With President Bush winning the first popular-vote majority in 16 years over Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, but adding almost no new states to his column since 2000, the 2004 election has revealed a political landscape that remains deeply, and almost immovably, divided - but one in which Republicans now seem to hold a clear upper hand.Read it one more time. Now how does it possibly make sense? Bush won a majority, the first since his dad's. Yet "the divide is deepening." The GOP added House seats and Senate seats while seeing an incumbent president re-elected, for the first time in history. And yet we are "almost immovably" divided. Bush took a decisive electoral college win, adding New Mexico and Iowa, and leaving Kerry with only four states outside of the coastal enclaves of liberalism. And yet, and yet.
Seems to me that what the author, Liz Marlantes, is really concerned about is a GOP victory of this magnitude. It makes you wonder whether a Kerry victory based on the exact same numbers wouldn't, according to Marlantes, show a country "coming together," "beginning to heal," "leaving behind the partisanship of 2000."
As for all the garbage about how divided our country is, remember this: getting less than about 47% of the popular vote is considered, historically, a serious ass kicking. Past presidents were not elected by universal public acclaim. Thomas Jefferson himself had a reputation for anonymous mudslinging. Hamilton and Burr took pistols to Weehawken over their political rivalry. This fretting about the divisions in America is as bad as the moaning about partisanship. Folks, partisanship is a good thing. It means sticking to your principles when an opportunity to compromise them comes up. Besides, partisanship is a sin only conservatives seem to carry. Republicans are staunch, stubborn, partisan. Democrats are "principled." Bipartisanship, naturally, refers to situations in which the conservatives compromise, not the liberals. Think of the 80s and 90s, when George Mitchell and Tip O'Neill (and later Jim Wright and Tom Daschle) ran the houses of Congress as their own little emirates of corruption, arm-twisting, and log-rolling. Then the GOP got control, and everyone in the press got religion. Suddenly, with Newt Gingrich in charge, the worst thing you could be was partisan, and the most unfortunate social mistake you could make was to wield power.
Bah. I'm sick of it. A liberal acquaintance said today, "I'm just worried about where our country is going." Oh, get off your high horse.