A Rejection of Liberalism or Just the Left?

Now that the election is over and the left has had time to stew over the results I have made a strange discovery. I discovered that I have been under the very misguided assumption that having no third party or independent candidate to blame for their loss the Democrats might actually start looking at themselves for the source of their failure.

:stupid:

Instead, among the political commentary, circulating email, and discussions of left-leaning friends, neighbors, and bloggers I've come across, the Democrats seem to be blaming everyone but themselves (though admittedly no one yet seems to be foolish enough to be blaming Nader).

I've heard:

"How can so many Americans be soooo stupid?"

"How can so many Americans have had the wool pulled over their eyes?"
"How can so many Americans have bought into G.W. Bush?"

I've known Democrats who started campaigning in 2000 to get rid of Bush. The common belief was that a united opposition couldn't lose. If we start early enough, if we want it bad enough, if we are flexible enough (Anybody But Bush...), and if we are united enough, then we can't lose.

So all of those anti-war Democrats enraged over the invasion of Iraq may have compromised a little by backing a candidate who didn't exactly oppose the war in Iraq.

And all those Democrats who were upset with Bush's stance on gay marriage may have compromised a little by backing a candidate who agreed with the president that marriage was a union exclusive to heterosexuals.

All those Democrats who felt that the erosion of civil liberties since 9-11 via the Patriot Act was unconscionable, well they may have also compromised just a little by backing a candidate who not only voted for the Patriot Act but also helped to author it.

The underlying sentiment within all the complaints and bewilderment of the left is that somehow, and for some reason America has rejected liberalism. There were referenda in a number of states that were in opposition to gay marriage, but they were by and large in states that were already highly conservative. In fact the referendum might as well have said "Hey are you guys really conservative christians out here? Yes or no?"

Even if a presidential election could serve as a useful indicator of the cultural trends in this country (and given the heavy restrictions on ballot access in the U.S., I think you'd have better luck watching MTV) wouldn't you have to nominate someone who was actually liberal before America could reject liberalism by not voting for him?

:end:

So as Democrats talk about the "darkening of the political spectrum" and the "shadow looming over America," I have to say that I think it is appropriate that most Americans wouldn't vote for a not-candidate. The Democrats have spent the last four years chanting "anybody but Bush" and "I'd vote for a ::insert random inanimate object here:: if I thought it could beat Bush." In that time the only positive change they managed to promote was "not-Bush," the only positive values they agreed upon was "not-Bush," the only common ideology among them was "not-Bush," and the only uniting principle within the self-described "liberal party" was "not-Bush."

I think its safe to say that a majority of American voters have rejected the "not-Bush" doctrine. Don't feel too bad Dems - it's not like you were promoting something important.

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its not like the Dems have

its not like the Dems have done anything for their constituents lately either? Only one Democrat voted against the Patriot Act. The party is not in favor of redefining marriage to include same-sex couples and also supports a ban on partial-birth abortions. So bottom line is that there is more between Republicans and Democrats that unites them than divides them.

For any of you Audible.com members, there is a free download of the "3rd Party Debates". Badnarik did wonderfully and is worth the hour long listen.

Rainbough, I enjoy your

Rainbough,

I enjoy your posting so much more when you aren't going off on something political.

If you have something to help promote your third-party candidate[thank-you Spoonie, I think I'll give that a listen this week.]let's hear it.

Did you actually follow this campaign? John Kerry started out as a respected Senator with a distinguised Vietnam service record, and the right[or more specifically, the Smear boat vets] very effectively reduced him to 'liberal-hippie-communist-collaborator'! I don't think anyone will ever know 'exactly' why he didn't win the election. It wasn't, however, exactly a total loss when the man had a whopping 50+million votes. Those numbers say something to our leaders, even if the 'red' numbers were higher.

'Don't feel too bad Dem's it's not like you were promoting something important.'

Any attempt to reduce the Democratic agenda -- with the primary goal being to get experienced, strong leadership involved in the debacle in Iraq -- is not only ridiculous, but insulting.

But, maybe that's the only thing your 3rd party has to offer?

PS: Michigan also had the Gay marriage bill on its ballot, a VERY liberal State -- and it PASSED here too. Go figure.

Diana "I enjoy your posting

Diana

"I enjoy your posting so much more when you aren't going off on something political."

