The MSM and the Liberals (and the French) are already starting to try to have their spin color the election returns: Bush’s victory was not broad-based, it was tied to angry evangelicals voting, egged on by homophobia. Liberals are insular in their thinking and this insularity, which has caused them to lose touch with the rest of the country, now causes them to simplify, misundesrtand and condescend to the people who voted for Bush. While this is just the start--other spins will follow--it is worth noting, and David Brooks has already reacted to it. He argues that it was a broad and deep victory for Bush: "Every election year, we in the commentariat come up with a story line to explain the result, and the story line has to have two features. First, it has to be completely wrong. Second, it has to reassure liberals that they are morally superior to the people who just defeated them.
In past years, the story line has involved Angry White Males, or Willie Horton-bashing racists. This year, the official story is that throngs of homophobic, Red America values-voters surged to the polls to put George Bush over the top.
This theory certainly flatters liberals, and it is certainly wrong." He claims that the Pew Center claims that there was no "disproportionate surge in the evangelical vote this year. Evangelicals made up the same share of the electorate this year as they did in 2000." The upsurge of voters--and he cites some numbers--was "an upsurge of people with conservative policy views, whether they are religious or not."
Also note this article by John F. Hagan in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He examines Bay Village, a western suburb of Cleveland and finds that this generally conservative area supported Bush (53%) but opposed Issue 1 (ban on gay marriage). Issue 1 was rejected by 15 Cuyahoga County communities, many upscale. But the issue split African-Americans in Cleveland. For example:
"Residents in the Lee-Harvard neighborhood in Ward 1, for instance, voted for Kerry by a 96 percent margin. At the same time, they voted for the measure banning gay marriages by a 58 percent margin."
Heres a question Ive not seen discussed much:
How many votes nationwide--and also especially in FL--did Algores 36-day attempted coup last time cost John Kerry this time?
Is there any way to investigate this? (Any exit-polling questions that focus on it, etc.?)
Im very struck by the fact that Bush won FL by 360K votes this time. Of course the media have reported endlessly on the alleged great anger of Dems over FL2000 (which was a huge dud in 02, but again the MSM/Demo complex missed the handwriting on the wall).
But what about lingering REPUBLICAN anger over Gore and the Democratic Partys attempt to steal the 2000 election?
Ill never forget how mad I was at the time, and how all of us Pubbies knew that had Bush come out a few votes short, he never in a million years would have tried to pull what Gore tried to pull, if only b/c the media would have crucified us Pubbies for doing that, while in the case of the Dems the journos basically stood around and looked on indulgently as the chad-hunting unfolded in the Dem-dominated Peoples Republics of Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade Counties.
I think righteous Republican indignation over Gores attempt to jimmy a close election with lawyers--exposing our country to uncertainty and the contempt of its watching enemies in the process (we now know that Mohammed Atta was in FL in late 00, fer cryin out loud)--is a big untold story of what happened at the polls last Tuesday, and Id love to see that looked into.
The MSM has discovered that this elecytion was about one thing - values. I have a simple question when have they been about anything else. Polictics is about only one thing values.
If we must state the obvious, then lets set out three that Bush held that the majority of voters sided with him on - prosperity, security and hope. Bush offered a vision for greater prosperity for all Americans versus a zero sum offering that Kerry and Edwards proposed. Second, Bush clearly set-out an agenda putting security of America ahead of terrorists ability to spill American blood. Third Bush painted a picture of teh future that offered an opportunity for all to have a better future. this contrasts Kerrys vision of loss and suffering.
The only sad fact is that Bush only secured 51% of Americans with these three offering. I still do not understand why anyone finds division and fear appealing.
You all may have missed the point on this post election analysis.
Democrats know that a significant portion of America is opposed to this war in Iraq. Unfortunately, Kerry was chosen in the primaries, but his history (vote for the war) forbade him from taking an anti-war stance.
Democrats, however, thought the deep abhorrence of this war was strong enough without encouragement. So, the issue was sidelined. Kerry assumed the anti-war Americans would vote for him.
However, consider the results of this luke-warm war stance: BOTH candidates favored the war. What should have been a hotly contested issued became a matter of management style rather than a debate on the "Bush Doctrine."
