long history of stealing elections. Voter fraud and the Democratic Party go hand in hand. Republicans are rarely guilty of such dishonesty. The scandal which occurred at Cobo Hall in Detroit a few days ago is merely one example of many. We can also take something else for granted: George W. Bush and the Republican congress will take enormous steps to put a stop to these outrages. The Democrats in many parts of this country make it virtually impossible to verify the legitimacy of someone desiring to vote. We cannot allow this to continue.

Posted by: David Thomson at November 6, 2004 12:54 PM


I find it interesting that Cooper "couldn't be bothered" deconstructing Palast's argument. It doesn't really give much weight to his counter-argument that Palast is wrong, does it? Articles like that are completely useless. They refute nothing; It's the journalistic equivalent of name-calling ; It's not arguing. Besides, Palast is not the only person claiming fraud. There have been many complaints from minority voters during the last two elections about beimg treated differently when they went to the polls. We know millions of people vote using black box voting machines which leave no paper trail. We know that the head of Diebold promised to deliver the state of Ohio to Bush. We also know that Ken Blackwell tried to suppress exit polling data so as not to arouse suspicion that there was hanky-panky going on. Then there's the provisional ballot scam, where some poll watcher decides to challenge a voter's eligibility because his skin is dark and thus less likely to vote "the right way", then hands him or her a provisional ballot to be counted later by the Secretary of State if he or she feels like it. Dimpled chads, hanging chads, pregnant chads, it's all a big con game and the "liberal media" plays along willingly.

Posted by: flipster at November 6, 2004 01:14 PM

To David,

I guess you think 377 tons of explosives stolen in a war zone that can be and probably have been used to kill our soldiers is no big deal?

To David Thomson,

Don't make me laugh.

Posted by: flipster at November 6, 2004 01:19 PM


I can't be bothered deconstructing Ann Coulter's arguments either. What's the point? It's wasted energy.

As you probably already know, Marc Cooper is a leftist who works as editor at The Nation. He's calling Palast a goofball and a nut. If you can't convince him, you won't convince us.

If you want to look like a hysterical conspiracy theorist, it's your call. I'd advise against it, personally, but that's just me.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 6, 2004 01:29 PM


You're doing the same thing Cooper did. You think that all you have to do is use the term "conspiracy nut" and the other person's argument disappears magically into the ether. Sorry, it's just not that simple.

Posted by: flipster at November 6, 2004 01:37 PM


the explosives were unloaded before the invasion even began. Moreover, even if they had not, I would be forced to blame our troops for that shortcoming, and I'm unwilling to do so. They were doing the best that they could under stressful conditions.

You are willing to blame them, however, for cheapy points that don't even matter anymore.

Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 01:41 PM

Sorry, David, but the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul aired footage from after the invasion began that showed the stuff was there. And David Kay, Bush's weapons inspector, said the video was authentic. The one who tried to blame the troops for it was your boy Rudy. Troops follow orders. If they weren't ordered to protect the stuff, they wouldn't do it.

Posted by: flipster at November 6, 2004 01:50 PM


You're essentially blaming the military of incompetence. 30 years ago you would have spit on them coming home.

Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 01:53 PM

As part of my effort to be 'flexible',now that the evil-dead creature that used to be the Democratic Party has been well and truly staked in this week's excellent adventure,I am henceforth making a promise to NEVER respond to people such as 'flipster'.NEVER.
It's not that I don't have the time;it's that I don't really care what they think(a word used very loosely).Same old,same old endlessly.We need to move on, even if bashing the left is ALWAYS good clean fun.It is just too darn easy.
Well,maybe, just once more for effect.What ever happened to all those inane lefties who were going to leave if Bush won? I don't see them getting on the first plane out to parts unknown.Like everything else they espouse in their effete manner,this PROMISE appears to be ALL SHOW AND NO GO.

Posted by: dougf at November 6, 2004 02:00 PM

No, David, I'm blaming the alleged president for incompetence for not making sure the stuff was being guarded. Do you know how to have an argument without making wild allegations about the thought processes of people you don't know from a hole in the wall?

