March 13, 2004

I thought the election was in November...

These presidential election campaigns just get longer and longer. Remember when RFK didn't get into the 1968 Democratic race until the California primary in frickin' June? Remember when Jerry Ford finally won the 1976 Republican nomination at the convention? Or when Ted Kennedy took his challenge to Jimmy Carter to the final day of the 1980 convention?

Aside from an unsuccessful semi-insurgency by John McCain -- and an even less effective one by Bill Bradley -- George W. Bush and Al Gore were the annointed "inevitable" nominees in the 2000 primaries. I remember that the dogdays of the campaign left voters wondering "how the hell did we end up with THESE two...?" In fact, I remember well, following the Vice Presidential debate between Dick Cheney and Joe Leiberman voters were wondering why they couldn't have THOSE two at the top of the tickets.

It was Ron Brown's brilliant idea - in 1992 - to get the Democrats to choose a nominee as early as possible and unite behind him. Why? Because he didn't want Jerry Brown (in whose campaign I was an eager volunteer [we won Connecticut, woo hoo!]), or any other Democrat, to damage Bill Clinton.
Ever since 1992 there's been a belief by the Democrats that uniting behind one candidate as early as possible will help that candidate win in November. When Howeird Dean began to inspire a grassroots insurgency that threatened the annointed "inevitable" nominee, John Kerry, the machine came down hard on Dean.
Now the Democratic rank and file have Kerry as their nominee, and now they're learning who they obediently nominated.

But, that's another story. Back to the long campaign:

Kerry now says that he wants to have monthly debates with Bush beginning in the spring. (Drudge linked to this article.) The Democrats began the 2004 election cycle as soon as the 2002 mid-terms were lost. Most of the candidates have been actively campaigning for a year now. So, for wanting to start the debates immediately, I have this to say to Senator Kerry:

Shut up and do your job! Crikey, neither you nor Bush have even been nominated yet. The conventions aren't until August! Bush is running ads this early only because YOU have been in unending campaign mode since Ho Chi Minh City was still named Saigon.
You've cast about 3 votes -- and missed 22 of 22 roll calls -- in the Senate while you were busy campaigning and mortgaging Teresa's your houses.
President Bush is a busy man and wont be focused on debating You until the fall -- which is when the debates are supposed to be held. What do you think you are, some kinda shadow President? Is your presumptive nomination of the Democratic Party deluding you into thinking that the President of the United States has as much time to waste on partisan mudslinging as you think you do?
You know all those paychecks you've been receiving from the taxpayers? How about showing up in the Senate and earning one of them for a change? You've got absolutely nothing to do until the convention, so, John, please just lay low, earn your pay, and we'll see you after Labor Day y' caviar eatin' whining slacker bastard.

Posted by Tuning Spork at March 13, 2004 06:11 PM

Here, here!!!! One of my favorite things on tv when I was a kid was to watch the conventions on tv--and when the votes came, I loved when the states stood up saying things like "The great state of Idaho, grower of the world's best potatoes (etc. etc.) casts 18 votes for so-and-so..." and it wasn't just a formality. That was so cool. Gavel to gavel coverage is pointless now, because there's no drama anymore...

Posted by: Susie at March 14, 2004 10:38 AM
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