|Man Without Qualities|
Monday, September 20, 2004
Remember when there were almost no persuadable voters? Remember when Kerry-Gore apologists were pleading that the dearth of persuadable voters was the big reason why Kerry-Gore got little or no or negative bounce from the Democratic Convention?
How things have changed. Now the Kerry-Gore apologists are explaining that the Democrats have just begun to fight:
Can all of Kerry's qualifiers, gaffes and flip-flops on Iraq be finessed with a KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) strategy? Yep. That's the magic of general elections, where 50 million likely voters are just tuning in. With a few choice one-liners, the onus of responsibility can be placed back where it belongs—on Bush. Ripping off the GOP's 1994 "Contract With America" would also help. Voters needs to know four or five simple things that Kerry and the Democrats would do immediately. As the clock winds down, the odds against a Kerry victory grow longer every day. But a day can be enough in politics, for those who can fight and KISS at the same time.
Got that? There are 50 million likely voters who are just tuning in! Yep. Everyone thought there were almost no persuadable voters out there. But, in fact, Mr. Alter says there are 50 million blank slates for Kerry-Edwards to write on! That's practically one under bed! All Kerry-Edwards needs is a few good one-liners to write. Yep. Mr. Alter has realy thought this through.
A slogan, a slogan, my kingdom for a slogan!
The entire Alter column is just one howler like that after another, rapid fire - virtually a Catskills stand-up comedian's send-up of a political column. It's almost election day and Kerry-Edwards is in disarray!? Hey, that's no big deal because after Labor Day, the political calendar goes into a time warp. Problem with Kerry-Edwards' having a totally negative "I'm Not Bush" message and a divided base? Nonsense, just go more negative, because focus groups always tell consultants that they're turned off by negative campaigning ... but it's not true. Except in multicandidate races. OOPS! Sorry, Mr. Nader, this is a multicandidate race - but with virtually all of the potential third-party leakage going from Kerry-Edwards to Ralph Nader. Senator Kerry already taking heat for having insulted America's actual cooperative allies in the Iraq incursion by calling them "a coalition of the coerced and the bribed." The Alternative is for Kerry-Edwards to urge that we literally bribe our uncooperative allies by pivoting to explain in the simple terms that have eluded Kerry what he would do differently in the months ahead: Give reconstruction contracts to allies in exchange for helping us stabilize Iraq. Yep. Overt, public, simply stated commercial bribery is the way to Franco-German hearts and, through them, the American voter. Who but Mr. Alter knew?
See, here's the plan: With his strategy in tatters, Kerry must now discredit Bush and simultaneously sell his own vision. Mr. Alter doesn't actually describe John Kerry's "vision" - it's left as a kind of UFO. Of course, neither Mr. Alter nor anyone else (especially Senator Kerry) can actually say what John Kerry's "vision" thing actually is In fact, a lot of people are still trying to invent one - as a kind of Manhattan Project for the Democratic Party.
The election is not over, and the debates and events could change plenty. But Mr. Alter lays out a road map for Kerry-Edwards. A road map that they only have to follow in detail to ensure that they remain Pathetic ... And Bound To Lose.
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