Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Those Who Do Not Learn From History ...

posted by Mike at 2/16/2005 12:02:00 PM

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I was reading perhaps the umpteenth article or column on Dean ascending to the position of DNC chairman, and I realized that there was a very interesting analogy.

Those who opposed Dean and his philosophy mounted what most people have called an "Anybody But Dean" campaign, in which various contenders stood up. However, most of them were extremely unpalatable, and their own personal platforms were either quite unclear or were anathema to the Democratic party. None were as brash and outspoken about the beliefs of the Democratic Party as Dean.

The results, I think, could be directly compared to the results of the national election.

Kerry's campaign (as well as those various groups assisting Kerry, such as MoveOn.Org, etc.) was rather consistently predicated on an "Anybody But Bush" campaign. I remember that even during the debate, when asked about a particular stance, Kerry suggested viewers look at his campaign website for his full plan, rather than having developed plainspoken concepts (again, the need for Democrats to master framing reared its head) to express his plan.

To summarize ...

Bush won the election, I feel, because he was able to express* the values** of the Republican Party*** in a way that spoke to the basic heart of Americans, while his opponent ran a campaign based not on his own values but on "Anybody But Bush."

Dean won the chairmanship, I feel, because he was able to express the values of the Democratic Party in a way that spoke to the basic heart of liberals, while his opponents ran campaigns based not on their own values but on "Anybody But Dean."

* — With the help of a mysterious bulge, of course.
** — Not that those values are actually honored in practice, mind you.
*** — Republican Party (Neocon Mutation).