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Author Topic: John Kerry Pleasantly Surprised Me.....
Daruma28
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Thank you Senator Kerry.

Thank you for not taking us through another debacle like the one in 2000.

I fully expected the Senator to do a Gore Redux....and he surprised me by being magnanimous. If this nation that has been so divided can truly be healed, it is your first step that could perhaps be looked on in the future as the critical first step.

My estimation of the Senator has improved a whole lot more than I ever thought possible.

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aupton15
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I'm sure he feels just wonderful about that.
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Weezah
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I agree. I am very impressed by his conceding. I honestly thought that he wouldn't with out draggin us through a court battle. I reiterate as well, thank you Senator Kerry. I hope that we can start healing the nation and find mutual ground on which to have productful, meaningful political debate.
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Gaoics79
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"I fully expected the Senator to do a Gore Redux....and he surprised me by being magnanimous"

It wasn't really the same as 2000, where the margin was less than 1000, and Gore had won the popular vote. In this election, with Bush so clearly ahead in the popular vote, and the margin at 140,000 votes in Ohio, it would have been extremely difficult for Kerry to seriously challenge the results the way Gore did.

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towellman
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I was torn between wanting Kerry to challenge to the detriment of the democratic party and wanting him not to for the good of the country.

He showed class and that he cares for the good of the country.

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Snowden
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I think he would have surprised you more if you would have elected him. He is a good, smart man.
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Daruma28
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Oh no doubt he feels like total crap today. But it's what a man does when the chips are totally down that truly reveals his character. Kerry has shown us that he has what Al Gore didn't. Kerry has spared us from a HUGE, nation dividing argument that would have had far, far reaching consequences.

My personal philosophy I think applies here:

There's no shame in losing if you gave it your all. The basic fact of life is that someone has to win and someone has to lose. If you gave it your absolute best effort and never quit even when the going got rough, hold your head up with pride and take comfort in knowing you did your best. The only shame in this life is for being a quitter (unless you're quitting a self-destructive behavior).

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Weezah
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I think we can all concede that both men are smart and good without hurting our polical prospects. I wish we would see more of that.
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OhPuhLeez
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quote:
Kerry has spared us from a HUGE, nation dividing argument that would have had far, far reaching consequences.
Don't kid yourself...we have ourselves a serious nation-dividing argument here that will continue for at least the next four years.
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towellman
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Yes, there are real divisions on issues, but because of Kerry the validity of the president's election won't be a dividing force.
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Daruma28
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OPL - we will no longer have this "Selected, not elected" and "illegitimacy" and "he lost the popular vote" type rhetoric that has inspired so many to levels of hysterical demagougery. If kerry would have challenged, coupled with what happened in 2000, we may very well have seen the begginnings of a very real civil war.
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OhPuhLeez
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I reiterate - we have a very real civil war.

Legitimacy and election aside, this country is divided and a war of some sort will be waged.

This is a sad time for me and many, many other people.

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Omega M.
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I'm surprised he did it. It's not as though a controversy had erupted yet.

I'm probably being paranoid here, but I wonder if the Democrats are now waiting for Bush to not say, "Let's just count all the votes and see," so they can accuse him of being too covetous of the presidency.

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aupton15
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There's really not much of a point in playing politics with Bush at this point. He's in, and he can do basically what he wants. I just love that it takes the day AFTER the election for people to concede that maybe the country wouldn't have been doomed if Kerry had been elected. I think "civil war" is not a stretch here. The people angry about this administration are not just fringe crazies. Our cultural differences in this country are not new, but the lines we are drawing because of them are getting thicker and harder to cross. If Bush moves forward appointing conservative judges, and policing the world against the will of the world, these divisions will only be deeper by the next election. This is not a trend to continue, if it can be helped.

[ November 03, 2004, 01:14 PM: Message edited by: aupton15 ]

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jim beam
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quote:
Originally posted by OhPuhLeez:
quote:
Kerry has spared us from a HUGE, nation dividing argument that would have had far, far reaching consequences.
Don't kid yourself...we have ourselves a serious nation-dividing argument here that will continue for at least the next four years.
Now isn't that the sad truth!
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jim beam
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Still debating with yourself what 9/11 really means.
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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
If Bush moves forward appointing conservative judges, and policing the world against the will of the world, these divisions will only be deeper by the next election.
Of course. Only appointing liberal judges would be considered non-divisive.

Let's face it...any democrat president will try to appoint judges that are left of what a republican president would appoint. Any republican president will try to appoint judges that are right of what a democrat president would appoint. This is not new.

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aupton15
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But there is a center in all of this. I'm not asking Bush to please the Kennedys, I'm asking him to not try too hard to please the conservatives on the other end. I just don't think it is an appropriate move given what the people of the country want. If he had won a landslide election I wouldn't be raising this issue at all, but this is very bitter right now. I think some peace offerings are in order, especially since he doesn't have to run for office after this. He really has the opportunity to do the right thing with fewer political repurcussions. Just writing that makes me think this could be the greatest or most terrible thing in American politics. The 2nd term of a president.
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Daruma28
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quote:
I'm asking him to not try too hard to please the conservatives on the other end.
Anyone not enthralled with the idea that Bush was some sort of extremist conservative would know that much of the conservative base in this country is extremely unahappy with Bush's first term because of the run away spending, signing the NCLB act, signing McCain-Feingold, steel tarrifs, failing to control the borders, increased farm subsidies and failing to adequately stand by some of his judicial nominations -- especially Estrada.

