New York Times Goes After President Bush’s Mandate Yet Another Way

November 23, 2004

Ever since the election secured President Bush’s second term, the Old Media has been working on other ways to thwart his agenda, most notably, his supposed lack of a mandate. I won’t dwell here on my earlier point that the Constitution doesn’t differentiate between presidents who won by landslides and those who won by narrow margins. All have the same authority. Though it should be stated that the president’s victory was decisive and convincing with a three and a half million vote majority. And just look at the red/blue map if you want to see the geographical distribution of the vote margin. It must make liberals feel powerfully alienated.

The Old Media, nevertheless, keep talking among themselves and trying to convince others that President Bush just doesn’t have much authority since the election was “close.” They keep exhorting him to be conciliatory, meaning to accede to major parts of their agenda.

Most of this nonsense has fallen on deaf ears. But Old Media stalwart The New York Times is nothing if not persistent. There is more than one way to skin a cat, or a loathed Republican President. Along with CBS, the Times conducted a poll to determine where voters stand on the issues following the election.

The Times reports in an article today that while “Americans are optimistic about the next four years under President Bush,” they “have reservations about central elements of the second-term agenda he presented in defeating Senator John Kerry, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.”

The Times says:

At a time when the White House has portrayed Mr. Bush’s 3.5-million-vote victory as a mandate, the poll found that Americans are at best ambivalent about Mr. Bush’s plans to reshape Social Security, rewrite the tax code, cut taxes and appoint conservative judges to the bench. There is continuing disapproval of Mr. Bush’s handling of the war in Iraq, with a plurality now saying it was a mistake to invade in the first place.

Can you believe these people? Do you see their novel argument here? A Republican presidential candidate doesn’t just have to win — and win by a big margin — to have a mandate (and thus the right to pursue his agenda). A strong majority of Americans must support him on each and every agenda item for him to have the moral authority to pursue those agenda items. (I was talking earlier about liberal logic, but this takes the cake.) But why not? Under this formula, liberals, effectively, would never be out of power. Sometimes you just have to wonder if these people ever get out of their Eastern-based cubicles and talk to anyone who doesn’t share their worldview.