Thursday, November 06, 2003

Iris, your plan for Democrats 2004 is very nice... except that I think it's already too late. At first I very much liked the idea of a President Clark, although my enthusiasm began to wane when I realized that he's a waffler like everyone else. Nevertheless, Clark entered the race horribly tardily, and he certainly didn't hit the ground running. Now, after the first week's excitement faded, and the campaign manager had to be replaced, and we discovered that Clark wasn't actually a registered Democrat until the last month, and found out how he equivocated on Iraq, Wesley Clark seems far less interesting than he did as the dark horse.

The reason to vote for General Clark is his marketability in the general election, not his stands on the issues. You're right, Iris, he'd be, in some peculiar sense, an Arnold candidate. (If one can describe as an "Arnold candidate" a man who was West Point valedictorian, Rhodes Scholar, former Supreme Commander of NATO, and has never been suspected of groping random women...) At this horrid moment in time, when the left has every right to be howlingly furious over the way our country is behaving, the issues do seem important, at least to us. Because many Democratic primary voters, especially now, do care about the political stances of our prospective nominees, the left will come out in force for Howard Dean... and after Iowa and New Hampshire, where Dean will flatten the remaining contestants like a baker with a thousand-pound rolling pin, Clark's best hope will be the vice presidential nomination.

At which point, we may all be doomed. As much as I love the idea of a President Dean, I passionately loathe the thought of a second term for Dubya.

By the way, since I am on the mailing list of for Dean, I got an email ballot asking me to vote on whether or not Dean should drop campaign matching grants and try to make back the money himself. I think I'm going to vote to drop the matching grants. I figure that either Dean will make back enough money that a general election against Bush will at least be feasible, or he won't make the money and will crash and burn by the primaries, at which point some other Democratic candidate will have a chance. Does anyone see problems with my strategy, before I send my vote out?

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