Why Kerry Lost
Doug Ireland has an explanation. Here's an excerpt:
History will record that John Kerry lost the election on the day he voted the Constitution-shredding blank check for Bush’s war on Iraq. He was hobbled throughout the campaign by this vote, which shackled him to a me-too posture that included endlessly repeated pledges to “stay the course” in Iraq and “win” the occupation. Kerry could not, therefore, develop and present a full-blown critique of Bush on Iraq, nor offer a genuine alternative to him on it. The non-existent Kerry “plan” (based on the hubris that he could con foreign allies into sending their troops to bleed and die for the U.S. crimes at Abu Ghraib) wasn’t bought by the voters. Bush won by making the link between Iraq and the war on terrorism--the Big Lie which Kerry could not effectively counter, because he’d bought into it at the beginning. And it was on that endlessly hammered lie that Bush won the country on the Iraq issue--the exit polls Tuesday night showed that voters thought the Iraq war was part of the war on terror by 52-44%.
There was a missed moment (one of many) in the campaign, right after the devastating Senate report on the U.S. intelligence failure leading up to the war, when Kerry could have done what his Senate colleague (and Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat) Jay Rockefeller did then--say, “If I’d known then what I know now, I’d never had voted for the war.” But the cautious and spineless Kerry didn’t have the intestinal fortitude or the inner conviction necessary to break with his vote for war. It would probably have worked--Americans like someone who can admit a mistake. But Kerry listened to his overpriced, condohead campaign consultants, and instead hid behind his medals.