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E.J.’s World

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From E.J. Dionne’s column this morning:

The surge happened. Votes are still being tallied, but it appears that the Democrats emerged with at least as large a margin in the popular vote in House races this year as Bush enjoyed in winning two years ago.

This is simply wrong. 

Here is a longer post on the subject, but to use just one example from it:

In the 2004 presidential election, George Bush gathered 2,859,764 votes in Ohio, 1,178,649 more than Mike DeWine’s 1,681,015 earned on Tuesday, and 726,059 more than Sherrod Brown’s 2,133,705.

Nearly 1.6 million Buckeye voters stayed home last Tuesday than turned out for the presidential election.

It was a very standard sixth-year election, a defeat for the incumbent party atypical only in the narrowness of the losses and small size of the new majorities’ margins in House and Senate.  Huffing and puffing for a Democratic mandate won’t change the facts of 2004.  The Republicans lost a round a week ago.  It was an unnecessary loss, but not a disastrous one.  Dems have already fallen to fighting among themselves and calling for Vietnam 2.0.  The upside for the GOP is going to become very clear very fast.

Clarity is a wonderful thing.



Bravo, Claudia. Bravo Ambassador Bolton.

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If Ambassador Bolton is refused an up-or-down vote by the Senate, I will join Claudia in the necessary fund-raising drive to collect and donate his salary to him. 

I heard a lecture by the New York Times’ James Traub at the Newberry Library in Chicago yesterday that convinced me Bolton is the greatest thing to happen to the U.N. since Ambassador Kirkpatrick.  If Lincoln Chafee’s seemingly infinite mediocrity prevents Bolton from having an up-or-down vote in the Senate, President Bush should again use his recess appointment power to keep Bolton at his post. ( I believe but am not certain that President Clinton followed this path with Bill Lann Lee.)  Bolton would then serve without formal pay, but as Claudia notes, there are thousands of Americans willing to help keep him at his post if the president is willing to do so.  Some third party would have to emerge as a trustee for the donations so that Bolton was unaware of who had donated to the cause, but that’s the detail stuff.  President Bush has an opportunity to signal seriousness when it comes to his authority over the Executive Branch.  I hope he does so.

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