Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Numbers, Numbers: I concur with Razor's point about the raw numbers that voted for Bush. It's a pretty transparent talking point for a GOP delighted to finally have a mandate. Still, I caught socialist crypto-polemicist Barbara Eirenreich on News Hour tonight, and her take was the equally laughable reverse. More people voted against Bush, she said, than had voted against any previous candidate.

It's worth noting, though, that Bush got the first majority since 1988 -- a long time, if you think about it. The gains in the House and Senate only add to the inescapable fact that this is a president with a mandate now. He had cobbled one together in the past few years, made of scraps of 9/11, the mid-term gains of 2002, the patriotic fervor of war. But this is a straight-up legitimate president now, with the guns in Congress to back him up. I suspect (and, more to the point, expect) some second-term action on the tax code and social security. This may turn out to be the first two-term predident whose lame duck term was the first one.

On another of Razor's points, the rudderless Democratic Party, where does this leave you, exactly? Bush made big inroads to the hispanic vote and the women's vote. That leaves you, um, let's see . . . the blacks, the trial lawyers, union members, and everybody getting a welfare check. How do you build a 21st century party on that? Others have speculated that the Dems are too fragmented, too much of a slapped-together mess of special interests, to have a coherent message anymore. I think it showed this year. Was Kerry the nuanced flip-flopper Bush railed against, or has the internal triangulation of the Democratic Party, its need to appease its disparate bases, becoming a bit of a lion's den? In essence, could Kerry have won the nomination without having to be squishy on a lot of stuff? I don't think so.

More: As if on cue, the prez sallies forth to declare the second term priorities: social security reform, scrapping the mind-bogglingly stupid tax code, and capping damages on med-mal suits. I like the cut of this guy's jib, goddammit. You sure he's the same one what's been running the place these last four years?


Razor said...

I'm starting to give up on Blogger. I had a 7-paragraph piece on the future of the Democratic party all set to go. I pressed "post" and that's the last I've seen or heard of it. *Sigh*

enobarbus said...

I'm sympathetic, my man. Those posts the upload to the ozone are always the best ones, too. I've been trying to get my "copy/paste" on every time I finish writing. If it disappears, I can just paste it in a new window.