John Kerry Must Go…

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…for Democrats to live. At least, that's what James Ridgeway says in The Village Voice:

With the air gushing out of John Kerry's balloon, it may be only a matter of time until political insiders in Washington face the dread reality that the junior senator from Massachusetts doesn't have what it takes to win and has got to go. As arrogant and out of it as the Democratic political establishment is, even these pols know the party's got to have someone to run against George Bush. They can't exactly expect the president to self-destruct into thin air.

With growing issues over his wealth (which makes fellow plutocrat Bush seem a charity case by comparison), the miasma over his medals and ribbons (or ribbons and medals), his uninspiring record in the Senate (yes war, no war), and wishy-washy efforts to mimic Bill Clinton's triangulation gimmickry (the protractor factor), Kerry sinks day by day. The pros all know that the candidate who starts each morning by having to explain himself is a goner.

What to do? Look for the Dem biggies, whoever they are these days, to sit down with the rich and arrogant presumptive nominee and try to persuade him to take a hike. Then they can return to business as usual?resurrecting John Edwards, who is still hanging around, or staging an open convention in Boston, or both.

Whole thing here. As enjoyable as an open convention would be, there's not a snowball's chance in hell that'll come to pass, alas.

[Thanks to relentless reader Ruthless for the tip]

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  1. So what do these Dems want? Another NJ/Torrecilli switcheroo, in which the duly nominated Dem candidate is removed and replaced by the party bosses? And those same bosses impose a candidate on the electorate that not one Dem voter voted for in the primary? And this blatantly illegal move is approved by the Dem butt monkeys on the NJ Supreme Court? All because the bosses thought the candidate could not win?

  2. So what do these Dems want? Another NJ/Torrecilli switcheroo, in which the duly nominated Dem candidate is removed and replaced by the party bosses?

    Kerry hasn’t been nominated yet, Eric. The Democrats (and, in open primaries, non-Democrats) who have “voted for Kerry” thus far have, in fact, done nothing of the kind. They have voted for people who pledged to nominate Kerry.

    It would be perfectly legal and ethical for Kerry to back out and release his delegates, so that somebody else could be nominated.

    In contrast, in the New Jersey situation, the Democrats had *already* nominated a candidate, and were allowed to replace him at the 11th hour because he was losing. Now *that* was crooked.

  3. Dan,
    You’re quite right that Kerry has not yet been nominated, so my analogy doesn’t quite hold. But the similiarities between the two situations are rather striking, don’t you think?

  4. The Democrats were really hoping that the economy would stay stagnant and that something would REALLY go wrong in Iraq to prompt a ground swell against Bush. That, for the most part, has failed to materialize. The economy is recovering despite the “Benedict Arnold” corporations and the Bush tax cuts. Things are obviously heating up in Iraq, but Dubbya’s base is still pro-war and most undecideds are too scared of what might happen if there is a power change in D.C..

    Of course, Kerry isn’t helped by all the reasons stated. It’s hard to come off as an progressive, anti-war, populist when you marry ketchup heiress, voted for the war use say you’re opposing, and can’t take a firm stand for fear of pissing off one wing of the party or the other.

    I think the Democrats are really looking forward to 2008 when the GOP is going to be scrambling to find a nominee (Cheney sure as hell isn’t going to run) and they get to unveil the Hillary Rodham Clinton Dream Candidacy. Besides, it will give them four more years of preceived Bush screw ups to run against.

  5. Kerry’s biggest problem is that he has a mouth.

  6. Kerry’s biggest problem is that he has a mouth.

  7. Conservatives assume that Hillary will be the next nominee. I haven’t heard any Democrats say this.

  8. Ron Paul 2008!

  9. If they want to run a candidate as Not Bush, the best strategy may be to give the electorate as little time as possible to figure out who the candidate actually is, so changing the candidate as late in the game as possible might be a good strategy. The trick would be timing it so that it’s not too late, so that it doesn’t seem like desperate shenanigans.

    I’d be surprised if something strange happens and it isn’t Kerry, though.

  10. Joe-

    Yeah, it’s funny to hear conservatives fixated on Hillary being the next nominee. Some think 2008, and some think that some sort of last-minute chicanery at the convention will make her the nominee.

    I don’t know if Hillary wants to run for President or not, but I don’t even think many Democrats would be stupid enough to nominate her.

