GO, SID, GO! Lots of good stuff out there, but none better than this Sidney Blumenthal piece for Salon. Here's a taste: "Fear of the besieging terrorist, appearing in Bush campaign TV ads as the shifty eyes of a swarthy man or a pack of wolves, was joined with fear of the besieging queer."
It seems somewhat ironic that the one item which might have swung the entire election was something that emanated in Massachusetts and was supported by some of Kerry's most ardent personal and media supporters. The Boston Globe and New York Times have been activists in encouraging and subsequently cheering the Massachusetts Supreme Court's razor thin 4 to 3 vote to authorize gay marriage in Massachusetts. The state was well on its way to eliminating the civil rights inequities which are inherent in civil law in the state. It was not necessary to have a heavy handed decision come down from the court which had virtually no method of popular appeal. Although the decision did not have a widespread backlash in Massachusetts it reverberated throughout the country with the resulting ballot questions amending state constitutions in 11 battleground states. All of these ballot questions won overwhelmingly. As a branded liberal senator from Massachusetts and his typical tortuous explanation of his position on gay marriage, Kerry could not get out from under this issue.
In the end it was an election the Democrats should have won. They had any number of major foreign and domestic issues to exploit. They had the big media acting as partisan cheerleaders and for the first time they had financial resources which equaled and sometimes exceeded those of the Republicans. Yet in the end not only were they defeated for the presidency but also gave up seats in the house and senate which included that of the minority leader Tom Daschle.
Its time for the Democratic party to do some serious internal finger pointing and then some serious soul searching. The party primaries seemed to be skewed in favor of candidates that must have a resume which appeals to the far left of the party. The elite left core of the party acted like a bunch of smug name callers who were going to free the country of the bumbling dummy from Texas. On the core issues of trust and moral values the Democratic party was found wanting by the heartland of the country.
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