It's time for Democrats to stop blaming Kerry
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.