From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Anybody but Kerry!

February 11, 2004 8:45 AM

Last night during the Virginia/Tennessee primary coverage, Bob Schneider, CNN's senior political analyst, pointed to exit polling indicating the lack of an anti-Kerry contingent.

"BOB, OVER HERE! ME ME!" ::jumping up and down::

Jonathan Chait at the New Republic clearly articulates why so many of us are scared shitless of a Kerry nomination:

Most important, Kerry won Virginia and Tennessee under circumstances in which losing would have been nearly impossible. He has ridden a wave of favorable publicity. Nearly every article about the campaign has underscored that his nomination is inevitable. His opponents have not attacked him, and have not been able to afford much in the way of television advertising. In fact just about the only way his opponents have gotten their name out to the public is through media coverage that inevitably centers on the theme of why they're losing and how soon they'll drop out. Under such circumstances, how on Earth could Kerry not win?

A better measure of Kerry's potential strengths can be gleaned by looking at how he matches up against Bush in polls. On the surface, of course, he looks pretty good. In some polls he's had a five- or seven-point lead. This week's Time magazine shows Kerry down by two to Bush. But of course right now Kerry remains an empty vessel into which voters can pour their hopes. Just about the only thing voters know about him is that he served in Vietnam. He has an extensive liberal voting record that has not yet been presented to the voters. Given his wooden personality--even admirers describe Kerry's speeches as average at best--there's little reason to think he can withstand the inevitable barrage. You can't talk about Vietnam every day until November.

By way of comparison, consider when George W. Bush was at a similar point in his trajectory. The proper comparison would not be after the first few weeks of primaries, because Bush's tussle with McCain, when he visited Bob Jones University and defined himself as an arch-conservative, harmed his general election standing. No, the proper comparison would be the George W. Bush of 1999, who had benefited from flattering media attention and, like Kerry now, remained largely an abstraction to most voters. At that point Bush had a massive lead over Al Gore. The campaign, which brought unflattering aspects of Bush to voters' attention, diminished that lead to the point where Bush lost the popular vote. The comparison is this: Bush began with a huge lead. Kerry begins essentially tied. If this is his high-water mark--and it's hard to see how it could not be--that bodes ill for the Democrats.

There's one more Bush analogy that may be instructive. During the GOP primary, polls showed that GOP voters thought Bush would be more likely than John McCain to defeat Al Gore. To any objective observer this sentiment was simply insane--McCain had far more support among moderates and even liberals than Bush, and could have benefited from the cultural backlash against Clintonism without being dragged down by Bush's unpopular domestic agenda. I remember asking Slate's Will Saletan how voters could possibly be so stupid. Will told me to look at it from the voters' point of view: All they had heard about Bush for a year was that he was raising ungodly sums of money, winning over the party establishment, and trouncing his foes. Why wouldn't he seem like the strongest candidate?

I think the notion that Kerry is the Democrats' best hope for beating Bush is essentially the same fallacy. Kerry has benefited from a self-sustaining bubble--the same kind of bubble that nearly propelled Howard Dean to the nomination. If the primaries went on forever, the bubble would eventually pop. But since the process is going to end, probably very soon, Kerry will survive without having his electability truly tested.

More from the archive in John Kerry.

Anybody but Kerry! (02.11.2004)

Next Entry: Fake W. Bush (02.11.2004)
Previous Entry: The Second American Revolution (02.10.2004)

Read the 16 comments.


let me just say this, so you can stop wondering why democrats, and intelligent people like yourself, dont manage to keep Bush out of office: FOR GOD'S SAKE JUST SETTLE ONCE IN YOUR LIFE I'm entirely serious, and you can lambast me for it... If you think there is no difference between the Bush administration and the Clinton administration, then forget about ever winning in your life. Go ahead, vote for Nader like so many naive people did, or really show us all and dont vote! That sends the powerful message that you COULDNT CARE LESS whether Rove, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Bush are in office next year... in fact, if you can name that many shudder-inducing characters in any Democratic administration in history, I'll gladly retract my words. I am sorry your precious Dean didnt get the nomination, but does that mean that Bush is now better than Kerry!? If your goal is REALLY the removal of Bush and his entire administration, then you need to seriously reconsider who you support -- not five weeks ago -- but right here, right now.

Wed Feb 11 2004 2:26 PM


yeah man! fall in line! you don't want to disappoint MTV...20million loud and impressionable.

