Sunday, June 08, 2008


Michael Kinsley in today's New York Times, endeavoring to explain why Clinton lost and Obama won:

For Democrats, it's been a long time between swoons. Anyone younger than 60 was too young to vote in 1968, when Gene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy last stirred genuine excitement among Democratic voters. Since then it's been George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry. These men elicited support, agreement, admiration, maybe even enthusiasm. But quit-your-job-and-join-the-cause passion? I'm afraid not.

Er, Howard Dean?

If just making us silly overemotional Democratic teenyboppers swoon was enough to get a candidate all (or most) of the way to the nomination, why didn't Dean win? Or even come close?

Hell, why didn't Jesse Jackson or Jerry Brown or even Dennis Kucinich ever win? Why didn't Ralph Nader ever even break double digits in any state in a general election? Oh, and didn't Bill Clinton cause a bit of swooning in '92?


Kinsley's piece, by the way, is one of twelve pieces in the Week in Review section of the Times assembled under the heading "What Went Wrong?"

How many of the twelve essays mention Iraq? One -- Kathleen Hall Jamieson's -- which, by the way, is the same number that mention the Harry Potter books (Representative Heather Wilson of New Mexico, comparing the reaction to Hillary to "how the young Harry Potter and his male friends initially reacted to Hermione Granger"). And even then, Jamieson's point is that the vote for the Iraq resolution was tragically misinterpreted.

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