Snap back to reality

In 2004, Bush beat Kerry 50.7% to 48.3%. In this year’s election, Obama beat Romney 50.8% to 47.5% (these numbers may change to numbers that are slightly more favorable to Obama as more votes are counted). Yet Bush had a mandate and Obama does not.

Discuss.

62 replies
  1. 1
    gVOR08 says:

    One of the few things W knew was that a “mandate” is what you make of it.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    Only one real difference – today, we still have divided government because of the House. Everything else about mandate is just spin.

  3. 3
    Raven says:

    Dare I say it’s all bullshit?

  4. 4
    MattF says:

    Duh. Obviously, some votes count more than others.

  5. 5
    Yutsano says:

    Well jeez DougJ, even I know this one: W was a Republican, anything 50%+1 = instant mandate. Obummer could win 75-25 and still we’re a center-right nation and he should govern from the center. Thus sayeth Teh Narrative, peace be upon it.

  6. 6
    Downpuppy says:

    Mandate? I always enjoyed the Bush is Gay rumors.

    Come to think of it, everything about Bush except his record was pretty funny.

  7. 7

    Well, that’s because Obama bought all those votes with gifts and everyone knows the black vote went for him just because he’s black, amirite? That doesn’t count.

  8. 8
    the Conster says:

    That’s because Bush won and Obama cheated, libtards.

  9. 9
    Anya says:

    Why do you keep ignoring Obama’s blackness?

    On election night, before any votes from the West Coast were even counted, Matthew Dowd was angrily declaring that Obama’s victory came with no mandate and the President has to acknowledge that in his speech to the nation. What’s interesting is not one single person reminded him that the votes were not counted yet.

  10. 10
    Anya says:

    Why do you keep ignoring Obama’s blackness?

    Why is the media invested in Obama’s lack of mandate? On election night, before any votes from the West Coast were even counted, Matthew Dowd was angrily declaring that Obama’s victory came with no mandate and the President has to acknowledge that in his speech to the nation. What’s interesting is not one single person reminded him that the votes were not counted yet.

  11. 11
    IowaOldLady says:

    Also the votes Obama got don’t really count because they’re from those other people.

  12. 12
    maya says:

    Yet Bush had a mandate and Obama does not.

    Simple. Obama has a mandingo. Which is only one-half of a mandate

  13. 13
    geg6 says:

    @Anya:

    Agreed. Despite what Derf and his friends love to point out as our own racism here at BJ, the racism of our “elites” is as toxic as it ever was. No black man or woman (of whatever color) will ever be allowed to claim a mandate, even if they won all fifty states and 99% of the popular vote. Not as long as the msm we have today is still around to proclaim what is and isn’t true, regardless of what reality actually is.

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    You don’t even have to go back a coupe, of elections to prove the double standard. Just look at what e.g. Dick Morris said before and after the election. Before the election, he predicted Romney would win in a landslide with 325 Electoral Votes. After the election, he noted that Obama won a squeaker of an election with a mere 332 votes.

  15. 15
    kyle says:

    Yet Bush had a mandate and Obama does not.

    As it turned out, and quite quickly, Bush did not have a mandate. See the Social Security trainwreck of 2005.

    Obama has a better claim, in that he campaigned hard on raising rich-guy taxes. Despite this post’s premise, I haven’t heard all that many pundits and reporters saying otherwise. Somebody mentioned Matthew Dowd. But he’s a Republican, so what do you expect?

  16. 16
    PsiFighter37 says:

    I don’t know why Bush claimed he had a mandate. They banned an awful lot of gay marriage in this country that year.

    /lameass_rimshot

    PF37 +4

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    These are people who make up their own polling numbers in order to create their own reality. Making up shit about something as squishy as a “mandate” is easy peasy for them.

  18. 18
    wrb says:

    Obama cheated wrong

  19. 19
    SatanicPanic says:

    Too easy, next question!

  20. 20
    j says:

    Because Obama won in a landslide against McCain, and Bush had to have his daddy’s friends appoint him to his first term as “appointed resident”. So Obama is the illegitimate one, donchaknow?

    As for 2004, Bush needed Roves vote switching magic computers to steal that one, and in 2012 it was another Obama rout over the Mittbot.

