In case anyone needs reminding of the rules of US presidential elections, which all sides were well aware of before the election:
Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.
The electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves. And they shall make a list of all the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each; which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed...
Revised by Amendment XII
The electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;--The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;--the person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed...
Without going into a long history lesson, this is not the first time the person with the most popular votes did not have the most electorial votes, nor is it the first close or controversial election. What it does happen to be is a final, verified election and the results are absolute-whether people agree with or like it or not. George Bush WAS elected president and his primary opponent conceded as such.
As Al Gore stated in his concession speech:
"Let there be no doubt, while I strongly disagree with the court's decision, I accept it." At the same time, he called for all Americans to unite behind President Bush: "I personally will be at his disposal, and I call on all Americans -- I particularly urge all who stood with us to unite behind our next president. This is America. Just as we fight hard when the stakes are high, we close ranks and come together when the contest is done." Gore concluded by saying: "As for the battle that ends tonight, I do believe as my father once said, that no matter how hard the loss, defeat might serve as well as victory to shape the soul and let the glory out."
As for public support of Bush for the Gulf War, I personally know of many die hard Democrats who were at first opposed but now support this action. Most still don't like Bush, but the relevations of the mass murders, tortures, and general genecide seem to be the primary factor in their change of hearts. I believe the polls which show strong support for Bush and the war to be as accurate as any poll can be.
As far as the Republicans being the "party of the rich." Here's a partial list of some of the richest members of congress:
Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) $675 million
Senator Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) $400 million
Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) $300 million
Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) $200 million
Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-Calif.) $105 million
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) $50 million
Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) $30 million (Forbes Magazine estimated the combined Kennedy family fortune at $850 million)
Senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) $15 million
Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) $15 million
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) $14 million
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) $10 million
Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) $10 million
Guess what - all Democrats. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi is on record as railing against the rich, yet she's voted for a number of measures which had the effect of putting large amounts of money in the pockets of either herself or her Democrat associates in congress.
In fact, as far as economic demographics the two parties memberships are very similar. A good friend of ours was recenlty elected to a town council position, the first Republican in that area in a long time. He's a plumber and his wife is an administrative assistant.