Friday, June 10, 2005

It's time for Democrats to stop blaming Kerry

Bravo. Finally someone has the brains to tell the Democratic party they had bigger problems in 2004 than Kerry, or any single Presidential candidate of the future, including Kerry if he runs again. In my experience with the Democratic party (I am not a member), I think their ground game and voter targeting are woefully out of step with today's technology. The republican party also has huge advantages promoting their message in the media. And let's state the most obvious: an incumbent war time president has a distinct advantage over a challenger. There was a time in 2001 and even later in 2002 that Bush was riding so high in the polls everyone thought he was unbeatable.

It's time to stop blaming Kerry and instead concentrate on how to build a stronger progressive party platform that appeals to more voters.

Democrats have to end their addiction to the Kerry alibi

E.J. Dionne / Syndicated columnist

This habit is dangerous because dissing Kerry is an easy way for Democrats to evade discussion of what the party needs to do to right itself. By focusing on the past, the Kerry alibi allows Democrats to avoid engaging the future. In 2008, the Democrats could nominate a candidate who combines Harry Truman's toughness, JFK's charm and FDR's gifts of leadership — and still face many of the problems Kerry confronted. Blaming everything on Kerry as the supposedly elitist, stiff and indecisive Massachusetts liberal is the Democrats' version of cheap grace.


But saying Kerry was the Democrats' one and only problem is both an evasion and unfair. The three debates were the only moments in the campaign in which Kerry's fate was entirely in his own hands, and he used them well. Kerry trounced Bush the first time and, I'd argue, beat him in the other two encounters.


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