    THe GOP is butthurt that their vote switching didn’t work either time against Obama. First because of the sheer number of Democratic votes in 2008, and due to Roves switcheroo not going through this time.

  21. 21
    JPL says:

    Bush not only had a mandate, he was fighting two wars. Must not criticize the President when soldiers are dying overseas, don’t you know. hmmmph…

  22. 22
    Central Planning says:

    IOKIYAR. SATSQ.

  23. 23
    Mike G says:

    The Chimp lost the popular vote in 2000, then governed ruled like he’d won 60-40.

    IOKIYAR.

  24. 24
    Ash Can says:

    Obama knows better than to say stupid shit about mandates and political capital. He’s already emphasized to recalcitrant Republicans that a majority of voters have said that they want to see the wealthy shoulder a bigger share of the revenue burden. He doesn’t have to say anything else (and the Republicans will be assholes anyway, as will the pundits).

  25. 25
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Because the Republicans, as grotesque as they are, CLAIMED IT AND OWNED IT.

    Something the Dems are constitutionally unable or unwilling to do.

    Why? You tell me.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    It isn’t as if the media wasn’t working overtime to make it look like Romney had a shot, even when it became clear that he didn’t. Declaring that Obama has no mandate is their way of saying “We weren’t right, but we weren’t really wrong either.”

  28. 28
    Ben Franklin says:

    Discuss-ted….

    fuxed

  29. 29
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Ash Can: A 7% popular vote margin didn’t mean shit to the Republicans in 2008; why the hell would a 3.3% margin in 2012 tell them another message? Their fucking solution to the problem is have George P. Bush run as another token Hispanic Republican in Texas and have Jeb Bush run in 2016.

    Goddamn, if we were talking about Romney taking us back to the Bush policies, the GOP solution is to do it literally. Apparently, the solution was that the guy selling Bush-era policies wasn’t authentic enough.

  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Rethuglicans are always given a mandate by the Village to buttfuck the poor.

    Dems never get a mandate to so much as admonish the rich.

    Yet another in a seemingly endless series of reasons why Villago delenda est.

  31. 31
    Dave says:

    What are you talking about? No one is really suggesting Obama lacks a mandate.

  32. 32
    MikeJ says:

    On the other hand, I really wouldn’t care if Romney had won by 20 points, I’d still want the Dems in Congress to do everything they could to delay his plans to destroy everything.

  33. 33
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @dmsilev:

    You don’t even have to go back a coupe, of elections to prove the double standard. Just look at what e.g. Dick Morris said before and after the election. Before the election, he predicted Romney would win in a landslide with 325 Electoral Votes. After the election, he noted that Obama won a squeaker of an election with a mere 332 votes.

    Dick Morris needs to be vivisected on the Mall as part of the Inaugural ceremonies.

  34. 34
    Baud says:

    @Dave:

    No one is really suggesting Obama lacks a mandate.

    The usual suspects (Fox, other conservatives, and their various MSM shills) have suggested that. From what little media I’ve seen, I don’t think it’s become conventional wisdom yet. Right now, most of the media seems focused more on the OMG! FISCAL CLIFF! HIDE THE CHILDREN! narrative.

  35. 35
    El Cid says:

    If it would get them anywhere, and nobody would disagree or get in their way, Republicans would claim that the 2012 election gave them a mandate to rewrite the Constitution.

    They don’t give a shit about what’s true — if they and their flying monkeys in the media can start screaming about whatever and then get their lapdogs in the billion dollar media to invite them on and echo the same things and so forth, they’ll do it.

    Hell, look at Boehner trying to claim that the willingness of Obama to negotiate something or other regarding the fiscal incline talks means that Obamacare should be on the table, because why the fuck not?

  36. 36
    the Conster says:

    @El Cid:

    look at Boehner trying to claim that the willingness of Obama to negotiate something or other regarding the fiscal incline talks means that Obamacare should be on the table

    I haven’t been paying attention, but has that gotten anything other than a LOLWUT in the MSM? I’ve been getting a vibe that the Villagers are a little relieved that the election results mean that even they don’t have to keep ignoring teh Tea Party crazy now, if Joe Scar is what still passes for a Republican establishment weathervane.

  37. 37
    Redneck Jeebus says:

    I’m reminded of that legendary POLITICO bit where they say Obama will be the winner of gays, single women, Hispanics, blacks, Asians, people who believe in science and people who don’t watch CSI.

