Kerry concedes defeat…

KERRY has just conceded the US Presidential election to Bush and will make a statement in about 25 minutes.

  • ulsterman

    Praise the Lord.

    The Pope has again been defeated.

    God Save The Queen.

  • smcgiff

    You’ll have to get over this Pope fixation, Ulsterman.

    My advice is to double the dosage.

  • David Vance

    Au revoir to the French candidate…

  • Emily

    Drudge is reporting that Bush has exceeded the all-time popular vote total. Turnout yesterday was incredible. I went to the polls at about 7 pm and there was still a line, and I live in a precinct with generally low voter turnout. I can’t quite put my finger on what made this election such a curious and appealing deal for so many people.

  • peteb

    I blame Ben Affleck.

  • Emily

    You should blame the Guardian for swinging all those undecided voters in Clark county over to Bush.

  • willowfield

    I can’t quite put my finger on what made this election such a curious and appealing deal for so many people.

    You serious??

    PS. What was with all those “lines” – 5 hours long in some places? The US voting system is a joke – get one that works: employ sufficient staff to deal with the size of the electorate; get enough “voting machines”; or better still, just give people pencil and paper – far quicker and safer.

  • Colm

    Ulsterman

    I have it on good authority that George Bush is a member of a little known group of very secretive Roman Catholics who infiltrate protestant christian groups in order to facilitate a new world govt. to be created and run from the Vatican. George always said his part of the coup would not be realised until his second term . It will start with a secret ultimate to be delivered to Tony Blair by Bush’s accomplice in the UK the very ‘Roman’ Cherie, an ultimatum that will demand the heretical six counties be handed on a plate to the catholic free state whose special place in the heart of the Holy See will be restored.

    Protestant Ulster faces defeat. The rebellious child will once again be restored to the bosom of the one true church where we she will take her place united in the emerald isle watched over by the blessed Mary mother of God.

    Bless you Ulsterman . You to shall be saved .

    The church has triumphed . Together John-Paul and George ( and maybe even Ringo) will defeat the Queen.

    Long live il papa

  • IJP

    Very disappointing, but somewhat predictable even from the moment Kerry didn’t take places like West Virginia.

    You should blame the Guardian for swinging all those undecided voters in Clark county over to Bush.

    Ay, the loony left strikes again! Don’t worry, I will…

  • IJP

    What was with all those “lines” – 5 hours long in some places? The US voting system is a joke – get one that works: employ sufficient staff to deal with the size of the electorate; get enough “voting machines”; or better still, just give people pencil and paper – far quicker and safer.

    Glad to see we’re back in agreement!

    The whole thing’s a farce, and not a particularly funny one.

  • peteb

    Hey I blame the Guardian as well, Emily.

    But Affleck deserves a special mention.

  • Millie

    So unionists prefer Bush precisely because he doesn’t give a toss about NI? Or is it because he’s a right-wing Christian fundamentalist warmonger? Interesting logic.

  • peteb

    Millie

    Neither candidate gave a toss about NI.

  • Mario

    “Very disappointing, but somewhat predictable even from the moment Kerry didn’t take places like West Virginia.”

    Kerry was never expected to take West Virginia, it is after all a republican stronghold, despite the fact that they elect democratic governors and have a long history of organized labor and militant coal miners. Mr Kerry was hoping to win Ohio, Florida and New Mexico and perhaps Nevada.

    I think people should just recognize in North America and elsewhere that more than half of the american public is not very smart.

    As Mr Churchill once said:
    The best argument against democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter.

  • Davros

    What did Ben Affleck do ?

    America: The Nation decides

  • Emily

    Willowfield,
    Yes, I’m serious. Why do you ask? I’ve never seen people so interested in an election, and given the truly limited powers that the US president has, along with the relative slight difference between Democrats and Republicans, I was truly surprised at how many people thought that the fate of the world hinged on this election.

    As for the five hour waiting lines, that was without a doubt a remarkable exception. I have voted in every election since I was eligible, in four different cities – even the local ones over bond measures to clean up litter – and last night was the longest wait I’ve ever had, at about 15 minutes.

    And actually, it’s a pen and paper that they give you. They did away with the punch-hole method in my precinct because of the Great Hanging Chad Fiasco of Florida 2000. There’s also plenty of staff, all volunteer, but you can’t do much about them being lazy gits. There were six people working my precinct last night, and three of them looked as bored as if they were at church.

  • James

    “What was with all those “lines” – 5 hours long in some places?”

    40 minutes at the Greek Orthodox church over by the fire station for me.

