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Monday, January 31, 2005

Which tall, gaunt guy was responsible for Kerry's loss?

Kerry blames Osama; Naomi Klein blames Kerry. I'm with Naomi. Here's what Kerry was saying yesterday:
Senator John Kerry said on Sunday that the attacks of Sept. 11 were the "central deciding thing" in his contest with President Bush and that the release of an Osama bin Laden videotape the weekend before Election Day had effectively erased any hope he had of victory.
How lame a candidate Kerry really was if a last-minute reminder of Bush's inability to protect the country from terrorist attacks or to catch a criminal for three years actually HURT Kerry in the polls.

Here's some of what Naomi Klein said:
First of all, I believe that an anti-war campaign could have won the election. But even if you think I'm crazy, I believe that an anti-war campaign would have done a better job at losing the election (laughs). Elections are also moments where issues get put on the national agenda. If there had been (an anti-war) candidate with courage, for instance, it would have been impossible for Bush to name Alberto Gonzales as his candidate for attorney general. It was Kerry's silence more than Bush's win that allowed Bush to make such a scandalous appointment.

When the siege in Fallujah happened (days after the election), and the violations of the Geneva Convention were at a completely new level, there were no questions raised in the mainstream press. The New York Times reported these incidents without even an editorial or interview of experts on international law about whether it was legitimate to attack all the medical care facilities and so on. This to me is Kerry's legacy. I blame Kerry for this more than Bush because we expect this from them. We expect them to do whatever they can get away with. And Kerry let them get away with it. An election campaign was the one time there was a real opportunity to put the war on trial. And even if a principled anti-war campaign had lost, these issues would still be on the agenda.
Boy, I wish I'd said that!