Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I guess I should re-read the subtitle under "The Mandarin" again,...

and stick to banking and Chinese literature, things I know a lot about.

I think -- among other errors -- the pollsters who saw a Kerry victory in the early exit polls underestimated the turnout potential of the famous 4,000,000 ultra-right nutcase Christian "evangelicals" who didn't vote in 2000 but who were bamboozled this time into voting for Dub because he claims to get personal advice from God and promises to continue incorporating the strictures of Deuteronomy line by line into the civil laws of a country once prized for its separation of religion from the administration of government.

I liked this posting, too:


Pottery Barn Rule

Assuming, for the moment, that Bush's lead in Ohio holds and is real, there's a lot to say about the election, and many weeks to say it. The fact that the result seemed to end up in almost exactly the same place as four years ago should not obscure how much has changed. It's easy to condemn the Democratic Party, but there is so much that is healthier about this party and its satellites than four years ago. The development of a real small donor and activist base, a sophisticated turnout mechanism, and fundamental unity of purpose are huge achievements. They didn't quite go far enough this time.

One important thing to remember: Now Bush is fully responsible for the consequences of his mistakes. He's responsible for Iraq, he's responsible for the budget, for Medicare, etc. What Colin Powell called the Pottery Barn Rule applies: He broke them, he owns them. That's not good news for the world, because Bush wasn't competent to deal with the situation of peace and prosperity handed to him in 2001; he certainly isn't be competent to handle a mess. The dangers are profound.

But politically, it at least avoids a situation where Kerry would have borne the responsibility and blame for Iraq or for raising taxes. All accountability now rests with Bush and his party. Everything that's been swept under the carpet until after the election will come creeping out. And the best use of all the resources of people, brains, money, and coordination that's been built this year, in addition to developing a stronger base of ideas, is to find ways to hold Bush, DeLay et. al. absolutely accountable for their choices. I really believe that this will be like Nixon's second term, and thus the seeds of a bigger long-term change than could have occurred just by Kerry winning the election.

This is not a look-at-the-bright-side comment. Just a thought about what comes next.


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