I do believe the ABB/hate Bush movement and the war on terror helped to get those disillusioned conservatives to the polls and vote against Kerry instead of for Bush. IF we were not in wartime, I do believe Bush would have lost miserably with a protesting Conservative base staying home or voting third party.

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Gaoics79
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"I think "civil war" is not a stretch here. The people angry about this administration are not just fringe crazies."

True, but anyone who would resort to actual violence in the wake of a Bush victory is a fringe crazy.

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aupton15
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I also know that he has thrown a bone or two to this conservative base or he very well might have lost. I'm worried that he will see the Supreme Court as his legacy, as a decision that will outlast even his precious tax cuts. And if he looks at it that way, there is a good chance he could choose someone that would divide rather than unite. I think if he looks, he can find a justice who will read the constitution honestly, and make decisions based on that. A person who does that will not appear to be conservative or liberal. They will appear to be fair. Maybe I'll take this up later when an appointment is made. Maybe he'll do this well, and I won't have anything to worry about. Maybe...
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Daruma28
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Don't get too worried. Sandra Day O'Connor was appointed by Reagan, and she hasn't turned out to be a real "conservative."
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aupton15
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jasonr, I'm not talking about a violent civil war. I'm talking about a struggle between two vastly different sides who are getting further apart and more passionate in their differences. I don't think this is going to lead to a violent struggle in the physical sense. I think opposition to Bush is going to be stronger for the next four years than it was in the last four, unless someone does something to try to unite the two sides. It's the extremity of the situation that makes "civil war" appropriate.
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Lobo
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aupton,

What are the "vastly different sides" that you are refering to?

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aupton15
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I'm talking about the two politically, culturally, and in many other ways opposite sides in this country. I don't think it breaks down strictly along party lines, but I think it's close. If there isn't some common ground between them soon, I think the process will continue.

Daruma, that's the kind of thing I'm talking about exactly. I think O'Connor has been on different sides of different arguments based on how she understands the constitution. If Bush holds his appointees to that standard I will be happy with him. I'm not sure Bush and Reagan are really comparable though. I'm just going to wait and see.

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Daruma28
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My overall point is that Reagan was a true conservative, while Bush Jr. is no true conservative.
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Gaoics79
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"And if he looks at it that way, there is a good chance he could choose someone that would divide rather than unite. I think if he looks, he can find a justice who will read the constitution honestly, and make decisions based on that. A person who does that will not appear to be conservative or liberal. They will appear to be fair"

I don't know, while I am personally pro-choice, I sincerely think an honest and fair reading of the constitution might not support Roe v. Wade. It's hard to imagine how you could have a compromise on this issue. Either the judge will be pro-choice or pro-life. Since judges these days are apparently expected to impose their own personal politics on everyone else, I doubt the pro-choicers are going to be happy with any choice Bush is likley to make.

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Gaoics79
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"I think opposition to Bush is going to be stronger for the next four years than it was in the last four, unless someone does something to try to unite the two sides."

I disagree. No one can claim the election was "stolen", nor can they bitch about the electoral college or the popular vote. It will be very difficult to seriously oppose Bush on the same level that they did the last four years. That being said, of course, the Michael Moores and those with no shame will always oppose Bush no matter what, but for the less fantatical, I expect more discouragement and introspection than anger or opposition, at least for the time being.

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DonaldD
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On a sort of separate note - what is the technical effect of conceding a presidential election?

I'm not talking about this election obviously (2000 comes to mind), but - mandatory recounts still happen, things could change in theory, there are all those provisional votes that don't get counted until way after the election. What if a candidate concedes, then actually garners a majority in the electoral college?

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Daruma28
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I don't know Donald....but the many Florida recounts all showed that Bush actually did win in 2000, yet that didn't prevent a large segment of the left - including Dems on the floor of the House - from stating that Bush was "selected" or "illegitimate" or that Florida was a "coup de tat."

You also have to remember that a complete recount of even provisional ballots may/may not affect ONLY Ohio. There were a lot of other states that had razor thin margins that also have absentee ballots from overseas to count as well.

Even if Kerry does end up getting Ohio with a full accounting of the Provisional votes, another critical state that was formerly for him may actually turn back over to Bush.

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DonaldD
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Right - so what if (in 2000) Bush had conceded after Florida was prematurely called for Gore?

And then, hours later (or possibly after some number of recounts later) Bush was shown to have won. Say Bush didn't "unconcede". Would conceding have had any practical effect (since, by the time the electoral college vote would have come around, Bush would have had the majority)?