    A broad mandate it is not.

  38. 38
    spoonman says:

    “Yet Bush had a mandate and Obama does not.”

    Says who? Arianna? Greenwald? Noonan?

    Looks like DougJ doing what (he thinks) he does best. Concern trolling for his buddies at Brietbart.com or whatever.

  39. 39
    Jim Pharo says:

    Oh! Oh! I know! I know!!

    …one of them is white?

  40. 40
    Keith G says:

    One significant problem with the point of this post is that it seems to assume a static reality and a powerless progressive grass roots.

    An energized electorate can still give Obama a mandate as well as a bundle of demands that he can be nudged to address.

    Unless the plan is to just hang around here and carp about how unfair things are. We can help author this destiny or we can just give each other group hugs while pointing out David Brooks’ terminal silliness.

    Action or irrelevance?

  41. 41
    Felonius Monk says:

    Election is over — we won! Time to kick ass and take names. Then it will be a mandate.

  42. 42
    Charles says:

    The much more important statistic is that Democratic House candidates got more votes than Republican House candidates.

    Only due to gerrymandering are the Republicans in control of one house of Congress. They have no mandate whatsoever. They are usurping power.

  43. 43
    Baud says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    Exactamundo. Mandate is as mandate does.

  44. 44

    Obama doesn’t have a mandate because his election relied on the votes of blah people.

  45. 45
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn) says:

    I hafta say, I’m with Spoonman, Keith G., et al.: What’s with the pity party? We won; let’s get over it. I’m sensing Obama is all out of bubble gum, and we need to step it up and join the chorus in announcing, “Chewing time is over, mo fos!”

  46. 46
    El Cid says:

    @the Conster: Yeah, but it was ridiculous to begin with. The point is that Boehner doesn’t care if it’s ridiculous, he’ll throw it at the wall and see if it sticks. If it gets him nowhere, he’ll haul out the next doozy.

  47. 47

    Just to keep perspective going here, 2005 GOP held House, Sen, & Pres; in ’09 Dems held House, Sen, & Pres; in ’13 House – GOP, Sen – Dem, & Pres – Dem. You can make the case that 09 with filibuster proof Sen there was as much mandate as there ever has been in modern history. Of course that is considering what the ’09 (D) Caucus was… and when it finally got there…

    I don’t discount gerrymandering in the House results this time around, but big talk about mandates is pointless with the House as it is. I’m afraid I’ll laugh my ass off if somebody starts talking about the GOP House acting in the interests of the nation or the will of the people.

  48. 48
    FlipYrWhig says:

    “Mandate” is like “momentum” or “will” or “chemistry” in sports. You have it when you’re winning, and you lose it when you’re struggling, and it’s a description of what’s happening, not a causal predictor… despite what the idiot announcers will say in order to seem savvy.

  49. 49
    FlipYrWhig says:

    And, as many other people have already said, Obama obviously “had a mandate” in 2008-09 by any recent definition of that phrase, on the strength of winning the election big and having high approval ratings and power in Congress. And the Republicans still worked overtime to sabotage the whole operation, and largely succeeded — all of which proves that even if there WERE such a thing as A Mandate, it wouldn’t produce what it’s supposed to produce, a compliant opposition and lasting public support. If you can’t define it, and can’t use it, there’s basically no sense in treating it like a thing that exists.

  50. 50
    Donut says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Hey, I have an idea. Why don’t you run for office, big guy? You just seem to have it all figured-the-fuck out. Whatever your problem is, I think it is high fucking time you quit flapping your fat mouth and do something about it. Seems like the Democratic Party, nay, the country, really needs your guidance. I’ll sign your fuckig ballot petition. Fire it up, Sparky. You only have three years before the campaigning for the 2016 primaries really gets started!

  51. 51
    Ajaye says:

    Same reason why the deficit only matters when a Democrat is in the White House, sexual indiscretions are unforgivable only for Democrats, bi-partisanship is the MOST precious thing only when Democrats hold the balance of power, it is treasonous and un-patriotic to criticize only Republican presidents, Republican governors are allowed to push through radical agendas minutes after taking office, but Democrats are always accused of “ramming legislation down the throats” of the oppressed populace even after years of debating…etc etc.

