Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Post-election thoughts

Just a few thoughts on this miserably disappointing election.

First, surely by now everyone can agree that we should get rid of the antiquated electoral college. Without the electoral college there would have been no question that Bush won the election based on the popular vote. John Kerry has decided to concede, but if he had chosen instead to act like Bush did in 2000 he could have tied up the election for weeks with lawsuits and recount challenges in a handful of states.

As for the possibility of provisional ballots or a recount changing the outcome in Ohio or elsewhere, I’m doubtful that could happen. But even if it did I think Kerry would have had trouble establishing a legitimate claim to the presidency while being down in the popular vote. I would indeed be hypocritical if I were to think otherwise after making such an issue of Bush’s half-million popular vote loss in 2000. On the other hand, any Republican who so much as makes a peep about popular vote victories under such circumstances would be equally hypocritical.

I am not upset with John Kerry. I feel that he ran as good of a campaign as anybody could have. He came within a hair’s breadth of winning the election. But the popular vote totals was the biggest blow. I’m still flabbergasted that a bare majority of American voters think George W. Bush is the best person to lead the country, but there you have it.
Perhaps the only bright spot for Democrats in this election is that they won’t have to clean up the mess that Bush has made during the past four years. Unfortunately, it also means that the mess will just get bigger. The question remains as to how big of a mess the American people will tolerate before the pendulum finally starts to swing back the other direction.

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