Any regrets?
October 6, 2005 9:58 AM   Subscribe

This is an honest question to just those people who voted for Bush in the last election. If you didn't vote for Bush, please don't respond. I want to know if you still feel like you made the right decision. With all that's been happening lately, do you have regrets? Do you feel betrayed? Bonus points: What are your top 3 sources for news?
posted by GernBlandston to Law & Government (39 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I guess you are only looking for Bush 2004 voters but I thought I'd chime in.

I voted for Bush in 2000, as I honestly believed his "compassionate conservative" platform. I am still a registered Republican but I voted for Kerry in 2004 because of Bush's foreign policy and inability to admit mistakes.

It's hard to feel betrayed by a politician, it's like dating a slutty girl, you sort of expect she's eventually going to wander off to a different guy. News: Politicalwire, TPM and Lileks.
posted by Happydaz at 10:02 AM on October 6, 2005

I voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004 and I have never had the slightest regret. There might well have been Republicans or independents I might have preferred to Bush, but Bush was and remains the better choice given the alternatives.

I'm not happy with the progress of the war in Iraq, but thinking back to Kerry's statements and platform last year, it isn't clear that it would have progressed in any way differently in the last eight months had Kerry become President in January.

I shudder to think of who John Kerry would have chosen to fill the two recent vacancies in the Supreme Court vacancies, and of the disastrous impact upon the business environment had he proceded with his promised tax increases.

The appointment of Harriet Miers is perplexing, I'll admit. I think that there were probably more moving parts to this than the conventional wisdom acknowledges -- including, I suspect, Bush's hands being tied by a pre-emptive veto by the Republican moderates in the Senate of any nominee with a paper trail supporting the repeal of Roe v. Wade. On the other hand, as a lawyer and analyst on Wall Street, I really like that the Supreme Court will have someone on board who participated -- for many years and to great success and distinction -- in the private sector, productive economy, deal-and-trial practice which is 99% of the work of the legal profession in this country, as oppposed to the 1% comprised of law professors, appellate judges and Washington DC appellate litigators.
posted by MattD at 10:26 AM on October 6, 2005

Yes I voted for him, and I have no regrets.

I get my news from the Internets. ABC's website, Drudge, and newsfilter on Mefi.
posted by konolia at 10:42 AM on October 6, 2005

I'll out myself a little bit by admitting that I'm a Florida resident who voted for Bush in 2000. I, also, bought the "compassionate conservative" line, hook and sinker.
I've voted for Reagan, I've voted for Clinton, I've voted for Kucinich, I've voted for Kerry, so I'm hardly predictable.
Do I regret that vote? No. Regret does no one any good.
Do I agree and condone the war?
Do I like the direction he's taken this country?
Hell, no.
Feeling regret or shame would preoccupy me and I need that energy to work for change in my own little way at the local and national levels and get more involved.
In a way, that vote got me more interested, educated and involved in the entire process.
My news sources: CNN, St Petersburg Times, Common Dreams, Think Progress.
posted by willmize at 10:43 AM on October 6, 2005

I voted for Bush because he promised to nominate people similar to Scalia and Thomas for the Supreme Court. I'm very happy that he nominated Roberts but I have to say I'm very disappointed in his nomination of Miers. As we get into the confirmation hearings I might change my mind but yes, I'm slightly disappointed due to the Miers pick. On the other hand, had Kerry won, I doubt I'd be satisfied with either of his picks.

Top 3 news sources: NY Times, CNN, MSNBC.
posted by gyc at 10:56 AM on October 6, 2005

My 3 main news sources are the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and an online news aggregator which varies by location (the Bloomberg Professional Service at work, Google News with customized filters at home, and Reuters/Avantgo on my treo when on the road.) Thanks to my hi-def DVR, there is always something better to watch on television than the insipid babble that passes for television news.
posted by MattD at 11:07 AM on October 6, 2005

Of possible interest: This civil and informative AskMe thread from just about a year ago: "Why Did You Vote for Bush?"
posted by gwint at 11:19 AM on October 6, 2005

I vote in Massachusetts, where my Republican presidential votes are consistently irrelevant -- and consequently, so is any question of regret. But I'll answer a few points.

