Stephen Greene notes that the punditocracy is starting to distance itself from Kerry. I’ve long said that hatred of Bush would not be enough for the Democrats, and so far Kerry has offered exactly two things to the electorate: he’s not George W. Bush, and he served in Vietnam. Neither is sufficient.
The Democrats missed their big chance by nominating Kerry, probably the weakest candidate they could have nominated. Dean would have energized the liberal base like no other despite being a loose cannon. Lieberman would have severely eroded Bush’s numbers with moderates and conservatives (in fact, Lieberman, despite being boring, would have kicked Bush’s ass all the way back to Crawford.) Gephardt could have gotten the blue collar vote firmly on the side of the Democrats rather than the blue-blood patrician that is John Kerry. Edwards had the charisma if he were lacking the experience.
I’m admittedly not the biggest fan of Bush. I admire his toughness on the war, but thinks he needs yet more of it. His economic policies have been mixed – for every pro-growth tax cut has been a spending proposal that threatens the economic stability of this country. He’s missed many opportunities, from the disaster in Fallujah to caving to Ted Kennedy on education reform.
Yet given the choice between an imperfect conservative and a man who represents the most regressive tendencies of the Democratic Party, it’s no contest. Even the liberal intelligentsia is starting to realize that Kerry is rapidly squandering his best opportunities to beat Bush. While the race is still close, by the end of the week it could very well not be.
The rats are starting to flee the sinking ship, and how long will it be before the voters begin to follow?