Well, the disaster is playing out as my black, pessimistic heart knew it would. Kerry the two-faced weasel has won a bunch more primaries, and Dean has yet to win any.
Why is this bad? Because I’m convinced Kerry is less electable than Al Gore. The problem is, Kerry picks up the votes of the DLC faithful, the ones who believe that the path to success is massive quantities of special interest money, preaching liberal values, and voting for whatever the opinion polls tell you to vote for. According to the exit polls, most of the people voting for Dean are first-time voters, or people previously so disgusted by the Democrats that they didn’t bother to vote.
So if Dean were picked, the DLC faithful would vote for him (because they’ll vote for anyone who has the word “Democrat” written next to his name), and he’d also get a chunk of votes from the disgusted majority of the population. If Kerry is picked, yeah, he’ll get the DLC faithful’s vote… but what chance do you think he has of getting any votes from the disgusted majority?
Kerry has had years in the Senate in a totally safe Massachusetts seat (75% majority). What better opportunity to vote with his conscience and try to make a difference? So we look at his actual voting record, and it shows a Clinton/Gore-like disconnect between what he says and what he does:
He criticized Ashcroft and the “PATRIOT” act—which he voted for.
He spoke out against the Iraq war—but voted for it. He now claims he wasn’t voting for what the act says.
He spoke out in favor of making it easier for immigrants to become citizens—but voted for the infamous 1996 Immigration Act.
He says he’s against the death penalty—but twice voted to expand it (1994 and 1995).
He says that NAFTA is a problem that needs fixing it—but he voted for NAFTA, he voted for GATT, and he voted to permanently give China “Most Favored Nation” status.
After 9/11 he complained about the CIA being underfunded—but he campaigned to cut its funding in 1997.
He criticizes the Bush education bill—which he voted for.
He votes for and against increasing spending on Medicare.
Don’t think I’m the only person to have noticed this either. The right-wing bloggers are already all over Kerry’s lying past, and you can be sure FOX News and the other media mouthpieces of the Republican Party will pick it up if he’s chosen.
Of course, Clinton too would shamelessly U-turn whenever the opinion polls told him the other position might be more popular. But Clinton had charisma, something Kerry definitely lacks.
To get back to actual policy, though, Kerry is “liberal” in all the wrong places. He votes in a liberal way on economic issues including the environment, and is conservative on issues like war and surveillance. In contrast, Dean is an economic conservative and liberal on social issues. The problem is, America doesn’t give a shit about the environment, and hates liberal welfare programs; and everyone left of Bush was against the war.
Kerry voted for the “Communications Decency Act” and Internet censorship. He voted for pumping tax money into churches. He voted for mandatory national ID cards. He voted for wiretapping with no court order required. He voted for the DMCA. He’s an unpalatable choice for everyone except the DLC sheep. If he’s picked, I predict we’ll get four more years of Bush.
That said, I’ve decided that if Kerry is the next Democratic candidate, I’m just going to do my best to observe a self-imposed silence on the whole election. Because after all, no matter how much he sucks, he can’t be any worse than Bush. But it’s gonna be really hard not to scream liar, liar, pants on fire…
I have some more general theory which explains why Kerry is popular, but it’ll have to wait, I really have to work now…