Nothing for something

Nothing for something
: Josh Micah Marshall writes in the NY Times, echoing what Micah Sifry (and I) have been saying: Iraq is a problem for Bush and for Kerry, too:

The danger for President Bush is clear: the public’s patience is not unlimited, and eventual failure in Iraq will almost certainly sink his candidacy. (Sometimes the conventional wisdom is actually right.)

For John Kerry, the risks are less obvious but no less real: running a campaign that focuses the voters’ gaze solely on the president’s manifest failures will probably run into resistance, especially with the voters he most needs to win over, those from the ambivalent middle. Mr. Kerry is far more likely to win if he has a plan to show how he

  • O’McSomething

    Joshua Micah Marshall is a contributing writer at The Washington Monthly and a columnist for The Hill, a newspaper about Congress.
    What’s missing from this caption? What about credit where credit is due? Josh’s blog-props probably got him the gig in the gray lady, so why don’t they just admit it? Guess bloggy stepsisters still need rodents and squash to get them to the ball.

  • KMK

    Iraq is a problem for all of us not just because it’s a presidential candidate issue. I don’t want to see us win another war militarily but lose it because of popular opinion or “patience.” That’s a disservice to the men and women of our armed forces who are risking life and limb to bring democracy and freedom to Iraq. We have to target the terrorists and eradicate their will to fight. It’s a different war and a different enemy I’d hate to see a similar outcome. I’ve never voted for a Republican before but Kerry hasn’t given me any reason to take a chance on him. His voting record sucks. His “popular” political stance after Vietnam went against his own military career. I wish I could, but I just can’t warm up to Kerry.
    I heard a poll on CNN, (I think) that 48% of voters were moderate, 27% were Reps. and 23% were Dems. Does anyone have a link to voting numbers. I’d like to know what % the ambivalent middle is.

  • billg

    While some (me, for one) might say that the Republican Party of today is the political party George Wallace dreamed about, the Dems behave like they are still trying to get George McGovern elected. There was once a chance that Clinton might whack the party upside its head and pound some mainstream sense into it, but we all know how easy it was to divert President Clinton’s focus.
    As a lifelong Democrat, I’m afraid Kerry makes me want to hang my head in frustration and despair.

  • Andy Freeman

    > While some (me, for one) might say that the Republican Party of today is the political party George Wallace dreamed about
    Which George Wallace? They were all Democrats, but they were all over the map, at least on some issues.
    George Wallace lost his first bid for GA Governor in part because he refused the KKK endorsement. (It went to the eventual winner.)
    He won his last bid with “a coalition represented by blacks, organized labor and forces seeking to advance public education. In that race, he carried all 10 of the state’s counties with a majority black population, nine of them by a better than two-to-one margin.”
    (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/daily/sept98/wallace.htm)
    Somewhere in the middle he agreed with the counter-culture that there was no difference between Nixon and Humphrey.
    While southern Dems were Jim Crow’s backbone and the major opponents of federal civil rights legislation, northern Repubs were the ones who broke Jim Crow and passed said legislation.

  • John Anderson

    Kerry may have hinted at his plan when he said that a stable Iraq is more important than a democratic one. Install a dictator and walk away?

  • billg

    Andy: I know Wallace, Release 2, was something different than Release 1. It’s Release 1 that Nixon learned from, cast his “Southern strategy” and pointed the Republican Party in the wrong direction. (Yes, that’s contentious, but I’ve believed it since 1972 and I’m unlikely to be swayed.)
    And, you’re right about Southern Dems, Jim Crow and all that. But it’s the Republicans who, via Nixon, took on the mantle of the Southern Dems.

  • syn

    The public’s patience is not unlimited?
    Perhaps the public is losing patience because we are watching this war through our TV sets and are expecting to have the perfectly scripted in Hollywood-style ending.
    Within an hour, build up to the climax with all sorts of monumental disasters then resolve all those climatic disasters in the last 5 minutes of the show. Or, delay resolution so we can tune in next time in order to keep us coming back for more. TV Land insists that viewers at some point must be left feeling satisfied.
    Fifty years of manufactured TV time has conditioned us to think this war should have been over and done with they day before it began and that we must have a happy ending.
    Television is distorting our concept of time in relation to actual events.