So Bush won.
1. It goes without saying that I think this was a disastrous vote in favor of incompetence. Daniel Davies posed a challenge a while back on his old blog that I can't be bothered to find the link to:
Can you name a Bush policy that,
a. Was a major foreign or domestic policy initiative of the Bush administration.
b. Is something I heard of.
c. Was not fucked up in execution?
As far as I know, he did not recieve a good answer.
Expect to see more of that over the next four years.
2. On the other hand, there are some reasons to be optimistic in the short term. I really don't think very much can go wrong in a second Bush term, regardless of how competent the President is.
- The economy seems to be recovering on its own.
- The Iraqi elections in January should provide the U.S. with a pretext for withdrawal. As long as they are conducted in a relatively orderly fashion, I expect Bush will use this pretext. What we are likely to end up with is an Afghanistan-style farce: a nominally democratic central government without much power over most of Iraq, where militias loyal to local factions will rule.
3. It goes without saying that the U.S. is in for huge economic problems over the long term due to the retirement of baby boomers(see here and here for example). This was always the case; but Clinton's efforts to spend responsibly and use the resulting surplus to pay down the national debt at least put us in a position to start considering ways to save social security. Bush destroyed that.
4. Particularly devastating, to me, is the role the anti-gay-marriage initiatives played in increasing evangelical turnout in swing states.
5. If the Democratic party is to survive and remain competative, it must resist the calls, already pouring in, to get more liberal. The American electorate is considerably more conservative than the socially liberal core of the Democratic party; ignoring this will turn Democrats into an American version of the NDP in Canada or the Liberal Democrats in the UK.
6. So - I was so depressed after the results last night that I forgot to go to class this morning and turn in my homework. This is particularly unfortunate because I need an A in this class to become a doctoral candidate (damn you, W. ) I'm about to email a .pdf version of the files to my TA. Should I say I overslept or mention that I was depressed from a Bush victory and hope to play on the likely liberal views of the TA? Comment!