|| It's a steal
||Nov. 3rd, 2004 03:14 pm|
With the White House already claiming victory, the pressure is mounting on Mr Kerry to concede quickly and allow Americans to try to get over another divisive election. |
Yes, it's a long shot for Kerry to win outright in Ohio. But it's well within the bounds of possibility for the vote to turn out close enough to require a recount. For Bush to try and ignore that fact is morally abhorent and simply one more piece of un-needed evidence of his contempt for democracy.
For Bush to already be claming a "conclusive victory" is simply obscene.
I'd still be surprised to see Kerry take this one, but you'd think that if Bush had the faintest pretence of the slightest respect for democracy, he'd want to at least give the impression of going through the motions to avoid the suspicions that have followed him since the last election. Instead he's already acting like a dictator.
There is no concept of "close enough" in democracy.
Expect, shortly, to hear calls for all ballot papers to be destroyed "to avoid divisive attempts to question the result the election" (as seen 4 years ago). Calls for "non-partisan unity" may be stretching things a bit too far, but I still wouldn't rule them out (more likely are calls for "All americans[*] to unite" behind Bush, possibly with personal loyalty oaths).
[*] the Presidential ego being large enough, after all, to cover the entire twin continent.
Well, The Lesser Shrub can point at that 4x10E6 margin in the popular vote to claim "decisive victory", but with (according to Chicken Noodle Network dot com) the electoral vote count sitting at Shrub 254, Celery Golem 252, It Appears To This Observer (tm) that it's just a touch early to be declaring decisive victory. Anyone in the Bush campaign remember my favorite Election headline? Hmm? Dewey Defeats Truman Hmmm?
As the Washington Bullets said back in the good ol' days, "The opera isn't over till the fat lady sings"
"Expect, shortly, to hear calls for all ballot papers to be destroyed "to avoid divisive attempts to question the result the election" (as seen 4 years ago). Calls for "non-partisan unity" may be stretching things a bit too far, but I still wouldn't rule them out (more likely are calls for "All americans[*] to unite" behind Bush, possibly with personal loyalty oaths)."
Sorry, but this is total crap. Every election official in a state (and some of those guys are Republicans) that could swing (or seriously change) the projected count has already said that all ballots will be counted, including the provisional ones. EVERYONE wants all the ballots counted. Democrats in the remote hope it'll change the outcome (theoretically possible, but very long odds), and Republicans so they can state an honest victory (see below).
Everyone is very interested in making sure there is no serious allegation of miscounduct.
And, then again, it's not quite total crap, because there are calls for "bipartisan unity." But bear in mind those calls have followed EVERY election in the past 30 years. The call for unity is always totally meaningless. It was just as meaningless when people called for bipartisan unity when Clinton was elected the first time.
To my regret, bipartisanship won't happen since I believe that most Republicans in D.C. believe bipartisan means "We tell you what the agenda is and you smile, nod, and agree."
I'm very disappointed the candidate I supported lost the election. However, unless someone comes up with a smoking gun that massive voter fraud occured (and unfortunately, Diebold memos, no matter how smelly, aren't proof--consider that most of Ohio used old-style punch ballots this time), I'm sad to say that Bush actually won this one by more than a statistically inconclusive margin.
My bet is that suprisingly little will change. Bush acted like he had a mandate last time, and he'll do so again this time, despite the fact that neither election constitutes a mandate (Reagan's 1984 landslide was a mandate). The level of partisanship and bickering will remain the same, which is bad. The Republicans are still way the fuck short of the 67 votes needed to install a new Supreme Court justice, and the likeliest first replacement will be for William Rehnquist, who tends "conservative". Of the 4 "liberal" justices--3 of whom were nominated by Reagan and Bush Sr, by the way--only John Paul Stevens is likely to retire, since he is 84. Bush might be able to fuck with the lower federal courts, though. Since this is mid-decade, the Republican majority will be unable to co-ordinate attempts at state level to engineer further Republicans congressional gains.
However, it is worrisome that the Senate is now more lopsided. Since there are still a few old-style, or shall I say, real Republicans, the Senate is still close to 50/50...but it's now dicey.
But it's not the end of the world. The Republican majority is not as overwhelming as some people are fearing. And Bush has no spare troops with which to start another war. And foreign central banks are, IMO, on the razor's edge of deciding they've underwritten enough deficit spending here. Combine this with the fact that Bush will have to clean up his messes--there is no way he can ignore the blowback with his stated priorities.
Sorry for the rant. But the sky is not falling. At least not yet.