Posted by: flipster at November 6, 2004 02:05 PM

"...and I don't see any particular reason at this point to start playing surrender-monkey and giving group hugs to ensure a twit like Katherine is placated."

She isn't a twit. Besides, if it's wrong for Them to insult Us - which it is - then it's wrong for Us to insult Them.

Posted by: Moe Lane at November 6, 2004 02:07 PM

Sure, doug, the right is just full of fresh ideas and deep thinkers. No same-old-same-old there, no sir!

Posted by: flipster at November 6, 2004 02:09 PM

I want to make it perfectly clear that the Bush administration will almost certainly seek ways of eliminating fraud at the ballot box---so that it’s less likely for either party to break the law. The Republicans will not be able to stack the deck in their favor! Our court system, needless to add, will monitor any changes to ensure our constitutional rights are not violated.

Posted by: David Thomson at November 6, 2004 02:11 PM

No, David, I'm blaming the alleged president for incompetence for not making sure the stuff was being guarded.


you think you're blaming Bush, but if the execution of his orders was flubbed, as you insist it was, then you're actually blaming the troops you fucking moron.

Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 02:11 PM

flipster, you're absolutely right. The Democrats obviously need to change nothing. Their philosophy and tactics are obviously fine. They just need to expose the evils of the Republicans and all will be well.

Bought your "Reality-Based Community" tee-shirt yet?

Posted by: Mark Poling at November 6, 2004 02:13 PM

oh, and by the way, Arafat's "mystery illnes" is AIDS.

"Earlier, John Loftus told John Batchelor on ABC radio on October 26 that Arafat is dying from AIDS. Loftus said the CIA has known this about Arafat for quite awhile and that as a result the US has encouraged Sharon not to take Arafat out because the US has known Arafat was about done."

Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 02:20 PM


Once again, you're misinterpreting my statement, probably deliberately. I never "insisted" that Bush's order to guard the stuff was ignored. I never even said he gave the order.

You like to hurl profanity at people who disagree with your views. Ordinarily, I wouldn't stoop to your level, but I will say one final thing to you : You are without a doubt the rudest, most obnoxious asshole I have ever encountered on a blog. And you're also a fucking liar. Have a nice life.

Posted by: flipster at November 6, 2004 02:25 PM


is it something I said?

Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 02:28 PM


Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 02:29 PM

Karl Rove to flipster:

"Don't change a thing, baby!"

Posted by: Mark Poling at November 6, 2004 02:35 PM


how come Texas is less red than California is blue? I'm also looking at the other states and they look more blue than red. Is Karrie Higgins a Lib? Do I need to get a life outside this blog?

Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 02:36 PM


Yes, Karrie is a liberal. She's also my friend, so be nice.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 6, 2004 02:41 PM


Are you for real?

Posted by: flipster at November 6, 2004 02:44 PM

hey flip,

you're not a fucking moron, you're just illogical.

If our troops showed up late, as is alleged, then clearly they were under orders to secure the location, otherwise they wouldn't have shown up at all. And if by showing up late they failed in the execution of their orders, then you're not blaming the giver of the orders (Bush), you're blaming the executor of the orders-- our troops.

If that still doesn't make sense to you, then yes, you are a moron.

Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 02:50 PM


Are you for real?”

Oh yes, I’m quite real. And so are these people:×1321959#1325214

The Democratic Underground represent what percentage of Democratic voters? Is it fair to say a third? If so, this party is deep trouble.

Posted by: David Thomson at November 6, 2004 02:52 PM

This link is better:×1321959

Posted by: David Thomson at November 6, 2004 02:57 PM

I am going to start crying. It seems that I’m unable to provide a direct like to the Democratic Underground’s poll question”

“Poll question: What is more depressing . . 9/11/01 or 11/3/04?

What happened on 9/11 or what happened the day after Election Day, 2004?”

Oh well, please visit and take advantage of their link. It’s worth the extra effort.

Posted by: David Thomson at November 6, 2004 03:04 PM

Besides, if it's wrong for Them to insult Us - which it is - then it's wrong for Us to insult Them.

Moe Lane-

Yeah right, the incivility of our current political discourse is undermining the very foundations of the Republic...Blah, blah, blah...Whatever.