Thanks but I enjoy writing the political stuff the most, so you are likely to see a lot more of it.

"If you have something to help promote your third-party candidate[thank-you Spoonie, I think I'll give that a listen this week.]let's hear it."

This is about the Democrats. Its not about anybody else.

"Did you actually follow this campaign?"

Yes

"John Kerry started out as a respected Senator with a distinguised Vietnam service record, and the right[or more specifically, the Smear boat vets] very effectively reduced him to 'liberal-hippie-communist-collaborator'!

I didn't follow the mudslinging stuff so I'm really not familiar with what the vet boat guys said.

"It wasn't, however, exactly a total loss when the man had a whopping 50+million votes. Those numbers say something to our leaders, even if the 'red' numbers were higher."

I agree, in fact I've had a hard time convincing other people that 300,000 + votes for a candidate says something to our leaders, but I do agree.

'Don't feel too bad Dem's it's not like you were promoting something important.'

"Any attempt to reduce the Democratic agenda -- with the primary goal being to get experienced, strong leadership involved in the debacle in Iraq -- is not only ridiculous, but insulting. "

ROFL.... Yeah Right... If y'all wanted experienced strong, effective leadership in Iraq why would you choose a lieutenant from vietnam over the former supreme commander of NATO. Furthermore if you wanted to repair alliances, and gain back respect lost internationally why would anyone go with John Kerry over Wesley Clarke? Why? Because there was no NO talk about respectability, experience, and leadership in Iraq during primary season. The talk was about "electability." "Who can beat Bush?" "Who is the most electable?" It didn't matter what his wartime experience was nor how distinguished as long as he was "electable." The rallying cry of the Democrats for the past four years, and even the last year has never been "strong leadership in Iraq" its been time and time again "anybody but Bush" "I'd vote for a cardboard box if I thought it could beat Bush." etc.

"But, maybe that's the only thing your 3rd party has to offer?"

See now you're attacking my credibility by implying that I am only criticizing the Dem's to promote my own agenda and my own candidate, thus implying that the criticisms are manufactured. Guess what I'm not a member of the Libertarian party and even if I was I wouldn't stoop to mudslinging to promote my ideas nor my favored candidate. You must think my arguments are awfully convincing to be going after me rather than my arguments.

I know that most Democrats believed this election was incredibly important, and would be very frustrated by the implication that they were not promoting anything important. My argument is that their campaign all along has been about "not bush," and "not bush" no matter how vile and evil a being the Democrats may believe he is, is neither an important message nor an important agenda.

I realize you were insulted by some of my comments but deciding to vent your frustration at a third party of which I am not even affiliated in a quasi guilt-by-remote-association doesn't help your cause. I hope you were just venting and not meaning that with any seriousness. If I decided to let every insulting opinion that anyone planning on voting Democrat expressed on the internet color my opinion of the Democratic party I would have been far less generous in my critique. In fact I probably couldn't have even written anything that was appropriate to put on this site.

PS: Michigan also had the Gay marriage bill on its ballot, a VERY liberal State -- and it PASSED here too. Go figure.

And Ohio isn't exactly the capital of super conservativism either that's why I said "by and large" which basically means most of them.

(BTW Michigan is very Democrat its not "very liberal." I grew up in a state where Democrats were the conservative party so I have no doubt that there were more than enough conservative Democrats among the voting population in Michigan to oppose equal status for gays and lesbians.)

Bastiat was on to this topic

Bastiat was on to this topic about 150 years ago.

Before the election, the electorate is omniscient. Every vote must count! Vote for whoever you want, but vote! Count every vote! Democracy at all costs! The people are always right!

After the election: Oh shit, you dumbasses voted for the wrong guy! The people are so easily fooled! Wait, don't count those votes, they must be fradulent! What we need is some kind of check or balance to stop the violence of faction!

Also remember in the last election that we simply had to get rid of the antiquated electoral college. Haven't heard that much this election.

Wesley Clarke didn't win the

Wesley Clarke didn't win the Democratic nomination, John Kerry did, and was then endorsed by Clarke. Yes, if he was good enough for Clarke to endorse -- he was good enough for me to vote for.