    We had 5 touch screen units and one cardboard booth for the hand-marked ballots. The touch screens are cute. The little critters make the familiar “breeeep” when you register the vote.

    I think I voted for PacMan.

  • Colm

    I still think you need more polling stations.
    I have never seen a queue anywhere in England at any polling station anytime for any election, and we have always had a higher proportional turn out than yourselves.

  • Davros

    I think I voted for PacMan.

    You voted Bush ? 😉

  • Will

    A good result!

    It was very interesting to hear the commentators early on last night waxing lyrical about how the massive turnout was such a huge victory for American democracy and showed how people power worked. That however, was when they thought this was going to result in a Kerry victory. When it became evident that George W was returning then suddenly we didnt hear as much about the huge turnout and how wonderful this was.

    Also today we are being hammered with a lot of talk about how America is deeply divided and split down the middle – i dont necessarily disagree, but I wonder how much talk of deep divisions and the need to reach out to the defeated minority there would have been were the roles reversed. I suspect any Kerry victory, no matter how narrow, would have been trumpeted as a massive seed change in American opinion and a decisive move away from Bush’s policies.

    I’m glad that Bush has returned because he wont be taking an unhelpful interest in NI. Also I support policies which are tough on terrorism and I am what probably could be described as a fiscal and moral conservative. A fine victory, possibly made only sweeter by watching the slow descent of the Democrats from smugness to despondance throughout the long night.

  • Davros

    Does a President standing for re-election have a natural advantage ? What % of Presidents who sought a second term were successful ?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The rise in fundamentalism is both deeply worrying and depressing. On the one side is an Islamic based anti western fundamentalism that is feeding off the anti USA sentiment.
    On the other side is right wing christian based fundamentalism that feeds off the fear of the former.
    Two distinct forms of absolutism that neither acknowledge or care for any view but their own narrow view of the world.

  • Gerry O’Sullivan

    April 1992, I was living in London. Myself and some friends were up most the night following the General Election results. As the hours passes, hope faded. Somehow, aginst all predictions, John Major was back. Labour supporters were looking into a black hole.

    Wind the clock on five years, and Labour waltzed into power.

    In the US, the Republicans now have control of the Presidency, the Senate and Congress. Given the crass, ideological nature of this administration, their downfall could be as quick as the Tories in Britain. Particularly if Bush and Co continue to screw up the economy as they did in the first term.

    So Dems, it’s depressing tonight. But don’t worry, you’ll get your day in the sun.

  • George

    “There’s also plenty of staff, all volunteer, but you can’t do much about them being lazy gits.”

    Yes you can Emily, pay them. I used to do the old elections here in Ireland back as a teenager, the pay is designated tax free so some people actually take a day’s leave from their normal jobs to work them and a nice cheque arrives in the post 10 days later.

    Davros,
    no war president has ever failed to get re-elected.

  • peteb

    The problem with your comparison, Gerry, is that in 1992 the Conservatives were on the slide and they just, just, held on to power.. the US Republicans are on the upward part of the curve.

  • Davros

    I hate to scare people – but COULD the republicans, if they are now this strong, change the Constituion to allow Arnie to stand ?

  • peteb

    I’m sure Arnie would love them to, Davros.

    But you’re assuming that he wouldn’t be a very interesting prospect as President.

  • Emily

    Republicans can’t change the Constitution on their own, Davros. Amendments can be brought up in Congress, but they have to be ratified by three-fifths of the state legislatures nation-wide. It’s difficult and rare for an amendment to make it all the way through this process.

  • Davros

    He WOULD be an “interesting” prospect. As in the JFK’s supposed Chinese curse about living in interesting times.
    In 4 years time the USA will still be at war.
    Could The republicans change the constitution to allow Bush to stand again ? Or allow Arnie to stand as a war-time candidate?

  • Davros

    Thank you for that reassurance Emily!

  • peteb

    Again, Davros, you’re assuming you know what his platform for election would be.

  • Emily

    I can’t imagine most Americans would be any too happy to see the Constitution changed to allow any president extra terms. Before it was codified, it was considered customary for a president to step down after two terms, as George Washington did voluntarily. Then FDR came along and we had to formalize the rule.

  • Davros

    Quick flick through the SF website- No comment on the US election result , although Ms de Brún’s
    comments on the war in Iraq wouldn’t please the President. Pleased me though. Well said that woman!

  • peteb

    Yeah well.. it was purely for domestic consumption, Davros.

  • Davros

    The DUP are on the ball Pete 😉

    The UUP and SDLP seem to have missed the bus.

