Friday, April 02, 2004

On the trail

Slate Assessment ofFormer Sen. Max Cleland is an interesting analysis of the situation, also providing many details I was unaware of.

As a Vietnam vet who tried and failed to fend off attacks on his national security credentials, he undermines the claim that Kerry's own war record insulates him from similar attacks. What Cleland brings to Kerry's campaign is the emotional power of victimization—a throwback to the worst of old-time Democratic Party politics, to its emphasis on victimhood over ability and virtue. But whereas in the past it was specific interest groups—minorities, women, gays—who were the noble victims, today it is the Democratic Party itself. Cleland is a reminder to fellow Democrats that they have spend the past three years being persecuted and that it's time to start avenging their humiliations. That's fine as far as it goes. But eventually Kerry will have to stand for something more than Bush hatred and payback. Revenge is not a campaign platform.

maybe. Maybe not, but certainly putting the Cleland vs Chambliss Senate cmapaign into a more full-featured perspective.


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