Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Morning After

Kerry has lost. I figured so last night, despite half a dozen states remaining uncalled by CNN and nobody's electoral college vote count reaching 270.

Even this morning, the top story on the top page of the CBC web site says:

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card declared that President George W. Bush had won re-election early Wednesday, although ballot challenges in the swing state of Ohio could still put Democrat John Kerry in the Oval Office.

Liberal independent media site Alternet is leading with "Too Close To Call".

I refuse to check, but I understand Fox called it for Bush at about noon yesterday -- well, at least by late evening, anyway.

Fox is right. Maybe they're not right if you remove all the voter suppression attacks, particularly in communities of colour. Maybe they're not even right if you ignore the racist, disgusting Republican interventions in the election day ground war, and follow through on technicalities.


Bush won the popular vote. The Republicans gained two to four seats in the Senate and probably about half a dozen in the House. As we saw last time, the Supreme Court votes Republican, and if you want to win on a technicality you have to have them on your side. But most importantly of all, the Republicans can mobilize a lot of angry people on the ground. As I said on the eve of the elections, the liberals seem to have more ability to mobilize people than they've had in a long time, but it is not as deeply rooted as the neocon populism, and they do not have the same vicious determination to win at all costs. As Justin Podur wrote on November 1, "The grassroots fundamentalist constituency of Bush will vote, and then they will start moving to ensure that the person they voted for wins. And they will not back off until they are quite sure they cannot win."

Kerry may hang on for another few days and try and fight legal battles, but I don't think there's much point. In fact, I have the sense that a hypotehtical Kerry win challenged by Bush via the street and the courts would lose legitimacy even if it ultimately won because of the challenges. Unless the Dems and their allies have more spunk and originality left in them than I believe, not only will they lose, but their challenges will actually shore up the legitimacy of the Bush victory.

And in local election news, the returns on California propositions did not look good when I went to bed last night. On the up side, a tax on the rich to pay for mental health services passed (Prop 63), as did a resolution on stem cell research (Prop 71) and one enshrining certain principles of open meetings and records in the state constitution (Prop 59). But Prop 64 guts California's consumer and environmental protection regime by preventing the long tradition in this state of allowing private citizens to sue for enforcement. Now only the state can do that (and it isn't doing much of it, these days), and private citizens have to wait, basically, until there is a body for them to be able to sue. Prop 69 allows the opening of a police-state DNA database for anybody ever picked up by the cops, and mandates that everyone who is arrested has to allow their DNA to be sampled. Even Prop 72, which would force medium and large employers to extend health benefits to their employees, looks like it has lost in a squeaker. A resolution to mildly improve California's draconian "three strikes" law has also failed.

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