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November 29, 2004

Uncharacteristic political post

I would like to hear other opinions about this, as I wait for test results (the doctor removed a lump in surgery last week and pathology couldn't identify it - they sent it to Cleveland Clinic, fearing it is a sarcoma).

The word is "mandate" and I'm sick of it. I try these days to stay away from political blogging, but this seems kind of silly.

Bush won the popular election by over 3 million votes, nearly 4, yet the Left says he doesn't have a mandate at 51 percent or whatever. This same Left said Clinton had a clear mandate the year he won with only 42 percent of the popular vote. I got nothing against Clinton, but doesn't this feel double-standardy to you?

I suspect I'm missing something.


Be nice.

Posted by Dan at November 29, 2004 10:20 AM

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My thoughts are that Bush does indeed have some political capital, as he likes to put it. Winning by nearly 4 million votes gives you some room to work. And it's also clear that the Republicans, in general, won on the federal level. (Bright spot for the Dems--they won on the state level. We gotta have something to hold on to.)

I don't, however, think Bush has a huge mandate. Even though he won by a good amount of votes, the race was still damn close no matter how you cut it. 51-49 is not a blowout.

I think it's also fair to say that he doesn't have any kind of mandate on, say, privatizing social security, as he appears eager to do. This would be because the issue was hardly even raised during the campaign.

This would extend to other issues, as well. Bush doesn't have a mandate to do whatever he wants. He can and will carry out certain actions and he has the right to do that because he was reelected president. But I wouldn't say he has a mandate to do things that he did not talk about doing during the election. He has the right to try as an elected official and to present plans and gauge the public's reaction, but he does not have a mandate.

And no, there's no way Clinton had a mandate when he won with 42% of the vote. Anyone who claimed that and now says Bush doesn't have a mandate is not only applying a double standard, but rolling around in a great big pile of their own bullshit.

Posted by: Joel Caris at November 29, 2004 06:16 PM

Hey, Bush can have as many man dates as he wants, in my opinion, but he should be wary that his base--and probably Laura--won't much care for it.

Fact is, Bush was re-elected with a severely smaller margin than any other second-term president in modern history. If anything, I'd say his mandate is to try to work with the 48% of people who voted for change, and the 55% or so of people who consistently over the last year say the country is going in the wrong direction.

I also want to second Joel's point that many of the things that seem to be at the top of the agenda are things that Bush did not campaign heavily on, so he must tread lightly there. Plus, I think he (Bush, not Joel) needs to pay attention to news from Gallup this week that a wide majority--way wider than his majority, anyway--want Roe v. Wade to remain law.

Posted by: folkbum at November 29, 2004 07:30 PM

As I understand it, there are four stages to a stock bubble:

  1. Displacement -- some small but significant event occurs that causes traders to buy and sell certain stocks. They often get in and out, making lots of money.
  2. Boom -- when large numbers of people follow the early leaders, buying the stock(s). They hope to get rich.
  3. Euphoria -- when everybody comes unglued and buys the stock(s) regardless of the facts or the consequences. The bubble grows.
  4. Bust -- someone comes to their senses and dumps the stock, triggering another wave of hysteria this time bursting the bubble. Large amounts of money are lost, often wiping out all previous gains (and then some). Suckers are left holding the bag.
My point (and I do have one) is that the Bush intelligensia (i.e., Karl Rove) are moving people into the Euphoria stage on a stock called "The Ownership Society." By perpetrating the idea of a seismic shift in attitude (symptom: Huge Mandate) they hope to profit before the bottom drops out.


Posted by: Ara Rubyan at December 3, 2004 12:25 PM

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