I wasn't attacking your 'credibility' , nor do I think your 'arguments' were anything but sniping. Just commenting that I don't see you offer up anything positive about a party you believe in[if you believe in one that is.] just slams to the Dems -- if you're not republican, you should consider it -- as you sound quite like one.

The campaign really had more substance to it than 'not bush' -- and yes, I am still insulted to hear otherwise. Used to it from visiting forums that are more fomenting in nature, but not here.

Then you wish to close by telling me that my impressions of the State I live in are incorrect . . . okay then.

Detroit may be 'left', but

Detroit may be 'left', but Michigan never struck me as being particularly liberal. My sister & brother & law live outside of Detroit and they're red-state material all the way (active religious protestants, republican-last-time-I-asked/checked, gun rights, squeemish about abortion absolutism, etc). Now, they may not have voted for Bush this time around either, but being that their area just outside of Detroit is pretty much just like they are, I think it's a bit of a stretch to say Michigan is a "very liberal state". Massachusetts, it ain't. Its not even California.

Michigan is the home of old heavy industry and thus a bastion of blue-collar/industrialist protectionists, whose home has traditionally been the Democratic party. Blue collar folk are not "liberal" in almost any sense of the term- I could go as far as saying "populist" and "agreeable to socialist/statist rhetoric so long as it gives them jobs and/or money", but to a person blue collar folk tend to be fairly socially conservative (social conservatism isn't antagonistic with socialism either; witness the current leaders of the republican party!).

Judging the Democratic campaign on how suited its means were to the ends stated by you, I'd say they were either very irrational or very incompetent. John Kerry simply did not articulate a compelling alternative vision for Iraq. His position was almost precisely - "I'd do the same as Bush, but better," which is no position at all. He mumbled about plans (of which no specifics ever came), global tests (a really dumb idea to say something like that), allies, etc, but never brought it together into a coherent critique of the Bush plan.

You can say that BushCo handled the aftermath of the war incompetently all you like (and I'd agree with you!), but that statement is not enough on its own to warrant putting anyone else in.

Rainbough is absolutely correct taht in the primary season, voting democrats were obsessed with electability. They thought in gross terms of "how does this match up against Bush", such as Kerry's military record (not that it was particularly relevant to today, but simply that he had one was touted as a shield vs. Bush). They thought his "nuance" would maximize voters by saying everything to everyone, and thus BushHeit would push 'em over. So when Dean started to unravel, even though I suspect in the primary voters' hearts they believed in Dean's message more than Kerry's, they switched to the "safe" guy.

Aside from one really partisan Democrat (who's hot, so I let it slide :smitten:), I haven't run into any rank and file politically active democrats that were positive about Kerry.

I went to an Edwards fundraiser party in the primary season(pre-California debate, right before Edwards got his final asskicking in the primaries), and I heard the same thing Rainbough did- literally, a woman there said "I'd vote for a chicken sandwich against Bush" (previously a ham sandwich but a Jewish guy jokingly objected). They all knew that Edwards had no chance, and literally consoled themselves by saying "well, kerry and Edwards' politics are the same, moderate-to-progressive", and when Edwards got destroyed in the debate with Kerry, one of the workers at the firm hosting it (a democratic polling firm) signed in resignation and said "well, it all comes down to getting out the black & hispanic vote now. Sigh."

Even the professional partisans knew that Kerry wasn't much of a candidate. And it is also true that Kerry *did* hew very closely to many Bush positions (on Iraq, on gay marriage, on taxes, on spending(!)), and Kerry's remarks about how the WOT should be considered a law enforcement matter really sank him with the Security Moms & people for whom the WOT is a high priority. Because Kerry couldn't come up with a solid position and defend it, he projected weakness & fecklessness and the US WOT voters (and pretty much all issue driven voters) disappointed in Bush couldn't justify switching.

Thus, Kerry made Bush's biggest liability, his bullheaded stubbornness, into the winning edge. Bush always hews to a straightforward line - "I'm gonna kill the terrorists, no matter what", and "I'm right & AMerica is right, fuck any who disagree", which in the final analysis is more comforting to WOT voters than "well, we need to talk about it with our 'allies' and then catch those bad guys with police, after they commit the crime".

