Thursday, November 04, 2004

What "mandate"?

So some of the news accounts I've read -- and some of the commentators have opined -- that this election gave Mr. Bush a "mandate" to carry forward his agenda. What?

I can't help wondering what the hell these people are talking about. Since when does a slim 3.9 million vote popular majority represent a "mandate"? Compared to the 2000 elections, sure this election is a blowout. But it's seriously NOT the Reaganseque landslide of 1980. This country is sharply divided. When the country is sharply divided, you should not be looking exclusively at the votes you did garner and say "I heard you loud and clear." It is imperative that you acknowledge that a very sizeable minority disagrees with you. You must listen to them too and work to strike the balance between the two.

Unless, of course, you're an autocrat, in which case you were likely to govern as you wanted to whether you received 50.01% or 100% of the vote anyway.


p.p. said...

Exactly, what mandate? He can take what mandate he thinks he has and shove it up his ass.

Matthew said...

Agreed - the presidential election, itself, wasn't a mandate. But what makes this such a radically different beast is the obvious spanking Democrats suffered in both the House and Senate.

Remember: even with Reagan's landslide, the Democrats still controlled Congress (they did from 1954 - 1994). What we are seeing now is a growing loss of Democratic politicians across the board.

That is what's so frightening.

Dennis! said...

Sure, but I don't buy the thought that Democrats got totally "spanked" in Congress. We lost a few seats, yes. But it's not like Republicans have come up with a supermajority, and we still have a filibuster-proof number (although it would take fewer defections to defeat that). Also importantly, Democrats are faced with an inherently uphill climb to win *any* new seats in Congress, now that the Republicans have taken to gerrymandering -- er, "redistricting" -- whenever they feel like it, eliminating Democratic strongholds from the get-go, even in off-census years.