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Purple America

This is what America looks like.

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(Hat tip: Karrie Higgins via email.)

The Liberal Case for Bush, Again

This time in Iran.

Millions of Iranians expressed their satisfaction on the outcome of the US Presidential elections and George W. Bush’s victory by calling and congratulating each other. Many were seen walking in the streets and shaking each others hands or showing a discret V sign.

Many are speaking about the promises made by Mr. Bush to back the Iranian Nation in its quest for freedom and democracy.

As Iranians and especially the younger generations have become happy , those affiliated to the Islamic regime are seen deeply worried about their future.

(Hat tip: Roger L. Simon.)

Zombie Hordes of Theo-cons

Andrew Coyne utterly demolishes the silly idea that Bush won his re-election campaign by unleashing an army of fundamentalist Christians across the red heartland. I mean, he really blows that theory to pieces. Read it.

Then he asks:

When a candidate draws increased numbers of votes from groups not traditionally identified with his party, we usually call that “broadening the base.” So why the fascination with zombie hordes of theo-cons?

That’s real easy. It’s emotionally satisfying. The crazies are taking over is a lot easier to swallow than we fucked up and lost.

The Republican Party has a nut-job wing. Pat Robertson is real. James Dobson is real. Michael Savage is real. These guys have fans, and they voted. There’s no denying it. But there’s also no denying that if John Kerry faced Pat Robertson in an election the Republican Party would have to dig itself out of a smouldering crater.

45 percent of the people who voted for Bush are self-described liberals or moderates. (Earth to Democrats: That’s why he beat you.) Only 55 percent of the people who voted for Bush are conservatives. (See Andrew’s piece for the details.) And, as most of us know, there are many different kinds of conservatives. There are neocons and paleocons, Wall Street conservatives and religious conservatives. Not to mention plain old run-of-the-mill conservatives. It’s a fractious group of people who have little in common but, oddly enough, happen to wear the same useless label.

Zeroing in on only one of those factions and blowing it all out proportion will get the Democrats nowhere. It makes as much sense as Ann Coulter accusing every leftie in the land of being pro-terrorist. It’s not only dumb but exceptionally counterproductive.

If Kerry won the election I wouldn’t say it was because of Michael Moore and his stupid-ass movie. If it went that way it would have done so despite him.

(Hat tip: “American in Europe” in the comments.)

No Eulogy

I second Ken Wheaton’s pledge:

I pledge to do my best to unseat any U.S. politician, regardless of party, who sings the praises of Yasser Arafat upon the death of said terrorist, thug and henchman, a scourge to Israelis, oppressor and thief to his own people, and murderer of both.

An Exodus of Women

I really hope the Democrats don’t truly believe Bush won by riling up Bible-thumpers and beer-guzzling NASCAR fans. The political “right” is a bit more complicated than such a crude caricature. It looks like the biggest shift among the electorate from 2000 to 2004 was among women. Kellyanne Conway, president and CEO of The Polling Company, notes the following:

The Disappearing Gender Gap: Senator Kerry posted just a 3% advantage (51%-48%) over President Bush among women, a significant difference from the 11-point margin for Al Gore over Mr. Bush in 2000.

Security Moms (married women with children who cite the war in Iraq or terrorism as the most important issue in deciding their vote) supported the President over Kerry by 18 points (59%- 41%, respectively).

This fits with what I said yesterday. Lots of people who supported Gore last time switched to Bush this time because of the Terror War. It almost certainly cost John Kerry the election. The Democrats are free to pretend otherwise. They can go right ahead and pick another softie in the primary in 2008 and watch what happens. We’ll go through this again and again if that’s what they want.

I’m not buying the now-popular theory that says Bush won because he whipped up an evangelical frenzy against gay marriage. John Kerry also opposes gay marriage. Both Bush and Kerry are in favor of civil unions. Kerry bragged that his position on gay marriage is exactly the same as the president’s. (I think they’re both wrong, for whatever that’s worth. I’m to the left of both of them on this question.) Besides, my state of Oregon voted to ban gay marriage and also chose Kerry in a landslide. The gay marriage debate was barely whispered here. It didn’t help Bush at all. Lots of people around here saw no contradiction voting against gay marriage and also for Kerry.

Terrorist Death Watch

So. Yasser Arafat might be dead. Finally. I refuse to say anything nice about the recently dead when the recently dead are enemies of the United States, civilization, and humanity. I’m with Jonah Goldberg.

He’s a bad man who’s been terrible for his people and if there’s any justice, when he dies he will receive 72 virgins who look exactly like him.

Exit Polls

So why were the exit polls wrong? Here’s a guess. Perhaps most of them were conducted in cities, not small towns and rural areas, skewing the results toward Kerry. Urban voters are more likely to be Democrats, after all. This is just a guess, though. As far as I know, media outlets haven’t published their exit poll methodologies.

Repeal Jane’s Law

My esteemed temporary Insta-colleague Megan McArdle goes by the handle “Jane Galt” on her blog. I first discovered her when she coined Jane’s Law.

Jane’s Law: The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.

Now that we have a fresh start, of sorts, can we try to prove her wrong? She’s been right for as long as I’ve been paying attention to politics. But all things must someday come to an end.

Left-wing Blogosphere Reactions

John Kerry’s side of the blogosphere offers a diverse range of views of Bush’s victory.