Yes, I know Kerry didn't actually mean it to sound as horrifically limp wristed as it sounded (and sounds), but thems the breaks. A competent candidate wouldn't have gotten into that mess in the first place. Americans don't want to have their security fettered or dependent upon kissing Euro (read: French & German) ass. He had to make it clear in all ways, in every way, that US security response is independent of & superior (not subordinate) to European opinion. If he'd made that clear, THEN he could make the case that US strength and purposes are best served by fostering our trans-atlantic alliances. He put the cart before the horse, and now is just a senator from Mass. again.

Good read on Michigan. Royal

Good read on Michigan. Royal Oak and Ann Arbor notwithstanding, I don't think of Michigan as being very liberal either, but more of a mixed bag. It's no Southern Cal.

Two large demographic groups tip the scales in favor of Democrats in elections. One is the large concentration of United Auto Workers that mostly populate Wayne and southern Macomb Counties. They are Meat n' Potato hockey-watching blue-collar workers who may walk the left-wing economic line of entitlements and protectionism (pro-tariff/anti-"outsourcing"), but aren't too laissez-faire tolerant of gay relationships, let alone gay marriage.

Second is the large African-American community of the city of Detroit. Historically liberal in an economic sense, I'd be willing to bet that many (i.e. Religious Left) Kerry supporters don't necessarily disagree with Bush's social conservativism and either skipped or checked "No" on Proposal 2.

Actually Southern California

Actually Southern California is where the Republicans in CA live... :wink:

Brian, First, I don't live

Brian,
First, I don't live 'in' Detroit, I'm in Waterford. And Doug, where do you think the liberals in California came from?? At least, most of the Californians I know weren't born and raised there. The State[Michigan] has colleges/Universities in most regions and are surrounded by liberals.

I originally supported Kucinich, until I decided that he was just a bit too flaky for my taste -- then I supported Clarke. I wasn't certain about Kerry until I saw him in person in Detroit.

Y'all mention the Auto workers, as in blue collar workers -- but don't forget -- there are a LOT of white collar workers, engineers, etc that are here and I'd say the majority are liberal. Many of them came here from Europe and are now US citizens.

If you've run into only one politically active dem who was certain about Kerry, you simply haven't met enough of us. I met with dems in several States during the course of this campaign, and many of them were certain of John Kerry all along.

Ah, screw it, I have to run. I just think you guys are off, Rainbough too, and that her post was insulting - period.

Diana

> "And Doug, where do you

> "And Doug, where do you think the liberals in California came from?? At least, most of the Californians I know weren't born and raised there."

This partially proves my point. If Michigan isn't much of a hospitable place for social liberal ideas, they'll tend to move to a place where it is more inviting.

> "Y'all mention the Auto workers, as in blue collar workers – but don't forget – there are a LOT of white collar workers, engineers, etc that are here and I'd say the majority are liberal."

You and I must have different impressions. Based partially on my post-graduate stint at Oakland University where my classes were filled with automotive white-collar folks, as well as having worked at auto suppliers for several years, I'm pretty confident that white collar workers aren't as widespread liberal as you say (and the number of South Asian engineers I see far, far outweigh Europeans... and Asians don't seem to be fall under one specific political umbrella). Just in overhearing peoples' candidate preferences over the past few elections, I'd say it's a solid mix.

The only point I'm addressing in your post is your claim of a paradox existing in Michigan, whereas Michigan is "very liberal", yet Proposal 2 (Gay Marriage Ban) passed. I don't think it's a paradox. Your average Ford Rouge Plant graveyard shift worker, third-grade public school teacher, and Sunday church-going African-American woman may all be lifelong Democrats, but this doesn't necessarily mean they are going to accept gay marriage (or any other socially 'taboo' ideas) in any way, shape, or form. They each have their own 1 or 2 personalized "hot button" platforms that draw them to the Democratic Party, while all the other platforms are viewed as insignificant.

Has no-one thought of the

Has no-one thought of the possibility that at the very least, 30 million
of the votes for Kerry were simply "ABB" voters?
I believe that! If you want to see some real nasty dem remarks go to
powerlineblog.com

Shows their true nature?:evil:

Diana, Let me try to explain

Diana,

Let me try to explain a potential reason why your comment elicited such a strong reaction. It was this comment:

If you have something to help promote your third-party candidate[thank-you Spoonie, I think I’ll give that a listen this week.]let’s hear it.

