The Economist says:
Of course some may simply relish seeing George Bush’s Republicans suffer at the polls. In France there is little public interest in America’s election, but there is wide dislike of Mr Bush’s foreign policy, especially over Iraq. A 2006 transatlantic survey by the German Marshall Fund showed only 12% of the French approved of his handling of international affairs, while 85% disapproved. President Jacques Chirac opposed the invasion of Iraq. He, and voters at large, would be happy to see Mr Bush’s party punished now.
Punishment is not the point. It is an insult to tell those of us who want the Republicans removed from power that we are trying to punish them. That’s how conservatives think, not liberals. (The Economist, by the way, is profoundly conservative. In 2000 they endorsed Bush; and in their 2004 tapping of Kerry they explicitly held their collective nose against the odor of his liberality.)
I did not go to my polling place to punish this country’s war criminals. I just want to get them out of office. I want to take away their power to kill. That’s why we voted some of them out this week, and why we’ll vote the rest of the despicable rotten lot of them out in 2008. Don’t twist our motives around. We are not voting for our special Democratic Party secular humanist liberal violence. There is no such thing. We are against violence. All of it. We would not “be happy to see Mr. Bush’s party punished”. That conservatives would falsely project this attitude on us illustrates their instinct for using violence as the default solution to almost any trouble. They created the nightmare in Iraq, and either they should help us find ways to start fixing it or they should get the hell out of the way. And this applies to their friends at the Economist too.