  • Mario

    Bairbre de Brún

  • James

    “Does a President standing for re-election have a natural advantage ? What % of Presidents who sought a second term were successful ?”

    The incumbent always has the advantage. He is the devil you know.

    In my lifetime incumbent presidents have won 60% of the time, 40% of the time by landslides. That’s why Betfair’s odds always favored the Republicans.

    The landslides have been Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan, although it could be argued that Johnson’s landslide was a continuation of Kennedy’s first term.

    The losers were Johnson (de facto resignation), Ford, Carter, and Dubya’s daddy. The squeakers were Truman and our current President elect, although Bush will never, ever, engender the respect to deserve to be on the same list with Harry Truman.

    BTW, Sluggiepoos it takes a 2/3 vote of BOTH houses of Congress to propose a Constitutional amendment. THEN it takes 3/4 of all the state legislatures to ratify the amendment before it becomes part of the Constitution.

    Don’t hold your breath.

  • Christopher Daigle

    Au revoir to the French candidate…

    Posted by: David Vance at November 3, 2004 04:54 PM
    ———

    Does this mean that George Bush was the English candidate?

  • James

    “Does this mean that George Bush was the English candidate?”

    No, the al Qaeda candidate.

  • Mario

    Bairbre de Brún

  • Davros

    What about her ?

  • Mario

    What does that phrase mean? I keep posting it, but my question gets erased.

  • Davros

    It’s the name of one of Sinn Féin’s most able politicians.

  • Davros

    And a comment from Eileen Bell.

    NI politicians react to Bush win

  • Cahal

    I’ve been trying to resist writing something here. For my mother said, if you can’t say anything good……..

    Will
    “Also I support policies which are tough on terrorism and I am what probably could be described as a fiscal and moral conservative”

    How anybody can say that and support bush is beyond me. Bush will create more terrorists than 10 Osama Bin Ladens.
    As for Morals – drunk driving, responsible for the deaths of thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan, advocate of the death penalty, extremely irresponsible environmental policy, draft dodger, cocaine…….
    Fiscal conservative – take a look at our deficit please. My children and their children will be paying that off for years.

    To me being a conservative should mean:

    1. Fiscal responsibility
    2. A unified plan to win the war in Iraq
    3. Environmental sanity
    4. Separation of church and state

    The current administration has violated all of the above conditions, ESPECIALLY #3 and 4, which makes me madder than anything else.

    It pisses me off that we are controlled by a bunch of red neck hicks in the ‘red states’. Again all of the major cities are being held to ransom by these village idiots.
    We were being told “it’s not the American people we dislike, it’s Bush”. Well if the majority of Americans support Bush…….

    One ray of hope: Barack Obama. A breath of fresh air.

  • David Vance

    James,

    I feel your pain, and don’t mean to make it worse BUT…I think you may find upon reading that OBL wanted, above all else, the US to change foreign policy, after all, it gets chilly in a cave this time of the year. Now that Jean Francois has lost, fair and square, don’t YOU think YOU should respect the will of the majority of your fellow citizens?

    I know in Northern Ireland, rule by minority is deemed fair enough – I don’t think that applies in the USA. Get over it.

  • James

    “I think you may find upon reading that OBL wanted, above all else” to unite the Islamic world against the West. And the our President elect has done more to do this than a boxcar full Arial Sharons.

    Thank God the people of Northern Ireland have had the good sense to never put you in charge.

    BTW, lose the Osama obsession. Al-Zawahiri is the brains in the outfit and is the one we really must kill.

    “don’t YOU think YOU should respect the will of the majority of your fellow citizens?”

    You never have, so why the hell should I?

  • James

    Davros:

    Please add Clinton to the list of landslide victories in my 11:10.

    That makes incumbents winning 70% of the time in my lifetime and 50% of the time by landslides.

    The only landslide winner to enjoy a smooth 2nd term was Eisenhower (if you discount Sputnik, the Suez Crisis, the Lebanon incursion, Castro, Francis Gary Powers and Little Rock, tee hee).

  • maca

    Says it all: we are ******

  • Rebecca Black

    “So unionists prefer Bush precisely because he doesn’t give a toss about NI? Or is it because he’s a right-wing Christian fundamentalist warmonger? Interesting logic. “

    not all unionists support him and I feel fairly insulted that you seem to think all unionists supported Bush.

    I thought/think Bush is a moron.

  • davidbrew

    Rebeca
    all DISCERNING Unionists support Bush.

