Monday, April 11, 2005

The Kerry Bashing Continues, Making Even Less Sense

Jerome, the former paid Dean hack over at MyDD, is continuing his Kerry bashing. His latest attacks have been to find ways, however weak, to compare Blair's campaign to Kerry's, presumably to blame Kerry should Blair lose. Today he writes "Yet more signs that Tony Blair is using John Kerry hand-me-downs for his tired campaign-- U2's Beautiful Day is the party's official campaign song and you get hit up with the lame-ass-splash to get into Labour's website." Never mind that Kerry didn't us a U2 song--apparently simply having a campaign song is somehow a "Kerry hand-me-down." The splash to get to the Labour website is as much reminiscent of Dean's site as Kerry's. Also, never mind that at least one Dean campaign aide is currently working for Blair.

I don't intend this to be a criticism of Howard Dean, or of all his supporters, but of his single minded supporters who see everything Dean as good and everything Kerry as evil, despite the fact that the two of them agreed on far more positions than they disagreed upon--including Iraq. Admittedly Kerry made mistakes in his campaign, but the point is that both Kerry and Dean are human, and both have good and bad qualities. If we are to judge based upon political results, Dean's total meltdown in the final weeks of the primary battle could be taken as a far more significant sign of faulty political instincts than Kerry's domination of the primary battle and close race against an incumbent president.

The mind set we repeatedly see on some of the pro-Dean blogs is that Kerry's loss to Bush is in itself proof that they were right in supporting Dean over Kerry. They have the advantage of a known result in the Bush vs. Kerry race, and a total lack of data for a hypothetical Bush vs. Dean. They ignore the difficulties in defeating an incumbent President in wartime, and the effects of the right wing attack machine.

In retrospect, looking at how Bush won and the issues which mattered, while it is impossible to say with certainty what would have happened in a race which never occurred, it does appear likely that Dean would have performed much more poorly than Kerry against Bush--most likely losing by a landslide rather than in a close election. In a race where national security was a key issue, with Republicans succeeding in making the Democrats appear weak, a Dean campaign would have played right into such false claims of Republican superiority on defense. If they could make Kerry, who was the war hero compared to Bush who went AWOL from the National Guard, imagine what they would have done with ads portraying Dean skiing in Aspen. Where "moral values" was the deciding point, a more secular candidate such as Dean would have been even weaker than the legitimately religious Kerry.

On the real issues, both sides are actually in agreement. Both oppose the manner in which Bush lied us into an unnecessary war, and both oppose the influence of the religious right on public policy. Kerry and Dean are similar in many ways, with both being socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Where Kerry and Dean do differ on the issues, the differences are generally minor, with Kerry typically taking the more liberal stand of the two. It's time for Dean's hacks to come back to reality in opposing the real proponents of policies we disagree with, rather than continuing their senseless Kerry bashing.


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