FauxPolitik

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The perils of a Hillary nomination: Kos comes out against a Hillary '08 campaign, because she's dull as dishwater boring and the Dmocratic base needs someone cool they can rally around. And someone that still has positions well left of the DLC moderates. I don't know if he's really afraid she'd be so boring that turnout would be down. After all, the first female presidential candidate ought to be enough reason for your base to come out in support. Maybe the real problem is fear that she's for real with some of her moderate/right positions (hawkish on Iraq, not too doctrinaire on abortion) and not just playing to the masses. Although I'm inclined to believe that he only reason she ever does anything is to gain political advantage, and I doubt Kos believes any differently, I'm skeptical about that scenario as well.

What I really found odd in his post, though, was this line.

Given a choice between personality and policy, voters have been picking personality for the LAST SEVEN ELECTIONS. But Dems are still acting as if the voters have the same attention span they had during the Lincoln-Douglas debates, or even the Kennedy-Nixon debates.
What? Americans have short attention spans? Just conservatives, Kos, or do you think any bong smoke theorists on the left, with their short term memory obliterated, have trouble staying awake through a John Kerry ten point plan to come up with a ten point plan to improve the economy? Maybe you're right, though. If we were all as informed about the issues and detailed plans as they average voter was in 1858, I'm sure everything would be great. Information widely disseminated at the speed of horse and average education levels pretty low, even by modern DOE standards. That's the ideal situation for voter awareness.

And the Kennedy-Nixon debate was pretty much the beginning of modern "popularity contest" politics. Kennedy got elected because he and his wife were pretty and his daddy was rich, the ultimate triumph of style over substance. You can claim that modern voters make some decisions for pretty stupid reasons (like what they heard in a Green Day song) but don't pretend there was some halcyon day of intellectual debate when the masses trotted out to stadiums to cheer the noble competitors thrust and parry with their daggerlike tongues (and your guy, naturally, won the day).

All he's really saying is that we keep losing even though we're so much smarter than our opponent, so it must be style. Let's find some of that '92 sax-playing mojo!

Maybe you keep losing because when the style isn't there and people actually hear you talk, they stay away in droves.

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