Looking at Why

Why the Democrats Lost

“Why did the Republicans have the stronger hand? Three reasons. The first is demographic: In the course of three-and-ahalf decades, they developed close to a lock on the Southern, prairie and mountain states. The second is organizational: Over some thirty years, they developed a resplendently funded, intensely committed, politically sophisticated machine, not least in the suburbs that now overwhelm the cities. Starting from the premise that power is an unadulterated good, they have shrewdly combined the Christian Right and big-business components, antimodern and anti-government themes, and worked their way into local, state, and national power. When they win some power—state legislatures, governorships, judgeships (all the way up to the Supremes), Congressional committees, lobbyists—they know how to compound it into more power. Third, Republicans know how to play dirty—the Republican-financed Swift Boat deception of August, badly misplayed by Kerry, cost him one-third of all the time he had left to come from behind after the Democratic convention. Facing a president running as avenging angel against the September 11 massacres, Kerry had opted—reasonably—to run as a potential commander-in-chief, “reporting for duty.” The dirty tricks stopped him cold.”

Excellent analysis.