One: Insulting being wrong never stopped them.
Two: Me 'n' my side won.
Three: I hold grudges without any guilt.
Four: Like I said, no group hugs.
Five: Log-rollin' Jesus-weezin' rednecks like me are only gittin' started.
Six: Deal with it.

Posted by: DennisThePeasant at November 6, 2004 03:13 PM

Be calm, lefties. Take two years off, and remember that every single thing that goes wrong between now and midterm elections in 2006 is the Republicans' fault.

They run everything. So lay back and let 'em run everything. Their idiotic, ruinous policies will collapse into humiliating heaps of ash. This is what happens every time the right seizes power - it overstretches, and trips on its dick, and falls in a heap. Then the grown-ups take the keys away again.

It's the cycle of things. Let it happen.

Posted by: pdf at November 6, 2004 03:16 PM

and probably not the South Dakota race either.

Posted by Katherine at November 6, 2004 08:51 AM
Daschle lost by 4535 votes last I checked, I think in some part that might have been due to his last minute suit before a judge who was his attorney the LAST time he filed suit against an oppenent.

The event was live blogged and witnessed by tens of thousands on the internet that last night before the election. The ONLY witness an out of state Dean worker who testified that during the primaries poll watchers "Rolled their eyes" at him??

As for the explosives? I have read there were on the order of ten thousand bunkers with material in them, I am certain that on the drive to Baghdad we could have detailed a dozen or so troops to secure and guard each one. NOT

Doesn'treally matter there wil always be something an armchair general can BS about.

Posted by: Daniel Kauffman at November 6, 2004 03:16 PM


You seem well-intentioned, though apparently suffering from a helluva kool-aid bender. As for the explosives story:

The Minneapolis video look legit (especially w/ backup from Kay), and the story I saw somewhere of the soldiers who saw looters removing explosives also lends credence to the concern about the bad guys getting their hands on bad stuff.

OTOH, there are still a lot of unknowns. The minneapolis video shows one seal and an unknown quantity of explosives (likely less than 10% of those missing), the seals were easily subverted (vents around back, etc..), Saddam was known to have been dispersing explosives from storage locations throughout the country well before the invasion, etc...

Given the 400k tons of explosives disposed of by U.S. forces to date, it looks like the strategy basically assumed all the cats were already out of the bag once we got there, so herding them would be more productive than guarding the already unlocked cathouses.

The concern about the way the story was handled are two-fold. On the media end, it was originally planned (by CBS and the NYTimes) as a gotcha to come out too late in the campaign to be properly analyzed. On the Kerry end, the 400 tons (max) out of 400K tons angle showed a disturbing lack of perspective that unfortunately confirmed a pattern of perfectionism incongruent with historical wartime experience.

It made him look, yet again, like a McClellan.

Keep asking the questions, our country needs questioners. Just hope you appreciate the role the answerers play too.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at November 6, 2004 03:30 PM

ok, now you Dems are just being silly.

Man Kills Self at Ground Zero

"Veal apparently was distraught over President Bush's (search) re-election, Newsday reported Saturday on its Web site edition, citing an unnamed police source. The newspaper also said the man was a registered Democrat who opposed the war in Iraq.",2933,137837,00.html

Posted by: David at November 6, 2004 07:39 PM

The real question is why cities in particular are so blue.

Posted by: lindenen at November 6, 2004 08:32 PM

Let me pitch in with another map that I made... shows both vote and population density by county.

Also: a map that shows the % changes from 2000 to 2004 by county. That one was pretty surprising.

The "purple America" notion is misleading... most colors between blue and red look very similar to the eye. The reality is a lot different... a lot of counties went 70-80% for one of the candidates.

Posted by: Obsidian at November 7, 2004 12:10 AM

David T.:

The electoral college is actually still quite close. If 70,000 voters in Ohio had changed their minds, Kerry would be president (though still losing the popular vote by > 3 mil). In the '80s, the electoral college was much more tilted in favor of the Republicans.

The big difference is California (and maybe to a lesser extent New Jersey). California, contrary to popular belief, is NOT an extreme leftist state (except here in the Bay Area which is off the charts). Reagan and Nixon came from California. In 1998, Gray Davis was elected as the first Dem governor in 16 years. Last year we booted him out and now Ahhnold is wildly popular.

