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Thursday November 4, 2004

Again, what has their appeasement bought?

A terrorist plot to bomb Real Madrid's soccer ground, where David Beckham and Michael Owen play, has been smashed. Islamic extremists were planning the outrage at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in a campaign against high-profile targets...A police source said: 'Thousands pack into Real Madrid's ground every other weekend. It would have been a massacre.'

Much clatter among the chattering classes on the need for President Bush to "reach out" now that he has won a second term. I completely agree. The president should now reach out to those fiscal conservatives whom he has ignored these past four years. Ramesh Ponnuru writes on unity and his own epiphany:

After the 2000 election, I myself briefly took the view that Bush should respond to the closeness of the result, and the post-election wrangling in Florida, by leading a national-unity government. He should give Democrats important Cabinet positions, scale back his tax cuts, etc. A colleague changed my mind. Her argument was, essentially, that I was wrongly assuming that the country had voted for half a Republican government. Half the country had voted for a Republican government: a different thing. For Bush to move left would make some people happier, or at least less unhappy, about his presidency (although it could also project a lack of confidence in his own legitimacy in the office). But it would make many other voters a lot less happy. Why not give the country a taste of Republican governance, and see if they liked it enough to give Bush a bigger vote next time?

Accountability requires choice, and choice implies the exclusion of some possibilities. It can therefore be "polarizing." Perhaps Bush could have governed in a way that left the country less polarized — although that is not as clear to me as it seems to be to others. But while gratuitous offense and incivility are always to be avoided, political harmony is not an important goal in its own right. It is not more important than setting pro-growth policies, defending unborn human life, or providing for the common defense. Conservatives who thought Bush should try to accomplish those goals were not wrong to pursue them even at the risk of inspiring some bitterness.

Now is the time for introspection on the part of many liberals, but are they asking themselves the right questions?

Bush asked voters to trust him. And they did. Do I get it? No. But the fact is Democrats will not elect a president again until they have a candidate who connects with the heartland. That's not a knock on John Kerry. The common touch is hard to define. You either have it or you don't. George W. Bush has lived a sheltered and comfortable life, but millions of voters identify with his faith, his family, his certainty.

...As I said in my Sunday column, there are two Americas and we don't get each other. A lot of us feel that way this morning. We in the liberal elite need to work on our own heads. We need a little humility. We cannot change our beliefs, but we have to stop looking down on the rest of the country.

What we most need however, is a president who can bridge the divide, help us find common ground and mutual respect. George W. Bush is not that president. That's why I'm truly sad today.

Such elitist arrogance. They really do "look down" on us poor uninformed conservatives. There are not "two Americas" in this country, but there are certainly two worldviews. I truly believe that liberals just don't get it. Why else would they repeatedly make the same mistakes? And while liberals may not understand conservatives, conservatives certainly understand liberals--they've just decided that they're wrong.

Additional navel gazing from the progressives (what, is the term liberal now inoperative) in Wisconsin. The basic point from these three leading lights is that Americans are dumb and simply don't understand the Democratic message. First up, Alta Charo, an associate dean in the Law School:

A large part of the American population does not want to be asked specifically which policy choices they prefer. I am becoming persuaded a large part of the population does not want to focus on the nuances, the details of policy choices. They would much prefer to be able to simply develop an instinct about a particular candidate and the direction he's likely to go when given these complex policy choices.

As Jethro Bodine (Yes Alta, us bumkins like Bev'ly Billies) used to say: "That thinkin' hurts my head". Next, Professor Joseph Elder, a sociologist and longtime peace and justice activist, tells us where we went wrong:

We need to articulate to the country a progressive agenda regarding a more equitable distribution of income. We need to come up with a convincing national health policy that covers virtually the entire population. We need to renew our attachment to the rest of the world in terms of recognizing and entering into international agreements. It looks like a lot of people's minds are going to have to be changed if those are going to be affected...I think people's minds were manipulated.

Hey Joey. Now I'm just a conservative, so I don't really know much. Seems to me, though, that every single one of those agenda items were articulated by John Kerry in the debates. Lastly, Frank Tuerkheimer, a longtime professor of law and former U.S. attorney, tries to confuse us with a splendid display of the quadruple negative:

It's always easy to Monday morning quarterback. But I think one should try to get somebody who's less overtly nuanced, and creates a solitary, unified picture to the public. That's apparently what the public likes. I can't believe there isn't someone who isn't even mildly to the left of center who doesn't have that personality.

Me don't not unlike unovertly non-nuanced antiunified whatever...

Oh, and be sure to check out CNN's Clymer moment.

However it was decided, Kerry did the nation a great service for graciously and promptly conceeding defeat rather than litigating. Thank you Senator Kerry.

