November 16, 2002
Landslide SchmandslideThe ever sane Ted Rall weighs in on the 2002 election on Yahoo in "Requiem for the Democrats". The party in power has picked up congressional seats in a midterm election before, Rall says, during periods of crisis. Specifically he mentions 1934 under Roosevelt during the Great Depression, and 1962 under Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. "Fear tends to reward the party in power," Rall says, "even when it's caused by the party in power."
Rall says: "Republicans have already declared this election a mandate for fouling the environment, appointing extremist right-wing judges to the federal bench and giving more tax cuts to ultra-rich individuals and businesses. You've got to admire their nerve: a mere 22,000 voters going the other way would have left Democrats with control of both the House and the Senate. Prior to Election Day the electorate was evenly split with a slight advantage to the Democrats; now the Republicans enjoy that slight advantage. This razor-thin victory bestows no 'mandate.'"
So let's not go overboard about this great Bush victory. Of course the corporate media will do that because that is their job. It's especially critical for them to call this a mandate for Bush since he didn't win his own election in 2000. It didn't stop him from declaring he had a mandate for his extreme right wing positions then, and it surely won't now. And the corporate propaganda machines will bolster that idea. But we know better.