Robert Novak has long been dismissed by rational people as a mean-spirited hack. However, he has really out done himself. Novak quickly dismissed the 7 million vote margin of Barack Obama as not a mandate while, in 2004, he said it was obvious that a 3.5 million margin for President Bush was such a mandate. Novak mathematics — or Novatics — appears to demand three times the margin of a Republican for a Democrat to declare a mandate.
Novak pronounced his verdict on the 2008 election in his column in the Chicago Sun Times.
On Crossfire after Bush’s narrow win, Novak had this exchange with Mark Shields:
SHIELDS: Bob Novak, is 51 percent of the vote really a mandate?
BOB NOVAK, CAPITAL GANG: Of course it is. It’s a 3.5 million vote margin. But the people who are saying that it isn’t a mandate are the same people who were predicting that John Kerry would win.
Novak maintained his position despite the gains in the Senate and the House by the democrats. For many of us who are columnists, Novak has always been a symbol of what is wrong with commentary today. He was one of the pioneers in creating a “niche” in national media for a blindly partisan column. Unfortunately, Novak’s formula approach to writing is now the dominant model with cable shows and newspapers carving out space for robotic Democratic and Republican advocates.
None of this is likely to bother Novak who has never been particularly credible as a columnist. The question is why newspapers continue to print these mindless, shameless hacks from the left and the right. It is part of the dumbing down of our political life in this country.
For the earlier Novak appraisal, click here.
14 thoughts on “Novatics: 3.5 Million Vote Margin for Bush is a Mandate But An Over 7 Million Vote Margin for Obama is No Mandate”
Novak is a dick. Mr. super-patriot ass-clown spook-i.d.-leaking jerk-wad. Why even give this choad space on your site professor??!!
No doubt it won’t be boring. I think Obama has the potential to be one if the greatest leaders in the country’s history, but I also still think that Congress is still a bunch of self-serving, graft-swilling, lobbyist owned, narcissistic half-wits incapable of looking past staying in office or even upholding their oath of office. Pelosi and McConnell, looking your direction.
Such contrasts are the things of great comedy and/or great tragedy.
That rightist bias that existed for so long is dying out for two reasons: 1) The right wing has little appeal to the young and is increasingly perceived as the value system of angry old people. 2) Liberalism is largely a byproduct of education and as technology democratizes education, liberalism will only grow not just here, but globally.
We may be center-right for now, but that won’t last. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. The right wing is more about competition and the left wing is more about cooperation. Cooperation and the conscious decision to cooperate over competing is the path to the future because right now, as a species, we are competing the planet to death.
“The Obama victory was a mandate not only because of the sheer number of electoral college votes and the popular vote margin…”
Are you joking? Since 1912 there have only been 7 elections where the winner had FEWER than Obama’s 364 electoral college votes. Did all of those presidents have mandates? And, as far as history is concerned, Obama’s “win ratio” of popular votes is nowhere near the top of the heap. Just because the last two years were close doesn’t mean Obama’s win is some unprecedented victory. Had the Democratic Party offered up a candidate with a fraction of Obama’s charisma in 2000 or 2004, we wouldn’t have had the buffoonery of the last 8 years.
Obama’s victory is, at best, a mandate for change; not a mandate for the wholesale enactment of any and every Democratic policy. Just look at the ballot measures and exiting polling on individual issues; a solid majority of Obama voters have yet to adopt even the most basic liberal ideologies. There’s certainly a migration toward the left, but, for better or worse, this is still a very center-right country.
You are probably correct that some other neocon talking head will replace Novak. I am guessing he/she will come from inside the current Bush administration. I am sure it won’t be boring around here. Even during an Obama administration.
I agree, but I would like to say that while Novak in particular isn’t much of a threat moving forward, we do need to watch diligently for those who would take up the cause of his masters. He’ll be replaced soon enough. Fascism is like rust. It never sleeps and destroys everything it touches unless neutralized.
The Obama victory was a mandate not only because of the sheer number of electoral college votes and the popular vote margin, but also because of the reach of his message into 8-10 states that have gone Republican in the past few election cycles. I don’t think we should worry about what Robert Novak is saying anymore. He has proven to be habitually wrong. He just hasn’t realized that nobody listens to his message anymore.
This is coming from a guy who doesn’t think there is anything wrong with outing a CIA operative for political purposes either. Consider the source.
Looks remarkably like a mandate to moi!
I don’t think that Novak is even worthy of discussion. However, I will agree that I don’t think Barack Obama has any sort of mandate. At best, President-Elect Obama has a mandate to create change. Beyond that, I would argue that the outcome of numerous ballot measures indicate that the general population is not ready to wholesale adopt Democratic policy.
So long as this country remains starkly divided ideologically, no executive has a mandate to institute any policy he or she may wish. President Bush did not have a mandate; Barack Obama does not have a mandate. When politicians begin tossing around words like “mandate” America runs an immense risk of having individual liberties demolished, as evidenced by post-9/11 American politics.
This was posted on ThinkProgress yesterday as well:
First of all Bush never won an election to the Presidency. I remember him in 2004 talking about how he’d spend his political capital. He spoke with such an arrogant menacing ignorance.
I also wonder why people like Bill Kristol, who have been wrong on just about everything (most recently, wanted Palin on the ticket) and Novak keep getting print space without questions asked.
Bryant: The link at the bottom with take you to the CNN interview.
When or where did Novak make those remarks about Bush’s 2004 win? I’ve looked back at his 2004 post-election articles and did not see such a claim (not that he didn’t make it, I just didn’t see it).
It seems to me that whoever wins a particular election has a “mandate,” but that mandate should be used cautiously and is always subject to the voter’s speaking again. 🙂
Have a great day and God bless you!
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