  52. 52
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    Don’t wake the wingers up from their fantasies.

    Pulling numbers strictly from my nether regions, I think Obama was under a 10-point disadvantage in 2008, just because of his race. If he’d been exactly the same guy, only white (and without the Arabic first and middle names, of course), he would have won by at least Nixon/McGovern proportions (maybe not Roosevelt/Landon, but who knows?)

    I think a lot of voters just couldn’t bring themselves to pull the lever for a black candidate. I’m not saying their motivations were even conscious in many cases, but I think 10% is a good guess. In 2012, that may have been down to ~7% as a lot of older voters died off and nothing terrible happened just because there was a black man in the White House.

    By 2016 that automatic white advantage might be down to 5%—but in all probability, the Republican candidate won’t have it any more! So let them keep telling themselves that Democrats are the true racists and all their other rationalizations, they’re going to go into 2016 thinking they have a 5% advantage that they can’t admit to themselves they’re counting on, and which won’t be there.

    The consternation is going to be epic.

    (Let me emphasize again that I’m making up the actual numbers, but I think the trend is valid anyway.)

  53. 53
    Narcissus says:

    I still wanna know who Gannon was fucking.

    Bush did have a thing for bald dudes.

  54. 54
    TG Chicago says:

    In 2004, Bush beat Kerry 50.7% to 48.3%. In this year’s election, Obama beat Romney 50.8% to 47.5% (these numbers may change to numbers that are slightly more favorable to Obama as more votes are counted). Yet Bush had a mandate and Obama does not.

    Of course, as we all know, the election is decided by electoral votes, not popular. And Obama’s win was far larger in the EV count than Bush’s in 2004.

  55. 55
    Brachiator says:

    In 2004, Bush beat Kerry 50.7% to 48.3%. In this year’s election, Obama beat Romney 50.8% to 47.5% (these numbers may change to numbers that are slightly more favorable to Obama as more votes are counted). Yet Bush had a mandate and Obama does not.

    Obama is the duly elected president of the United States. Period. End of issue. Quibbling over percentages is a waste of time. Hell, even Dubya realized this.

    And yeah, I expect the GOP fools to reject this and to rationalize their obstructionism. This is where we are, and it is not going to change any time soon.

  56. 56
    cald says:

    Well not for nothing but Mr. Bush only thought he had a mandate. And even he didn’t end up thinking that for long. If you recall, his second term was such a disaster, almost from day one, that even Mr. Oblivious/Time-for-My-Nap(/Vacation) himself was finally forced to notice. Let’s hope Mr. Obama fares better. Certainly he is a much harder worker than our last president. Perhaps that counts for something.

  57. 57
    Heliopause says:

    Yet Bush had a mandate and Obama does not.

    Yes, he did, he had a solid majorities in the House and Senate. Luckily for us, Bush was so intellectually weak and his GOP comrades so comfortable with power that they did minimal damage in his second term.

    And I don’t know what quantum universe you’re in if you don’t perceive that Obama’s victory is being portrayed as mandate-ish. He goes on TV every day and says so himself, pundits of all stripes are saying that he enters the “Fiscal Cliff” negotiations from a position of strength, GOP bigwigs are falling all over themselves to put “revenue on the table.” Stop whining about your supposed victimhood, you’ll never be as good at it as conservatives are.

  58. 58
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    Black. Blackity black black black. Black black. Black? Black!

    Negro.

    End of discussion.

  59. 59
    Thymezone says:

    Bush had a mandate and Obama does not.

    Duh. We’ve invented Republicans. Who knew?

  60. 60
    benintn says:

    Bush overplayed his hand – badly. And Republicans paid the price in 2006 and 2008.

    Do we want to go the way of the Republicans in 2006 and 2008?

  61. 61
    benintn says:

    @Heliopause: Um. wait… Bush didn’t do too much damage in his second term? Do you remember that whole “worst economic crisis since the Great Depression” thing? Or the “troop surge”? Or the trillion dollar deficits?

  62. 62
    brantl says:

    In 2004, Bush beat Kerry 50.7% to 48.3%.

    First of all, Ohio was cheated, so it’s unlikely that Bush even won the electoral collage, BECAUSE HE DIDN’T WIN OHIO. Look into the history, and you will find that Bush flat-out didn’t win Ohio. Blackwell cheated it for him.

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