Most of us don't belong to any party or have ever promoted any political candidate. At best, some of us hold our noses while pulling the lever, and most of us don't even do that. If one of your arguments against Rainbough's post is that she should support a third party candidate, then that's pretty much irrelevant to her post, which is about why John Kerry lost the election.

Most of us, including myself, loathe the fact that all of our preferences have to be bundled together into mostly contradictory platforms for one party or another. It's why I don't participate in politics. Most voting Americans believe that we have to choose one party or another, and then support them, rally around them, and have faith in him. It creates an unrealistic image in the minds of voters - the "good guy" and the "bad guy".

It's okay to say that both major party candidates are ridiculous, and that all the candidates are ridiculous, and that the whole system is ridiculous. There is no reason for us to support any 3rd party candidate, nor should we have to refrain from calling any of the candidates ridiculous.

To say Kerry assisted the

To say Kerry assisted the Communists re: the Vietnam War is not a smear.

I've seen the film.

A film Kerry did not deny.

I saw his first debate with O'Neal.

I saw his congressional testimony.

You know something like that is kind of hard to cover up.

My ideal candidate was Lieberman.

Diana, But to get back to

Diana,
But to get back to your point, I think Rainbough is essentially correct that Kerry ran as the notBush. You might have seen him as something more than a notBush, but that's not how most voters saw him. notBush didn't appeal much to the Democrat base or to swing voters, and it cost Democrats the election.

"In fact the referendum

"In fact the referendum might as well have said “Hey are you guys really conservative christians out here? Yes or no?”"

Wow, Oregon as a 57% "Conservative Christina" state!

What color is the sky in your universe?

In mine, a sunny sky is blue, and there isn't a single state in the Union where a majority favor gay marriage. There isn't even a single state where it's close enough that people who favor gay marriage are willing to try to put it to a vote. And even in San Francisco, the guy who won the Mayor's race didn't say a thing about gay marriage during the race.

I gues the whole country is nothing but a bunch of "Conservative Christians". Yeah, right.

Oh so, Kerry lied in his

Oh so, Kerry lied in his Diaries when he said he met with the North Vietnamese in Paris.

Oh that was a voice over were Kerry was calling all Soldiers in Vietnam Rapists, Child Killers and likening them to the horde of Ghengis Kahn.

Oh it must not have been John Kerry on the Senate floor talking about his trip into Cambodia.

Why did he not come out and say he did not do these things. Oh wait, he said he did them and you call the Swift boat people liars wow.

Jonathan, No, I wasn't

Jonathan,
No, I wasn't arguing that Rainbough *should* support a 3rd party candidate. I simply would have preferred to hear something constructive at this point post-election about ANY party, and I took offense to how she presented her opinion.

I also don't see how it's possible at this point for anyone to say with complete authority how or why the election ended the way it did.

Diana

James S, Yes Kerry was in

James S,

Yes Kerry was in Paris as were MANY people -- it was called 'The Paris Peace Talks' -- and they were open to the public.

Kerry did not accuse ALL Vietnam Vets of attrocities, can you follow that? There were also other members of the military WITH him in the Senate chambers when he met with them and they backed up his statements. Are you saying that the roomful of decorated military in the Senate in 1971 was a bunch of liars?

I see the Smear boat Vets did a job on you, eh?

Also, Jonathan, if the

Also, Jonathan, if the reason there was strong reaction to my post was the mention of supporting 3rd party candidates -- what the heck was all the crap about Michigan not being liberal?? There is a HUGE arts, and music community, as well as German-Americans in the auto industry, [ps:why can't I c&p here without the entire board being copied? Problem on my end?]

Oh, never mind. I'm running late again. :)

We're still working on the

We're still working on the bad cut & paste.

A workaround is to click a word, then click again to expand it to a paragraph. You can then cut the para, then clip it when its in the text box down to size. That's how I do it...

To hit a side note raised by

To hit a side note raised by Jonathan, the virtue of our two-party system (which America will always be even if the Dems get replaced by the Libertarians, then it will be L vs. Rep.; its a structural thing) is that it forces politicians to govern from the middle. That's more stable, and stable with modest changes in gov't is good.

I was for Bush, but I think Lieberman could very likely have taken him.

