12 September 2004

Losing Tactics

The Democratic candidates and party machinery continue to disappoint with bad choices of issues and angles. Everything I've read or received lately about the election has been depressing, and not simply because the W. has climbed out to a lead. I've become more and more convinced that the reason the Republicans have won control of the country is because they actually do have more clear convictions about how the place should be run (convictions I happen to disagree with, but nevertheless).

The specific depressing item was the report that the Democrats have decided to run on the economy as their big issue. If this pans out in their strategy, we can only hope the W. does something really stupid, because it's a losing issue. On its own right, it fails for the simple reason that in most of America, the economy isn't that broken. There's a related issue that might be a winner (job security), but for most Americans, there is work and people are spending.

But that's not the real reason the economy is a terrible choice. The fact is, the issue of this election is 9/11 and our response to it, up to and including Iraq. There's no reason to avoid that issue, as long as you're willing to speak clearly on it (Point #1: Our reponse to terrorism has inflamed much of the world against us, and made our country palpably less safe; Point #2: As President, George W. Bush knowingly lied to the public about Iraq in order to drum up support for an immoral war that is unrelated to the war on terrorism). Alas, the Democratic nominee is unwilling to speak clearly on these points, and so the entire issue now needs to be avoided.

--sigh-- The lack of clear thinking, the lack of strong ideas -- these days, liberalism is defined by what it's against rather than what it is for.

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