    Also, you probably don’t appreciate the strong links Attorney general John Ashcroft has with NI, which are of great benefit yo Unionism

  • Rebecca Black

    david

    I think the whole point of unionism, ulster unionism in particular is that its a broad church, it can incorporate liberals such as myself as well as people like you.

    although I appreciate you would prefer everyone to subscribe to your views of everything, a discerning and correct view no doubt

  • willowfield

    Will

    A good result!

    Why?

    I am what probably could be described as a fiscal and moral conservative.

    Oh dear.

    I always find it strange when people describe themselves as “conservative” with no hint of embarassment or awkwardness. Who wants to be considered conservative? How old are you?!

    The USA must be the only country in the world where “liberal” is considered a pejorative.

    Davros

    Does a President standing for re-election have a natural advantage ? What % of Presidents who sought a second term were successful ?

    Post-war, 7 incumbent presidents won second terms and 3 failed to do so. (If my memory is correct.)

    2004 Bush won a second term
    1996 Clinton won a second term
    1992 Bush failed to get a second term
    1984 Reagain won a second term
    1980 Carter failed to get a second term
    1976 Ford failed to get a second term
    1972 Nixon won a second term
    1964 Johnson won a second term
    1956 Eisenhower won a second term
    1948 Truman won a second term

    Rebecca

    not all unionists support him and I feel fairly insulted that you seem to think all unionists supported Bush. I thought/think Bush is a moron.

    Absolutely. I’m a unionist and I hate Bush, as do most people I know, who are mostly unionists. I suspect, though, that DUP-types are all all Bush-supporters. You know, those who prefer “conviction” to actually thinking things through.

  • willowfield

    DB

    all DISCERNING Unionists support Bush.

    On another thread you championed Bush as a “conviction” politician as opposed to a rational one. Now you seem to be contradicting yourself.

    I’d say most discerning people – unionist or nationalist – would be very uncomfortable with Bush.

  • Keith M

    What’s exactly would be wrong with Arnie as President? Regan demonstrated that you can quite easilyy go from being a bad actor to a great President. Both Ireland and the UK allow people born outside the state to become head of state. The current Irish President was born in UK, DevAlera was born in the US. UK monarches have been born in France, Germany and the Netherlands.

  • Keith M

    willowfield you seem to think that having conviction and being rational are mutually exclusive. Most people would think that they are not only mutually inclusive both mutually supportive.

  • willowfield

    Assuming Arnie is another right-winger, obviously we don’t want him in the White House.

    But I agree with Keith’s essential point: I see no reason why someone born outside the States should be barred from office. As long as he or she is a US citizen and is properly elected I don’t see a problem.

  • smcgiff

    Taking what we know about incumbent presidents, especially wartime presidents, I’d like Bush supporters to place in context the size of Bush’s support.

    Hopefully the statisticians can back me up, but I’d suspect the size of Kerry’s support would have won most, if not all, previous elections. This is the small measure of comfort I take out of this result.

    I grew up as a big fan of America. How could you not, considering the pervasiveness of its culture over here? Now, I can’t think of America without thinking of a spoiled child, populated by red necks.

    On further analysis, my association with America is mostly with the East and West coast. I really don’t know middle and South USA. The film deliverance pretty much had it right.

    I guess global warming could save us yet. Wasn’t this part of the USA under the sea once upon a time? 🙂

  • willowfield

    Keith M

    willowfield you seem to think that having conviction and being rational are mutually exclusive. Most people would think that they are not only mutually inclusive both mutually supportive.

    The term “conviction politician” is used to describe Bush, meaning – in my view – that he is guided by “conviction” rather than reason. He appeals to those who are guided by “freedom/faith/flag” as gut instincts rather than by rational analysis of situations.

    His response to 9/11 was to launch a war on Iraq as part of a “war on terror”. Reason would have told him that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 or international terrorism, but his “conviction” told him that those Arabs are bad guys and we need to destroy them.

    He claims to support “freedom” for the individual and oppose intrusive government. Rationally, then, he should support gay marriage and oppose increasing the power of the state via the Patriot Act. His “conviction”, though, tells him that gays are bad and he needs state power for his “war on terror”.

  • willowfield

    Surely part of the reason that Bush got the most votes ever is because the electorate is bigger than ever?!

  • maca

    Arnie as President?? Oh god, four years of Arnieisms …. “Democrats…you’re about to be terminated”

    “I think that gay marriage should be between a man and a woman.”

    “To those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say, Don’t be economic girlie men!”

  • mickhall

    With the American people so split politically and culturally, perhaps the best thing they could do for the rest of the world would be to have another civil war, at least then they would leave the rest of us alone.

