At this point in the morning it appears most likely that George W. Bush will be re-elected President.
I’m a little bit surprised by the outcome. I knew the race was very close, but I also knew that Bush needed to win both Florida and Ohio in order to win. Florida looked a toss up, but nearly all the polls were consistent in showing Ohio several points into the Kerry camp.
I’m somewhat torn about the outcome, or even ambivalent. I have absolutely no desire to see John Kerry elected. There aren’t alot of meaningful policy differences that he articulates with Bush. For example, I have a strong negative view of Kerry’s protectionism (racism), but Bush has hardly been a free trader (steel tariffs).
Still, I strongly believed it was important to reject Bush, independent of who his opposition is. He has increased federal spending faster than the Clinton administration did. He has bungled Iraq on many levels — American lives have been lost over weapons of mass destruction that didn’t exist, and the situation on the ground there is bad. I believe that Iraq is a distraction from, rather than integral to, the ‘war on terror’.
A bad outcome, to me, is the political lesson that a Republican can get re-elected as a big spending imperialist. So I hoped that would be rejected. The small government part of the Republican party can’t be very meaningful if Bush gets re-elected without following small govenrment policies.
A worse outcome seems to be coming to pass — if Bush wins Ohio, he wins the election. And if Bush wins Ohio, it’s because of the anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment, which appears to have won almost 2:1. In a close race I think it’s fair to say that the amendment drove turnout for Bush, and Bush wouldn’t have won Ohio without it. At least that’s my conjecture at this point.
So if Bush was re-elected it’s on the back of anti-gay bigotry, and that saddens me greatly.