And the senator was not very distinguished. He had very little to his name that he accomplished in the Senate.

like the emoticons.

Tadeusz

From what I've read,

From what I've read, California passed a no gay marrage amendment to its constitution back in 2000, the vote in favor was upwards of 60%. There were only two counties it didn't pass in, and one of them contains San Francisco.

If gay marrage won't fly in California, it won't fly anywhere in the U.S.

Diana, I don't want to come

Diana,

I don't want to come across as being nitpicky, but I disagreed with your opinion of Michigan as being "VERY liberal", a term I would more appropriately apply to Hawaii, California, and most of New England. At the same time, while I wouldn't say Michigan is conservative, the Dutch Belt of western Michigan is among the most conservative in the Midwest.

Kerry won Michigan 51% to Bush's 48%, not exactly a slam-dunk when compared to a Vermont (59% vs. 39%).

My opinion is that Michigan Democrats are different than the eurostyle Hawaii/SoCal/New England Democrats in that the former are more likely to be socially conservative. Despite the presence of Ann Arbor and blonde Detroit rappers and Zellweger-dating garage rockers, the arts in Michigan are rather weak compared to the Coasts (and Chicago). The Michigan donkey vote is primarily driven by rust-belt industry workers, something Providence and San Jose don't have.

Sen. Kerry's actions during

Sen. Kerry's actions during and immediately after the Vietnam war are functionally irrelevant to the case recently at hand, which was whether he was an acceptable alternative to the status quo. I didn't pay any attention to the Swift Vet stuff for that reason.

What I wanted from Kerry was a clearly articulated alternative vision that contrasted with Bush in substantial ways. Saying "wrong war, wrong time" is a mindless muddle that gives the barest coherence to the antiwar feeling. I wanted him to tell us *why* it was the wrong war at the wrong time. The problem then was that all he came up with was "No allies", which got the peevish and somewhat funny response from Bush about Poland, but underscored the essential bullshit of that line of attack- the US had 'allies', it just didn't have a huge groundswell of allied support (it wasn't an international game of Smear The Saddam). That Mr. Nuance couldn't come up with a better way to say that than the dissembling "no allies" bit told against his ability to comprehend the issue.

I didn't hear anything from Mr. Kerry that suggested he had a better plan to deal with insurgency, such as either proposing federalism, more troops, or cutting and running, or what have you. He gave vague promises of "lets get the UN involved" and, worst of all, "lets have a summit and talk about the problem".

Holy crap, man. That there will be diplomacy involved should be a :furious:'n given- tell us your policy goals. That he kept saying "lets talk" and nothing else probably led a good number of people to (like me) think that talking *was* his policy goal, as opposed to getting any real results on the ground. This also told against his ability to comprehend & deal with the problem if the best he can do is hope that a solution will appear in a conference.

Mr. Kerry did not tell us how he'd more effectively fight terror, aside from vague mentions of (again) allies and diplomacy and working with law enforcement, etc, etc. Which is, of course, what Bush is doing, so we're left with "I'll do it better," but the problem is if you're running as a more competent version of the incumbent, then you ought to run a more competent campaign, should you not? The reality was staring the people in the face- Mr. Kerry had no other alternative vision to offer except "more competent", yet he ran a campaign that looked befuddled compared to the Chimp-in-Chief's. That contradiction is also not lost on the electorate.

To hit a side note raised by

To hit a side note raised by Jonathan, the virtue of our two-party system (which America will always be even if the Dems get replaced by the Libertarians, then it will be L vs. Rep.; its a structural thing) is that it forces politicians to govern from the middle. That’s more stable, and stable with modest changes in gov’t is good.

Disagree. It promtes big govt. When there is stalemate, logrolling enables both parties to pass legislation from the 'extremes' of each side rather than merely modest changes.

Rainbough, I apologize for

Rainbough,

I apologize for my initial anger in response to your post. Still touchy post-election. I also viewed a Blog a moment ago called 'bloodletting' -- eek! So . . . free speech and all. Peace?

Brian,

John Kerry proposed more troops in Iraq. Among other things, and he did so clearly and articulately. I suppose I'll have to dig up a url for you if I get a chance later.

