Couldn’t Democrats have found a better candidate? Honestly?
No, I don’t think they could. Of course, theoretically they could have picked the very best person in the entire country for the President (which, IMHO, is not George W. Bush). But of course, the essence of the problem is that modern political parties can’t just pick someone.The candidate must pick himself and then best other candidates. It is here that, as many have noted, the Democratic Party is so far out of the main stream and driven by such furious partisans that no candidate with a consistent program can get elected. I don’t think it’s even just the disconnect between the Democratic Party and the American Street but that the internal factions of the party can’t agree either. The primary ideologies of the party have been shown to be false and now it’s essentially reactionary. At this point, I find it more likely that the Republican Party will split to create the two primary parties than that the Democratic Party will recover. I doubt that Senator Kerry’s loss in November will make much difference. The 2008 primaries will be a repeat of electability (Hillary Clinton) vs. purity.
Some have suggested that the Democratic Party needs to nominate an unelectable but pure candidate, take the drubbing and learn from it. But I don’t think that will happen. Any loss will be blamed on the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, not on the fundamental bankruptcy of the platform. That’s why I think the two major parties twenty years from now will both be Republican Party successors. I believe that the two will be the “compassionate conservatives” in the manner of President Bush and the “minarchists” who will push for limited government. It’ll be a far different world.