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I just woke up from my post-election exhaustive collapse to Fox News on the TV and CNN on my laptop announcing that John Kerry has decided to concede Ohio and the election to George Bush:
Democratic Sen. John Kerry phoned President Bush on Wednesday to concede the presidential election, aides in both camps said.
President Bush was to deliver a victory statement at 3 p.m. ET, Bush aides said. Sen. Kerry's aides said he was expected to make a concession speech at 1 p.m. ET at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts.
A Kerry adviser said the campaign had concluded that the too-close-to-call battleground state of Ohio was not going to come through for the Democrats.
The adviser said there was no way to gain votes on Bush without an "exhaustive fight," something that would have "further divided this country."
I am delighted that John Kerry finally came to this conclusion, although I wish he had reached it a few hours earlier. However, I've never run for office, especially the highest in the land, so I cannot imagine the disappointment that Kerry must feel at this moment. And not just Kerry -- his staff and volunteers have to be crushed this morning, and he had to consider how to best serve them as well.
In reaction, President Bush has scheduled a victory speech an hour after Kerry makes his concession public, and by all accounts, both men will emphasize that healing is paramount. I would expect both men to be gracious towards their opponents, and to call for an end to any litigation aimed at overturning the electoral results.
What does this election mean for George Bush and for America?
First, as the media has discovered, George Bush actually appeals to the American public. Even with a big voter turnout, or likely because of it, George Bush just won the first majority for a president since his father's election in 1988. Not only did he win his election, he made electoral history by gaining in both the Senate and House at the same time, unseating the Democratic leader in the Senate at the same time. No one has seen that kind of electoral performance by a president since ... 2002.
Do you think it might be time for the media and the Democrats to drop the notion that George Bush is an idiot?
Now, with what looks like a 10-seat majority in the Senate and a 30-vote gap in the House and with his newfound popular-vote mandate, Bush has heavyweight-class political clout with which to push his agenda in the second term. More importantly for his domestic agenda, Bush has a clear majority for his judicial nominations, especially for the three or four Supreme Court nominations that will undoubtedly occur. Democrats paid the price for their obstructionism in the upper chamber, especially Tom Daschle, and don't think for a moment that the message has not been delivered.
In terms of foreign policy, the other nations of the world may be stunned to learn that their desires had little effect on an American electorate they assumed was ready for a change. This is a strong endorsement of American independence of action and a rejection of the notion of a "global test", which will force the Europeans to reconsider their intransigence. Certainly North Korea and Iran know that far from being let off the hook, they can expect a newly-strengthened George Bush to increase the pressure on them to fall into line.
And most importantly, the Iraqis know that America won't cut and run on them. I'm not convinced that a Kerry administration would have been able to do that, but nothing Kerry ever said made me confident that they had the courage to stick out any bad news there to accomplish the overall mission. Now it won't be an issue and the insurgents and Islamists that have tried all year to shake American resolve know that their own mission has failed. Fallujah will find out what that means for the dead-enders very soon.
What does it mean for the Democrats? They have lost three successive elections, retreating in both houses of Congress, despite the best efforts of Hollywood, George Soros, the mainstream media, and their leader Terry McAuliffe. Or ... perhaps they continue to lose because of all these people. One Democratic analyst on Fox just talked about the New York fundraiser in July being the turning point of the campaign, when Whoopi Goldberg and friends put on an obscenity-laced hatefest regarding George Bush, and Kerry referred to the Hollywood elite as the "heart and soul of America". I don't know that it tipped the scales in the end -- I think Kerry's phoniness and numerous vacillations did him in, which Democrats will be loathe to admit -- but the fallout revealed a strong distaste for the bitter, hatefilled rants of those who are paid to entertain.
The biggest loser, in my mind, will not be John Kerry, whose limitations as a candidate were well known prior to his elevation as party standardbearer. Terry McAuliffe has destroyed the modern Democratic Party, taking it from a political force dedicated to the spread of traditionally liberal values throughout the world, support of the working person, and government solutions for real problems. I never agreed with the latter as a philosophy, which is why I am a conservative. But under McAuliffe, the Democrats have become a shrieking bunch of hysterics, spouting conspiracy theories, promoting urban legends, and suing their way to power when denied by the American electorate.
He has destroyed the party -- and the Democrats have allowed him to continue his leadership. Will they finally retire Terry? Until they do, they will never win a major election, and the next time out, they might give the GOP a filbuster-proof majority in the Senate if they don't wake up and start getting serious about being a responsible alternative to the Republicans.
All in all, this election provided another historical moment in American politics. If 2002 didn't make this clear, voters clearly are realigning themselves, and the GOP will shortly be a majority party. George Bush gets the credit -- and the Democrats can only blame themselves for their own leadership.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on November 3, 2004 1:14 PM
» Why the Democrats Lost (Again) from Thirty Second Thoughts
William Saletin's explanation of why Bush won was very entertaining... and very wrong. Bush didn't win because he's simple. Nor did he win because he explains his positions better. Please... Those 'explanations' are yet another symptom of why Dems... [Read More]
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