Tuesday, March 09, 2004

He's still more animated than Gore. That's something.

Sen. Botox hit the campaign trail recently as the Dems candidate-to-be, and has starting hitting his themes. What is baffling is how odd those themes are. One would think he would talk about his positive vision of a new future for America. His ideas, dreams, plans and such.

Nope. In Florida, he spoke on a topic sure to rally those who were already going to vote for him: the 2000 Election. Whatever else he may have said at this campaign event went unreported as Kerry decided to dredge up the hoary chestnut that Bush "stole" the 2000 election, or that the Supreme Court "gave" it to him. He went so far as to say he'll have groups of observers on the ground in Florida in 2004 to pre-emptively challenge ballots and voting he doesn't like.

Let's address the obvious first. For a group that is so offended that a group of judges "decided" the election, the Dems seem bound and determined to make sure the same thing happens again. Every decision they make regarding Florida in 2004 involves legal challenges. They need to accept something: If you're going to bring the courts into the electoral process, be prepared for the chance it will bite you in the ass. If it does, don't whine about it.

After all, Gore was the one who forced the courts into the 2000 election. In such a close race, he absolutely had the right to ask for a recount. A state-wide recount. Instead, he asked for a specific recount in the four counties that were the most pro-Democratic. That is what brought the courts into it. And had the Florida Supreme Court simply said, "You get a state-wide recount", that would've been the end of it. Instead, they decided to change the rules and allow a specific recount intended to favor a single candidate. If people are offended by judicial activism in elections, THIS should be the focal point of their anger.

And as to the accusations of GOP chicanery, let us not forget that the Democrats played the same game. How about how those polling stations in the conservative Florida Panhandle, part of which is in the Central Time Zone, that were closed an hour early? How many people were denied their vote there by Democratic politicians? Or Gore's attempt to invalidate overseas military absentee ballots? Both sides played dirty in that race. The fact that Gore lost in the end doesn't absolve the Dems of all blame in getting the process started.

Of course, all of this talk of "theft" is bogus as the whole thing wouldn't have mattered had Gore won his home state of Tennessee. Even Mondale won Minnesota in 84. The truth is that the Democrats are appalled that they sponsored a candidate in 2000 who was so unappealing that he couldn't win an election over a lightweight like Bush. So they focus on Florida and become irrational to the point of parody.

Which makes it all the more stunning that Kerry is willing to talk about it. If you aren't a Democrat, all this talk of 2000 is so much static and, frankly, people are f***ing tired of it. It's been FOUR years. If you have some new policy concepts, please share them. But for God's sake, stop it with the 2000 talk.

Between this and the recent NYT piece that shares with us the fact that Kerry doesn't flip-flop but is "nuanced" and that he quotes French philosophers, he's going to have an uphill battle in getting non-decided voters behind him.

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