Thank Dean?

Well, according to this article I should. It claims:

You were around a year ago — you remember how hopeless it seemed, how many people were saying that Bush could not be beaten. You were looking into Canadian real estate, and Howard Dean was deciding to run for president. See what I’m saying?

Now people believe that Bush can be beaten. His popularity rating has dipped below 50 percent for the first time since the election (when it was also below 50 percent but, hey, let’s not go there again). Now people are voting for John Kerry on the interesting thesis that he has the best chance of beating Bush. Imagine that.

Interesting point, to be sure. Yes, many people are organizing under Kerry’s banner because they believe he has the best chance to beat Bush. OK, maybe. Why? He’s “most electable.” Not sure what this means. Does it mean, “least frightening to the status-quo?” Perhaps.

And Kerry probably will beat Bush. The pattern of the election could well be that of Clinton’s victory in ’92, though I wonder about the “Ross Perot” factor. If one can argue that Nader cost Gore the election in ’00 (this is nonsense, by the way), then one can also argue that Perot cost Bush the election in ’92. I remember at the time, I didn’t think it possible that Clinton could win. Then Perot came and took more than 10% of the vote, as I recall, many of whom “would have voted for Bush.”

But even if Kerry wins, even if he is re-elected for a second term, and some semblance of sane sameness is restored to the American government, what of the future? Bush has done so much in 3 years to damage the working class and the poor and the environment and he’s done so much to benefit the energy industry, the corporate elite, and the power establishment. How bad will the next Republican president after Kerry look?

Scary to contemplate.

This is why someone like Kucinich is so important. But in this election, he’s the “token progressive.” He’s not even as progressive as he should be, yet he represents the stance so far to the left that it’s “not electable.”

The political spectrum in this country is so narrow and right-shifted. I’ve intuited this for a long time, but Eric Alterman‘s (of Altercation fame) book What Liberal Media? is articulating this problem eloquently and elegantly for me.

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