February 05, 2004

A curious overlap

Thinking about politics lately, as I am wont to do on occasion, I was struck by a certain overlap between two groups of people.

There are a number of people out there who profess to believe that it does not matter who gets the Democratic nomination, as they will vote for that person whoever he is. A large number of these people seem to support Kerry. (This is fully distinct from the idea that it does matter who wins the nomination but that they will vote for whoever wins anyway---a view held by people in all the camps.)

There are also a number of people who profess to believe that it does not matter who is actually best, but that we should try to nominate the "most electable" candidate---thus not voting on one's own opinion of the candidates, nor even on another's opinion of the candidates, but on one's guess at another's opinion of the candidates. A large number of these people seem to support Kerry as well.

The fact that the Kerry camp would be home to both beliefs is not in itself shocking. What should give you pause, though, is that there is a huge amount of overlap between the two groups, and that the Kerry camp is dominated by this overlap (and none of the other camps are).

The logical conclusion is that these people are delusional, lying, or just haven't really thought it through (my money's on that last one). If the Kerry camp will by and large vote for whoever wins the nomination, then he's no more "electable" than the other candidates. There are probably a lot of people in the Dean camp that won't vote for Kerry; I expect there are some in the Clark and Edwards camps as well. Heck, there are probably a whole bunch of Kucinich people that necessarily vote for the Dem nominee. This is not really an argument for Dean, or Clark, or Edwards, or Kucinich; but it's certainly not an argument for Kerry.

Aside from those folks, the open question is, who can bring in people who won't just vote for whatever Dem is nominated. That will require some measure of charisma, of passion, of leadership; three qualities that Kerry is singularly lacking in. I do find it rather baffling to hear people say things like, "I know that Kerry doesn't have very much charisma or leadership, or any ability to rouse passion in people, but I think he'll bring more people in to vote for him." Do they even hear what they're saying?

"A host who does not use large plates and huge napkins for a buffet meal deserves what he eventually finds on the rug." --Miss Manners

Posted by blahedo at 11:56pm on 5 Feb 2004
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