Maybe I'm letting my pessimism get the best of me, but I think IT is starting to happen. By it, of course, I mean GW Bush is swinging into the lead and will be re-elected in November. A new Washington Post poll released yesterday shows an 18% swing from 8 down to 10 up for Bush in the question 'Who would make a better Commander in Chief?'. Everything that decent, intelligent people have been hoping wouldn't happen is happening. Everything intellectuals said wouldn't stick has stuck, and everyone we thought was too smart to fall for the used car sales pitch just drove off the lot.
So who's to blame for this clusterfuck? As liberal democrats sit around for the next four years, wondering how they managed to lose what should've been the largest ass-kicking since Mick Jagger said 'Why not get biker dudes to do security?', I'm sure the finger of blame will be pointed all over the place. That darned Karl Rove, dopes and christians in the south, and racists from the suburbs will all be singled out as those who were too stupid to see the horrible damage that four more years of this dolt will do to the country and the world.
Personally, I blame democrats. Not the new democrats, brought in by a call to get rid of Bush, but the middle-aged, chicken shit wing of the party. The people who ran Howard Dean out on a rail because they decided that it was more important to 'play not to lose' than it was to ride out a wave of new interest in their party. Everyone knows in football why the 'prevent defense' is also called the 'prevent a win defense'. The moment you give up the offensive and start hoping the clock winds down, you open a window for your opponent to walk right in. That's exactly what the democrats did when they decided that it would be better to go with a candidate that was closer to the middle, and therefore, had a better chance of winning.
A lot of people, democrats and republicans alike, don't even know what they believe in anymore. They just know that they want to win. For the last two nights, the republicans have had speakers representing their convention that believe in gay marriage and a woman's right to choose. They don't mind, however, because it will help bring in the swing voters. Same thing when some democrats talked about having John McCain as Kerry's running mate. What the fuck is the point in calling yourself a democrat or a republican if you'll hand the keys over to anyone who'll help you get elected, no matter what they actually believe?
You know who would've really helped Kerry as a running mate? Who would've brought lots of people over from the right and probably cemented victory in November? Jerry Falwell. This isn't some stupid game where the only prize is bragging rights for four years. You're actually supposed to represent something. But that's what America's been reduced to. We're a nation of ditzy cheerleaders and mindless jocks. All we know is score and stop, win and lose.
I know this will make me sound simple, but Howard Dean revived an interest in politics within me that had, over the last few years, turned into complete and total apathy. And I ask myself now, was it really so important and worth it to get him out of the race? Obviously, given what happened in Iowa, it could have been any minor flub on Dean's part and mainstream democrats would've overreacted and driven Dean out to the desert and dumped him out the back of a van in a burlap sack.
But ask yourself, assuming that Kerry's going to lose (I, of course, hope I'm wrong), wouldn't it have been a million times better to have someone that actually represents the left campaigning for the last 9 months? Would Dean have lost too? Probably. But he wouldn't have given the republicans the pleasure of thinking that they're protecting America and making a better future for the world. In fact, he probably would've had the effect of motivating the ultra-right to become much more involved. And once the ultra-right bible thumping wackos come into play, I like the democrats chances.
One thing's for sure, the day that Dean dropped out and Kerry took over the nomination, Karl Rove busted out the champagne and toasted victory in November. They knew that the only way Bush gets re-elected is if he runs against someone with 'Dukakis' like charisma. They got it. Once the Daschle wing of the democratic party seized control back, it was all over.
I'll keep my fingers crossed that I'll have to retract every word of this on November 3rd.