First, he notes Bush strategist Matthew Dowd's comment that "Mr. Bush had become the first incumbent Republican president to win a presidential race with majorities in the House and Senate since Calvin Coolidge in 1924, and the first president of either party since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936 to be re-elected while gaining seats in both houses." That's a sobering fact.
Second, he hints at an issue that will make many progressives uncomfortable when he cites former Clinton aide, Rep. Rahm Emmanuel (D-IL): "Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter got elected because they were comfortable with their faith. What happened was that a part of the electorate came open to what Clinton and Carter had to say on everything else - health care, the environment, whatever - because they were very comfortable that Clinton and Carter did not disdain the way these people lived their lives, but respected them."
Elsewhere, on the editorial pages, we're treated to some great analysis -- still no game plan, however -- from several mainstays:
- Thomas Friedman says it feels like two different Americas now exist, such that "it felt as if we were rewriting the Constitution, not electing a president."
- Maureen Dowd is scathing and pessimistic: The president says he's "humbled" and wants to reach out to the whole country. What humbug. The Bushes are always gracious until they don't get their way. If W. didn't reach out after the last election, which he barely grabbed, why would he reach out now that he has what Dick Cheney calls a "broad, nationwide victory"?
- Garry Wills says that, in America's counter-Enlightenment, we are most closely resembling our putative enemies: "Where else do we find fundamentalist zeal, a rage at secularity, religious intolerance, fear of and hatred for modernity? Not in France or Britain or Germany or Italy or Spain. We find it in the Muslim world, in Al Qaeda, in Saddam Hussein's Sunni loyalists."
P.S. The Washington Post has a good story that seeks to explain why Kerry lost Ohio.