[Internet gambling does, of course, stray into a legal gray area, so the identity of Mr. Purpletext, below, will be left as an exercise for the reader. Also, the following is an amalgam of a couple different conversations.]
"Hey, you were following the betting sites on the election really closely, right?"
"Yes, although I prefer the term 'prediction markets' for them."
"Whatever. Did you end up betting on the election yourself?"
"Oh dear. Did you lose a lot of money?"
"No, I won close to $200."
"How did you win money if Kerry lost?"
"Because I bet on Bush."*
"How could you have bet on Bush?"
"Because I thought he was going to win."
"Jerkwad. How could you have thought he was going to win?"
"For many of the same reasons as those being cited now for why he did, in fact, win."
"That doesn't make you any less of a jerkwad. Were you sitting there on election night hoping that Bush would win?"
"Of course not. I was inconsolable on election night. I would have been more than happy to lose the money."
"If you were so 'inconsolable,' are you going to give the money you won to the Democrats?"
"I don't feel any moral compunction to do so, if that's what you mean. I think if you are going to participate in these markets, you have to make a very clear separation in your mind between what you want to happen and what you think realistically is most likely to happen."
"Or else what?"
"Or else--Or else, you are doing it wrong. It wouldn't make any sense. It would be like participating in the stock market and only being willing to buy Coldstone Creamery stock, never sell it, because you love Coldstone Cremery."
"Whatever. You could have just not bet if you thought Bush was going to win. You're not just a jerkwad, you're like some kind of war profiteer."
Mr. Purpletext does recognize that there can be a difference of opinion on the propriety of wagering on outcomes that one would prefer not happen. Fellow Kerry supporters are free to shun and hate him if they feel it appropriate.
Incidentally, today Mr. P. did take the money that he won from betting on Bush and let it ride by betting it all against Passion of the Christ winning the Oscar for Best Picture. Seriously: Tradesports bettors were valuing it today as having a 20% of winning the Oscar, which he thought was too high and so he basically bet the $200 and will win $50 if PotC loses like he expects it will.
* Mr. Purpletext did win a small amount betting on Kerry to win Wisconsin, but the vast majority of his winnings were from betting on Bush to win the electoral college vote.