    🙂 🙂 🙁

  • slackjaw

    Bush ain’t all conviction based. He also uses the empirical observation that there is an awful lot of conviction-based voters out there in order to push a far-right agenda.

    Many voted for Bush because they believe he will make them feel safe. Strangely enough, their convictions are correct. His administration will make them feel safe when it is politically expedient to do so, just as it made them feel endangered when this was needed – expect some ‘It’s Morning in America’ guff sometime soon (to boost consumer spending) followed by ‘A Nuclear Bomb the size of an iPod!’ guff (to boost Republican votes among the disenchanted youth) when it comes to the next elections.

    Provided there is a steady supply of foreign-speaking beardy baddies to hold up as Public Enemy Number One, the possibilities of such an approach are limitless.

  • Davros

    Provided there is a steady supply of foreign-speaking beardy baddies to hold up as Public Enemy Number One, the possibilities of such an approach are limitless.

    So, you think we should blame Gerry visiting the USA for the Bush victory ?

    (sorry, couldn’t resist! )

  • slackjaw

    🙂

    No Davros.

    It would be unreasonable to expect a swing from Gerry Adams’ beard.

  • davidbrew

    He appeals to those who are guided by “freedom/faith/flag” as gut instincts rather than by rational analysis of situations.-

    Interesting how Willow is so dismissive of the raisons d’etre of Unionism. So why are you a Unionist then, Willow-the economy, stupid?

    The idea of freedom is actually quite important don’t you think? In any event Karl Rove’s big 3 were actually Family/faith /flag-actually not bad principles for a politician.

    And just think what we could have done with the Patriot Act against your pro-Agreement allies in SF/IRA! Plus the RICO Act might have come in useful; and Rudi Guiliani running the RUC…almost makes you think the government wasn’t serious about defeating terrorism-possibly a rational decision as opposed to a gut instinct that it was right. I know which I prefer.

  • willowfield

    DB

    Interesting how Willow is so dismissive of the raisons d’etre of Unionism.

    The raison d’etre of unionism is not freedom/faith/flag! Its raison d’etre is maintaining the Union. You don’t need to be a right-wing monetarist, a fundamentalist Christian, or a flag-waving patriot to be a unionist. If you did, nationalists would win a referendum tomorrow.

    The idea of freedom is actually quite important don’t you think? In any event Karl Rove’s big 3 were actually Family/faith /flag-actually not bad principles for a politician.

    Sorry. You’re right. But “family” is pretty much a euphemism for social conservatism and intolerance of those who don’t conform. Again, you don’t have to be a social conservative to be a unionist.

    And just think what we could have done with the Patriot Act against your pro-Agreement allies in SF/IRA!

    I imagine it would have been counter-productive, like internment.

    Plus the RICO Act might have come in useful; and Rudi Guiliani running the RUC…almost makes you think the government wasn’t serious about defeating terrorism-possibly a rational decision as opposed to a gut instinct that it was right. I know which I prefer.

    Never fails to amaze me how intelligent people can dismiss reason. Why don’t you convert to Roman Catholicism and let the Pope decide all your views for you?

  • Henry94

    willowfield

    Why don’t you convert to Roman Catholicism and let the Pope decide all your views for you?

    I am surprised to see a sectarian remark like that from you.

  • willowfield

    [sighs with exasperation]

    It’s meant to be a bit of humour, knowing that Mr Brewster is big on Presbyterianism which is supposed to be founded on reason as opposed to church authoritarianism, yet he is now knocking reason in favour of “conviction”.

    Stop being so sensitive. I can’t stand this taboo about discussing, or even mentioning, religion.

  • willowfield

    Sectarianism is bad. Kneejerk accusations of sectarianism are a bore.

  • DCB

    Agree that there is no chance of Arnie becoming president. But would be make such a bad president. His views are really conservative democrat, he certainly is no arch right winger. He’s generally socially modertate, backing stem cell research. He’s done a good job in a state that was considered ungovernable.

    And of course he could easily win a landslide.

    Who will the republicans push as the sucessor. Could it be another Bush, or could it be Code Rice – the first black women president is lets face it going to be a republican

  • DCB

    Oh and Bush is about as fiscally conservative as Etlon John with a black amex card

    Kerry at least acknowledged the need to do something about the defecit. Chaneys clib assertion that Reagan taught us that defectis do not matter terrifies me. Kerry did worringly deal in protectionist rhetoric but he nearly always voted free trade

  • Dec

    Silver lining time but with Kerry losing it clears the way for Hilary in 2008.

