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Mandate: an authorization to act given to a representative

Three hundred and thirty two electoral votes, 61 million popular votes, 50.5% of the electorate. What in the name of all that is good and holy – trickle down economics and plastic jesus – just happened?

Not a mandate!

It took Republicans all of about 10 minutes after their crushing electoral defeat on Tuesday night to declare the result was not a mandate for the incumbent. Pay no attention to that election behind the curtain!

The results apparently only reinforce the tired, if perpetually reinvented, narrative that we are an evenly divided country. Implicit in this argument is, we're not going to get a damn thing done.  Just the way conservatives like it - no hope, no change, no nothing.

Gracious losers, these Teabag Patriots.

The 'no mandate' crowd is all over the airwaves right now. The media love nothing if not to prove their independence by poo-pooing Democratic advances.  So, on with the Frankenstorm of conservative pundits and pols to deny the undeniable!

Denial is their bag.  Evolution, climate change, the Big Bang, rape, a two party system.  Hey, you name it - they'll deny it.  Reality be damned!

We highlight just a few of the denialists here.

Charles Krauthammer, Dr. Strangelove to confederates, wasted no time on Tuesday night minimizing the effect of the drubbing, painting as rosy a picture for the Republican Party as his dour personage could muster. Of the president's victory he opined:

"In order to win reelection, he went small, stayed small putting together his constituencies here and there. And he put it together enough that he won. If he manages to win the popular vote, it will be very small, if there’s any. And even in the electoral, I think it will be a very small majority. Particularly if Virginia and Florida will go to Romney. So this is not a mandate in the number, or in the way that he campaigned. He did not campaign on any ideas. Anything large. Anything important."

Dr. Charlie got the popular vote wrong and screwed up on Florida and Virginia, too.  Poor man - premature prognostication and all.  But, we digress.

The increasingly vile Mary Matalin had an agitated exchange with Van Jones on CNN this Wednesday. A composed Jones argued for bipartisanship against a nearly unhinged Matalin who, between venomous swipes at the president, screetches, “he has no mandate!”

The lovely Mary: VIDEO

Charming ectotherm, Mitch McConnell, had a classless, if cold, congratulations for the president. In part, his statement read:

"The voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the President’s first term, they have simply given him more time to finish the job they asked him to do together with a Congress that restored balance to Washington after two years of one-party control."


"I'm a recalcitrant asshole who doesn't respect the Office or the People. No mandate for you!"

Thanks for the moment of unity, Mitch.  Back to the obstucterrarium.

Problem for Mitch and the crew is that we have some history with this mandate stuff. Like 2004 when a Republican incumbent was, reportedly, reelected. What do you think this crowd had to say back then?

Dr. Strangelove on Dubya's 2004 victory:

“Later than most two-term presidents, George Bush got his mandate. To be sure, he did get one on Sept. 11 from Osama bin Laden but, until Tuesday, not from the American people. The bin Laden mandate gave him freedom of action on a very large scale (two wars, the Patriot Act). With it he produced a remarkable success in Afghanistan and a still-unresolved war in Iraq. Above all was the one inescapable if unspoken fact, greatly overlooked in explaining this election: Three years had passed since Sept. 11 and, against all expectations, we had not been attacked again.

This election was a referendum on Bush's handling of his first, accidental mandate.”

Mary Matalin on Dubya's 2004 victory:

"So I think he ran on an agenda, he increased his margins everywhere with every--almost every demographic in particular for the future, Hispanics and the black vote, women, seniors, across the board.  So that is pretty much grounds for a mandate, and we're predicting some progress on that agenda."

Old Mitch McConnell was the Republican Party Whip in 2004 so he hid from public view and did all of his devious work behind the scenes. Quietly. Can anybody guess if he thought Dubya had a mandate? Old slow and steady sure as heck did.

Surprise!  The troop of hypocritical Howler Monkeys flip and flopped from their 2004 positions. Why not?  Worked great for Mitt.

Assuming Florida decides to finish its vote count, Obama beats Bush by forty-six electoral college votes in his reelection bid.  But Bush gets the mandate?

Doesn't work that way boys.  Reality matters.

There was an election on Tuesday and a decisive result.   In it, the voters conferred to their given representative an authorization to act.

The president has a mandate to govern for the next four years.  He must act on that mandate - forcefully. To heal a nation still hemorrhaging from too many years of Republican rule and obstruction. The nation demands it.

