The Self Made Pundit

I'm just the guy that can't stand cant. ___________

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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Now that the one of the most contentious presidential elections of recent times is over, it is time for all pundits (even self made ones) to muse about the strengths of democracy and the potential for Bush to learn from his mistakes and have a successful second term.

Bush's victory in this presidential election should remind us just how strong our democracy is. Few democracies have been as successful as America has in producing leaders that are truly representative of its people. Thus, our presidents have run the gamut from noble statesmen to small-minded hacks, from capable administrators to irresponsible bumblers, from honest men of integrity to deceitful charlatans. Seeing Bush elected to a second term has reminded me how America has been strong enough to survive the misrule of the mendacious and the incompetent throughout its history. I am hopeful that we will see an even greater example of the strength of America's democracy after Bush completes his second term.

Discussing how Bush has the potential to make America peaceful, secure, prosperous and united is a more difficult task given that his policies to date have achieved the opposite in each case. Difficult or not, the Self Made Pundit is willing to consider the strengths of the Bush administration.

While the Self Made Pundit has been critical of Bush at times, the Self Made Pundit has also applauded Bush every single time that he has deserved such praise in his administration.

Now that Bush has won a second term, we should be fair-minded and consider what strengths Bush has and how those strengths give him the opportunity to improve life in America and the rest of the world. In this spirit, I will devote the remainder of this column to discussing Bush's positive qualities of leadership and all of the reasons to hope that Bush's second term will be an improvement on his first:

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

What can I say the morning after President Bush appears to have won over the majority of American voters?

I don't know how so many people could have voted for the worst president ever.

I think you have to live in a fantasy world not to realize that among the 43 U.S. presidents, George W. Bush is without a doubt one of the most dishonest (probably the most dishonest but I don't want to slight Nixon) and the most incompetent (Buchanan merely let the country slide into the Civil War, Bush pushed us into the Iraq quagmire).

Perhaps Bush's fantasy world is such a pleasant place that voters decided to join him there. To give President Bush his due, the fantasy world he has created is much better than the reality he has given us. The fantasy of a resolute leader is so much more pleasant than the reality of an unnecessary war incompetently handled, decreasing employment, increasing poverty and exploding deficits.

So, should Senator Kerry meekly accept the results and concede? Not if he wants to remain a member of good standing in the reality-based community.

My radical advice is that we try something different this presidential election and not declare a winner until all the voters have been counted. All of the thousands of provisional ballots in Ohio should be counted and, if there are meritorious grounds, there should also be a recount.

If America is strong enough to withstand four years of misrule by President Bush, it can withstand a few days or even weeks of uncertainty about the outcome of the presidential race.

While I put the chances of Kerry somehow gaining the lead in Ohio at only slightly less than 1%, I think Kerry should not concede and should go down fighting for the last vote. Considering the Bush crew's history of underhanded campaign tactics, the results in Ohio cry out be checked. There should be no concession by Kerry until every vote has been counted and, if warranted, there has been a recount.

I'm wondering what Kerry could have done differently to have won it last night. I think Kerry might have made it if only he had emphasized the issue of traffic. It worked for me -- that's the issue I emphasized in my successful campaign to be elected to the board of trustees that governs the small village in which I live.

Barring a miracle in Ohio, here's to four more years of being ruled by a demented monkey. Just to be clear, that's a reference to Bush, not me. My term is only two years.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

While the Self Made Pundit has unfortunately been too busy (with work and his own campaign at the local level) to do much blogging of late, there's always time for wild speculation!

Using the most advanced techniques of psephology (in other words, hunches based on decades of obsessing about elections), the Self Made Pundit is ready to call the election for Kerry.

The polls out yesterday mostly showed a swing to Kerry. Fox (!) had Kerry going from a 5 pt. deficit to a tie Suday to a 2 pt. lead yesterday. Gallup, which gave Bush a 5 pt. lead last week is now calling it 49-49 among likely voters and Kerry ahead by 2 among registered voters. I continue to believe that the likely voter models are going to be less reliable than registered voter surveys this year due to the Democrats' successes in registering and getting ticked off at Bush.

My final prediction (unless I change my mind this afternoon) is that Kerry wins by more than 4 pts, with the breakdown something like this:

Kerry: 51.2% with 316 Electoral Votes (Gore states plus OH, FL, NH, NV)
Bush: 47.0% with 222 Electoral Votes
Nader & others: 1.8%

I view Congress as a little trickier to predict with the size of Kerry's victory determining the final outcome:

Senate: Democratic net gain of 1 or 2

House: Democratic net gain of 8 to 14

I can't believe that unprecedented numbers of voters have been standing in line for hours for four more years of the same incompetence.