Strategically speaking, Bush didn't win either election. Gore and Kerry lost. Walking into 2000, Gore was an incumbent from a popular administration; and walking into 2004, Bush's numbers were abysmal. Both elections were the Democrats' to lose. They should have won and they tanked. It's like: Yeah, I think O.J. did it; but based on the case presented at trial, he deserved an acquittal.

Bush betrayed the Republican party long ago. He's not a conservative. His non-policy on border security? His withdrawal from the ABM treaty? His obscene spending? These aren't the policies of a conservative. And refusing to replace Cheney with a viable 2008 nominee? That was flat-out betrayal of the Republican party.

Would I have preferred an alternative? I think a Gore presidency would have been worse. And aside from Supreme Court nominations, I don't think a Kerry presidency would have been significantly different. We need to bring our troops home, and we need to curb spending. There's no reason to believe Kerry would have done either.

[CNN, NYTimes, WBZ News Radio.]
posted by cribcage at 12:05 PM on October 6, 2005

I'm with Happydaz, except for BBC, NPR & NYT/Drudge - that & I didn't buy the compassionate conservatism, just a visceral disllike of Gore.
posted by Pressed Rat at 12:06 PM on October 6, 2005

Response by poster: I'm only looking for answers from those who *voted for Bush*.

posted by GernBlandston at 12:12 PM on October 6, 2005

fascinating thread -- thanks guys.

For those people who voted for Bush because of the judicial appointments: what is it about Scalia and Thomas that makes them desirable Supreme Court candidates? Were you happy with the Miers and Roberts appointments?
posted by fishfucker at 12:16 PM on October 6, 2005

GernBlandston, may I ask why you want to know what news sources Bush voters use?

The reason is that I think there's a fairly common belief among liberals that conservatives are somehow more ignorant of current events, the whole "reality based community" schtick. I don't want to speculate about your motivations, but I would like to know what you're getting at.

Your first question seems to be somewhat leading in that sense...
posted by Heminator at 12:28 PM on October 6, 2005

There was nothing desirable about Clarence Thomas as a Supreme Court candidate. I'm still amazed that Clarence Thomas was confirmed and Robert Bork was not. Thomas was a clear example of affirmative action, and it's unfortunate that few had the courage to say it. As a justice, he's redeemed himself to some extent -- but he's still far from being a name I'd invoke when describing a model nominee.

Antonin Scalia, however, is exactly that: a model justice. I don't always agree with his decisions -- but when I disagree, I understand his reasoning and it never fails to remind me how complicated these issues truly are. No justice will perfectly match my beliefs, of course; but Scalia's differences, I think, are less harmful than others' in that Scalia's mistakes usually permit themselves to be corrected by state legislation.

I have no objection to the appointment of Justice Roberts. I think it's difficult to predict how a justice will perform. It's like predicting how Rudolph Giuliani would govern as president based on his experience in New York: It's just a completely, totally different, one-of-a-kind job. As to Miers: I agree with George F. Will. The Senate has a responsibility to scrutinize her nomination -- and possibly, to reject it.
posted by cribcage at 12:39 PM on October 6, 2005

Response by poster: "may I ask why you want to know what news sources Bush voters use"

No. ;)

"fairly common belief among liberals that conservatives are somehow more ignorant of current events"

I'm not interested in what Liberals think.

"I would like to know what you're getting at"

'Get used to disappointment'
- Dread Pirate Roberts

posted by GernBlandston at 12:40 PM on October 6, 2005

Get used to a lot of people ignoring your question with an attitude like that. But you knew that, didn't you?
posted by hototogisu at 12:44 PM on October 6, 2005

Response by poster: Hototogisu: Did you vote for Bush in 2004? If so, please either answer my questions or ignore them.

Thank you.
posted by GernBlandston at 1:03 PM on October 6, 2005

Once again, it's customary to respond when people ask the poster questions. It's usually best to do so without smartass smiley faces and Princess Bride quotes (for the record, your response to me does not mean what you think it means), or a refusal, for that matter. But, once again, you knew that already, user 10301.

