August 14, 2004

Could Be Trouble

I've often thought that part of the reason the Clinton years were so vicious was that many Republicans simply couldn't accept Clinton as the President. GHW Bush seemed to be so invincible after the first Gulf War, that Republicans came to see his re-election as inevitable, and felt cheated when he did win--especially because of the Perot factor. So some people didn't feel as though Clinton should have the opportunity to govern.

(I've heard of an interview with Robert Bartley, then editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal, where someone said to him (quotes approximate) "Sometimes it seems as though you don't consider Clinton legitimate," and Bartley responded, "He didn't win a majority." I was shocked when I heard this.)

So I'm disturbed to see this poll reporting that Republicans expect GWBush to win by a margin of 76% to 7%. Perhaps this is mere home team rooting, of the kind I do myself; but if people haven't accepted that Bush might lose reelection, I fear a Kerry victory will lead to some extra nastiness, particularly since Democrats are pretty ticked off as well. And I don't know how much more vicious our politics can get.

Posted by Matt Weiner at August 14, 2004 10:41 AM