What California IS, is very liberal on social issues. The recall was a wide-open free-for-all with over a hundred candidates running. I actually tried to read their blurbs in the voter guide, got about 1/3 of the way through. Almost every one was in the same mold as Schwarzenegger - pro-free enterprise and low taxes but liberal on social issues. If the Republicans could reconcile that with the religious conservative base in the "red" states they could win California and the Dems would not have a prayer. Just to disclose my own bias - I am a lifelong Democrat who voted for a Republican president for the first time this year. In the recall, I voted for a Republican but not Arnold; I'm very happy with him now though.

Posted by: Gary Rosen at November 7, 2004 12:42 AM

Well neither the Republicans winning big and the Democrats losing big get my blood going. Why? Because the Silly Season is over and THE REAL begins. Electoral college. Irrelevant now. Reasons for the Democrat collapse. Irrelevant now. President Bush and the Republicans have to put up or shut up now. No complaning about Democrats since you can get pretty much whatever you want now. So I'm just kicking back and relaxing. The next four years are going to be interesting.

Posted by: Solo at November 7, 2004 01:43 AM

No complaning about Democrats since you can get pretty much whatever you want now. So I'm just kicking back and relaxing.

Gee, Solo, you almost make it seem as though, for all the huffing and puffing, the election of John Kerry, the ending of the War in Iraq, the mending of trans-Atlantic relations, the reduction of job outsourcing, the introduction of universal healthcare and the elimination of the federal budget deficit weren't quite as big a buncha deals as they were made out to be.

Is the strategy now to sit back and hope the other side fails badly enough to make your side look competent by comparison? If so, you may be in for a bit of a wait because I do believe that was the Democratic Party's strategy this time make the election a referendum on Bush and his competence, right? How'd that work out, eh?

If you think that kicking back in the armchair with a look of smug self-satisfaction constitutes an effective disguise of your own intellectual helplessness, you might want to think again. I know that "They suck" is all you can muster, but it just doesn't work with adults, especially the ones living in flyover territory. You should probably spend the next four years doing some serious work on the schtick...

Posted by: DennisThePeasant at November 7, 2004 04:09 AM

Solo, you're damn right Bush will put up the next four years. The man will actually do something and will be substantive and my bet is it will work and the Democrats, mired in their contemptuous complacency, will take a further drubbing in 2006 and 2008. IMHO Bush like TR Roosevelt is an active President who will put thru a reform agenda (Social Security, civil service, torts and litigation, tax code). Wait and see. And if you get drepressed go to the video store and rent a copy of Fahrentheit 911. THere were plenty sitting on the shelf gathering dust when I was there last night.

Posted by: Zacek at November 7, 2004 07:27 AM

>>Bush like TR Roosevelt is an active President who will put thru a reform agenda (Social Security, civil service, torts and litigation, tax code).

Interesting point of view. It's equivalent to saying "FDR, like Hitler, sent a lot of soldiers to their deaths." Bush's economic policies are almost exactly the mirror image of every previous reformer in American history. He's pro-corporate, anti-worker, utterly hell-bent on placing as much of the tax burden as possible on the backs of those whose money comes in the form of a paycheck rather than a dividend check or a quarterly report on a trust-fund. If that counts as "reform" in your mind, I have to wonder what color the sky is on your planet.

Posted by: pdf at November 7, 2004 09:17 AM

Want to understand what this election was really about ?

Read Michael Barone's latest book...

"Hard America, Soft America : Competiton vs Coddling and the Battle for the Nation's Future".

And when you read the book, substitute "Hard" with "Red", and "Blue" with "Soft".

Posted by: freeguy at November 7, 2004 10:10 AM

“David T.:

The electoral college is actually still quite close. If 70,000 voters in Ohio had changed their minds, Kerry would be president (though still losing the popular vote by > 3 mil). In the '80s, the electoral college was much more tilted in favor of the Republicans.”

