Hear, Hear! (+ "Happy Holidays")

I’ll be doing Christmas and family things from now until about January 6, and I’ll be sharing one dialup with 10-20 people so posting will be sparse. Until then, happy holidays! (Yeah, I used to say “Merry Christmas” in my scroogy, grinchish way, but the illiberal media have given me my marching orders!)

I’ve updated this thing twice, so I’m moving it forward on the queue. #1 and #2 are bitches about the Dems, and #3 is a recognition of how tough a row it really is that we have to hoe.

1.

“But what makes me angry was Kerry and his gang’s inability to take advantage of the situation. I may regret saying this later, but fuck it — they should be lined up and shot.” — Kos

I was a reasonably good sport during the campaign, and I agree now that we should try to avoid the circular firing squad, but there should be some accountability. Losing with a cautious, compromising campaign leaves you with nothing to work with. If Kerry had won that way, we’d still have the Clinton problem — no real mandate. But he lost, and we take nothing away from the campaign but a reputation for weakness.

2.

According to Newsweek, Kerry, Edwards, and Cleland all wanted to strike back at the Swiftboat smears, but the pros in the campaign stopped them. Democratic Party pros are such a bunch of preshrunk losers. You don’t really need to bother with the election if you’ve got them working for you. (Thanks to Yuval at The Left Coaster.)

3.

In the New York Review of Books Mark Danner shows how the Bush campaign won via fear, the cult of personality, groupthink, and flooding the media. He doesn’t dot the I’s and cross the T’s, but it’s scary. He points out that the key Bush voters voted on the basis of Iraq and terrorism — and that the majority of these voters, including well-educated professionals, were misinformed about Iraq and terrorism. Danner’s story shows the Bush campaign successfully selling Bush as strong, and successfully labelling Kerry as weak. (Via Tomdispatch)

Danner also points out that the Democrats’ job during wartime may have been impossibly hard, since the divided party made it difficult for Kerry to present a strong stand on Iraq one way or the other. From that point of view, especially given the media flood he describes, neither Kerry nor the pros can entirely be blamed.