Mon May 10 2004 2:43 PM

Independent Thinker:

It always amazes me the contortions of "logic" that can be built on flimsy premises when one is biased enough. Here's the reality which you anti-bushers scurry to step around when building your tomes of hate: Only ONE person in the world is responsible for the war in Iraq. That is Saddam Hussein. He thumbed his nose at world demands from the moment he realized no one was going to come after him over Kuwait. Well, the 9/11 slaughter of US citizens by Islamic terrorists changed US policy in a fundamental way. Among those changes was direct focus on Saddam Hussein's refusals to live up to the responsibilities imposed on him the UN. Under the Bush administration our nation became forcefully resolute. Saddam Hussein was told that he must fulfill his obligations and responsibilites as outlined by the UN and which he had been skirting for nearly 10 years. HE REFUSED. The rest is history which US Democrats choose to overlook in order to promote their political bias. Hussein was told that once we sent troops into the Middle East, he must FULFILL his obligations finally, and not dally and toy. We could not hunker in Kuwait indefinitely while he played games with us. Saddam Hussein bears FULL RESPONSIBILITY for what has happened in his country.
What's disgusting about how Democrats in the US are playing politics with this issue is that it weakens the US abroad and endangers its military and its citizens. The US should be applauded for the truth of what has been done, not derided as in the Democractic spin they wish put on history with shameful disregard for what it does to the citizen-body.

Mon May 17 2004 7:01 AM

Jim Gilliam:

I'm sorry, what did Saddam fail to do?

Oh right! Destroy weapons he didn't have.

Mon May 17 2004 7:33 AM

Passing BY...:

You're kidding right? The whole world knew Saddam Hussein had WMDs. He USED THEM.

Where've you been?!?

What he was SUPPOSED TO DO was destroy them and verify to the world (thru the UN) that he destroyed them.

THAT HE DID NOT DO! He chose to play cat-n-mouse and thumb his nose at the world.

If you know where those weapons are you had better come clean.

Tue May 18 2004 6:02 PM

Jim Gilliam:

Watch my movie, then you can come back here and tell me the whole world knew Saddam had WMD.

Every weapons inspector that has gone to Iraq, before and after GWB's war, has eventually come to the conclusion that Saddam had no WMD of any significance.

Tue May 18 2004 6:14 PM

Jim Gilliam:

And you don't even have to shell out the $10... you can download it here:

Tue May 18 2004 6:18 PM

Passing Thru again...:

Why do I need to view your movie? The Clinton administration told us Iraq was developing WMD! It's common knowledge.

Every weapons inspector admits his opinion is not the final word, nor will any say definitively what cannot be known. You see, they also take pains to clarify that it WAS NOT THEIR JOB to search out WMDs. They were sent as the eyes-of-the-world to be shown compliance with UN demands on Iraq. It became clear to them and everyone else that they were not being shown, but purposely distracted and diverted.

The world opinion (and probably the right one) was that S. Hussein would give up ONLY what he was forced to give up. That's typical of tyrants.

[Re your movie:
Anybody can exert selectivity bias on reams of data to filter out and assemble 'supporting' evidence promoting a viewpoint. Hitler was great at that. You don't think people can see you for who you are??]

Wed May 19 2004 5:41 AM

Jim Gilliam:

So you already know everything about the movie, and you haven't even seen it.

That's all I needed to know.

Wed May 19 2004 8:36 AM


Cute answer, but I notice you haven't addressed my comments about past administrations (re: Clinton), the UN inspectors, or even the ease of selectivity bias in media productions (history has well illuminated that one for us)....

What...? Are you running out of steam? Have I defeated you within a span of 3 correspondences?

I should think I have, since that is usually the case.

Isn't it amazing the powers of a FREE mind, as compared to, say, one like yours having to defend its bias...?

Good day.

Wed May 19 2004 5:28 PM

Jim Gilliam:

Yes, I surrender to your omnipotent intellect. I spent months researching this documentary, yet I learned more from you in just 3 correspondences. Thank you.

Wed May 19 2004 5:40 PM

Passing on Now.:

Thanks for being polite in our discourse. Let me leave you a final observation I hope will help in your search for truth.

WMD is NOT the reason we invaded Iraq.

(Focusing on this point is merely a diversion. You may, or may not, be aware of that).

It is the FEAR of WMDs that brought U.S. policy to a fundamental shift in responce to terrorism after the 9/11 attacks. Part of that shift was to 'call in the cards' on Saddam Hussein and his weapons program.

Whether the WMDs are to be found in Iraq, or not, not the question.

Whether Saddam Hussein would comply with UN resolutions, or not, WAS the question......... and we know that answer.

Shifting onto the secondary is a cheap tactic. Any trained mind can see it.

Thu May 20 2004 6:18 AM


hi jim!

i'm the one hosting a low quality version of the truth uncovered. if you want, i'll take it down. i'm a graphic designer/photographer that usually feel very strongly about copyright laws. after seeing this outstanding documentary though, i felt this overwhelming need to pass it on to as many people as possible.
thank you thank you for this movie!
please let me know if you want me to take it down!

Thu May 27 2004 12:34 PM

Jim Gilliam:

Thank you Mya!

Please continue to host it and get it out to as many people as possible. That's the goal, and we encourage everyone to make copies to give to friends or drop from airplanes.

Sat May 29 2004 3:59 PM


i love kerry, i hate anyboy who hates my boy kerry

Wed Oct 6 2004 12:41 PM


i love kerry, i hate anyboy who hates my boy kerry

Wed Oct 6 2004 12:41 PM

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


Add to My Yahoo!

Last week's soundtrack:

jgilliam's Weekly Artists Chart