Your definition of close works only when playing horseshoes. The fact remains is that the Republicans have learned to master getting out their vote. It hasn’t quite dawned on a lot of people what this means for the future. Republicans are generally more self disciplined and mature than Democrat voters. George W. Bush merely needs to be moderately successful. The next Republican presidential candidate (probably Candy Rice) will start off with probably a minimum of 45% of the vote in the red states---and will need only to convert a little over 5% of the remaining voters to win the election. Think about that for a minute. It should scare the hell out of all committed Democrats.

Posted by: David Thomson at November 7, 2004 11:07 AM

Also, where did you get your Ohio totals? According to CNN, President Bush won Ohio by 136,483 votes:

Posted by: David Thomson at November 7, 2004 11:13 AM

Zero Sum Games Oh My...


Beating corporations to a paste and small businesses (THE engine of prosperity in America) to death is exactly why the Democrats don't belong in power.

Without we have profitable corporations, there aren't any jobs for the proletariat...oops, sorry, workers to get any paycheck at all.

You may have missed Bush's stump speech; I know it takes a lot of time to make thos Bushitler signs and get all the effigies up on sticks. One of the keystones of Bush's economic agenda is the 'ownership society' whereby people keep more of what they earn and younger workers are given the option of controlling their own social security investments.

There has never been a higher percentage of small investors involved with our economy. The more the better, because people making decisions about their investments will act as yet another level of competition and improve the performance of our economy.

I understand that you and I view "equal in the eyes of the law" from different view points. I see no reason why a large income/highly capitalized investor should be taxed at punitive rates for the profits he MAY realize on risks he takes just because he's defenseless as a class at the ballot box. Lower taxes across the board mean less money for government to redistribute as pork for the reelection of incumbents.

My family is firmly middle class. The wife and I are in our forties and have been paying on a house for the last twelve years. We avoided credit card/consumer debt from the day we married and now have a diversified portfolio worth over 100K dollars. Not much in the big scheme of things, but the tax cuts have so far made it possible for us to improve the return on our by four or five percent...and that money has been plowed right back into more companies and the Goddess' Education Fund.

Do you have any idea at all what effective tort reform will mean to investing? Or medical costs? I look for some serious public revelation of the business practices of health and other insurance providers to come concurrent with muzzling the lawyers, too, which will hopefully deter the opportunistic profit taking those institutions will attempt to realize with the drastic reduction of litigation burdens on health care, manufacturing, and service providers.

The Democrats aren't going to wait for Bush to fail. They can't, because privatization with teeth in it WORKS. If Social Security accounts become owned by the depositors, that money is no longer available to buy pork. The timeline for privatizing portions of accounts is intended to protect younger depositers and force govermment to honor its commitment to the boomers out of general funds...which is the price the government (and we, the voters) must pay for allowing the program to fail for decades because it was the 'third rail'.

I don't think that comparisons between TR and Bush II are out of line at all. He leads.

Posted by: TmjUtah at November 7, 2004 11:28 AM

My sky is blue. I suspect for people on the left the sky is always ashen gray and they fret about it and snarl about it but do little to remedy it, like characters stuck in the first act of a Beckett play.

Posted by: Zacek at November 7, 2004 04:05 PM

The comments to this post -- which look very much like most comment threads I've seen this past week on blogs that attract folks from both parties -- illustrate a couple of big problems in our national political discourse. First, there is outright contempt and dismissal. Second, there is alot of arguing one's own points and trying to refute the other guy's points. In other words, lots of talking AT and talking TO, but no talking WITH. Nobody asking questions - real ones, not rhetorical ones - to try and figure out where the other guy is coming from. No attempt to find points of commonality. No attempt to really listen and hear what someone else has to say.

I'm not suggesting that if we all put on our listening ears, disagreements will cease. But it astounds me that people are so unwilling to concede that someone who disagrees might actually have a good reason for doing so, so unwilling to concede that we might not be 100% right all the time.

Why do we lack fundamental respect for one another? Why are we all so certain of ourselves?

Posted by: hope at November 7, 2004 06:41 PM

David T.

1) "close" - the switch of one state, yes that's close, especially compared to the '80s. My point was that if the Republicans could take one or two coastal states with large electoral votes (as they did in the '80s), they wouldn't even have to worry about "getting out the vote" or sweating over one or two counties in Ohio or Florida. The election would be over before it even started. They still have a definite advantage - I certainly agree with that.