After careful consideration, Mitt Romney's request for authorization was rejected.  Incomplete and unsatisfactory application!

A loyal opposition would work now for the good of their country.  A loyal opposition would accept the mandate of the people.  

What ever happened to a loyal opposition?  The Teabaggers must have shoved it overboard along with that inconvenient passenger known as reality.

humanist cafe


Was the 2012 Election Result a Mandate?

98%100 votes
1%2 votes

| 102 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Alter-verse continues (5+ / 0-)

    in fact - in freeper world, Obama didn't even get 50% of the vote.  The election was stolen by rampant voter fraud.

    Oh and the apocalypse is coming in case anyone was curious.

    A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people ... restore their government to it's true principles.

    by maddrailin on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 06:01:06 AM PST

    •  Apocalypse (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      yes, i keep hearing of this apocalpyse - and the wingnuts keep moving the date back.  my popcorn is getting cold!

      thanks for the comment.  have a great weekend~


      ~ truth through reason ~

      by heycoachb on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 06:34:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Reality what a concept! (5+ / 0-)

    Where will Republicans go for Reality,

    Now that Fox News has been shown to be stuck in a bubble,

    where Facts are barred at the door.

    good post, great theme,  heycoachb.

    we must keep hammering on their hypocrisy,

    until they stop doing it.

    Isn't it time to fix the Filibuster?
    -- Here's how.

    by jamess on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 06:02:01 AM PST

  •  they will never concede obama got a mandate. (4+ / 0-)

    these are the same people who think st ronnie won the cold war & sadaam hussein was behind 9/11 -- oh, & the south didn't lose the civil war.

    those on the left should give up the hope that the right will ever get over their delusional vision of reality.  it just ain't gonna happen. ever.

    besides, wishing makes it so :)

  •  I'm not sure why this label matters (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    heycoachb, VClib, nextstep

    The country re-elected the President, a Democratic Senate and a Republican House.  The country put divided government back in place.  

    As you correctly point out, the winner in a Presidential election almost always says he got a "mandate."  Really, in my mind, the only winners who can lay claim to that are people who win a really decisive majority of the popular vote, like FDR in 1936, LBJ in 1964, and  Reagan in 1984.

    But if the President wants to say he has a "mandate" with a little less than a 3% win, and Republicans want to say that he doesn't, I'm not sure why it matters all that much.  Whatever the President wants to call his victory, he still has to deal with the fact that the voters also put Republicans in power in the House and that any legislation that gets enacted has to be able to get through both the Democratic Senate and the Republican House.  

    Do people here really think that if they use the word "mandate" enough, Republicans in the House will cave in completely to what the President wants?  That's fantasy.  

    •  Well Argued! (0+ / 0-)

      A mandate does not suggest an ability to influence Teabag obstructionists.  All levers of power must be employed against them.

      Thanks for the read.  Have a great weekend ~ HC

      ~ truth through reason ~

      by heycoachb on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 06:52:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  History will judge whether or not this was (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    heycoachb, litoralis

    a mandate. If the economy continues to recover and we can drag Congress out of their obstructionist hissy-fit to get some things done, the achievement will tell the story. In the mean time, let the vanquished lash out in their death throes. It's all they've got.

    Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

    by cassandracarolina on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 06:52:13 AM PST

  •  Having a propaganda version of reality (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    heycoachb, a2nite, MaikeH

    is like an athlete competing with steroids.

    In the beginning, using steroids helps hit home runs, but with abuse over time,  personality and psychiatric changes occur....

    ...without visible triggers or reasons.  They include:

        Extreme mood swings
        Increased aggression or irritability
        Becomes disrespectful or abusive (verbally and/or physically)
        Poor decision making stemming from feelings of invincibility
        Becomes secretive and/or starts lying
        Withdraws from family members
        Depression (usually when steroids are discontinued)
        Hallucinations - seeing or hearing things that aren't there
        Paranoia - extreme feelings of mistrust or fear

    Fox News is acting like it needs to go into rehab.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 06:53:40 AM PST

  •  Charles Krauthammer, 1988: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    heycoachb, litoralis, MaikeH

    A Mandate To Govern Is A Matter Of Majority

        The "mandate'---nonsense has been going on nonstop since election night. Every half-hour, one maven or another declares that George Bush won the election, but no mandate. The insistence on this point is curious, since Bush never asked for a mandate. In fact, he never even presented an agenda. He held a referendum on the status quo and won in a walk.

