I'm frustrated by the invective and bloviation I hear. Why is it any better coming from "our" side than it is from "their" side? Jon Stewart said this about the situation with airport fingerprinting and Brazil, but it applies just as well to any other political criticism: see, with Hitler, it wasn't the FINGERPRINTING that was the problem--there was this thing with killing millions of people. Who the hell are we helping by fulminating about "evil" men and women in office? I wonder if people don't more or less incapacitate themselves with bitterness.
We hoot and laugh when the conservatives undermine their credibility by making outrageous claims and insisting that there's a liberal bias of conspiracy in the media, but don't we do the same thing with our credibility when we insist that absolutely everything out of Bush's mouth is a lie and his only motivations are greed, bigotry, and power-madness? Even within the Democratic party right now you can't be "for" anyone else if you're for Dean. According to Dean supporters, he has never done wrong and never will, but his opponents are hypocrites, liars, spacy, Republicans posing as Democrats, "Inside the Belt" politicians (the horror!), and just plain evil. Ummmmmmmm. . . ok.
I can't tell anyone why one candidate is better than the other right now. I don't have enough information. I may very well change my mind several times before the convention. I'm not against Dean but I think he's made some mistakes and I honestly don't see much in his platform that differentiates him from the other candidates. His rhetoric is stronger--big deal. What does he want to do once he gets into the White House that's so revolutionary? Yes, he was against the war from the beginning. That's good, so was I, but we got into the war, and now we're there, and what happens next? Are we really afraid that if any Democrat besides Dean gets into the White House, he'll wage preventive wars? After the reaction to THIS one? I don't think that'll happen, not even with Kerry or Clark.
I don't see much difference between these candidates on the major issues. I can tell you that Kucinich is the most liberal and Lieberman is the most conservative, and that's about it. Until I notice a major difference, I'm not going to put myself behind a candidate and insist that he's the ONLY one fit to run.
I've worked on presidential campaigns before, most memorably Clinton's in 91 and 92 when he was NOWHERE on the radar and was considered a laughable candidate. That was satisfying, to see the best man come from behind and win (and no, I really don't care who he slept with). That's not to say the perfect man won--just the best of the men we could choose from. Like it or not, we have to choose from a narrow field.
Oh, hell, I just don't know. I fear we don't do ourselves any favors by exaggerating the flaws of our opponents. Nor do we help ourselves by shooting off about people and situations we know about only from what all our buddies are saying.
Watch the debates. Read up, from different sources of bias, because they all are. Pick my guy. That's all I can do until we nominate a candidate to take on the Bush administration. After that, I'm voting for whomever it is, because my priority is to get this administration out. Until then, I'm keeping quiet.