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ben5
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but say they found Kerry to be the winner of Ohio, right now, would he be president?
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Daruma28
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I don't know. I guess we'll have to just research concessions and whether or not they are binding regardless of the final tally.
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Daruma28
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OK - a quick Google surch on "Electoral Concession Reversal" found this little FAQ page: Presidential Election Law

quote:
Q - 3. Does a concession from a Presidential candidate have any legal significance? For instance, it was widely reported that Bush was "miffed" at Gore's withdrawal of his election night concession. But, even if Gore had let his concession stand, if it had turned out the next day that he had clearly won Florida, wouldn't he nonetheless be the President-Elect? Obviously, a concession now would bring a likely end to all challenges to Bush's certified Florida win, and have the effect of making Bush the clear winner; but even still, what if Gore conceded on Dec. 12th after, say, an unfavorable Fla. Supreme Court ruling in the contest case, but then later, say before Dec. 18th, the Seminole case threw out enough Bush votes to make Gore the winner (which was sustained on appeal, etc.). Does Bush, the clear loser (in this hypothetical), remain President-Elect just because Gore said "I concede" six days earlier?

A concession has no legally binding effect. Presumably a concession by Gore would be accompanied by a request that his allies cease litigation efforts on his behalf and everything gets dismissed as moot. Still, until the electoral college votes, Congress opens and accepts, and the hand goes on the bible, anything can theoretically happen. However, the scenario we experienced with the retracted concession, like most everything else of the past month, is very, very unusual and was attributable to the erroneous media reports that we all were relying on. So if there is another concession, it will be for keeps.

So I guess it means that if the provisional ballots show that Kerry won Ohio and everything else stands pat, the Ohio electors could change their electoral college vote giving the election to Kerry. Nothing is official until the Electors from each state cast their electoral votes.
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Daruma28
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So when is the official electoral college vote tabulated?

From Ben's Guide to US Governmnet for Kids.

quote:
After Election Day, on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, these electors assemble in their state capitals, cast their ballots, and officially select the next President of the United States. Legally, the electors may vote for someone other than the candidate for whom they were pledged to vote. This phenomenon is known as the "unfaithful" or "faithless" elector. Generally, this does not happen. Therefore, the candidate who receives the most votes in a state at the general election will be the candidate for whom the electors later cast their votes. The candidate who wins in a state is awarded all of that state’s Electoral College votes. Maine and Nebraska are exceptions to this winner-take-all rule.

The votes of the electors are then sent to Congress where the President of the Senate opens the certificates, and counts the votes. This takes place on January 6, unless that date falls on a Sunday. In that case, the votes are counted on the next day. An absolute majority is necessary to prevail in the presidential and the vice presidential elections, that is, half the total plus one electoral votes are required. With 538 Electors, a candidate must receive at least 270 votes to be elected to the office of President or Vice President.


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foliated
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My understanding, from watching CNN last night and reading online (see the US Embassy to Mexico, of all places, here: http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov/ecollege.htm)

is that each candidate has a slate of electors pledged to him, and each set was chosen at each candidate's party convention. In Ohio, a winner-take-all state, that means that if Bush officially wins, one set of people are in the Electoral College, and if Kerry wins, another set of people are in the Electoral college.
Mind you, this is after the official tally, which doesn't even seem to *begin* till November 13 (see the interesting calendar at this web site: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/pubaffairs/elections/elecalen.pdf)
I have never read that a candidate's concession has any legal force. All I've read seems to indicate that the only thing that counts is the official tally of votes. Which, if you think about it, is probably the way it should be. After all, does Kerry *really* know or have power to determine wheter every vote in Ohio was valid?

but then again, I'm not a lawyer, so perhaps someone around here who is one could inform us all on this?

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foliated
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ok, I screwed up the URLs in the last post so here they are again:

The US embassy to Mexico page: http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov/ecollege.htm

and the Secretary of State of Ohio page:
http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/pubaffairs/elections/elecalen.pdf

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aupton15
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To jasonr:
"I disagree. No one can claim the election was "stolen", nor can they bitch about the electoral college or the popular vote. It will be very difficult to seriously oppose Bush on the same level that they did the last four years. That being said, of course, the Michael Moores and those with no shame will always oppose Bush no matter what, but for the less fantatical, I expect more discouragement and introspection than anger or opposition, at least for the time being."

In 2000 I think the average voter didn't know what they were getting with either candidate. While there were certainly some Democrats who were upset by the outcome, I think the average American (even those who voted for Gore) didn't have the anger and disappointment that many feel today. I'm not talking about the rational reasons to oppose Bush, like the popular vote argument in 2000. I'm talking about the fear of the way he governs, of his ideology, that many people have. I think that if he doesn't soften that, we will be even more deeply divided by the end of his second term. I sincerely hope I'm wrong, but there are definitely a lot of angry people out there right now, and they are not just the crazies on the far left.

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WarrsawPact
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The concession speech being what it was was the smart political move to make, for himself and for the party. I've studied too much of Kerry's Senate career to totally change my opinion of him.
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