The Dark Campaign II: Double negative
: In the comments below, Laura Hagan delivers a fascinating analysis of my electoral paralysis. It’s about the DOs vs the DON’Ts:
Jeff, I sympathize….
Your fears about Bush are (for the most part) about what he would DO that would be wrong. He would appoint right-wing judges; he would work to reverse Roe; he will, and has, worked to pass a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Stupid, divisive, wrongheaded moves all to pander to his Evangelical base.
By contrast, you are afraid of what Kerry would NOT do. You fear he would NOT act against our enemies without the imprimatur of the French. That he would dither….
For the most part, what you fear from Bush cannot be implemented by the President alone. But what you fear from Kerry CAN be.
Do you see what I’m getting at? Everything you fear from a Bush II administration, I do too. But he won’t be able to do it — for the most part — without significant help from Congress. Right-wing judges? They would have to be confirmed. The Dems aren’t even in the majority and they’re managing to block the judges they want to block. The gay marriage amendment Bush wanted? DOA in Congress. I don’t expect that to change under Bush II. What Bush wants that I don’t like isn’t going to be completely under his control.
By contrast, there is no power on Earth that can force a Kerry administration to bypass the UN when it’s necessary. There is no provision for Congress to sidestep the President and send troops. What you fear from a Kerry administration CAN be, and WILL be, implemented by the President alone. It will be solely up to John Kerry….
It’s ever-more fascinating to me how everything in this campaign is analyzed in the negative. We vote to keep the other guy out of office. We vote to stop something from happening. We don’t vote because we’re enthusiastic. We don’t vote because we want to accomplish something but just prevent something.
: UPDATE: Fred Wilson adds:
If this is the way the American electorate is viewing this election then the negative campaigning has taken over and people are losing their good judgement. We need to vote for what a President will do and not against what he might do. We need to realize that Congress will provide its required system of checks and balances over whomever gets elected. We need to pick a direction we want to go in and vote for it, not against it.