Even in the Iowa caucuses–which attract only the most intensely-committed 10 percent of the electorate–the non-haters are in the process of swamping the haters. That’s Jarvis’ point about Dean’s decline. (It’s the opposite of the conventional analysis, which is that Iowa Dems hate Bush so much they are turning to the milder candidates who can beat him.) … [snip]
P.P.S.: Jarvis’ other point is that Clark (as Krugman notes) has now positioned himself on the wrong (i.e. Krugman’s) side of Krugman’s divide. But if that doesn’t work for Clark I’m confident he’ll change! (See, e.g., above item). …. P.P.S.: There’s actually a matrix, of course, with boxes for Bush-hating left-wingers (Kucinich), Bush-hating centrists (Clark, at the moment), non-Bush-hating left-wingers (an empty box) and non-Bush-hating centrists. As a non-Bush-hating centrist, I’m suddenly worried that a candidate I like, John Edwards, will win Iowa and the nomination. Why worry? Because Edwards will probably still lose the election, which will enable the hating left-wingers to say “See, you ran another Clinton and he lost.” If the Democrats are going to lose anyway, the might as well run a paleolib hater and let that wing of the party have nobody to blame. [You’re going to get Hillary in 2008 whoever loses this time-ed. Good point.]
And let’s be clear: being a non-hater doesn’t mean being a liker. It means making a grayscale and mature judgment about issues and policies and leadership. The Krugman/Dean Bush-hater school of thought is unsubtle and essentially insulting to the electorate and the nation and that insult is what’s coming home to roost.