The Finger Pointing Continues

You would sure think Democrats had lost last week with all the finger pointing. I’ve already noted James Carville’s attacks on Howard Dean (here and here). Now Adam Nagourney gets into the act in The New York Times. He even tried to get Carville’s associate, Stan Greenberg, to attack John Kerry, As Kerry is a frequent target of Nagourney, he was probably disappointed by what sounded like reluctant criticism from Greenberg. While Kerry might have handled the situation better, the etiquette for responding to a demand for an apology for something you didn’t actually say is not firmly established.

Mark Barrett comments further on Nagourney’s article at The Premise, including placing Kerry’s actions during the campaign into perspective:

If we’re going to assume that the uproar surrounding John Kerry’s botched joke may have cost Democrats an individual election or two, it seems fair to draw up a balance sheet of sorts in order to judge the net gain or loss from Mr. Kerry’s total involvement in the elections. On the plus side, John Kerry contributed almost $14 million to Democratic candidates, committees and progressive causes. That included contributions to more than 260 candidates in 43 states at both the national and state level. To the extent that Mr. Greenberg believes Republican exploitation of Senator Kerry’s botched joke may have “moved the needle a little bit” in the wrong direction, then, one would also have to conclude that such movement came after a significantly greater swing of the needle in the right direction.

There’s also a slippery assumption in all this that John Kerry actually did something wrong, when it’s become quite clear after the fact that he didn’t. Most observers on both the right and the left had no doubt at the time that John Kerry supported the troops, and that belief has hardened in subsequent weeks.

As Mark also points out, the desperation showed by the attacks on Kerry demonstrate Kerry’s leadership position among Democrats and such attacks would have only occurred if the campaigning by Kerry was helping Democrats. Personally I’m waiting for the next two or three times a politician has a minor gaffe, or is attacked by the right wing noise machine for something they didn’t actually say. Hopefully then the voters will bore of this nonsense, as they grew tired of incompetent Republican rule, and decide to chose candidate based upon the real issues.

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2 Comments

  1. 1
    kj says:

    “Personally I’m waiting for the next two or three times a politician has a minor gaffe, or is attacked by the right wing noise machine for something they didn’t actually say.”

    And in case I miss it when it happens, I know either your or Mark with catch it. And then, I want to repeat it over and over and over again with many !!! points, just in case it isn’t belabored enough. Because you know, a botched joke is something I need to know about, over and over and over again and I don’t want to deprive anyone else from hearing about anyone else’s gaffe because they say so much about a person’s ability to lead. Can’t tell a joke? Blow a line? OMG! Put them in the stocks in the town square!

    (I’m on a posting roll. Sorry if this was over-the-top.)

  2. 2
    kj says:

    ps. I also liked how The Premise described Nagourney’s disingenious use of anonymous question(s) to frame what he really wants to impart. Reminded me of… well.

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