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And as for fortune, and as for fame - Diary of a Necromancer
Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense, you're just not keeping up
And as for fortune, and as for fame
So the schoolyard bullies of the Media have finally succeeded in driving the Smart Kid out of the playground; between the initial ostracism and the subsequent outright hostility, the Media made no secret of its collective distaste for Howard Dean, and like any sane man would he's finally decided that it's not worth the aggro to fight such an uphill battle. And so concludes one of the more unusual chapters in our recent political history: the notion that ordinary people, like, have a stake in how this country should be run, and all that Communist propaganda stuff. I've not seen Dean's actual statement yet, because the water was off for repairs again and I generally try to schedule sleep-periods for the duration of such events, but from what I've gathered since awakening a short while ago, the attempt will now be made to convert the energy of the Dean supporters from a presidential campaign format into a more general movement to restore this country's democratic traditions. It remains to be seen whether John Kerry will prove an engaging enough candidate to keep the party faithful's attention over the long haul -- but at least Doctor Dean seems to have given his party a much-needed spine transplant in the process of prosecuting his campaign.

So where did Howard Dean go wrong? Well, as I say, the Media had a lot to do with it; just as in the 2000 race, the Media came up with their script at the outset of the process and did its damnedest to fit all the contenders into its Procrustean bed of lies, distortions, and selective presentation of facts.Once the Media decides that a candidate is a liar, or 'just folks', or angry, or electable, it's nearly impossible to get in a word edgewise. Howard Dean got cast in the role of "angry man" at the beginning of the campaign and nothing he did subsequently was allowed to break through the Media's lockstep babbling. Partly this is a fault in the size of the field -- with ten contenders in the starting gate, it was perhaps inevitable that a lazy Media establishment would stick labels on them all as a convenient form of shorthand for their reporting and then never bother to reassess their initial portrayals. The structure of this cycle's primary schedule didn't allow for any breathing room to recover from a stumble, either.

And so the Media has what it wanted all along: a two-man race (having effectively stifled Sharpton and Kucinich before they ever got out of the stable) between John Kerry and John Edwards. The Patrician versus the Lawyer, the Eminence Grise versus the Pretty Boy; what a matchup for the viewers, you'd almost think it was a made-for-tv movie! Except that by now nobody's tuning in anymore, since we've been told how it ends. After Super Tuesday it'll be back to Michael/Kobe/Martha, with the occasional "oh, how those wicked demoncrats beat up so unfairly on our Glorious Leader" thrown in as filler so they can't be accused of having completely sold out their reportage mission to the entertainment industry. Illinois is not actually the dead last primary as I reported here earlier (I found a more complete list), but it's far enough back in the pack that only Pennsylvania could be said to be getting more screwed on a per-capita basis -- but for once the Super Tuesday megastates like New York and California have just as little say in who the nominee will be. Stick that in your bong and smoke it, you blue-state hippies.

As for Edwards, the Media have already decided that he's a Dead Candidate Walking, so I expect to be writing up his political obituary two weeks from today, unless he shows some unexpected gumption by running over Kerry with his campaign bus. I heard one commentator make the suggestion that Edwards would make a better Attorney General in a prospective Kerry administration than the Veep slot, and this idea I very much like; as a trial lawyer, Edwards would seem better suited to the prosecutorial end of government than the more contract-law business of the executive branch. Now if we could get Howard Dean to sign on as Surgeon General, I'd almost be content. Wes Clark for secretary of defense? Al Gore as Secretary of State? Hey, I think we've got a transition team here...

feeling: dejected yet resolved
now playing on Radio Earworm: had bits of "Evita" stuck in my head since Monday

18 responses | moved to respond?
febrile From: febrile Date: February 18th, 2004 02:35 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
I was afraid to say it out loud on my own journal, but I'm making a daring prediction: it'll be John Edwards vs. George Bush.

This may or may not be a reaction to the entry I made a few weeks back wherein I said that Dean had the nomination locked up.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: February 18th, 2004 02:47 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
At this point very little would surprise me, including finding out that the remaining candidates were trying to poison each other. Now wouldn't the Media love that sort of a story... :)
febrile From: febrile Date: February 18th, 2004 02:48 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
What with the capitalization, I think at that point you could call them The Medea....
robling_t From: robling_t Date: February 18th, 2004 02:57 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)


Kinda goes with the whole "eating their own young" thing that politicians are wont to do, yes... :)
razornails From: razornails Date: February 18th, 2004 02:56 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)

totally digging your style

When I am in the frame of mind to read long post (anything over 5 lines) I look most forward to something like this.

I agree, Dean was pushed over by the media. I saw on CNN yesterday that some people in Wisconcin didn't vote at all cause "It already was said it was going to be a landside of Kerry so why vote (for dean)".

I think Dean would have been an interesting president.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: February 18th, 2004 03:15 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)

Re: totally digging your style

I saw on CNN yesterday that some people in Wisconcin didn't vote at all cause "It already was said it was going to be a landside of Kerry so why vote (for dean)".

Which is exactly why I think this front-loaded primary schedule was the absolute worst way to do things: just look at the incredible turnouts in the earlier states when it was still a real race. I'd bet money, if I had any, that turnout figures from here on in will be abysmal.

