Updated throughout the day
The country voted for these guys with its eyes open. Let us hear no complaining about "bait and switch," and a "uniter, not a divider," and on and on and on. It even returned a national legislature consonant with the incumbent's agenda.
There will be permanent tax cuts that will institutionalize a national debt that will force some sort of evisceration of Social Security and Medicare. There will be continued military adventurism in the Middle East. There will be Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Chief Justice Antonin Scalia. There will be more lying and more vengeance.
So let there be no whining when your husband's National Guard obligation leaves him under fire for six extra months, or when Granny and Gramps are eating cat food, or when it become increasingly impossible to meet the economic needs of the middle-class family.
No complaining. None of it.
You wanted this guy. Now you have him, unleashed.
Before today, the course that America had charted in the world over the last three years could be seen as the result of a traumatic event (9/11) and the choice of a president who was actually put in office by a minority of the electorate. This was a referendum on what's happened in the last three years. And it's been validated.
I would caution anyone against deluding themselves into believing that a second Bush term won't be so bad. With a majority of the popular vote and expanded margins in the House and Senate, we're going to see Bush Unleashed — something that will probably be much crazier than what we've seen over the past four years.
A MANDATE FOR CULTURE WAR: That's Bill Bennett's conclusion. He won't be the only one. What we're seeing, I think, is a huge fundamentalist Christian revival in this country, a religious movement that is now explicitly political as well. It is unsurprising, of course, given the uncertainty of today's world, the devastating attacks on our country, and the emergence of so many more liberal cultures in urban America. And it is completely legitimate in this country for such views to be represented in public policy, however much I disagree with them. But the intensity of the passion, and the inherently totalist nature of religiously motivated politics means deep social conflict if we are not careful. Our safety valve must be federalism. We have to live and let live. As blue states become more secular, and red states become less so, the only alternative to a national religious war is to allow different states to pursue different options. That goes for things like decriminalization of marijuana, abortion rights, stem cell research and marriage rights. Forcing California and Mississippi into one model is a recipe for disaster. Federalism is now more important than ever. I just hope that Republican federalists understand this. I fear they don't.Dan Gillmore:
There's no secret about what's coming. We don't have that excuse this time.John Shirley:
Here comes more fiscal recklessness -- as we widen the chasm between the ultra-wealthy and everyone else, cementing a plutocracy into our national fiber, we'll pay our national bills on the Treasury Bill credit card for the next few years. Many economists expect a Brazil-like financial crisis to hit the U.S. before the end of the decade. If we muddle our way though the near term, we'll still have left our kids with the bill.
Here comes an expansion of the American empire abroad, a fueling of fear and loathing elsewhere on the globe. This is also unsustainable in the end. Empire breeds disrespect.
Our civil liberties will shrink drastically. This president and his top allies in Congress fully support just one amendment in the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment's right to bear arms. Say goodbye to abortion rights in most states. Roe v. Wade will fall after this president pushes three or four Scalia and Thomas legal clones onto the Supreme Court. Say hello, meanwhile, to a much more intrusive blending of church and state.
The environment? We'll be nostalgic for Ronald Reagan's time in office.
This is not sour grapes. This is reality.
If you voted for George Bush then it's your own fault if you don't have health care;it's your own fault global warming continues unabated, wrecking the world for your grandchildren; it's your own fault your job will be outsourced; it's your own fault that terrorism will only get worse, because Bush will feed those fires; it's your fault that a fanatic religious cult will finish taking over the White House; it's your own fault that you're going to lose your civil liberties.
And you will get the theocracy, the thinly-disguisted dictatorship, the poisoned environment, that you deserve.
Apparently, my country holds a fundamentally different set of values than I thought we did, and that scares the shit out of me. I still believe that Bush is bad for America, and though I'm virtually certain that the next four years will be an absolute disaster. Not just because we have gotten four more years of the Bush agenda, but because this election has been an enthusiastic endorsement of that agenda.Sidney Blumenthal:
I hoped I would wake up this morning to the good news that our long national nightmare was over.
It's not over.
It's just beginning.
The new majority is more theocratic than Republican, as Republican was previously understood; the defeat of the old moderate Republican Party is far more decisive than the loss by the Democrats. And there are no checks and balances. The terminal illness of Chief Justice William Rehnquist signals new appointments to the Supreme Court that will alter law for more than a generation. Conservative promises to dismantle constitutional law established since the New Deal will be acted upon. Roe vs. Wade will be overturned and abortion outlawed.
Now, without constraints, Bush can pursue the dreams he campaigned for -- the use of U.S. military might to bring God's gift of freedom to the world, with no more "global tests," and at home the enactment of the imperatives of "the right God." The international system of collective security forged in World War II and tempered in the Cold War is a thing of the past. The Democratic Party, despite its best efforts, has failed to rein in the radicalism sweeping the country. The world is in a state of emergency but also irrelevant. The New World, with all its power and might, stepping forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old? Goodbye to all that.