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Election Reaction

To Republicans:

Well done. You've strengthened your hold on both chambers of Congress and have re-elected President Bush. This time there can be no cries of "selected, not elected" — the margin was convincing. You do indeed have a mandate.

Don't blow it. Don't get cocky. I expect you to accomplish three things over the next four years:

  1. Be steadfast in the War on Terrorism. Afghanistan's election was successful, and Iraq's needs to be, too. Encourage revolution in Iran, which is on the brink. If Israel makes a military strike to ensure Iran doesn't get a nuke, you're too late.
  2. Tax reform. Fix the Alternative Minimum Tax. Simplify the tax code. Eliminate some deductions.
  3. Social Security privatization. Your party controls both the legislative and executive branches. Now is the time to make a bold move and at least partially privatize Social Security. You couldn't do it if there was gridlock, and you can't count on holding your position. Do it now while it's politically possible. You should start by raising the retirement age. Remember, my generation knows it's getting screwed by Social Security. If you don't fix it, we'll resent you forever.

To Democrats:

You got walloped. Do you understand how that happened? It's your extremism. (Pot, kettle, I know… but follow along for a minute.) You didn't disown the moonbat fringe — the Bu$Hitler, (p)Resident-Select of AmeriKKKa, Halliburton!, Diebold!, ooooil!, lied/died!, Michael Moore crowd. That may have solidified the base, but it drove away moderates. Sure the youth voters may have enjoyed it, but their turnout as a proportion of total turnout was no higher than historically.

John Kerry could have gone on the record stating that he saw the same intelligence that Bush did, that he also believed Iraq was developing WMDs, and that he — no, all of us — were wrong, but not liars. That single stroke would have made moderates feel welcome. The fringe? They weren't going to vote for Bush anyway — ABB, remember?

UPDATE 2004-11-05 03:47:13 UTC: With apologies to Bill Engvall, here's your sign.

The Democratic party is pandering to its extremists while hemorrhaging its moderates. That is exactly backward. You must be moderate and throw an occasional bone to the extremists. Understand this map. That's what happens. You lost even though you had the media in your pocket.

I probably would have voted for Joe Lieberman. I didn't like Bush, but the opposition wasn't serious about the War on Terrorism.

I'm very happy to be wrong about one thing. There wre no terrorist attacks to influence the election. Privately, I expected there to be. This is the clearest empirical proof that al Qaeda has been broken. They would have struck if they could have.

Sure, there was an Osama video, but it was met by the electorate with a collective yawn.

Looking at the state and county unofficial results, here are my reactions. (Here are my earlier articles discussing my preferences.)

Oregon voter turnout was 80.65%, and Washington County turnout was 81.25%.

Election postponement - Measure 31YY65.59%Pleased
Mobile home taxes - Measure 32YY61.46%Pleased
Medical marijuana - Measure 33YN57.68%Slightly sad
Forest conservation - Measure 34NN62.07%Marvelous!
Limit on jury awards - Measure 35NN50.53%Close, but pleased
Ban gay marriage - Measure 36NY56.90%Very sad
Compensate for takings - Measure 37YY60.39%Woo-hoo!!!
Abolish SAIF - Measure 38YN60.95%Very sad
President(R) Bush(D) Kerry51.25%Didn't matter
Federal Senator(R) King(D) Wyden63.54%Landslide
Federal Representative(R) Ameri(D) Wu57.60%Landslide
Secretary of State(L) Morley(D) Bradbury57.15%Morley got 3.17%
State Treasurer(L) Shults(D) Edwards52.93%Shults got 3.07%
Attorney General(L) Smith(D) Myers55.06%Smith got 3.69%
State Representative (30th)(R) Kitts(R) Kitts54.73%Pleased
Hillsboro MayorImbrieHughes71.60%Didn't care much
Hillsboro Council (1B)AndrewsAndrews60.27%Happy
Hillsboro Council (3B)O'DonnellO'Donnell58.81%Happy
Tax for safety - 34-83skippedN53.07%Surprised
Tax for conservation - 34-101NN56.11%Happy
People's Utility District - 34-95NN74.78%Thrilled
Tax to fund PUD - 34-96NN80.58%Thrilled
Tax for schools - 34-81NN60.80%Happy
Tax for library - 34-90NN50.03%Failed by 19 votes!

The race for State Representative (29th) deserves special mention even though it isn't my district, because I endorsed (L) Tom Cox.

He did not win, which is as expected. But he got 9.50% of the vote, the highest percentage of any third-party race in the state, spoiling the reelection of (R) Gallegos and throwing it to (D) Riley. This is what third party candidates are supposed to do. Local Republicans will think twice before nominating a tax-raiser again.

Tiny Island