  • willowfield

    Why exactly is Hilary Clinton such a favoured candidate?

    PS. Arnie would be more acceptable than Bush.

  • Keith M

    smcgriff “I’d suspect the size of Kerry’s support would have won most, if not all, previous elections.”. This falls into the “if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle” kind of logic. The only reason Kerry’s vote is up is because of turnout. In share terms he didn’t do much better than Gore. Add the Nader effect (for four years we’ve listened to how Nader “stole” Gore’s support) and it’s not a good result for the Democrats. Add the results from Senate and the House and it’s a disaster.

    Does anyone actually know why Arnie go elected? He is not a right-winger or a conservative, but rather from the libertarian section of the Republican party. If you are going to dismiss him, better that you do it knowing what he stands for rather than just a few careless soundbites.

  • willowfield

    In share terms he didn’t do much better than Gore.

    Gore got a bigger share than Bush. If Kerry got less than Bush but not much more than Gore, does Nader account for the difference?

    Does anyone actually know why Arnie go elected? He is not a right-winger or a conservative, but rather from the libertarian section of the Republican party.

    Because he’s a celebrity? Because the Democrat guy fucked up? Because California is a liberal state?

  • davidbrew

    Willow
    the Union is only an Act of Parliament. Unionism is a philosophy, rooted in monarchism, religion, and Conservatism but not confined to them. Perhaps the decline in support for those particular beliefs is part of Unionism’s problem but not mine since I espouse those beliefs. It’s the UUP which needs to address the probelem of the post-Unionist (in my definition of the term)voter-and for all the effort all they’ve come up with is Laird Lord’s quasi-racial Ulster-Scot, which hasn’t really brought into the fold any more supporters.

    If you believe in rationalism as the basis for political philosophy,then you must base your Unionism on economics (-and see excellent post from George elsewhere on the economic strengths of RoI, which if prolonged must eventually force an economic endorsement of leaving the Union at a future date)or base it on the social contract between the UK Government and NI citizens. The Act has been and can be amended , superceded, revoked etc etc, to redefine your relationship with Westminster. In the 1870s we voted Liberal just like the rest of the Celtic fringe, and could reasonably claim greater integration into UK contitutional and political life than more recently.

    Presbyterianism is big on the covenant between God and man, as Unionism is big on the contract between governed and government-actually a readical and empowering philosophy which features strongly in US political theory, and completely unlike the flabby Toryism you seem to be attributing to me.

    Tories, like Roman Catholics, are too wedded to tradition. Whigs, like traditional Ulster Unionists respect but do not worship tradition. New Unionists,like New Labour don’t give a stuff for tradition or inherited ideas, but simply believe they should be running the country just because they’re superior.

    If I’ve misrepresented why you’re a Unionist, hop over to Kane’s thread and debate

  • maca

    “right-wing monetarist, a fundamentalist Christian, or a flag-waving patriot” so that’s what a nationalist is, i always wondered … eh!?!

    Also agree on the sectarian remark. Perhaps a smiley would have been appropriate.

  • Emily

    California is a mostly liberal state. Leave the coastal areas, and you’re knee deep in redneck country. There are counties where Bush took a huge percentage of the vote. Governor Schwarzenegger was elected because he’s very charming on TV, he’s a liberal Republican, and the other Democrat that was running was just Gray Davis Junior. It wouldn’t make sense to boot a guy out of office just to replace him with a his political clone.

  • willowfield

    DB

    the Union is only an Act of Parliament. Unionism is a philosophy, rooted in monarchism, religion, and Conservatism but not confined to them.

    So if the UK became a republic would you cease to be a unionist? Is it not possible for an atheist to be a unionist? Or a liberal?

    I disagree. It is not a “philosophy”. It is a political preference for the maintenance of the Union: a preference to maintain the constitutional link between (Northern) Ireland and Great Britain.

    Perhaps the decline in support for those particular beliefs is part of Unionism’s problem but not mine since I espouse those beliefs.

    If unionists believe that monarchism, religion and conservatism are requirements for being a unionist, then they’ve got a losing ticket. With such a definition you’ve just “disenfranchised” people like me as unionists. If you are able to identify that a decline in support is due to unionism making these criteria for being unionist, yet you are unwilling to make unionist more secular and less conservative, then you are not a very good politician.

    It’s the UUP which needs to address the probelem of the post-Unionist (in my definition of the term)voter-and for all the effort all they’ve come up with is Laird Lord’s quasi-racial Ulster-Scot, which hasn’t really brought into the fold any more supporters.

