Some in the blogosphere are whining about the fact that Wesley Clark and the other candidates are pointing out Dean’s unelectability:
It is deeply saddening to watch Lieberman, Kerry, and increasingly, Clark, turn their platforms to the ‘Dean is unelectable’ argument. It’s not very persuasive,, it’s very negative, and it’s ineffective. Indeed, the criticism that Dean is reliant on Bush-hatred to fuel his campaign isn’t very useful when you put all your stock in defeating Bush as the only goal of running your campaign. It doesn’t seem to me that Dean can win against Bush, but then, it’s not clear that saying that outright is really going to appeal to anyone except those already predisposed to not liking Dean.
Well, I can’t speak for the candidates who already have no chance of winning, but let’s look at Clark’s actual statements:
“I don’t think the Democratic Party can win without carrying a heavy experience in national security affairs into the campaign,” he told Salon in a phone interview last week. “And that experience can’t be in a vice president. It’s no substitute. It won’t work, and it won’t carry the election for this party.”
Well there, somebody had to say it. Matt Stoller may be right about the other candidates’ incessant carping, but Clark’s assessment is right on: A candidate who stidently criticizes the president’s foreign policy, only to end up sounding like an ass himself, has no hope of winning. And despite the wet dreams of Deanies everywhere, no VP short of Colin Powell or John McCain will suffice as a band-aid for their candidate’s glaring weakness.
So while the press marvels at Dean’s growing momentum, this race is looking more and more like a slow-motion electoral train wreck for the Democratic Party. Republicans are poised to solidify their hold on the South, and have undertaken what is probably the most systematic institutional assault on another party in history.
The nomination of a candidate who runs on a platform of “the war was wrong, Americans are undertaxed, and public discission of religion is bad” seems all but certain to accelerate the Democratic Party’s slide into permanent minority status.
For my part, I can’t stand what George W. Bush’s policies have done to the country. I dislike him intensely, because of his modus operandi: Give lip-service to a cause (education, restoring the military, “clear skies,” etc.), pass a sham bill, declare victory and then move on to the next political opportunity.
I should be a sure thing for the Democrats come November, but, incredibly, I may not be there. Howard Dean is a joke. Any candidate who would actually declarethat “This is a president who cares more about Halliburton than about bringing our soldiers home!” is irresponsible, an extremist, and not worthy of my vote.
If Dean wins the nomination, God forbid, I’ll stay home on Election Day 2004, and thereafter until the Democratic Party gets its act together.