Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

February 24, 2004

by J

Sinking into ABB Apathy

As Dean recuperates and ponders his next steps in Vermont, as Edwards continues to run for Veep, as Kerry continues not to inspire, as the loyalty oaths in the left-leaning blogosphere continue to mount, as the media debases itself repeatedly, and as Bush continues his assault on my country, I find myself sinking back into what I'll call ABB apathy, similar to what I felt after the midterms and before I knew there would actually be a candidate with a clue.

Several of my friends told me months ago that they were ignoring the primary because they were voting ABB even if the Democrats nominated a turnip. So too, I find my interest in the day-to-day of the campaign waning as the inevitable ping-pong of one poll-tested remark on the 'D' side against the focus-group vetted framing on the 'R' side heats up. This guy, Dubya, is the worst President in modern American history and he still has approximately 50% approval ratings. This should not even be a contest, but it seems it will be. And that depresses the hell out of me.

I remain curious what Governor Dean will do next. I am extremely skeptical of what Joe Trippi is trying to do on his farm. I'll attend my local MeetUp next week, because there are some very interesting people there. But, except for October and November, I feel like the script for this campaign has already been written -- the lines have been tested, the performances rehearsed, and we're all just going through the motions from now until October.

I'll keep posting here, because I haven't been able to completely scratch my weblogging itch for many years, and I doubt I'd be able to stop now. But, I doubt I'll be able to summon up much passion for anything beyond removing the profoundly unAmerican Bush Administration. Someone had a great metaphor the other day: our country has cancer and over the last three years the Bushies have stabbed it and beaten it to a pulp. Electing John Kerry in this election may let us staunch the bleeding and bind up some of the wounds. But the cancer will remain and grow worse without serious and sustained systemic changes. Howard Dean recognized this latter point; I don't think most Democrats want to acknowledge it, if they even believe it.
Posted by J at February 24, 2004 12:54 PM

Right on, J. I'm feeling the same way, but I'm also pissed at the Dems for giving me a worse and worse "lesser of the evils" choice each time around. This time we have Bush WAY over on the evil side of the lesser-of-the-evils choice spectrum, and Kerry on Bush's side of the middle of the spectrum.

I'll likely be retiring from blogging at DI (which may go kaput or change to something else), as I have no heart for this crap anymore.

Posted by: Todd at February 24, 2004 01:57 PM

Well said, J. I agree and can certainly empathise with Todd, too.

Personally, I think that focusing on what you see wrong with Bush Inc. might end up being more useful and practical anyway. I know that I personally have no interest in or intention to defend Kerry except for where I think he's been genuinely maligned - which is few and far between. My intention is to focus on why Bush needs to go. I feel that that is a greater service to Independents than the other alternatives.

Posted by: Kevin @ TIV at February 24, 2004 04:04 PM

I'm with you on the apathy front. There's no excitement for me in watching Kerry or Edwards.

[blogwhore]I created a button for those ABB Blues on my blog. Feel free to use it (right sidebar)... [/blogwhore]

Keep writing though. It's a great purgative for the demons of politics.

Posted by: Charles2 at February 24, 2004 04:35 PM

You know, after spending a year getting intimately involved in one political campaign, I'm just frankly to exhausted to get to involved in another.

I'll vote for Kerry if he is the nominee but I'm just not sure if I'm up to getting that "into it" so soon.

Dean spoiled me :-)

Posted by: Chris Andersen at February 25, 2004 05:39 AM

Well, personally I find Edwards to be nearly as inspiring as Dean. Inexperienced, sure; but I'll take an inexperienced Edwards over a too-experienced Kerry any day.

But then again, I've always been a Democrat, not an independent.

Posted by: Squelch at February 25, 2004 07:43 AM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
The Politics of Truth... A Diplomat's Memoir

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush

Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
The Great Big Book of Tomorrow

Clinton Wars
The Clinton Wars

Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

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