August 05, 2004

One year ago today

[Since I seem to have zero energy for writing a new post, I'll post this from August 5th, 2003. It's interesting that, apparently at the time, I considered Joe Leiberman to be the likely candidate to knock Howard Dean out of his growing front-runner status. John Kerry, at the time, was getting no meaningful support even though the media had touted him as the most electable of the Democrats who'd announced their candidacies. Anywho, here's:]


There's a Democratic Party base that absolutely hates George W. Bush. You know the type; they rant slogans like "selected not elected", "Bush lied, people died", "Bush=Hitler", "SUVs kill kittens", "Sic Semper Tobaccus", "Free Castro!", "We're here; We're obnoxious smelly unemployable anti-self-defense anarcho-socialist weasels; Get used to it!" They want nothing more than to see Bush defeated.

This is a large part of the crowd that loves Howard Dean, and has now made him the face of the Democrat election season. Why Howard Dean? Because Dean, more than any other Democratic candidate (though Kusinich is a close second) has presented himself as the Anti-Bush.

Although many of his positions on several "litmus test" issues for Democrats -- such as gun rights and the death penalty -- are moderate to conservative, he was the first to flat out oppose the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He would bring the troops home, essentially gut the funding for the war on terrorism, and spend the money on a federally administered national health-care system.

But here's a curious problem that the Democrats face: Being so anti-Bush that they want him defeated at all costs in '04, they naturally gravitate toward the Anti-Bush: Dean. But, being such an Anti-Bush, Dean has little chance of defeating the President, whose job approval rating is in the 50-60% range.
The war on terrorism, the Afghanistan mission the Iraq war are all popular and well-regarded accomplishments. Unless the situation in Iraq turns significantly worse, that isn't likely to change.

The Democrats' issue is -- and could still be in a year's time -- the economy and the deficit. The only Democrat running who seems to have, in any way, positioned himself to win next November is Joe Leiberman. But the Anti-Bush, Dean, has called Leiberman "Bush Lite", and claims that being Bush Lite will not defeat Bush. Presumably, being the Anti-Bush will.

Seems to me the Democratic Party base that votes in the primaries have to make a choice between their core motivations: a) to be so anti-Bush that they nominate Howard Dean, and b) to defeat Bush, at all cost, in 2004. Can they do both?

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:24 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Posted by Tuning Spork at August 5, 2004 04:30 PM
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