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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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19 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    How ’bout that Howard Dean?Report

    • Avatar Rufus in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      @Jaybird, I honestly can’t hear anything from Howard Dean without thinking, “This guy was almost their candidate! How in the hell did that ever happen?”Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Rufus
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        says:

        @Rufus, you know what? He would have beaten Bush in 2004.

        Think about *THAT*.Report

        • Avatar Bo in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          @Jaybird, Jesus, JB, claiming that about Gephardt was bad enough, but Dean? You realize that at this rate, by 2011, you’re going to believe Carol Moseley Braun would’ve beat Bush in 2004.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Bo
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            says:

            @Bo, I don’t believe that Dean would have lost a single state that Kerry won.

            I don’t believe that Dean would have lost Ohio.

            Is it your position that Kerry’s struggle to pick up the votes he did was more successful than anything Dean might have done?

            Because, and I’ll say it again:

            Kerry was an awful, awful, awful candidate.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              @Jaybird, Jaybird, that’s too firghteningly plausible to contemplate. President Dean in 2004?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              @Jaybird, Indeed! I believe that Bush was so weak that it would require a candidate as bad as Kerry to depress Democratic turnout, inspire Republican turnout, and turn-off swing voters to the point where the Republicans would actually *GAIN* seats in the House and Senate.

              Had the Democrats managed to run “Generic Democrat” against Bush, GD would have won and it would have been a wash in the House/Senate.

              Had they actually run someone who didn’t suck (e.g., Gephardt, Dean), the results we saw in 2006 might have happened two years earlier.

              Oh, yeah. I stand by that take.

              Is it your opinion that John Kerry was the best that the Democrats had to offer and fought the best possible fight that could have been fought against the Force of Nature that was Bush/Cheney/Rove and how even John Kerry with all of his strengths could not topple the juggernaut?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              @Jaybird, Er, that was me saying “AND ANOTHER THING!” rather than responding to North.

              North, I believe that Bush was very, very weak in 2004 and John Kerry was the Mondale/Dukakis candidate that went up against him.

              A real candidate would have beaten Bush.

              Dean, for all his faults (and they are legion), was a real candidate.Report

            • Avatar Bo in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              @Jaybird, Dean started out 10 points behind Kerry in matchups against Bush. It wouldn’t have been enough to just run a better campaign than Kerry; he would’ve had to convince a whole raft of independents who were already against him. And, keep in mind that in 2004 a majority of Americans supported the Iraq War, and that’s what the election was going to be about. Which wasn’t exactly playing to Dean’s strength. I’m pretty sure that if Dean ran, the biggest difference in the world today would be that you’d be mad at the Democrats for running Dean instead of a veteran like Kerry.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              @Bo, the election in 2004 was not about Iraq but about Vietnam and, specifically, whether Bush was a draft-dodging chickenhawk while Kerry was, of all things, A decorated Vietnam Veteran!

              This, alone, would have taken half of the war off of the table and would have turned things back to DOMESTIC POLICY.

              Which, may I point out, was the focus of the 2006 elections.

              Which, may I point out, had the Democrats *SLAUGHTER* the Republicans.Report

            • Avatar Bo in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              @Jaybird, so your theory is that by nominating Dean, the Dems could have shifted the focus to domestic policy. Fascinating. *Backs slowly towards door*Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              @Bo, not exactly. My theory is that Kerry was such a magnificently weak candidate that a substantial number of Democrats would have done as well as he did in the states that he carried *AND* would have done better than Kerry in the states that Bush carried.

              Dean would have been against the war, sure… but he sure as hell wouldn’t have been against it after he was for it. There wouldn’t have been even half of the emphasis on “military service” that Kerry inspired and there could have been a discussion on Iraq on the relative merits post-Saddam rather than whether Bush/Cheney/Rove were chickenhawks aligned with the Swiftboat Veterans For Truth.

              Would the Republican Machine have found things to attack Dean on?

              Sure. Domestic Policy, for example.

              Do you disagree?Report

            • Avatar Louis B. in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              @North, that’s what comes to my mind whenever I think about Bush.Report

            • Avatar Bo in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              Do you disagree?

              Of course; I find the idea that the GOP would actively decide to go domestic crazier than the idea that the Dems could have. The point of a campaign, after all, is to win.

              The GOP would just run ads with nice old ladies, maybe even ones that had ‘reservations’ about Iraq, going, “Do we really want to put someone who was against the Iraq War, in charge of the Iraq War?” and the campaign would be over before anyone cared one whit about Dean’s domestic policy.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              @Bo, see, since Dean would not have had the whole “I was on a swiftboat in Vietnam!” attack available to him, I can’t help but wonder if he wouldn’t have been able to attack Bush, you know, effectively.

              Maybe he could have talked about “fiscal responsibility” or something. I understand, as governor, he didn’t suck. Maybe he could have talked about executive experience.

              He sure as hell wouldn’t have pulled the “Howard Dean, Reporting For Duty” bullshit.Report

            • Avatar Bo in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              @Jaybird, I find the idea that “would have to do better” implies “would do better” to be essentially voodoo. I would instead suggest a negative correlation between those two is more accurate.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              @Bo, and I find the idea that John Kerry was the best choice and did the best that anyone could have realistically done against Dubya to be incomprehensible.

              This ain’t Leibniz.Report

            • Avatar Bo in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              @Jaybird, well lucky I don’t believe that then. For example, I’m pretty sure Cheney could have beat Dubya in 2004.Report

  2. Avatar Larry Signor
    Ignored
    says:

    George Carlin says it all:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o
    He would have had great fun with Lady Gaga and “the bloody not-a-mosque”.Report

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