Let’s suppose that the Democrat (presumably Kerry) wins this fall. When that happens, who will the other winners and losers be?
One loser will be Karl Rove and Bush’s core constituency of anti-tax fanatics, Armageddon Christians, homophobes, and militarists. Rove has tied Bush’s fate so closely to these groups (at the expense of more rational moderates and conservatives) that it seems that they might bring Bush down. When that happens, the Republicans are going to be less likely to cater to them in the future.
A second loser will be the media — pretty much all of them, from the talk shows and Fox on up to the Times and the Post. Multiple signs of dissatisfaction about Bush are trickling in, and his poll numbers are about as bad as a sitting President has ever gotten, but the media are still reporting him as “a popular President”. By and large, nothing Bush says or does is ever critically reported, no matter how ludicrous and outrageous it is.
From a professional point of view, of course, the media’s imbecile coverage of Gore / Bush and the Bush administration has been a disaster. But from the more cynical point of view, the media’s attempt to get Bush elected will have failed if Kerry wins, and if that does happen Jack Welch, the Rev. Moon, Rupert Murdoch, and Roger Ailes will whip their little loser media butts for them.
The third loser will be the Democratic pros. Below I linked to Kos calling the Democratic pros “the whiniest, most afraid people in the country”. Before Howard Dean came along, the Democrats — following the best professional advice — were getting ready to slump through a loser campaign which would not even mention the Iraq War except to support it. Dean (along with a lot of grass-roots Dems) woke them up, and now it looks like we might actually have a fight on our hands. So if we win, it seems that maybe we should be getting some new pros.
Coda: What I just said is probably far too optimistic. Kerry — who I’ll be happy to vote for — is now the candidate of the Democratic Establishment, and it’s quite possible that in the end the media lords will pick up on Bush’s weakness and get behind Kerry. So I guess my title should have read “Who should lose”.
The media are probably beyond hope, but hopefully there will be someone in the Kerry campaign to put a bug in his ear about this. He might be educable.