Thursday, November 11, 2004

"The Architects of Defeat" 

A few words on Iraq: I spoke with a co-worker on the Iraq mess; he's a young fellow, largely progressive in nature...yet he believes, and he believes most Americans believe this, that we can't pull out of Iraq because "something worse could happen". When I asked him what that "worse" is, he said, if we pull out of Iraq now, a terrorist attack could occur here.

I am waking up now, to how much fear and insecurity has invaded the bones of even liberals. I pointed out to him, that we will probably have a terrorist attack here, because of Iraq, and that remaining in Iraq is fanning the flames, so to speak. I don't know if he "got it" because he had to run off to work.

We have Bush again, because a vast majority of people are not yet unhappy enough with his Iraq policy, to overcome the fraud "they" used to re-elect him. Get that? I'm not sure that I do. We're all on very slippery ground right now, and we need to do some sorting. I spent a good deal of time today sorting, and attempting to congeal an epitaph on the Kerry candidacy, and a where do we go from here strategy. I'm not finished with it yet, but I'm working on it. In the meantime, perhaps Huffington is correct with her assessment:
It's no longer the economy, stupid:

The Architects of Defeat
by Arianna Huffington


Twelve days before the election, James Carville stood in a Beverly Hills living room surrounded by two generations of Hollywood stars. After being introduced by Sen. John Kerry's daughter, Alexandra, he told the room, confidently, almost cockily, that the election was in the bag.

"If we can't win this damn election," the advisor to the Kerry campaign said, "with a Democratic Party more unified than ever before, with us having raised as much money as the Republicans, with 55% of the country believing we're heading in the wrong direction, with our candidate having won all three debates, and with our side being more passionate about the outcome than theirs, if we can't win this one, then we can't win [anything]! And we need to completely rethink the Democratic Party."

Well, as it turns out, that's exactly what should be done. But instead, Carville and his fellow architects of the Democratic defeat have spent the last week defending their campaign strategy, culminating on Monday morning with a breakfast for an elite core of Washington reporters.

At the breakfast, Carville, together with chief campaign strategist Bob Shrum and pollster Stan Greenberg, seemed intent on one thing--salvaging their reputations.

They blamed the public for not responding to John Kerry's message on the economy, and they blamed the news media for distracting voters from this critical message with headlines from that pesky war in Iraq.

But shouldn't it have been obvious that Iraq and the war on terror were the real story of this campaign? Only these Washington insiders, stuck in an anachronistic 1990s mind-set and re-fighting the '92 election, could think that the economy would be the driving factor in a post-9/11 world with Iraq in flames. That the campaign's leadership failed to recognize that it was no longer "the economy, stupid" was the tragic flaw of the race.