As it stands, it looks like you're grasping for quotes for a high school essay. Just sayin'.
posted by hototogisu at 1:09 PM on October 6, 2005

I voted for Bush in '04, Nader in '00. I think that I made the right decision and I don't regret it. I definitely do not feel betrayed. My favorite analysis sources are the better blogs on the right- Winds of Change, Belmont Club, and the like. I don't really have any favorite news sources, I take the news where I find it, whether from liberally- or conservatively-oriented media, but I'm partial to Investor's Business Daily and the Wall Street Journal.
posted by evariste at 1:24 PM on October 6, 2005

...for their editorial stances, which haven't got much to do with the news and everything to do with their opinion of the news.
posted by evariste at 1:25 PM on October 6, 2005

Also excellent are the Fourth Rail and Good News From The Front.
posted by evariste at 1:26 PM on October 6, 2005

This Republican happily voted for Bush in 2000, but withheld my presidential vote in 2004. That is, I didn't vote for either candidate, just the local races and the many referenda on the (California) ballot. The main decision in choosing to withhold my vote for him in 2004 was his craven, disgusting endorsal of the FMA (Federal Marriage Amendment)--not even, I think, because he really believed in, but because it would pander to the base, no pun intended.

As much as I am strongly pro-gay rights and gay marriage, what equally bothered me about his endorsement was the way he was unwilling to let federalism serve its purpose. Republicans--at least, the part of the party's philosophy that I always found attractive--are supposed to be against big government, in favor of smaller local solutions, both for reasons of efficiency and for reasons of keeping the people empowered at lower levels. Throwing out party ideals in favor of pushing through (or proposing) stupid federal-level--no, make that Constitutional level--"solutions" is borderline obscene to a true conservative. Alas, the Puritan branch of the party is swallowing up the small-government/individual-liberty trunk of the party. I hate that.

Wait...were you expecting a discussion of Iraq in your leading phrase "all that's been happening lately?" Because I think that's going about as well as could have been predicted, dumb-ass Chalabi claims of flowers and parades excepted, and certainly as well or better than it would have been handled under Kerry. I continue to strongly support the war and our efforts there. I think comments, such as the one I read in the blue today, that pro-Bush supporters and pro-war supporters will someday soon pretend they never were, is a fantasy. So, "regrets"? Yeah, I regret that so many middle-aged Americans want desperately to pretend that Iraq is Vietnam so they can relive their youth. And I regret that so many of them are in the media.

That said, one way I do feel "betrayed" (your word) is by the ongoing disclosures of routine torture and prisoner abuse in Iraq. I cannot believe they never ever cracked down on that back when the very first stories broke. That this is still going on, obviously being tolerated by the upper eschelons of the military and the administration, makes me sick. Rumsfeld should have resigned after Abu Ghraib broke. But he didn't, because Bush is far too loyal to the people who surround him (and vice versa).

Oh, and:

Bush betrayed the Republican party long ago. He's not a conservative. His non-policy on border security? His withdrawal from the ABM treaty? His obscene spending? These aren't the policies of a conservative. And refusing to replace Cheney with a viable 2008 nominee? That was flat-out betrayal of the Republican party.

Hear, hear; this needed to be repeated. The man is not terribly compassionate and certainly not a conservative.

Finally, I think I need to point out: our choice in 2004 was not "yes for Bush" or "no for Bush", despite how even Kerry's own volunteers framed the issue. The choice was Bush or Kerry, period. Next time, put up a better candidate and hey, maybe a lot of us disaffected Republicans will join you.

Top news sources: CNN, FoxNews, The New York Times, Drudge, many sites in the blogosphere (left, right, and center), NPR, The Washington Post, and even Metafilter sometimes.

on preview: "I wonder if there is anyone out there that voted for Bush and is not on one of the SSRI antidepressants?"

