Friday, October 22, 2004

He Who 'Declares Victory' Wins?

I've been wanting to post something in response to this news item:
Sen. John Kerry, bracing for a potential fight over election results, will not hesitate to declare victory Nov. 2 and defend it, advisers say. He also will be prepared to name a national security team before knowing whether he's secured the presidency.

In short, the Democratic presidential candidate has a simple strategy for Nov. 3 and beyond: Do not repeat Al Gore's mistakes.

The Democratic vice president prematurely conceded the 2000 race to George W. Bush in a telephone call, then had to retract his concession after aides said Florida wasn't lost. He never declared victory, an omission Kerry's advisers - many of whom worked for Gore - now believe created a sense of inevitability in voters' minds about Bush's presidency.

Chrenkoff has created a nice post which jibes with my own reaction to this. We have something called a legal process in this country, which operates independently of anyone's "sense of inevitability". It was patently obvious to me back in 2000 that Gore's gambit was to get one, just one, even if temporary, even if only due to intermediate totals, even if it had zero to do with actual election law and due process, but just one news headline that said he was ahead. Then of course the MSM would have their factoid that he really won, creating the very sense of inevitability that he was after. He even said that he and Bush should sit down man-to-man to hash it out. Legal procedure, the rules of the game, etc, meant then (and often mean now) absolutely nothing to That Party, which along with their utter lack of seriousness when it comes to national security is what makes them the threat to our republic that they are.

The only thing I would add to Chrenkoff's piece is that this whole strategy of declaring (election) victory when you haven't, in fact, achieved it, is probably a pretty good omen of how Kerry will handle Iraq.

Update: Jonah Goldberg is also on the case.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re the war: my thoughts exactly