The Cynic
A cynical spin on the news.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004

A Mandate for the Same

President Bush is narrowly re-elected. It was a wild day with the biggest black eyes for exit pollsters. I wanted Kerry to win. I believed he'd be more able to unite the country at home, more fiscally conservative, more socially inclusive, and better able to rally the world in a more focused war on terror. I still do. But a slim majority of Americans disagreed. And I'm a big believer in the deep wisdom of the American people. They voted in huge numbers, and they made a judgment. Not a huge and decisive victory by any means. But at least a victory that is unlikely to be challenged. The president and his aides deserve congratulations. And so, I think, does Senator Kerry, whose campaign exceeded the low expectations of many of us. -- Andrew Sullivan

I know Mudge and Blair are pissed. I know my family is pissed. I guess I'm extremely frustrated but much like Andrew, I trust the American people and by a majority they knew what they wanted.

Obviously this isn't what I wanted, but this is a difficult time in this country. We are in the middle of a war with no uncertain end, I do believe we are headed towards a draft. I don't believe Bush will decide to back out in order to avoid that. I don't believe the economy will improve much, but one thing I learned from the 80s and early 90s is that a policy change in four years can erase 12 years of mismanagement.

The Democratic Party is lost, no direction at all. They have run away from being liberal, a word that has been successfully demonized by Karl Rove, and have run into a wall of uncertainty. I believe America has taken some steps backwards and the left has to move backward as well in order to move forward. Call it a two steps back, three steps forward approach. The party needs a leader who can re-energize his base all while reaching out to the members of the party who feel like they don't have a say in the current scheme of things.

I am resting my hopes of Democratic Senator Evan Bayh from Indiana. A former two-term governor of Indiana just won his second term in the Senate. Part of a family legacy in Indiana, Bayh's appeal as a legislator and a person can reach nationally. He meets the party's standards by being tough on social issues but flexible on those moral issues that divide our country. Call him the master of the compromise.

As for this one, I can count the mistakes made by Kerry on many hands. He ran a good campaign, better than I thought he could at times, (I mean he was behind Al Sharpton in polling at one point). But he made many mistakes and submitted in areas that he shouldn't have. I believe John Edwards was a mistake, an area where Kerry backed down to the voices of a few rather than listen to his heart and go with Gephardt. Would Gephardt had made a difference? Maybe...maybe not. But it was Kerry's race to run and I don't believe he ran it like he wanted to.

Edwards wasn't ready for a national election. He doesn't have a base. Southern Democrats don't particularly care for him, Northern Democrats don't know him. To his credit he parlayed a couple of decent speeches into a run as a VP, but the party was too eager to use Edwards as their next Clinton when he didn't have the appeal nor the skills as a speaker. I'm not going to get into any more of the mistakes because it's over and time to move on. President Bush has a lot of problems he needs to fix.

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