Again, this is exactly the kind of comment I was referring to earlier as "fantasy". If some Republicans are upset with Bush's performance, and obviously some of us are, it's not for the reasons you, as a Democrat, would project onto us. It's far more likely to be for things like lack of commitment to conservative ideals, not for things like Iraq. Get that through your head, or you'll just lose again.
posted by Asparagirl at 1:32 PM on October 6, 2005

I voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004. I wouldn't vote for him today, though. Maybe I missed the memo pre-2004, but I've come to really become disenfranchised with the war and the reasoning behind it since the war. Also, with the whole hurricane debacle (though I certainly don't blame all of it on Bush; a lot of it belongs on the NO and Louisiana politicians too, but that's a whole other topic).
OK, I really don't have the greatest reasons, but something since 2004 has really turned me off to him.
News:, MeFi, and google news RSS.
posted by jmd82 at 1:35 PM on October 6, 2005

GernBlandston, your original question led me to believe you just wanted respondents who voted for President Bush in 2004. I did not. I did in 2000. Do you want my response?
posted by mojohand at 2:02 PM on October 6, 2005

Response by poster: Mojohand: Sure. Thanks.

Just to be clear, I'm not interested in hearing a debate here. Thank you hototogisu for not comprehending simple english.

Thank you very much for all those who have responded (and hopefully continue to respond). I want people who voted for Bush to reflect and help me better understand why they feel the way they do. I'm not asking them to defend their decisions or feelings. I'm not asking them to try to convince me.

Why? Because I'm curious. There's not enough respect for civil discourse in the world today, so I figured I'd simply ask people to talk to me, and let them talk. There's not enough listening in the world today.

Thanks again!

User 10301
Whatever that means.
posted by GernBlandston at 2:52 PM on October 6, 2005

I voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004. I begin to regret voting for him in 2004 until I remember what my other choices were. I certainly regret that there wasn't a better choice. Bush has turned me from someone who was strongly republican in the 80s into someone who no longer considers himself a republican - now I can't stand either party.

News. Google News, NYT, Economist, CNN
posted by Carbolic at 3:03 PM on October 6, 2005

GernBlandston: While I understand you wanting to filter respondents to only Bush voters, your attitude dealing with hototogisu is pretty snide. I don't understand why you wouldn't want to answer his or her question or why you aren't interested in what Liberals think.
But yet you feel that There's not enough respect for civil discourse in the world today.

Maybe you should take your own advice and stop moderating.

Otherwise, interesting thread.
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:36 PM on October 6, 2005

I don't regret voting for Bush in '04. I voted for Gore in '00 and didn't regret that either. There certainly have been times when I've thought of Bush, "aw crap, what an idiot/jerk," but generally speaking, those times don't outweigh what positive things he's represented relative to what Kerry did.

"Top" news sources: CNN, BBC, Google News, at least for the general picture, quick view stuff. I've got Metafilter filed under "news" in my bookmarks, too.
posted by shoos at 4:00 PM on October 6, 2005

I voted Bush in 2000, Kerry 2004. Asparagirl's response sums up many of my feelings.
posted by LarryC at 4:36 PM on October 6, 2005

I vote for presidents less for the man and more for their 'bench,' the team of Cabinet and sub-Cabinet officials that will actually run the country.

The primary reason I voted for Governor Bush in 2000 was the same reason I've trended Republican for the last 35-odd years: national security. In 1972 the Democratic party that I belonged went the way of the Whigs, and I no longer trust the party that replaced it in name to vigorously defend the interests of the Republic.

On domestic issues I believe a small government that lets people make their own decisions and lets them live with the consequences. I also believe in fiscal responsibility.

Thus I now feel I've been abandoned by two parties in my lifetime. President Bush's betrayal of traditional Republican domestic policy needs no elaboration. I supported the War in Iraq as I had the one in Afghanistan, but it has been conducted about as incompetently as it possibly could have been, and I voted for Kerry and his Democrats, as awful as they were, because the man responsible for this disaster, and his team, needed to be fired.

I get hard news from the Washington Post, print/online. Opinion I tend to get from Andrew Sullivan, Mickey Kaus, James Lileks, Kevin Drum, Daniel Drenzer and occasionally Brad DeLong. Christopher Hitchens is a guilty pleasure.
posted by mojohand at 6:39 PM on October 6, 2005

Thus I now feel I've been abandoned by two parties in my lifetime.
I know the feeling.