        Bush's only promise was more of the same. And as Eisenhower made clear in titling the first volume of his memoirs, mandates are for change. If you want reform or revolution, you need a mandate. If you promise continuity, you need only a majority.

        So why the fuss about mandates? It is a preemptive attack on Bush's legitimacy. When Democrats defiantly declare that they refuse to give Bush the mandate he never asked for, they are not being tautological. They are being acutely political. It a high-sounding way of saying that Bush may have won on paper, but because he won in a way of which one disapproves, he is not entitled to the full powers of the office.
        Congressional Democrats may be in no mood to listen to President Bush. They have the perfect right not to listen. But mandate talk is a subtle way of saying that they have a duty not to listen.
        It is a way of saying: We are authorized to resist President Bush not just by the nature of our congressional vote, but also by the nature of his presidential vote, correctly understood.

    "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

    by CFAmick on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 07:20:48 AM PST

  •  Karl Rove is driving me crazy. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    heycoachb, MaikeH

    He keeps using the insanely stupid argument that Obama is the first president to win a second term with a smaller margin than his first.

    And, so? How is this meaningful? He won. And, really, GWB had no option but to win his second term with a larger share of the popular vote than his first. He lost the popular vote in his first election. There really wasn't anywhere but up there.

    It's so insanely, insanely stupid.

    by Magenta on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 07:50:13 AM PST

    •  Great point ... (0+ / 0-)


      The porcine wonder is beside himself.  Might have something to do with the 400 million he blew on this election.

      He doesn't ever seem to mention that Romney has less of the popular vote than McCain/Palin.  Slightly embarrassing?

      Thanks for the read.  Have a great weekend - HC

      ~ truth through reason ~

      by heycoachb on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 08:30:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How do we tell the general population what the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    problems really are?  They voted for the president.  How do we make them aware of ways they can help him accomplish what they elected him to do?  I think we need a progressive "Rush".
    As chilling as that sounds.

    I don't believe in god, but I'm afraid of him. -Gabriel Garcia -8.75, -8.97

    by malevola on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 08:07:06 AM PST

    •  True (0+ / 0-)

      MSNBC and Current TV have helped but more is needed.  Particularly sine the MSM is so receptive to the conservative message and so disdainful of the progressive message.

      Have a great weekend - HC

      ~ truth through reason ~

      by heycoachb on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 08:32:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe Obamacare can help (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Mary Matlin with whatever she did to her face.

    •  What is ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... going on there?  She no longer looks human.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that she hasn't acted human in quite some time.

      Thanks for the read.  Have a great wknd - HC

      ~ truth through reason ~

      by heycoachb on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 08:37:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "mandate" is what the winner makes of it, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    not the loser.

    Arguing whether a claimed mandate is valid or not, and what the loser thinks is kind of meaningless.  A mandate is a psychological construct that winners project to allow them to exercise power and claim dominance - both in terms of political direction and ideology. The intended audience for a mandate claim isn't the loser, but the public and one's own party. The loser will always dispute the claim, of course, and can be ignored.

    "I don't cry over milk spilled under bridges. I go make lemonade" - Bucky Katt

    by quill on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 08:31:59 AM PST

  •  Far from a mandate (0+ / 0-)

    50.5%.  Retained Repub majority (tho' slimmed) in the House.

    No mandate.

    The real question is whether there are enough moderate Republican House members, and not-too-awful Blue Dog Democrats, to get things passed in the House.

  •  Here's your motherf@#king mandate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MaikeH, heycoachb
    "The people made it clear what they wanted," he said. "I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and I intend to spend it."
    This was a quote from a president who won re-election by the slimmest of margins in 2004:

                            Bush                 Kerry

    Popular vote    62,040,610    59,028,444
    Percentage    50.7%            48.3%

    The votes aren't even all in yet and so far Obama has won by a larger % and by more votes.  Not to mention by a wider electoral vote total (332-206) than the 286-251 Bush won by.

                            Obama             Romney

    Popular vote    61,681,462    58,488,199
    Percentage    50.6%              47.9%

    At this point any time one of these assholes even attempts to trot out the no mandate argument we should simply respond 'go fuck yourself'.

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 09:24:41 AM PST

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