Saturday, November 10, 2012

On Mandates and Deference...

In 2004, George Bush the Younger won a mid-term Presidential Election - drawing 62,040,610 in the popular vote over 59,028,444 or 50.7% of the popular vote vs. 48.3% for his opponent, John Kerry.

Did liberals and protesters lay down their signs, admit to their error and concede the American people had chosen another path? Did they engage in a vast rending of their garments and tearing their collective hair striving to redefine themselves as a party?


Now, in 2012, the regrettable President Obama has been reelected, with a popular vote count of 61,713,086 over Mr. Romney's  58,510,150 or 51% to 48%. If in 2004 you were among those in 2004 loudly declaring that Bush the Youger had no mandate, if you are claiming that in 2012 Obama has any kind of a mandate you are a raving hypocrite. Three-tenths of a percentage point a mandate do not make. 

Obama deserves not a whit more deference today or in January than Democrats gave George the Younger after his reelection in 2004. In short, a grim smile and pointing out "we can wait four more years" is a perfectly appropriate response - or "we'll be happy to give you the precise cooperation and support you gave George the Younger," if one wants to be particularly bold about it.

We must pick our fights and, frankly, because we have the potential to be better than the Democrats and Progressives it is incumbent upon us to constantly review our positions. We must not be fanatics or "true believers" - our tenets were not handed down on stone tablets nor were they revealed by a burning bush. They are and must be drawn from a reading of history, the use of logic, and a boldly factual examination of failed and successful past policies and their inevitable consequences and side effects. And all of that needs to be considered in light of the views of the electorate.

A political party or coalition of parties is not a revival meeting. It is a coldly calculating body scheming how to get its particular priorities and candidates into place. The first step in that scheming is to determine what is possible, rather than what one would like. 

1 comment:

BobG said...

Good advice. We definitely need to start rethinking strategy and using more common sense and less "rah rah" tactics.