Doug,

What do you want, man? An invite to the next art gallery opening?? :beatnik:

Diana

This was easier to find than

This was easier to find than I thought:

>>He[Kerry] also said that "if it requires more troops in order to create the stability that eliminates the chaos" discouraging the United Nations and other countries from helping, "that's what we have to do."<<

http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/nation/president/2004-04-18-kerry-nbc_x.htm?POE=NEWISVA

Of course this article insn't exactly a complete overview, but it was easy enough to verify his intent to send in more troops as needed.

Why can't we all just get

Why can't we all just get along? :argue: :grin:

Isn't it plainly obvious how

Isn't it plainly obvious how much of a waffle that is? He says "IF it requires more troops, blah blah blah" and that's it. He doesn't then say "and that's in fact what I think, so if you elect me I will send more troops." Setting up that kind of if/then makes a decent argument, but it is not a policy proposal. The fact that he insists on using the royal "we" instead of the bolder "I" further illustrates his failure to connect with voters.

As well as his continued

As well as his continued invocation of the fantasy role the UN would play, when it was clear months before now that the UN would not help regardless of the person in the White House, that the French & Germans would not help, that the Muslim world (the greater Umma) would not help...

So equivocating in the face of obvious contradiction, and maintaining that fantasy both told against his seriousness on the issue. As Noah said, for me to take him seriously on Iraq, he would have had to say "I will send more troops. I will then invite other countries to come along and help the Iraqi people get out of this mess, but know this: I will send more US troops to Iraq to get the job done sooner so they all can come home." Now THAT would be a position, unlike "if we can't get UN support, well, maybe we'll put some, if we have to, sorta."

And as I stated before, he said nothing about what he thought should be done in Iraq aside from "maybe, sorta have the UN involved." Should we insource reconstruction to the Iraqis? Should we concentrate on Iraqi Police and National Guard creation? Should we insist that Allawi be a lame duck PM and that he step down after the election? What?

For all his vaunted policy advisors, they never seemed to come up with much.

It does amaze what bad

It does amaze what bad sports the Dems/anti-Bushies are being. Can't they just admit they got beat badly? The nominated a crap candidate and then allowed idiots like Moore and others to hijack their cause. Rove & Co did not really have to work that hard to deliver a victory, the Dems were doing his job for him. All Bush & Co had to do was keep schtum and they were bound to winl. If the Dems & their allies keep this up they will further damage themselves in the eyes of the electorate and ensure they are out of power for a rather long time. :wall:

Of course Bush's opponent's outside the US are making themselves look even dumber...doing a very good job of convincing Americans who voted for Bush that they made the right choice.

If they were smart, the Dems would take a chill pill, and go relax for a few months. Then reconvene and try to figure out what exactly they did wrong.

Brian, Read the sentence I

Brian,
Read the sentence I posted again. Kerry makes it clear his policies/decisions won't be based on what pleases the UN or gets them to cooperate.

Noah,
No, it's not a waffle, how can anyone running for President in November say with absolute certainty what they will do in a war in January after they take office?

W could have nuked Iraq in the meantime.

Diana

Andrew, Kerry had over 50

Andrew,
Kerry had over 50 million votes. That's hardly beaten and beat badly. I also don't believe the party did anything 'wrong' -- regardless of all the new 'experts' stating the contrary.

Diana

Bush should have gone down

Bush should have gone down in flames, given his problems in foreign and domestic policy. At the very least, democrats should have made gains in the congress and in statehouses.

That the democrats did none of these things in an atmosphere of revulsion toward Bush seems to meet the criteria of beaten badly. It doesnt even seem like most national democrats even saw it coming, which makes it even worse. Hope vs. Belief, as Patri says. Hope that turnout would trump issues (or weak positions on them). It did- for the Republicans.

As far as the Kerry quote- (a) could he say *anything* without a qualifier? and (b) "if that's what it takes..." is not a solid pledge to put more boots on the ground, nor even a policy. It says that "this option is still on teh table", but it doesn't even begin to describe what options he may believe *are* on the table. No strategy, etc.

how can anyone running for President in November say with absolute certainty what they will do in a war in January after they take office?