The luke-warm stance failed. When Americans, anti and pro-war, compared the candidates, the war was not an issue. Both candidates were, essentially, in agreement. The only thing left was values. More Americans oppose gay marriage and abortion than approve. So, Bush won.
Though, an anti-war candidate would have won, a true conservative would have beat Bush even more easily.
If the antiwar position was such a clear winner, why did Kerry never adopt it? Do you think he never did any polling on it or tried to figure out how to "triangulate" it?
Id bet the farm he did--and he could see that it was a clear loser, as if more evidence were needed (ever heard of Howard Dean?).
So instead, Kerry tried to triangulate, offering his base a lot of quasi-defeatist talk (a drumbeat kept up by the LameStream Media as well) and telling everyone else he had some "secret plan" or other or would somehow staff Iraq w/ French & German troops, yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah
It was all a load of BS and double-talk, and most voters saw right through it.
What you also dont seem to grasp is that many of the people who worry the war isnt going as well as it should be (Im one of them) are NOT peaceniks but instead are HAWKS who think that we arent fighting HARD enough--we dont want to quit, we want to step it up and win this thing. Crushing the terrorists and beheaders in Fallujah is a great place to start. (BTW, the general concept behind this kind of opinion contouring is called the theory of "multiple-peaked preferences"--theres a fair amount of scholarly literature on it).
Until the Dems drop their denial and delusions, theyll never be competitive nationally. So by all means, keep spinning fantasies about some fictional lost antiwar majority of the American electorate. Sweet dreams.
The opinion that I expressed above is from talking to many Bush voters in my family who strongly oppose the war. However, abortion was an equally strong issue for them. Kerry made it clear the war in Iraq would not be much different under his leadership, but that he allow the increase of abortion rights. Thus, my family voted for Bush.
I suspect Kerry did not stand anti-war because his history would not allow it. He voted in favor of the war and thereafter danced around the issue. The Democrats play politics poorly and could never have succeeded in defending him.
As for Howard Dean, it was not his anti-war sentiments that destroyed him. Those sentiments brought him to the top, then the media took him down. Im not sure why.
PJC, I wonder if you could tell me a bit more about your terrorism strategy of multi-peaked bullshit. When I develop plans to destroy an enemy I look for two things: his foundation (center of gravity), and the most vulnerable area of his foundation (critical vulnerability). You see, if you strike at the enemys critical vulnerability then you are most likely to destroy his center of gravity and his ability to conduct war. Tell me how your multi-peak scholarly journals apply this to Iraq.
While the tone of your post suggests taht youre probably not actually interested in learning anything, my point about multipeaked preferences referred to preferences held by US voters regarding the war. I brought it up as part of an effort to explain to you why I regard as so erroneous your speculation about how some alleged incipient antiwar majority of US voters was out there somehow, and would have given Kerry the presidency if only he had had the nerve to run as a straight-up "peace now" candidate.
The point is this: Noting that a majority of voters say they arent happy about the way the war is going does not warrant the conclusion that a majority of voters is against the war. Many of those who are unhappy with the Iraq wars conduct may still support it, and want it to be waged more aggressively.
In case you didnt draw this conclusion on your own, I should underline what I took to be obvious in my original post, namely that the multipeaked preferences in question are those in the minds of US voters, and *NOT* aspects of some tactical or strategic doctrine about how to conduct the war itself on a day-to-day operational basis.
FWIW, I think a strong case can be made that Fallujah and some of the other cities in the Sunni Triangle are part of the terrorist/Baathist/jihadi/criminal gang "foundation" in Iraq, and that denying the enemy control of these cities will therefore constitute a blow against his base. As one US military officer put it in an interview I read a while ago but cant find online, having Fallujah as a base means that the bad guys can operate in cells of 50 to 100 men; not having Fallujah or other biggish Sunni Triangle cities as bases and sanctuaries means that the bad guys will have to work in smaller and less lethal cells of maybe a dozen or fewer men each. In other words, controlling Fallujah is a force multiplier for the bad guys; if we take Fallujah away, the bad guys operational capabilities will be degraded accordingly. This is the sort of analysis I was alluding to with the brief reference to Fallujah in my earlier post, and I think it speaks to your question about how to go after the terrorists at critical points.