Jewish World Review Nov. 8, 2004 / 25 Mar-Cheshvan 5765
Debra J. Saunders
Better than you are, and out of power
The front page of London's Daily Mirror sums up why George W. Bush won re-election. "How can 59,054,087 people be so dumb?" the headline read.
It must be frustrating for Our Betters in Europe and all the special people in the Bay Area who set out to bury Bush. They're so smart, so superior, so golden, so worldly, and they spent buckets of money on the election only to lose because hicks in flyover states preferred Dubya to John Kerry. To add insult to injury, there are fewer Democrats in the House and Senate, despite their earnest efforts.
Or perhaps because of their earnest efforts.
Let me say that Kerry didn't condescend when he talked to or about voters. And many of his supporters, maybe most, did not show contempt for middle America. But the kind tones of the campaign could not drown out the condescension that so frequently was part and parcel of Bush-bashing.
The Guardian of London waged a campaign that invited Brits to lecture voters in Ohio's Clark County on why they should dump Bush. Cheeky.
There is the long list of lefties gazillionaire George Soros, who donated some $30 million to defeat the president; actress Janeane Garofalo, who likened Bush policies and rhetoric to the Third Reich. It's delicious, I must admit, that Soros dedicated so much money to getting out the vote and his efforts succeeded in energizing the Bush vote.
In a sense, 2004 is 1996 in reverse. Except, in this case, the highly personal hits against Bush resulted in his winning a clear majority of the popular vote, while a reviled President Clinton won only a plurality in 1996.
Another area where the left showed it thought itself better than the rest of America? The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that the state's ban on same- sex marriage was unconstitutional a ruling that could affect states across America. Then San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced that California's marriage laws were unconstitutional and directed City Hall to marry same-sex couples.
Newsom not only showed contempt for the majority of Californians who voted against same-sex marriage in 2000, his actions also told Middle America that, given power, arrogant liberals had no compunctions about placing themselves above the law.
I can tell you from the e-mails I received from across the country: Many Americans were frosted because they believed Newsom was getting away with breaking the law. They figured they'd be hauled to jail if they played the same game with, say, the assault-weapons ban. They rankled at the double standard.
"Since when does a mayor of any city, conservative or liberal, have the ability to unilaterally" ignore a state law that was passed by the voters? asked Democratic consultant Garry South. South dismissed Newsom's nuptials as "overreaching," as it ended up hurting the Democrats' "ability to win national elections."
As California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein told reporters this week, "I believe it did energize a very conservative vote. It gave them a position to rally around. The whole issue has been too much, too fast, too soon."
No lie about the rallying. Thanks to Massachusetts and Ess Eff, there were 11 states with measures on their ballots to ban same-sex marriage. The measures passed in all those states, which included the key swing state of Ohio.
Now I hear from liberal readers belittling voters who cite "moral issues" as key in their choice to vote for Bush. In their comfy world, only liberals are moral because they oppose the war in Iraq. They bash Bush voters for giving into "fear," when they themselves have surrendered body and soul to hate.
I feel for Democrats this week because I've been on the losing side. I know what it means to believe your party is right, then watch it go down.
But there is some justice in the fate of rabid Bush-haters, who thought they were so smart, so superior and so articulate. They were convinced Kerry would win because they were so isolated they didn't know any Bush supporters.
Now, it seems, the rock concerts didn't work. P. Diddy didn't help. The New York Times opinion pieces didn't settle the election, and celebrities didn't do the trick.
The Daily Mirror asks how 59 million voters can be "so dumb." But if the left is so smart, how did it manage to drive so many voters Bushward?
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© 2003, Creators Syndicate