The Democrats had their ass whipped this week... but it isn't as bad as the media would like us to believe.

In short: Gay sex (i.e. gay marriage) was the deciding issue. Josh Marshall has an excellent post on this very subject. Rumors of gay push-polling abounded over the last month, but I doubt that any Dem expected the conservative base to be this energized over an issue. In fact, they seem to be as rabid as the ABB crowd, if not more. I don't know of any reports of a team of Democrats crucifying a Republican like a group of crazed bigots killed Matt Sheppard. If these people don't get their way, then they form vigilante groups. The Dems aren't that ABB!

But is the end for the party? Nope. No incumbent President in recent history has won re-election with fewer votes than Bush has. No incumbent President in recent history has served a second term without a major scandal. In addition, Bush has a huge mess to deal with, and is running out of time to blame Clinton and 9/11. Senate Intelligence investigation, Valerie Plame investigation, record deficits, record debt, spriraling energy costs, etc. The next four years are going to be hard for America, even with Kerry in the lead.

This isn't over for the Dems at all. The Red/Blue divide is basically identical to that of 2000. In addition, Americans still embrace a large number of progressive programs. They may have elected Bush, but they don't want to repeal Medicare, social Security, Head Start, etc.

It's time to pick up the pieces and move on. This is a very small mandate for Bush, and he and the GOP will realize that there are no more scapegoats for them now. When the Red States start losing their children during the Fallujah offensive, they can only blame themselves.


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