From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Just one of the dirty tricks that sunk Dean
February 11, 2004 10:20 AM
The details on who funded the evil, evil Dean/Osama ad that ran in Iowa have finally emerged. And just as they intended, it makes no difference now.
The culprits? Unions, corporate executives, Gephardt supporters, and former Senator Bob Toricelli, who is currently raising money for Kerry.
Just one of the dirty tricks that sunk Dean
Next Entry: Don't let Bush pin this entirely on the CIA (02.11.2004)
Previous Entry: Fake W. Bush (02.11.2004)
Read the 8 comments.
I dont understand how you could dedicate your life to getting bush out of office by supporting Howard Dean. He lacked discipline, charisma, and a catchy name. If your life was dedicated to raising someone with your particular viewpoints to office, then I would understand and agree with your approach. What the left wing, myself included, needs to realize as a group is that there really IS a difference between a radical Republican right-wing and a Democratic administration. If Nader has taught us nothing, its that voting blindly from the heart will divide and conquer the Democratic party... I honestly don't believe that your goal is Bush's removal from office; I think it is only the understandable goal of wanting your own candidate. When Kerry wins the nomination, please support him (look at his liberal voting record, if it appeases you). As a voice for the disenfranchised left, the sacrifice of your support for a less-than-perfect nominee (in your eyes) could sway more to vote and accomplish what you've dedicated your life to.
Wed Feb 11 2004 2:03 PM
I certainly believed at the time when I decided to support Dean (nearly a year ago) that he was the one who could beat Bush. I picked him precisely because I thought he was electable. Quoting myself from 3/24/2003: "All seem unelectable, except one: Howard Dean."
In hindsight, was Dean electable? Democrats as a whole certainly don't think so -- that's why they killed his campaign. And as a result, we're never going to know for sure. Everyone was convinced he couldn't win, and that's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
As far as my not getting on the Kerry bandwagon just yet. The primaries aren't over. Edwards is still out there. And I firmly believe that Kerry is the worst possible candidate (well, except for Kucinich) to beat Bush. We haven't vetted this guy, but you can be sure Bush will in the 9 months he has until the general election.
Wed Feb 11 2004 2:26 PM
There is no doubt the Republican machine will turn on Kerry soon, and with a powerful vengeance.
On the issue of electability... what was it about Dean that got you so interested in the Democratic party? Was it his fiery passion and straight talk? His willingness to take unpopular stances in the face of opposition from both sides of the political spectrum?
Those are of course, guesses.. I could probably find the real reason online if i browse around this site enough. Whatever it actually was, I would bet dollars to doughnuts that they are NOT the fundamental blocks of electability.
Look at Bill Clinton, the master politician, for a quick example. There is a reason politicians skirt both sides of issues, especially during election season: those who don't get weeded out. Bush didnt run as a hardcore conservative because he would have never been elected. People liked his look, his supposed 'charm', and he played as moderate.
On the Iraq war, the same issue I agreed with Dean on, he would have lost more votes than any faction of new supporters he would bring to the party. I would say that was only the most obvious stance of his that didnt make any effort to appeal to as many voters as possible... opposition to the war, liberals and conservatives alike, do NOT constitute the majority. And when they eventually do, they wont vote a man into office who disagreed with them in the past.
Wed Feb 11 2004 3:13 PM
If you read my initial post about this, you'll see I was first drawn to the Democratic party because that was the only chance of beating Bush. Then I looked at the candidates and decided to support Dean because 1) he was against the war and 2) I thought he was electable.
Admittedly, my feelings that Dean were electable were very contrarian. Every one pinned him as a liberal (just because he was against the war), but I looked at his record, and the response to him by Vermonters, as being quite moderate. I felt that as the truth came out about his record, this would change people's liberal perception of him.
The primary voters (specifically Iowa, which started this whole insanity) have completely stunned me. I feel they are in a mass delusion about Kerry. I really believe it. Doesn't mean he can't win...if he's the nominee, I really hope he does.
It's also important to keep in mind that while I thought he was the most electable a year ago, the events of the past year (in particular since December) have proven he isn't electable. Unfortunately, that's only because many Democrats felt he was unelectable -- and thus decided to take him down -- in turn truly making him unelectable.
And your point "they wont vote a man into office who disagreed with them in the past" definitely seems to be accurate in hindsight. In this regard, people like Kerry's flip-flopping because it justifies their own laziness. Never thought of that until recently.
Wed Feb 11 2004 3:43 PM
I would argue the 'flip-flopping' doesnt so much justify the laziness... it embodies the ambivalence of Americans on major issues. People hate Saddam, but pre-emption doesnt sit right; they want equal rights, but think marriage itself should be upheld; they want individual freedoms but also total security; they want lower taxes and yet more government benefits.
To ignore such a large portion of people on any of these issues is to alienate. Where some would call this a weakness, I think it is Kerry's strongest point. He has voted for authorization of the force, but disagreed with the actual decision to use it. With civil unions, he supports both equal rights and the sanctity for marriage. He wants to keep the tax cuts for most people, but drop them for a small portion of the country to reinstate federal economic support. I think the only hope for the Democrats -- and it is a small one at that -- is to have a politician (like Kerry) who can understand and work with this ambivalence while Bush staunchly defends a hard-line position.
Now I think Edwards has excellent qualities as well, and ideally I would like to see them as a team. He is an excellent speaker and would be a powerful southern ally, but thats a different discussion.
Wed Feb 11 2004 4:29 PM
Interesting ideas. I would look at what you just outlined, along with Kerry's stilted, uninspired speaking style, and see a mirror image of Al Gore circa 2000.
Wed Feb 11 2004 4:58 PM
I would look at the undiscovered Kerry and compare him to a relatively unknown Clinton in 1992. Al Gore had the distinct disadvantage of being the 'boring sidekick' to Clinton for eight long years -- the political leader was clearly Clinton, and it seemed only a formality he couldnt run for the Democrats in 2000.
If Clinton can now keep out of the spotlight and let Kerry assume the role, he can bring leadership back to position of Democratic nominee. Hopeful people will put what they want into Kerry -- they'll see a bit of the Clinton intelligence and shots from youthful anti-war vigour, and a lot of his political savvy. Like Clinton, he won't make any mistakes; he is too disciplined.
Wed Feb 11 2004 5:17 PM
You don't think Clinton made any mistakes? :) Just kidding, I know what you mean.
Wed Feb 11 2004 5:37 PM