Response to Kerry Bashing From The Democratic Daily
This is not an open forum. This is a blog to present our views. It is our full intention to inject our opinions and take sides on issues.
Expressing differing opinions here is fine, but expect to hear a response if we disagree. Especially expect a response to weakly reasoned and factually incorrect comments such as your comments regarding Kerry above.
The party does not benefit by routinely trashing its last candidate. This is especially true when done based upon bogus claims such as those common in the blogosphere (such as that Kerry didn’t attack Bush, Kerry supported the war, or that Kerry conceded the election when he could have won).
The truth of the matter is that Kerry was one of the earliest Democrats to attack Bush and the war, while most Democrats were afraid to take on Bush in the post 9/11 era. For more on this, see my recent blog entry here.
Most of the trashing of Kerry is based upon the Dean campaign’s need to differentiate Dean from the other northeastern liberal who started out well ahead of Dean. Dean ran an initially successful smear campaign against Kerry (and hopefully can do the same against the Republican, this time more honestly as he has the facts on his side). Fortunately most Democrats ultimately saw through the campaign arguments and voted for Kerry over Dean in the primaries, but the old ideas continued in the blogosphere. Those who already had a distorted view of Kerry were subsequently open to all the nonsense arguments regarding Kerry’s concession.
The party would be much stronger if Democrats took advantage of the leadership of former candidates. Not only did Kerry strongly criticize Bush both before and during the 2004 election, he continued post-election. It has been John Kerry who has argued that we must stick to our liberal principles, while many other Democrats wanted to move to the center.
The Republicans are stronger due to waging such continuous campaigns. You never see Republicans attack their former candidates. In Europe, opposition parties are often successful by sticking with an opposition leader to allow him to gradually gain support and change the minds of those with earlier disagreements and misconceptions. Democrats appear doomed starting late with a new leader before each election. Such new candidates are successfully defined by the Republican noise machine as they are not yet well known, and then attacked by Democrats as well as Republicans should they lose.
Unless we break this cycle, we will have an endless number of Dukakis, Gore, and Kerry loses. There are not many Bill Clintons out there, and it is even questionable if a Bill Clinton could still win today. Republicans benefit from presenting their arguments for years, and having leaders in the spot light with the full support of the party. When the general election campaign comes around, the media only follows the horse race and everything else is left to sound bites. The Republicans can get by by just presenting their sound bites as people have heard their arguments for years, and the sound bite is enough for them to recall the rest.
After the election, John Kerry studied the successes of European opposition parties, and is attempting do what some of them have done to gradually overturn the ruling party. All Democrats benefit from this, regardless of whether John Kerry ultimately winds up the 2008 candidate. Whenever Kerry’s opposition to the Bush Administration receives criticism from Democrats as well as Republicans, we are just helping the Republicans remain in power.