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According to the Wall Street Journal, Bush's victory was "the narrowest win for a sitting president since Woodrow Wilson in 1916."



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 5th, 2004 09:02 pm (UTC)
narrow win?
The definition of narrow win is purposeless - he carried 5 million votes more than his opponent. He also carried 51% of the votes, the first president to do so since his father in 1988. We can all quote statistics till we're blue in the face. Since 1916, the following people have won re-election: Coolidge, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, LBJ, Nixon, Reagan and Clinton. Of all of them, only FDR was re-elected (1944) during a war, the others did not have wars and recessions to face simultaneously. Bush won, despite early returns and about 100 bazillion famous people in his grill. he won b/c America is moving southwest, growing in traditional repblican states, and this area has a conservative core. Now, can a more liberal man win? sure..but he has to speak to middle america, and Kerry just didn't capture that area.
Nov. 6th, 2004 03:45 am (UTC)
Re: narrow win?
Teo observations...

Nixon won reelection during the Vietnam war.

If you listen to Bush, there isn't a recession. The economy is vital and strong, and jobs are being added like gangbusters thanks to his tax cuts for the rich.

That said, I don't buy your argument. People moving into traditionally Republican states shouldn't have that much of an influence: sure, it shifts the number of electoral votes those states have, but not by a lot, and people moving carry their ideologies with them.

The issues that carried this election were abortion, gay marriage and the war. All three of these are tailor-made to appeal to Evangelical Christians, who are Bush's power-base. Bush is certain -- and this latest election has borne out that belief -- that the Presidency can be won on the Evangelical vote alone. A more liberal man would be an anathema to Evangelicals, so it would be impossible for him to win. Even if he did embrace the issues of abortion, gay marriage and the war (can you imagine an anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, pro-war liberal?), the GOP would crank up the dirty rumor machine to kill his chances. That's how GWB beat John McCain in the 2000 primaries--people started publicizing that McCain had a black daughter (leaving out that she was adopted), and others started rumours about his service in Vietnam not being honorable. Even though nothing was ever borne out as fact (except, of course, that McCain did have an adopted black daughter), it was enough to leave a bad taste in the Evangelicals' mouths that they gave the nod to Bush.

So, in the end, I'm sure this is just a preview. The next presidency is going to go to a candidate at least as conservative as Bush, and it will continue until the GOP has succeeded in bankrupting the government so much that the only two functions it will be allowed to perform anymore are collecting taxes and servicing the national debt.
Nov. 9th, 2004 07:41 pm (UTC)
Re: narrow win?
Nixon inherited Vietnam, so the two are simply not parallel. nixon also faced off against McGovern, a man so far to the left of the political center that Genghis Khan could have run against him and won handily.

Secondly, as everyone from CNN to FOX reported, traditionally red states gained 8 electoral votes, and blue states lost some. They have had a strong population growth, and generally pro-business attitudes. The biggest case is Florida, where a rightward trend has been accentuated by a good deal of movement, combined with an increasingly conservative Latino / Hispanic base (where Bush gained some 9 percentage points)

Bush beat McCain (whom I supported in 2000) more by electioneering - I never knew anything about the black daughter until a year later. McCain was excluded from New York's ballot and a few others, depriving him of that right. The issues that carried this election were: terrorism, the war, and "moral values". To the thoughtless, this means anti-gay-marriage, anti-choice. To those who think a little harder, it means more moral clarity. Kerry was also anti-gay-marriage (an idea which I am not opposed to) You knew where you stood, right or worng, with George W. Bush. He was clear, forthright, and pragmatic. While he is truculent and inarticulate, that mattered little to people seeking brighter lines in times of war. A lot of people who are not evangelical - my parents haven't been to church in years - voted for Bush. Your assumption is that because Bush has captured more evangelical Christians than ever before that it is true for all of his voters, is basic fallacy of composition. You assume truth for the part is truth for the whole.

Your final point is simply economic naivete. Taxes were at their relative highest in the late 1970s, and yet our debt-to-GDP was higher than before, and GDP growth was well below historical norms . Taxes were comparatively low from 1983-2000, and the debt was closed. The reason? The economy was stronger during those times than at any other period since 1946. A strong economy generates a strong tax base. The recession in 2001, which, the Nat'l Bureau of Economic Research declared ended in 11/2001 (they are the people that date the recessions of the nation), is now over. The jobless recovery, a period of shifting jobs and general job loss from 2001 - 2003, ended in August, 2003. Since then, the recovery has reclaimed all but some 500,000 jobs lost. And of course, the unemployment rate never grew higher than 6.8, a full percentage point less than under Mr. Clinton's highest (seasnally adjusted). This is likely because people lost multiple jobs in the same sectors, so the number of jobs list was high, but it was The primary reason New York tends to lag national trends is a higher tax and legal burden, leading to slower creation of jobs, especially upstate. Job growth in areas like Nevada, Colorado, and the deep south are owing to a more competitive environment, especially globally. It's why new auto plants are created in teh deep south, and not here. I work as an economist for the dept. of labor. NY has steady population growth, and somewhat steady job growth, but since the recession hit the NY financial amrkets (which moved out of the northeast), and manufactuing (nationwide) and information (overhiring), New York suffered. The rest of the nation had a much easier time. Blue states, reliant on manufacturing and the tech boom, got pounded. So, the facts speak for themsleves - there was a recession, as occurs in business cycles, and then the recovery was slower in NYS. It was fasterin historicaly Red states - and thus it was less felt in those areas, witht he possbility of Indiana and Ohio.

-- Rich
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