    And when something is too stupid for even the Democrats to do, well, that says a lot! 🙂

  11. No one on the pro-war right seriously questions Kerry’s Naval service in Vietnam. What we question is his service in the anti-war movement after his military service. But it is not questions about Kerry’s patriotism that is hurting him. If anything, it is anti-war activists questioning Kerry’s anti-war credentials that is causing his problems, not pro-Iraq War hawks. His refusal to vigorously defend his anti-Vietnam War actions is killing his support among the left.

    If you look at the Iowa Elections Market (http://128.255.244.60/graphs/graph_Pres04_VS.cfm), that is exactly what is happening. Bush’s support has not gone up, but Kerry’s support is dropping off a cliff. The nominal 50% that support Bush really don’t care what Kerry says. We are going to vote for Bush anyway. But those who supported Kerry in February are having a little buyer’s remorse because the anti-war product they bought is turning out to be defective. Kerry’s waffling is not hurting him on the right; but it is killing him on the left.

    If it ever becomes conventional wisdom that Kerry is going to lose, then support for anti-war Ralph Nader could skyrocket. If Kerry can’t win, then why not make a statement? Kerry cannot afford to worry about the middle just now, because he is at the tipping point of losing his anti-war base. His inability to come clean about disposing of his medals hurts his credibility on the left moreso than the right. Ironically, it is the authenticity of his anti-war credentials that is the issue among his base, not his military service or patriotism.

  12. I just figured out who Kerry reminds me of as a candidate – Bob Dole. He just seems used up.

  13. You’re quite right that Kerry has not yet been nominated, so my analogy doesn’t quite hold. But the similiarities between the two situations are rather striking, don’t you think?

    Well, no, I don’t think the similarities are striking in the slightest, because I don’t think there are many similarities at all. It’s like saying there are “striking similarities” between drawing a salary and embezzling from your employer. The fact that both involve a transfer of wealth from an employer to an employee doesn’t cause me to go “hmm… the two actions are strikingly similar!” The former is normal, legal, and ethical, and the latter is none of these things.

  14. Dan,
    I think you dismiss the similarities too quickly. In Kerry’s case, Dem voters have selected their presumptive nominee. Party bosses think he’ll lose and would like to replace the presumptive nominee that millions of Dems have voted for with a candidate fewer Dems have voted for.

    In NJ, the only difference was that the nominee was already official, and NO Dem had voted for the replacement. But the principle is the same.

  15. In Kerry’s case, Dem voters have selected their presumptive nominee.

    Dem voters don’t pick nominees. Delegates do. Sorry, try again.

    In NJ, the only difference was that the nominee was already official, and NO Dem had voted for the replacement. But the principle is the same.

    “The only difference”? You mean, besides the fact that it was against the law?

  16. “I can understand why Dems are panicked. Kerry is not a very good candidate.”

    Did you pay any attention to the primary? Kerry is repellent at first glance, and becomes more appealing as shallow impressions give way to closer analysis. Bush, vice versa. I would have expected Bush to be way ahead now, and the race to get tight at the end. Bush spent $50 million dollars, and succeeded in getting a small number of people who would have broken his way in the fall to do so earlier. Whoopie. The fact that it’s close to tied now has the GOP soiling themselves. How desperate do they have to be to re-open the “let’s talk about what they did during Vietnam” question?

  17. “I don’t know if Hillary wants to run for President or not…”

    Well, she might prefer a direct appointment by God. It would probably fit into her worldview.

  18. What an odd thing for a conservative to say.

    Especially this presidential term.

    Say Doug, could I borrow your petard for a moment?

  19. The Villiage Voice calling someone arrogant and out of touch with the mainstream?

  20. heh. yeah.

    they like it like that.

  21. Open convention? I’d much rather then Democrats nominate John Kerry and leave Boston the same day. But I realize they’re going to stay around and get drunk whether they’ve got anything to debate or not.

  22. Screw the village voice, the voters in the primaries have annointed Kerry as the most electable dem, regardless of his issues. 😉

  23. “It would probably fit into her worldview…in that she might see it as due recognition from an important colleague.”

    Maybe that makes my intent more clear.

    BTW I’m not a conservative, I just hate whiney liberalism. Go figure.

  24. I agree with Joe….Ron Paul 2008! That would be a feasible method of getting our country back on the right track.

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