The bare minimum I expect for anyone running for President is to outline a policy prescription for what they WANT to do, and that prescription ought to be comprehensive enough to deal with forseeable variation. Nobody can be held responsible for a campaign promise when the situation radically changes (ala blaming Bush for not being humble in foreign policy post-9/11, for example). Had Bush nuked Iraq in the interim before Kerry got into office, nobody would wonder when Kerry changed his Iraq position. That Kerry was too 'nuanced' to take *any* solid position on Iraq with some givens (ala "given the situation stays as it is, I will do X"), and that shows someone unserious about the most important policy question of the late election.

Strikes me, Bush didn't do

Strikes me, Bush didn't do so good, if just under half of the USA voted for Mr "I'd rather have my dog for president than Bush" Kerry.

It shouldn't even have been a contest.

Diana, My problem was that

Diana,

My problem was that you seemed to want to vent at the "third party" I supported because you were upset with my post. Second there is no logical reason that a critique of the Democratic party should include some positive promotion of any other party. I wasn't writing about libertarians, republicans, greens, constitutionalists, or any other party. I was writing about the Democrats.

I have had plenty of people in the past presume that I was republican because I had the gall to offer up a strong critique of Kerry and/or the Democrats. I still see the implication in your original comment that my only real goal in posting a critique is to promote some other candidate or party. To me thats saying "you're just mudslinging" (a.k.a. there is no substance to your critiques and an ulterior motive to posting them). Now that may not have been your intent, in which case I'm quite baffled why you bothered to mention the bit about "is that all your third party has to offer."

Now you seem to be saying that I should be trying to promote some other party rather than criticizing the Democrats. Why?

Now about Gay Marriage, I should have been more precise in my wording. All of those states were not voting for or against gay marriage they were voting whether or not to pass a constitutional amendment to make it extremely more difficult to legalize gay marriage in the future should a majority support it at that point. To me thats conservativism no matter how you slice it, and while perhaps many christians may not describe themselves as "conservative christians" I would bet that a majority of individuals in this country (50+%) subscribe to some form of christianity. Catholics for example do not typically call themselves "conservative christians" but they do tend to be conservative, especially on issues such as gay marriage, and they are Christian.

So I think some of you are underestimating how many christians there are out there and just how "conservative" most christians are when it comes to social issues. I know lots of liberal christians, and trust me, they are a minority and they know it. But I was referring to the "red" states in regards to my comment on what the referrendum could have said and I think I made that clear.

Now back to Kerry, I acutally followed the election pretty closely and I was well aware of the fact that Kerry planned on increasing both the number of troups in Iraq and the size of the U.S. military. My response to that was always "and where the hell does he think he's gonna get 45,000 troups? Its not like the recruiters are turning away people right and left."

So how was he going to drum up 45,000 new troops out of the American populace (and that was the plan)?

Let see he could make the recruiters more aggressive (pay increases, quota increases, bonuses), if you've ever talked to a recruiter let me tell you how horrible an idea that is.

Another option: offer higher pay to enlistees (can you say spending increase...), which wouldn't work in light of the fact that everyone knows that if you sign up you'll likely end up in Iraq. An extra 500 a month ain't gonna make anyone want to spend a year or more of their life as a big target in the desert.

Or they could get rid of the mandatory retirement after 20 years, and the age restrictions for entering the military. This is the best option in my opinion but also the least likely to happen because if the military liked the idea they'd be doing it now.

I suspect Kerry didn't put two seconds of time into figuring out where he was going to get all those troops in the event that his "if then" actually played out. It was just talk. He was once again throwing numbers about that didn't make sense, and really didn't matter.

Rainbough, "Now you seem to

Rainbough,

"Now you seem to be saying that I should be trying to promote some other party rather than criticizing the Democrats. Why?"

'Cause we're like, seriously getting picked on . . . and stuff. *sniff*

That's basically it. :)

Diana

Diana, Well I honestly

Diana,

Well I honestly wasn't trying to kick you while you were down. I would just really like to see the Democrats learn from this loss and move on. I honestly wouldn't care though if I didn't have so many friends that are Democrat. But they can't move on or learn if the Democratic party won't even admit to themselves that they may be at fault for the loss. That maybe America isn't full of really stupid people who bought into Bush's ads, and Bush's speeches over John Kerry's. If I had to choose between two candidates whose positions were as close as those two's were I'd go for the incumbent too. I mean he's already there why not? (Another reason I think more options makes Democracy more Democratic and thus better).