While I was heartened to see that pundits declared Kerry the winner in last week’s debate, it is friggin’ scary that the race is even close at this point. Based on Bush’s record (“worst…president…ever”) you’d think people would be preparing toxically foul garbage to hurl at him after he loses next month. Instead, one big slipup and Kerry might lose and I can’t begin to contemplate another four years under Bush. I find myself wishing that it were Dean up there instead of Kerry. The crucial issue of this election is the Iraq war and Dean could have run as a straight up anti-war candidate. I understand Kerry’s position, but it’s so easy for the Republican spin machine to take apart. And honestly I thought the Democrats were cowards to cede war power to Bush when they did in the first place. Dean could have said, “You lied to this country about WMDs, you sold us on a fraudulent bill of goods, and now we’re paying in lives and money for your mistakes.” Kerry, because he voted to empower Bush to go to war, just can’t go all the way. He is trying to claim on the one hand that Bush going to war the way he did was wrong, but on the other that Hussein was a threat that had to be take care of. It is, unfortunately, a more nuanced message than the public can deal with. Big, bold, and easily understood positions are what win elections.
The Republicans have settled on the message: “Your children will die if you vote for John Kerry.” They make it sound like only they can protect the country from those evil terrorists. Complete tool Bill O’Reilly was on the Dailey Show tonight and he argued that one thing we really ought to give this administration credit for is the lack of attacks on the US since 9/11. I would have laughed out loud if Nik weren’t already asleep. Give them credit for that? Shouldn’t we be blaming them for the 9/11 disaster in the first place? Who was it that completely ignored all the warning signs? As has come out in the 9/11 Commission Report, there was ample evidence that something was coming. The Bush administration had every opportunity to protect this country from those attacks and they chose an anti-terrorist policy that amounted to burying their heads in the sand. So no, I won’t give them fucking credit. They don’t get a free pass on 9/11 and they don’t get to “own” it, as if the deaths of all those people was an endorsement for the Republican Party.
The Democrats are surely trying and I sincerely hope they can pull it out. Kerry can’t go full bore against the war, which is too bad. He’ll have to settle for “George Bush is a liar.” Though frankly he isn’t even hitting that message as much as he should be. Nor adding murderer, thief, hypocrite, and traitor. I suppose that would be asking too much of the Democrats though.