Yaaaawn. No, I am not exhausted because I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning on November 2 glaring into a fuzzy TV set watching the polls roll in; I am just bored. John Kerry phoned George Bush the morning after the election to concede the race and later in the afternoon gave his concession speech. There will be no fight over the Ohio electorate after all, where the vote split is greater than 136,000.
|It is safe to say that hatred for an incumbent is not enough to elect a challenger. Bush is hated, no doubt. But many that supported John Kerry were not excited about his mundane campaign.|
Bush not only defeated Kerry in Ohio, he crushed him in Florida too, where the vote margin for Bush was well over 376,000 votes. Luckily the spread was such that Ralph Nader's measly 32,000 votes in the Sunshine State cannot be to blame for Kerry's brow beating.
In fact, it is becoming clear that Nader's presence this year was not much of a factor at all in aiding Bush's victory. Looks like all the time and millions of dollars spent to keep Ralph off the ballot by Democrats and their liberal cohorts, was a wasted effort. Not to mention a dumb idea. Instead they should have used their money and energy to register Democratic voters in Florida and Ohio. Or better yet, allocate those funds to make the case for voting Democrat as opposed to Republican.
Another big loss for the Democrats on Tuesday was veteran Democratic Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota who went down in flames to his handsome younger challenger, John Thume. The Republicans, with the help of Tom Delay's redistricting in Texas, also extended their 12-year reign of control in the House of Representatives.
One of the few major victories of the night for the Democrats, which came as no surprise, was Barack Obama's landslide in Illinois. Look for a center-left fight within the Party in the months to come. Howard Dean isn't dead yet. In fact, Dean's progressive funds helped elect Democratic Governor-elect Brian Schweitzer (who ran with a Republican as his Lieutenant Governor) in the state of Montana, which is solid Republican country.
Anyway, back to Bush. It is safe to say that hatred for an incumbent is not enough to elect a challenger. Bush is hated, no doubt. But many that supported John Kerry were not excited about his mundane campaign. For he failed to distinguish himself from his Republican opponent on a range of issues -- from war to the economy, to trade and civil liberties. It was textbook "lesser-evilism", and like Al Gore in 2000, it was a sure loser.
Let us hope that the left and those that fell victim to the pathetic Anybody But Bush epidemic this year abandon such doctrine in elections to come. Not only was it poor reasoning, it in fact helped re-elect George W. Bush. Sadly, Kerry was only accountable to the Party bigwigs, and not those voters and citizens on the ground. Had he been, the popular vote spread would not be 3.5 million votes. At least this time around Bush's victory is not illegitimate. He won by knockout. Kerry and his supporters should be ashamed.
Joshua Frank is the author of the forthcoming book, Left Out! How Liberals Did Bush's Work for Him, to be published by Common Courage Press.
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