November 4, 2004

SEE YOU IN 2068 (via Glenn Dryfoos):

Anatomy Of A Crushing Political Defeat,/a> (Arianna Huffington, November 03, 2004)

This election was not stolen. It was lost by the Kerry campaign.

The reason it's so important to make this crystal clear — even as Kerry's concession speech is still ringing in our ears — is that to the victors go not only the spoils but the explanations. And the Republicans are framing their victory as the triumph of conservative moral values and the wedge cultural issues they exploited throughout the campaign.

But it wasn't gay marriage that did the Democrats in; it was the fatal decision to make the pursuit of undecided voters the overarching strategy of the Kerry campaign.

This meant that at every turn the campaign chose caution over boldness so as not to offend the undecideds who, as a group, long to be soothed and reassured rather than challenged and inspired.

The fixation on undecided voters turned a campaign that should have been about big ideas, big decisions, and the very, very big differences between the worldviews of John Kerry and George Bush — both on national security and domestic priorities — into a narrow trench war fought over ludicrous non-issues like whether Kerry had bled enough to warrant a Purple Heart.

ANSWERS? DO WE HAVE ANSWERS?: Let the blame game begin. (Rory O'Connor, 11/04/04, AlterNet)
[I]f it wasn't Nader, what is the explanation for the Democrats going down, down, down this year?

After all, it's a Republican Senate. It's a Republican House. It's a Republican Supreme Court – poised to become vastly more so.

But if the Democrats can't blame Nader, as they have in increasingly vociferous terms for the past eight years – who can they blame?

Maybe they should start with themselves.

Maybe running as the Democrat wing of the Republican party isn't such a good idea after all. Maybe turning the convention into a four-day meeting of Securocrats was a bad idea. Maybe turning the conversation into a nine-month gabfest on strength and security, war and terror, terror and terror, only reminded people that they vote for Republicans in times of fear.

Maybe selling out to buy in was wrong. Maybe raising hundreds of millions from corporations means losing your soul.

Maybe being an anti-war hero who runs as a war hero was wrong. Maybe Howard Dean was right.

Maybe it's time for the democratic wing of the Democrat party. Maybe there really is a democratic wing of the Democrat party.

Maybe Kerry should have announced a plan to end the war. (After all, he seemed to have a plan for nearly everything else!)

Maybe it was the weapons of mass destruction. Maybe it was the weapons of mass deception.

Or maybe – just maybe – it was the Democrats.

A move further to the extreme becomes inevitable as moderates in the minority party shift towards the majority party, thus does a political party enter the wilderness for decades.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 4, 2004 11:51 AM

This election is particularly devilish because Kerry was able to make an election that he had no chance of winning remarkably close. That is sure to mislead the lefty Democrats, who are eager to be mislead.

Posted by: David Cohen at November 4, 2004 12:59 PM

He doesn't get it. I could never vote Democrat because of the poor record on national defense the party has had over the past few decades. National Defense is THE presidential issue, that's where the president has the most influence, and he doesn't get it.

He shows this by wondering why the party was talking security in the middle of a hot war. Asking that question is solid proof of utter cluelessness. Economics dominate in a poor economy, security in a war, justice when crime is up, etc. They have to ask the American people what the priorities are and then come up with some new, I said new, ideas on how to meet those priorities.

Failure to do so and they will remain a ghost in the wilderness, gnawing itself in frustration and malice.

Posted by: Mikey at November 4, 2004 1:03 PM

Kerry's only real chance was to run to the right of W on security: tough on Iraq (i.e., carpetbomb Fallujah), tough on Iran (regime change now), N. Korea (negotiate or die), the Saudis, Syrians, homeland security &c. It wouldn't have been creditable given his past record, but no less so than his flip-flops were, and at least it would have seemed coherent and consistent.

Posted by: jd watson at November 4, 2004 2:11 PM


Giving Democrats responsibility for national security is like giving a 16 year old a pint of whiskey, a date with Paris Hilton and the keys to the car. It's just not going to turn out well.

Posted by: Rick T. at November 4, 2004 3:53 PM

The recent cycle in the Senate races has shorn the Congressional Democrats of much of their sensible center. Networks looking for a Democrat to speak on issues are going to put whom on. Mikulski? Hilary? Pelosi? This could be really funny.

Posted by: Bart at November 4, 2004 4:07 PM

"Kerry was able to make an election that he had no chance of winning remarkably close."

I demure. The MSM made it close. left to his own devices and with a moderatley fair media Kerry would have gotten about 42%.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 5, 2004 3:24 AM