Marc Cooper: Could there possibly have been an incumbent more easy to knock-off than George W. Bush? A real-life opposition party would have been insulted to be matched with a such an unworthy and frail rival. The Democrats, by contrast, got their lights punched out.

Tbogg: I look at the big map and all of the red in flyover country and I feel like I’ve been locked in a room with the slow learners.

Andrew Northrup: The national Democratic Party needs to shift to the right, culturally, in order to compete nationally. No choice. Wah wah wah, I’m going to go vote for Nader, wah wah. You should have voted this time.

Jeff Jarvis: Good for you, Kerry, for conceding. Thank you.

Daily Kos: [I]t’s clear the Democratic Party as currently constituted is on its deathbed. It needs reforms, and it needs them now. Quite frankly, the status quo simply won’t cut it. Howard Dean for DNC Chair.

Oliver Willis: We’re telling the world that we endorse the last four years, and give thumbs up to more evil. Sick.

Ezra Klein: I, like most of us, fell for the echo chamber. Daily Kos, MyDD, Steve Soto, Pandagon, and all the other blogs are run by good people with positive intentions, but if they’re you’re primary source for information, you’re outlook is perverted by an overwhelming amount of good news and a general disdain for the factual accuracy of bad news. It perverts your perspective and, because the sample group is so totally different than most of America, it begins to twist your political predictions and assumptions of what works…

Kevin Drum: MOST IMPORTANT EVENT….RECONSIDERED… I’ll plump for the Massachusett’s Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage. The result was nearly a dozen initiatives across the country to ban gay marriage and a perfect wedge issue for Republicans. For the second election in a row, it looks like the president was chosen by the courts.

Matthew Yglesias: With a majority of the popular vote and expanded margins in the House and Senate, we’re going to see Bush Unleashed — something that will probably be much crazier than what we’ve seen over the past four years.

Andrew Sullivan: George W. Bush is our president. He deserves a fresh start, a chance to prove himself again, and the constructive criticism of those of us who decided to back his opponent.

Who and What I am Not

Michelle Catalano speaks for me.

If you don’t mind, I’d like to address the throngs of Chicken Littles who seem to be out in full force on the net today. I just want to clear up a few things, as you all seem to be pretty misguided in more than one area today.

I voted for George Bush.

I am not a redneck.

I do not spend my days watching cars race around a track, drinking cheap beer and slapping my woman on the ass.

I am not a bible thumper. In fact, I am an atheist.

I am not a homophobe.

I am educated beyond the fifth grade. In fact, I am college educated.

I am not stupid. Not by any stretch of facts.

I do not bomb abortion clinics.

Why Kerry Lost

It may be presumptuous to say John Kerry lost the election for the reasons I personally voted against him. But I’ve decided to say it anyway.

I didn’t vote for George W. Bush in 2000. I’ve never voted for any Republican president. This time was my first. And I did so because of the Terror War.

I know quite a few people who didn’t support Bush last time but did support him this time. And every single one of them did so for the same reasons I did. Because of the Terror War. Because Kerry could not be trusted.

I don’t know of anyone, anywhere, who swung from Al Gore to George W. Bush because of gay marriage, tax cuts, or for any other reason. I’m not saying they don’t exist. But if they do exist, I haven’t heard of ’em. They’re an invisible, miniscule minority.

There aren’t enough of us liberal hawks, disgruntled Democrats, neo-neoconservatives – or whatever else you might want to call us – to trigger a political realignment. But it does appear we can swing an election. At least we can help. And though I don’t think of myself as conservative (I did just vote for a Democratic Congress), my alienation from the liberal party is total. A political party that thinks crying Halliburton! is a grown-up response to anti-totalitarian war just isn’t serious.

I may vote for the Democratic candidate next time around. Then again, I might not. I’ll be watching what happens over the next four years, trying to decide if I’m part of the new wave of neoconservatives or if I’m just Independent. We shall see.

Election Day

Let’s get a couple of things out of the way before today’s votes are counted.

You have the right to vote. You do not have the right to see the man of your choice in the White House.

If George W. Bush wins the election, the world will still spin on its axis. Canada will not grant you asylum. If John Kerry wins the election, America will still be America. Australia will not grant you asylum.

People who vote for the other guy aren’t stupid, brainwashed, or evil. They are your friends and family. Someone you love will almost certainly cancel your vote. (My wife cancels out mine.)

If, by some chance, everyone you know votes for the loser it won’t mean the election was stolen, it will only show that you live in a bubble.

If this thing is close (the victor could easily win by 0.1 percent) try not to read too much into it. We’ll still be closely divided.

If the election doesn’t go your way, don’t pop off as though America were Guatemala under the generals. You’ll get lots of attention, but it won’t be the kind you want. People will laugh, not near you but at you.

For the Record

I voted last week by mail. (No lines. No waiting. No bullshit.) Here’s who I picked.

President: George W. Bush – Republican

Senator: Ron Wyden – Democrat

Representative: Earl Blumenauer – Democrat

Attacked

Jeff Jarvis says Instapundit, along with many other blogs, are suffering denial-of-service attacks today. I’ve noticed my own flickering in and out.

Call ‘Em Yourself

Drudge links to the realtime vote tallies for Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

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