2004: Reporting For Doody
2004 wasn’t all bad. I mean, it was the year that Wonkette was unleashed on the world. And the Illinois GOP’s attempt to put Alan Keyes up against Barack Obama was pure comedy.
Other than that, though? The one presidential candidate that was at all interesting was aced because he screamed. And thus we were left with John Kerry, who decided to re-run the Gore 2000 campaign — bland and uninspired on the whole. The Bush campaign and allies pounced — “flip-flop!” chants, Purple Heart band-aids, the Swift Boat ads, the ads with wolves and other scary things, and — of course — “you forgot Poland.”
There was always a chance for Kerry, though. Abu Ghraib was on everybody’s lips in the late spring. The insurgency in Iraq expanded, and continued to expose the lack of planning that was now the Bush administration’s hallmark. And, of course, John Kerry had a plan.
And yet, so did Karl Rove and his allies. You could say that Kerry was doomed from the start, in that he was attempting to win by boring Republicans to death. But this, in retrospect, might have been the high water mark of the religious right, as “values voters,” particularly in Ohio, horrified (for no good reason) about the imposition of (jarring chord) SAN FRANCISCO VALUES, sealed the win — which gave the President political capital that he intended to spend.
Ah, but as we shall see, pride goes before a fall. In our next installment: Bush administration fall down go boom.