Wednesday November 3, 2004

Thank You, America

First of all, a hearty thank you to my fellow countrymen. You have spoken. Your combined voices have been heard. This is the awesome power of democracy. This is the power that we are attempting to spread to other parts of the world--for their sake and for our safety. The collective judgement of the people is always more sound than the despotic nature of dictators. The world was watching us. The pressure was on, but we did not choke. All our fears and trepidations of a protracted and litigated process were not realized. The election was a resounding success. The votes were cast and counted and a winner has been determined. Again, thank you all.

On a related note Ed Morrissey of Captains Quarters writes:

One aspect of this election that may have been lost in all this analysis is that we successfully held a national election in the middle of the war on terror -- and while we had a highly negative and immature discourse, no one shied away from speaking out, and we turned out in record numbers (at least it looks that way now), rather than cower under our beds. Democrat or Republican, Libertarian or Green, pat yourselves on the back. You just won a major battle against the terrorists.

I promise not to gloat about the results, but I will "pat myself of the back" (hey, who else will?) for my Monday prognostication. I predicted: We will know by Wednesday morning that President Bush has been reelected. The popular vote will be very close, but Bush will win the electoral count. Yeah, there may be a few recounts in various precincts, but it won't matter. It won't be a protracted, litigated election. The only error here was that the popular vote wasn't that close but, overall, I'd say it was (as those lovely Brits like to say) spot on.

One of the big stories of the election night coverage was the unreliability of the exit polls. Exit polls are generally the most reliable because they sample an actual population of voters, not some theoretical population such as registered or likely voters. The exit polls were strongly biased in favor of Kerry. This resulted in reluctance on the part of the MSM to call some states for Bush, even though he had clear majorities. So why were the exit polls so wrong? Dick Morris believes that it can be nothing other than nefariousness (hey, I went to college. I can make up my own words.)

That an exit poll is always right is an axiom of politics. It is easier to assume that a compass is not pointing north than to assume that an exit poll is incorrect. It takes a deliberate act of fraud and bias to get an exit poll wrong. Since the variables of whether or not a person will actually vote are eliminated in exit polling, it is like peeking at the answer before taking the test. But these exit polls were wrong. And the fact that they were so totally, disastrously wrong is a national scandal. There should be a national investigation to unearth the story behind the bias.

Freeper paudio, adds this info on who conducted the exit polls:

Mitofsky International is a survey research company founded by Warren J. Mitofsky in 1993. Its primary business is conducting exit polls for major elections around the world. It does this work exclusively for news organizations. Mitofsky has directed exit polls and quick counts since 1967 for almost 3,000 electoral contests in United States, Mexico, Russia and the Philippines. ...

From 1967 to 1990, Mitofsky was executive director of the CBS News election and survey unit, and was an executive producer of its election night broadcasts. He conducted the first exit polls for CBS in 1967, and developed the projection and analysis system used successfully by CBS and Voter News Service. He started the CBS News/New York Times Poll in 1975 and directed it for CBS for its first 15 years.

Perhaps that the bias Dick Morris was referring to.

Another big winner on Tuesday: traditional marriage:

Ten of the 11 states amending their constitutions to ban Massachusetts-style gay marriage did so by overwhelming margins—from a high of 86 percent in Mississippi to 59 percent in Michigan. Other returns showed marriage amendments passing by 77 percent in Georgia, 76 percent in Oklahoma, 75 percent in Kentucky and Arkansas, 73 percent in North Dakota, 66 percent in Utah and Montana and 62 percent in Ohio.

The measure was also resoundingly defeated in the Missouri primaries this past summer. But don't let your guard down. Don't expect these resounding defeats to dissuade them. They will keep trying. What they cannot accomplish at the ballot box, they will attempt to accomplish in the courts.

Monday November 1, 2004

Whew! One more day to go until the election. Thank goodness. Many Americans fear that we will have a replay of the 2000 election (or worse) and may not know for some time who the next president will be. Here's my prediction: We will know by Wednesday morning that President Bush has been reelected. The popular vote will be very close, but Bush will win the electoral count. Yeah, there may be a few recounts in various precincts, but it won't matter. It won't be a protracted, litigated election. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Fred Barnes outlines the scariest thing about this election"

THE SCARIEST THING about this election is not the prospect of a contested outcome with no winner declared for weeks, just as in 2000. No, the most scary thing is the sense of entitlement that many Democrats and their allies have about tomorrow's election. It goes like this: Bush stole the presidency four years ago, then proceeded to act as if he had a mandate, so now we're entitled to do whatever it takes to defeat him, to say whatever we want.

Jim Treacher gives ten reasons why he's not voting for President Bush. Here's reason number eight. (calm down, it's satire):

When Karl Rove used the remote-control device implanted in your upper back to force you to murder Iraqi babies and American soldiers for oil and/or no reason because Saddam was mean to your dad, plus what about the WMDs you lost after you lied about them even being there in the first place, and then Rove tried to make everybody think your Thanksgiving turkey wasn't plastic by planting fake documents about your military service and forcing Dan Rather to say "Sorry, I guess" on national TV, did you really think we wouldn't figure it out?