Wednesday, September 29, 2004

What's He Thinking?

I have no idea, and never did, who the "most electable" Dem primary candidate was, or whether we'd be in a better shape with a different one right now. I tend to think we probably did end up with the best one, I have no strong support for that opinion. My concern during the primary was that every candidate's supporters seemed to believe their chosen one would somehow be immune to "line of attack X." That's never true.

But, Yglesias is right here to chastize Peter Beinart for writing "If Dean were the nominee, flip-flops wouldn't be the issue; Iraq would." Beinart should be smart enough to understand that the Republicans run virtually the same campaign in every single election. The emphasis shifts somewhat depending on their target, and the exact language differs, but it's always the same.

Kerry actually isn't a "flip-flopper," they've just put that idea out there because it gives them an infinite supply of material to work with. By having that be Kerry's campaign meta-narrative, they can endlessly quote statements out of context and years a part which fit into that narrative, and Judy Woodruff and Candy Crowley will play along and giggle giggle giggle. It's just a variation of "Gore the exaggerating liar" from 2000.

And, while Dean was the most "anti-war" of the candidates, save Kucinich, he had enough, using the Republican rules of truth, statements which could be seen as contradictory. "Flip-flopper," as stupid as it is, would have probably been used no matter who the nominee was.

It's rather frustrating when people who should know better internalize these things.

And, I would add, if Peter Beinart hadn't been the editor of the New Republic these past few years, Iraq might actually not be the subject of this election.

....Bob Somerby writes in to say:

I'll see you and raise you. If Beinart hadn't been the editor of TNR, maybe they would have complained about Gore's coverage and Bush wouldn't even be president.