Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Timing Is Everything. . .

My timing, that is.

Back in the snows of winter early in the year, when Kerry was starting to emerge as the sucessor to Dean, I had a notion to write a long article on why I thought the election would end up refighting the domestic divisions over Vietnam. But of course being busy with a million other things I didn’t do it, and now I’d look like a Johnny-come-lately to the parade of the obvious.

One thought among many was that if the campaign re-opened the divisions over the war, Kerry would lose. It is important to remember that although the Vietnam War came to be unpopular with Americans, the anti-war movement was even more unpopular. (Todd Gitlin acknowledges this frankly in his book on the sixties, noting is was a fact that the left didn’t understand.) By highlighting Kerry’s contemptable anti-war activities, the Swift Boat veterans have blown a large hole in Kerry’s electability.

Several new polls out this morning show Bush moving ahead of Kerry by nearly the margin of error. It is easy to see how this will play out if Bush does indeed go on to win, and the Swift Boat effort is seen as the turning point. In a nutshell, the left will go ballistic, and the rancor of the next four years will exceed even what we have seen so far. For starters, Michael Moore will gain at least another 50 pounds.

If you thought the left’s resentment over the Willie Horton issue in 1988 was big, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. With the fund of Bush hatred already stored up, the left will scream about the supposed underhandedness and lack of substantive meaning of the Swift Boat attack for years--maybe decades--to come (just as the left never stopped whining about Nixon’s "red baiting" campaign of 1950 for Senate).

Discussions - 6 Comments

let em whine. How could it possibly be any worse than it is now?

Maybe Kerry will take a few far lefty Senators down with him and we can get on with confirming well qualified jurists for the bench again.

Could not agree more. From my chair, the Dems have been essentially "rudderless" starting with the day that algore endorsed Howard Dean. Lieberman had a chance, and was ignored by is own party. It just gets curioser and curioser...

The left has been incredibly noisy since 2000, but that should not be confused with convincing or effective. If it does come to appear that Kerry lost due to rejection of his war protest activities in ’71, most people will take it as a lesson learned for those that would base a campaign on anything 35 years old. If shrill wackadoos choose to carp about it for 4 years, they’ll only cement their reputation as delusional, and make it that much harder for whoever runs from their party in ’08.

To ellaborate on your first point, I believe from personal observation that the general good impression of the military and of military service is casting a better light on Vietnam veterans. As Kerry is heard proclaiming that they committed atrocities on a daily basis, it doesn’t sit well with *most* people.

After Kerry/Edwards loses in 2004,
the democrat party will move further
left. Convinced it was lack of
purity that caused voters to reject
what it thought was a ’message’.

In 2008 it will nominate someone
even more extreme than Hilary.
[is that possible? YES!] And it
will go down to a Goldwater-size
defeat.

So ... in 2012 things will revert
to the norm and the U.S. will have
a two party system once again.

I just hope all of the dems that say they will leave the country if Bush wins will actually do it this time!

I sure hope "pragmatist" is right.

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