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First time tragedy, second time farce

It is 1 a.m. in Dallas, and I have been broadcasting since 5:00 p.m., so I will be brief.

Although the autopsy may take some time, the disaster that were the exit polls tonight will long be remembered as the equivalent of the early call of Florida for Gore in 2000. This was almost a disaster as panic spread throughout the close-watchers of the campaign – and there are millions of such close watchers. Drudge bit, and the entire country swallowed. There were skeptics, and I was among them, but even I had that feeling of doom sweep over me.

Information sensitive environments have to be on guard against manipulations like yesterday’s. And when they happen, they must be closely examined.

So, who do Republicans have to thank?

Well, the U.S. military, for sweeping victories in Afghanistan and the conquest of Baghdad, and unflinching resolve to triumph in Iraq. Terrorists throughout that country are deeply dismayed at this hour.

And the superb professionals who designed the 96-hour effort in Colorado and Georgia in 2002 and who exported it throughout the country – they get a big round of applause.

The Swift Boat Vets get a salute for their courage and their persistence.

The blogosphere helped keep Dan Rather and his gang in check, as did citizen activists at places like FreeRepublic.com and FootballFansforTruth.com. The new media has forever changed the way media operates.

To the good people of Ohio, and every other state that resisted the blandishments of the Michael Moore-George Soros left: Thank you.

Sen. George Allen, who helped recruit a great class of Senate candidates and then push many of them to victory tonight deserves thanks. The same thanks go to Dennis Hastert, Tom Delay, Tom Reynolds and their team in extending the GOP majority by insisting upon fair reapportionment in Texas.

And finally, President and Mrs. Bush and Vice President and Mrs. Cheney conducted a disciplined and up-beat campaign in the face of unprecedented vilification. They didn’t lose their humor or their energy, and they kept the team moving forward. Very few candidates have run such mistake-free campaigns, and their courage and quiet conviction brought them a deserved victory.

Now John Kerry has refused to graciously concede. I think this will not be a repeat of Florida 2000. First time tragedy. Second time farce. But it is still a fight, and it is going to be an ugly farce.