The Voting Mango

All Presidential Politics from here till November

Tuesday, February 17, 2004


A Brilliant Fisk

Andrew Sullivan has fisked John Kerry in a thorough and beautiful manner. Definately go read it all. Money quotes:
I think we have an answer [the question: where does Kerry stand on the war on Terror?] here: no war in Iraq; no war anywhere; just law enforcement measures and cooperation with the French, Russians, and Germans. All the problems of the world stem from U.S. policy. Nowhere does Kerry say anything about the threat of Al Qaeda, or the designs of the Syrians or Iranians, or of Islamist terror-states more broadly. These real threats just don't seem to register on his radar screen. If this is the Democratic candidate's recipe to tackling the nexus of global terror, then he will be creamed in the fall. And he'll deserve to be.

Kerry is pro-war, except when he's antiwar. He votes for war against Saddam but opposes financing it. He's for equality for gays, but against equality for gays in marriage. And his attempts to explain his having it every which way only confuse matters even further. Not a good sign for November.

posted by mango  # 9:58 AM

From the Department of Things the Anti-war Left Would Prefer You Didn't Know

That, for example, they were in part bankrolled by Saddam. "Think of the children," they said...

posted by mango  # 12:04 AM

From the Department of Denial and Faulty Vote Counting

The Dean blog, while short on cash and votes, is quite long on denial. Much of it is garden-variety "this isn't over yet, 75% of the delegates remain to be assigned" optimism. The more intriguing bits are like this one:

EVEN IF Howard were not to win the nomination, he is the leader of an enormous, essential Grassroots Movement (us!) and the Democratic Party ought to be smart enough to NOT get Howard and John Edwards to get out before California (By which time *I,* by the way, think Howard will be getting through to people and the bloom will be off the Kerry rose) -- IT IS FREE MEDIA for the Democratic Party, these debates etc etc.
AND if he (sadly & stupidly Oh America) doesn't get the nomination, Howard needs to work with us all to figure out how next time we translate all this savvy and energy more effectively into primary and caucus votes.
WE all know we got the sanest, sensiblest candidate. Somehow we didn't manage to get through the brutal establishment flak. They want us to fade away. I have zero interest in an endlessly hopeless third party, but I am very interested in our holding the tiny toes of the Democratic Party to the GrassRoots fire. We have been empowered by Howard!! Let's never give it up.

The tiny toes, eh? Not so much. Based on calculations elsewhere in the comments on the BFA, there are 50 million voting Democrats (and roughly equal Republicans). Based on the idea that about 15% of Democrats prefer Dean, that makes 7.5 million voters who should prefer Dean. Except that doesn't seem to be right. I would guess that the current count of supporters on the Blog is probably closer, on the assumption that one doesn't casually support a candidate like Dean. You can casually support Edwards or Kerry. You cannot casually support Dean. (I'm postulating. My blog. Deal.) Thus, I suspect that most of his supporters have cast their vote, whereas I'm sure there are some Kerry/Edwards folks who like their man but don't care enough to vote in a primary. The Blog puts the number of Dean supporters at 640,545, one of which is me, and I don't know how many other similarly non-supportive supporters are included in that number. Being generous, I'd give Dean maybe a million total supporters. That's not a lot.
For a bit of perspective on what is a large movement and what is a small one, consider that there are over two million people in prison in the US, Pat Buchanan got 448,895 votes in the last election, and there are 1000-2000 snakehandlers. These are all smallish, marginalized populations we're talking about here. In contrast, there are over 30 million African Americans and about that many LGBT folks. These groups are big enough to be influential. If 1 millionish Deaniacs think they're a grassroots groundswell that's gonna rouse the fat-'n-happy majority, they're nuts.

posted by mango  # 12:00 AM


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