    That’s a pathetic offloading of responsibility. But I suppose it sums up the DUP. We’ll do the flag-waving and rabble-rousing, the UUP can do the hard stuff (but we’ll make it hard for them and come in at the end and spoil it all in our own short-term electoral interests).

    If you believe in rationalism as the basis for political philosophy,then you must base your Unionism on economics

    I don’t consider unionism to be a philosophy.

    While valuing reason, I do not deny that identity is an emotional and therefore irrational concept. I recognise that I cherish my British identity for emotional reasons in addition to rational social and economic reasons for preferring the Union.

    But that does not mean that I accept that emotion or “conviction” are the appropriate responses to all political issues, which is my criticism of the Bush tendency and – apparently – you.

    And just because there are many people like me and you with an emotional attachment to their nationality (and a consequent desire to maintain it) does not mean that unionists can ignore rational arguments in their efforts to maintain the Union. For there are many people in NI with no emotional attachment to the Union but who are open to rational arguments in favour of the Union. And these people’s have votes.

    (-and see excellent post from George elsewhere on the economic strengths of RoI, which if prolonged must eventually force an economic endorsement of leaving the Union at a future date)

    George’s arguments, far from being excellent, are nonsensical. He claims that the “slashing” of public spending without a buoyant private sector to soak up the consequent unemployment would benefit the NI economy. He further claims that this will be the consequence of a united Ireland.

    New Unionists,like New Labour don’t give a stuff for tradition or inherited ideas, but simply believe they should be running the country just because they’re superior.

    I disagree. But it is deeply depressing if your kind of thinking is representative of unionism. You’re heading down a dead-end chasing a shrinking constituency. The 1950s are over.

  • James

    Willowfield:

    “But I agree with Keith’s essential point: I see no reason why someone born outside the States should be barred from office. As long as he or she is a US citizen and is properly elected I don’t see a problem”

    The requirement was put into the Constitution as a politically motivated act to exclude Alexander Hamilton from the Presidency. It will stay there as a political act to deny Schwarzenegger the presidency. It’s not fair, so what else is new?

    It also does not matter. Schwarzenegger is also going to have to show that he’s good for the Republicans if he wants any support from the RNC. We just showed them that he is a “pitiful helpless giant” to cop a phrase from Nixon.

    McGiff:

    “Now, I can’t think of America without thinking of a spoiled child, populated by red necks.”

    Smile when you say that ‘podna, themins ma kin.

    Exclude the coastal regions of the US with the exception of Dixie and you have Bush country. The South and the midwest have always been culturally conservative so Bush capitalized on this. Who wouldn’t? Like I’ve said, he knows how to play the angry white male like a virtuoso.

    The coastal regions are still full of 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants so the culture of these regions is not as static as it is in middle America and Dixie. The entrepreneurial regions like Silicon Valley and Rte. 128 are located on the coasts and, if you want to get to where it’s happening, you have to flyover the rest of the country. That’s why it’s called Flyover America.

    Also bear in mind that 17% of this population are quaking in their boots and believe the likelyhood of attack has increased since 1/11. Add to this the 1 in six that I’ve documented on Slugger as being just plain barking mad and all you have to do is scrounge up another 16% of political true believers and you get access to the ICBM launch codes for four years. Yup, wimps, wackos and wonks: That’s all you need.

    “Does anyone actually know why Arnie go elected?”

    By a cunning subversion of the Democratic process by the Republican Party. It was a really admirable scam.

    Schwarzenegger got 3.6 million votes.

    Davis got 4 million votes to remain in office. Too bad for him, he got 5 million votes to get outta Dodge.

    So Davis outpolled Schwarzenegger by 500,000 and lost his job. Neat, huh?

  • davidbrew

    “You’re heading down a dead-end chasing a shrinking constituency. The 1950s are over”

    is just about the only point in Willow’s lengthy post worth repsonding to, since his Unionism seems incompatible with mine, based as it is on a robotic calculation of what is best for him at this moment in time. He’s a Unionist-while the actuarial tables permit
    The only point I want to make is -G W Bush.
    The shrinking constituency did all right for him.

  • willowfield

    DB

    You’d do well to actually read what people write before you respond to them.

    DB: since his [willowfield’s] Unionism seems incompatible with mine, based as it is on a robotic calculation of what is best for him at this moment in time. He’s a Unionist-while the actuarial tables permit

    what willowfield actually said: I recognise that I cherish my British identity for emotional reasons in addition to rational social and economic reasons for preferring the Union.

    The only point I want to make is -G W Bush.
    The shrinking constituency did all right for him.