BTW, are you coming to tonight's knitting MeetUp? I have no excuse not to since it's being held a block from my house... :)
razornails From: razornails Date: February 18th, 2004 07:17 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)

Re: totally digging your style

can't too far away. maybe next time

I'm really supposed to be in class right now
violachic From: violachic Date: February 18th, 2004 03:51 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
I liked and supported Howard Dean to the best of my abilities- I still like him. However, as the campaign went on, he really was starting to remind me of Al Gore Lite, y'know? I think the biggest thing working against both of them was their sheer lack of charisma. Now, I personally find Howard Dean to be far more intelligent and educated than Al Gore, and definitely more to my liking politically. But Dean has that same robotic stiffness that Al Gore had that I think hurt both of them in big ways. Some people just need to take the stick out of their asses.
herewiss13 From: herewiss13 Date: February 18th, 2004 04:18 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Hey, I think we've got a transition team here...

I like that idea waaaay more than I should. One might even say I'm now enamoured with it. ;-)

Kucinich could even run that Department of Peace he wants so much;-)

Still...can you imagine the cabinent meetings? The "winner" and everyone he beat now _working_ for him? hmmmm...dicey...

Also, just as a bit of trivia, I've heard talk of Dr. Dean converting his Deaniacs into a Political Action group, one of those 527 things. Not (alas) the strongest candidacy, but it could make for a powerful lobby, dragging Kerry leftwards (or Edwards).
donia From: donia Date: February 18th, 2004 07:55 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)

Don't hate the playas, hate the game. What's wrong with New York? New York rocks! *pines for blue state hippies* I don't like the front loading primary strategy, either. I think all the primaries should be on the same day, so people will actually have to put some thought into who they are going to vote for instead of following what everyone else has already done or letting the media tell them they should follow what everyone else has already done.

I'm sad Dean is done. I've been working on his campaign since last summer and I like him because he actually had a backbone and wasn't afraid to say what was on his mind. Too bad yelling enthusiastically gets you a boot in the butt.

He definitely had an impact on this race and I hope he leaves on a lasting mark on the Democrats. They need to change their spineless, Republican-leaning policies and get back to where they once belonged.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: February 19th, 2004 07:05 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Don't hate the playas, hate the game. What's wrong with New York? New York rocks! *pines for blue state hippies*

Well, from the perspective of the people who arranged the primary schedule to ensure that the nominee would most likely be decided by the proverbial Cletus, the slack-jawed yokel, y'see. Illinois generally votes irrelevantly late, but this is the first time I can remember NYC and LA being cut out of the process as well... It's almost as if they were afraid to let any of us Evil Urban Libruls into the party before the buffet had already been picked over. One does have to wonder how that red states / blue states map figured into the scheduling process -- isn't Wisconsin only about the fifth blue state to vote so far? (And barely blue at that, just like New Mexico and Iowa.) Why are the red states deciding the blue nominee? Just once I'd like to see what would happen if NY, CA and IL got to go first...
donia From: donia Date: February 19th, 2004 08:25 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)


I thought Illinois was a red state.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: February 19th, 2004 09:04 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)


Nope, we're Evil Librul Blue 55%-43%. Which may have something to do with the fact that 3 out of 4 Illinois residents live in the Chicago metro area. (Downstate scares me, because it is very flat and empty and I fear I shall fall off. :) )

I had a Google at some other statistics: of the primaries now completed, all but two states are smaller than the population of Cook County, and the only one that beats out the overall metro area is Michigan, whose idea of a cultural ambassador is Ted Nugent, so one can probably do the math here. Rocks and trees are selecting our president again...
donia From: donia Date: February 19th, 2004 09:15 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)


Sounds like we're barely blue. I've been Downstate and it is a scary place; the people are just as desolate and empty as the land.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: February 19th, 2004 09:24 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)


12 points is a pretty respectable margin considering how many states got decided by a few thousand votes, though. A lot of people here voted for Nader, as well, since they knew Gore had such a lock on IL that it wouldn't be an issue (in fact some Nader supporters in tight states 'swapped' with IL Gore voters so as not to spoil Bush into their state's electoral votes). Now if only the ninnies in Florida had been able to look realistically at their state's math...

I avoid Downstate when possible; it makes me feel too much like an ant crawling around on a freshly-ironed handkerchief, especially in the winter.
donia From: donia Date: February 19th, 2004 11:37 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)


I voted for Nader in 2000 when I was living in New York and, man, I've never got so much shit for how I've voted in my life. I got put in touch with that whole swap votes program, but I was too stubborn. I vote for who I want, math be damned. As Jello Biafra once said, "Gore made me want to Ralph."

I promised myself when he was fully behind the PMRC's attempts at censorship that I would never vote for the guy. His picking Lieberman as a running mate solidified the grudge. He'll never see a vote from me unless he turns into a Real Evil Librul.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: February 19th, 2004 12:09 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)


See, but at least NY wasn't as tight a contest as FL; there's voting your conscience, and then there's cutting off your balls to spite your dick. While I suppose it could be argued that four years under the Antichrist is what we all needed as a wake-up smack upside the head, I'd still rather have spent the last four years annoyed than terrified...
donia From: donia Date: February 19th, 2004 07:47 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)


Thank god I don't have any male genitalia because I always vote my conscience.
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