2) 70,000 votes - if the margin is 136,483, then 70,000 voters switching sides reverses the outcome.

Posted by: Gary Rosen at November 7, 2004 11:23 PM

The real question is why cities in particular are so blue.

Because those at the bottom of the economic ladder can’t afford homes* (or rent in some cases) and cities are so densely populated that those that can get inundated by those that need help. So, the lower income folks look to the government to help them survive and the upper income folks look to the government to help those on the lower rungs.

Suburbanites** can wall themselves off from many “city” problems with gates, commute distances and lack of public transportation while Rural-folk can, in many cases, help their own because the number of those needing help are much lower, housing is cheaper and they have stronger charity infrastructures/interpersonal relationships.

Just my opinion. Love to hear that of the more knowledgeable.

*I heard on some site that 50% of the bottom 20% of the economic ladder own their homes. Now I had heard this before, in that a goodly number of welfare recipients actually owned their own home. If true, I would agree with those that say that property owners are generally tax averse, which is why you have people seeming to vote away from their own economic interests.

**I feel reasonably comfortable in describing these groups because I’ve spent 10 years in SF, grew up in the suburbs of 3 large Midwestern cities and have close family living in Rural Kansas.

Posted by: crionna at November 8, 2004 11:04 AM

I live near SF too, crionna, and the contradictions are interesting. I agree with you about the housing issues, but the elitism is something they rarely admit. For example, I was at a party in Upper Pacific Heights this weekend and people there were complaining about those in Lower Pacific Heights. You don't even have to ask how they feel about the Mission or even the Haight. But people in the Haight think they are superior to the rest of the City. It's just a regular lovefest.

Anyway, I think Gavin Newson's popularity is going to get hit hard soon. Every propostition he supported got shot down. He has to cut 300 jobs and he is already cutting services to the poor and elderly. His budget is a disaster and the hotel strike is a big mess with no end in sight. He even threatened to even stop cleaning and fixing sidewalks in front of hotels downtown - that'll be good for tourism, huh?

Posted by: d-rod at November 8, 2004 12:57 PM

Yeah, that's true d-rod, after 10 years I'm still amazed at all the violence in the Bayview and how relatively little spills north. Odd that. And neighborhood bias is indeed epidemic.

I think Gavin's gonna be OK if he can get in front of enough citizens. I actually watched a bit of channel 28 last night and while answering reporters' questsions and he just wouldn't have any part of "I lost" or "my recent actions have me gaining more support with labor and losing it with business". He made a pretty strident point that the city lost when the tax increases didn't go through, that the city lost when Arnie scammed local funds to balance the state budget, that the city loses when hotels lock-out workers and get picketed. He said, sure blame me, I haven't fixed all this in 9 months, but I'm in charge so blame me. He honeslty seems to me to be a guy that believes "X" is right and we're gonna try and fix it and "X" is wrong so we're gonna try and right that too. If it works, great, I'm a hero. If not, fine, we'll try something else. I for one am gonna give the guy a break. This year I voted to increase taxes that hit me, sales and property but not business.

Its surprising that in a city where 83% voted for Senator Kerry (and ostensibly an upper class tax increase), those same people wouldn't vote to increase their own sales tax a lousy .25% to pay for city services or increase their prop 13 lowered property tax by $17 a year for historic landmark repair. Tells me really all I need to know about whether folks voted for the Senator or against the President.

Posted by: crionna at November 8, 2004 02:29 PM

Its surprising that in a city where 83% voted for Senator Kerry (and ostensibly an upper class tax increase), those same people wouldn't vote to increase their own sales tax a lousy .25% to pay for city services

it doesn't surprise me at all. Both of my brothers are staunch Liberals and in favor of higher taxes to support "the poor" and a "better society". But come tax season, they angle for as many tax exemptions and loopholes as they possibly can. When I call them on it, they simply respond that hey, it's legal!

But it's not consistent you morons. Typical irrational Libs.

Posted by: David in Jesusland at November 9, 2004 08:35 AM


Can you start a thread on Hope's question?


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