    Unionists are not competing for votes in the United States. The constituency is not shrinking in the United States. It is in Northern Ireland. (And I imagine very few Bush supporters are monarchists.)

    Failure to distinguish cultural and political differences between the United States and Northern Ireland is another concern for me if you are representative of unionist politicians.

    Not wanting to respond to the other points is a head-in-the-sand response.

    You seem to have no interest in doing anything other than appealing to a shrinking constituency of “traditional unionists”. That’s just short-termism and a shirking of responsibility.

  • willowfield

    Being a unionist does not mean being a right-wing social conservative. Britishness is diverse: that is one of its attractions. Those of us who aren’t old before our time and who have liberal views have as much right to be unionists as David Brewster and like-minded old-before-their-time fogies.

    Maybe he should have stayed in the UUP to socialise with the octogenarians and reminisce about the good old days before homosexuality was invented and when we had the Empire.

  • smcgiff

    Kerith M,

    “if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle” I’d be surprised if anyone in your family had them.

    “The only reason Kerry’s vote is up is because of turnout.” Well done. We’ll make a detective out of you yet. Now, for another square of chocolate, why was the turnout so high? I’ll tell you, it’s because 51% of Americans think GWB is the second coming, while 49% realise he’s a wanker!* Dividing America results in a shallow victory to my mind.

    * I’ve deleted the 17 expletives I originally wrote, and settled for this much milder description.

    James,

    “Smile when you say that ‘podna, themins ma kin.” I only wish I could. Maybe in a couple of week’s time.

    ‘The coastal regions are still full of 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants so the culture of these regions is not as static as it is in middle America and Dixie.’

    I’m not sure I agree with this. As much as I respect your opinion on maters US, I don’t think this is a major factor. I do agree with the success of his tactics, now if I could only believe he did it for such cynical reasons and he wont wake up in the middle of the night and hear voices telling him he’s a modern day Noah. “Cleanse the earth my son.”

  • Davros

    “if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle” I’d be surprised if anyone in your family had them.

    Does playing non-balls count as man or ball ?
    Made me smile !

  • smcgiff

    Well, I WAS playing the ball wasn’t I? *Wince*
    🙂

  • James

    McGiff:

    “I only wish I could. Maybe in a couple of week’s time. “

    Cheer up. Things could be worse. You could be paying for it like I am.

    “I’m not sure I agree with this.”

    OK. Not a problem. It was a glib, rough cut. Refine it to areas with more contact with cultures or ideas not intrinsic to the mother culture. For a heads up go to the NYT or the Washington Post and note that those three regions of blue states awash in a sea of red are clustered around the international air hubs of O’Hare, Logan, JFK, LAX, SFO and SeaTac.

    Millie reported the phenomenon, sans the multicultural theory, in California. We are a microcosm of the nation. In large areas around LA and San Francisco people voted heavily for Kerry. In the valley, towards the Sierras and in the shitkicker regions of north central California they voted heavily for Bush.

    A more dodgy take on the blue/red phenomenon is the IQ chart my daughter just emailed me. Fact or fuel for your prejudices, I don’t know, but it can’t be any worse than 60 Minutes. I think California got a raw deal, though, left coasties are a hell of a lot smarter than right coasties.

  • davidbrew

    “You seem to have no interest in doing anything other than appealing to a shrinking constituency of “traditional unionists”. That’s just short-termism and a shirking of responsibility.” -Willow

    You’re the one talking about activating new Unionists-how is it going? Not very well I fear. I believe in preserving the base-always most likely to vote ,and then expanding. Trimble has comprehensively lost the base, but has never attracted new voters-the Referendum 100000 were Bono/Blair voters. And Eddie haughey still only has 1 vote, less than 2 Orangemen in Limavady.

    At the risk of this seeming a criticism of the sainted Arsene, its more important to keep the defence solid than to have the airy fairy stuff. Trimble doesn’t even have a Thierry, never mind a Pascal Cygan

  • willowfield

    DB

    The base is shrinking. God-fearing conservatives are not a growing constituency. Protestants are not a growing constituency.

    Think about it.

  • Sonny

    Watching John Kerry give it up so quickly like a virgin on prom night reminded me of how nonetheless satisfied a pragmatic Chinese Communist is when he loses out to a Hardliner in some Communist Party struggle because well at least a fellow Communist has won. Too bad in a sense because the Electoral College vote isn’t until next month and with the unraveling of voter fraud as procured by Diebold election machines there is always the possiblity of faithless Electors (as in many elections past) giving Kerry the constitutional nod. But don’t hold your breath.