But in case you haven't ...
Josh Marshall makes an important note about the youth vote. He's right that more young people came out to vote than ever before, but it was countered by more older conservatives as well so the overall percentage of voters stayed the same. With the total vote looking to be about 115 Million, however, it seems that there's still a good 5-10 million people, many of whom I would bet are under 30, who didn't make it out and were probably expected to. He then goes on to note the very important point that this election potentially "portends very bad things for America's role in the world. He notes that we have the power to change domestic policy every 2-4 years, but the image and stature of America is only partially controlled by us. "The world, though, is different. There we are just a ship -- though the largest one -- on waters we can never truly control. And I fear that this result will set in motion dangerous dynamics that even the relatively young among us will be wrestling with and contending with for the rest of our lives." Unfortunately, I think he's 100% right. Maybe Bush can right things with the rest of the world, but saying that's doubtful would be a major understatement.
Andrew Sullivan, via an email he received, discusse one potentially positive element of a Bush win, accountability. "Now, Bush will face the consequences of his own policies and we will be able to judge him on that." That's very true, and as much as this was a huge win all around for Republicans, if their policies prove to be inadequate, it could also be the party's downfall, potentially as soon as the next mid-term elections. I'm not rooting for that by any means. I would much rather live in a safer and more prosporous Republican world than a struggling Democratic one. But now more than ever, Bush will have to live-up to his own (bizarre) criticism of Kerry: "You can run, but you can't hide." He has a congress more in the hold of his party than it was before, and his vision of things will be put into play. If it doesn't work, he and his entire party will have no one to blame but themselves, although I'm sure they'll try.
Matthew Yglesias cautions anyone "against deluding themselves into believing that a second Bush term won't be so bad." Kevin Drum agrees with him, although he also says, "Like Newt Gingrich four years ago, I suspect he's going to find out that he doesn't quite have the mandate for radical conservatism that he thinks he does." I think it's somewhere in the middle, but what's important is that the people who came out on election day and who suddenly started paying attention to politics to stay involved even when there is not a big election at hand. However, the Democrats do need to be careful, because if they're going to oppose Republican ideas, they need to be able to give specific reasons why those ideas won't work as well as what their alternative solutions may be. I would bet that Kerry's not actually mentioning a way to fix Social Security hurt him even with people who are against Bush's possible plans to privatize it. If the Republicans are able to continue to brand Democrats with the label "obstructionist," whether there is any truth or not to the term, they will always win.
Kos mentions that "The (Terry) McAuliffe reign has ended in disaster, with the Democratic Party in worse position electorally than when he came in as Chair in February 2001." I mentioned this pending leadership change, along with the departures of Dick Gephardt and Tom Daschle, earlier today, and I think short of the Democrats actually winning anything, it's the best thing that could happen for the party. This was an old and tired leadership who couldn't speak to anybody. McAuliffe was absolutely awful as the head of the DNC, utterly failing in every responsibility belonging to his job. Most importantly to me, as a registered Democrat, I couldn't watch or listen to the guy. He gave me a headache. Ed Gillespie, the RNC chair, was annoying with his constant smile and chuckle, but at least he was slightly entertaining. The only bad thing about McAuliffe being out of a job is he'll probably now get one as a pundit on one of the cable networks. In the best of all worlds, McAuliffe and Donna Brazille would go off somewhere and write books nobody will read without making appearances on television where they make fools of themselves. And Carville should go back to running campaigns, where he knows what he's doing, instead of turning off voters. Here's hoping the Dems can get behind someone new and craft a message that will speak to everybody; not just current Democrats, not just undecideds, but everybody.
The Rude Pundit deals with "The Five Stages of Grieving for George Bush's Re-Election." While he describes himself as too "disgusted" to provide any "insight today," he does seem to be heading toward "Acceptance" by Friday. As usual, while he is most definitely "rude," he's also very much worth reading.
Kevin Drum also has his own little wrap-up and mini look ahead, written before Kerry conceded but acknowledging the probably loss of Ohio, which is well worth reading. I totally agree with him that we shouldn't lash out at Kerry, and how he was a terrible candidate. I think unlike in 2000 when Gore ran a horrible campaign and clearly lost what should have been his election, Kerry didn't run a bad campaign; he was just plain beaten, and while all the "get out the vote" talk was related to how it would help Kerry and the Dems, the fact is that the Republicans managed to mobilize their people as much if not more.
Tom Hall over at his indieWIRE blog Back Row Manifesto also looks at what the outcome of this election means beyond simply who won and loss. My favorite quote: "First of all, in a campaign that was run on the 'They Hate Our Freedoms' rhetoric of the President, it turns out no one hates our freedoms more than US." Sadly, truer words have not been written today.
I'm sure that's enough for now.