. (the "." means "moment of silence")
posted by Carbolic at 7:30 PM on October 6, 2005

You've been subpoenaed.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 7:37 PM on October 6, 2005

I have several regrets. This "conservative" president has presided over an explosion in the deficit. This "conservative" president, who has promised to keep us safe from terrorism, has done nothing to close our borders. The politically correct Open Borders crowd has intimidated him into being weak on border security. This is important as it is the most basic form of a nation's defense. He promised a Scalia and Thomas for SCOTUS, which was my main reason for voting for GWB; I think he has blown a once-in-a-generation chance to return the court to strict constructionism. I have many regrets - until I think about the alternatives.

Top three news sources:

- Filtered (for interest) Google news feeds via RSS
- NY Times

posted by Independent Scholarship at 8:31 PM on October 6, 2005

I voted for him in 2000 and 2004; just as in every other election I've ever voted in, I voted a straight Republican ticket.

I regret it and I feel that Bush betrayed me and the American people. The buggery of civil liberties; the constant nomination, confirmation and rewarding of incompetence; the ridiculous, unfounded war in Iraq; the constant issuance of blatant lies; and the failure to bring to account many of the Al-Qaeda perpetrators of 9/11 are high on my list of grievances. The high-jacking of the Republican party and the subsequent jettisoning of its core principles of small government and responsible stewardship didn't win him any points with me either.

My major 3 news sources are,, and my livejournal friendslist.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:17 PM on October 6, 2005

Er, did I mention the torture, and the high-handed antidiplomacy that has turned the entire civilized world against the United States? Because those bear mentioning too.

I can't hold the enormousness of Bush's enormities all in my mind at once, it seems.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:20 PM on October 6, 2005

Bear in mind that these are not randomly selected Bush voters. These are Bush voters who read Ask MetaFilter.
posted by neuron at 12:49 AM on October 7, 2005

I voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004. One of my main political issues is having smaller government and fostering a strong economy. I believe a free market economy is much more efficient than a government could ever hope to be and I am PROUD that American health care is private. I shudder to think what kind of mess it would be if the government were in control.

Do I feel regret? No. Yes, the situation in Iraq is not good, but I fully support Bush's decision to go there in the first place. We've got the huge military and we should use it for good causes, such as ousting bad leaders.

I try to be very realistic about government. No government will be perfect and so, especially in our system, you just have to pick the least evil candidate. To me, lowering taxes and trying to dismantle Social Security are very good things. I'm 26 and I know I won't see a single penny of my Social Security payments when I retire. Bush has promised and delivered on those fronts, so I find it too hard to complain that he isn't the second coming of Jesus leading us all to eternal happiness. No U.S. President has done it so far, so why keep complaining about it?

I seriously considered all the candidates for this last election. I went straight to Kerry's website to investigate his vision for a "stronger America". Several things I disagreed with, but the dealbreaker was his promise to stop deploying troops. It really sounded like he wanted to sit around the campfire singing Kum-Ba-Ya instead of taking direct action. I disagree completely.

One of the independents had some interesting economic policies but wanted to pull all troops back to America. Also a dealbreaker.

I mostly despise national news media, so my news comes from the Wall Street Journal, RSS feeds from local newspapers, and Fark.
posted by Sasquatch at 7:15 AM on October 7, 2005

ikkyu2, given your feelings about Bush, would you care to elaborate on why you voted for him again in '04?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:30 AM on October 7, 2005

I'd add one thing, which is: If I lived in a swing state, I would have reconsidered voting for Bush in '04 on the theory that a Kerry presidency was probably the sole bar to a Clinton presidency. Lesser of two evils. But again, as a Massachusetts resident, my vote is symbolic.
posted by cribcage at 7:36 AM on October 7, 2005

Octobersurprise: it was a combination of GOP loyalty, not liking anything about Kerry, and not yet having fully realized some of the things I mentioned.

I actually kind of liked Dean; had he been nominated I might have voted for him.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:01 AM on October 7, 2005

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