The Landslide Faction
This year, it's rational to go with the winner.
Slate's Chris Suellentrop notes this non-trivial piece of heartening news for Kerry, buried in a WaPo article on the negative reaction to Kerry/Mary:
... Kerry continues to claim a large lead in key battleground states. In these 13 states, Kerry held a 53 percent to 43 percent advantage among likely voters.
It's hard to believe Kerry is doing that well in battlegrounds even while his national polling heads South. (Sorry, Andrew!) But if the WaPo nugget is accurate, it might be because the vulgar Shrumian us-against-them populism Kerry stressed in the last two debates plays well in one part of the country, the industrial Midwest--which happens to be the main battleground this year. Even Michael Dukakis started moving up in those states, if I remember right, when as a last resort in the waning days of the 1988 campaign he proclaimed himself a liberal and started giving I'm-on-your-side-y speeches. ... P.S.: Suellentrop also writes:
Despite winning all three debates according to opinion polls, Kerry hasn't taken the horse-race lead in a single [national] poll that's been released since the third debate, and he seems to be trending the wrong way.
Maybe that's because, for most of the country, Kerry didn't win the third debate! (Sorry, Will!) 8:56 P.M.
It Gets Worse When They Try to Be Maureen Dowd Dept: The NYT's Adam Nagourney writes, about the Kerry-Mary comment:
Mr. Kerry invoked Ms. Cheney at the debate in Arizona last Wednesday in arguing that homosexuality was not a choice. Mr. Bush dodged the same question ... [Emphasis added]
What Bush said was "I don't know." That's not dodging the question. It's answering the question. The answer was that Bush doesn't know. (When John McCain said he didn't know about something, during Q & A's in the 2000 race, wasn't that treated as a refreshing dose of candor?) ... Actually dodging the question might involve referring only to the views of others without ever really stating your own opinion. See, e.g., Kerry's answer. ... 8:42 P.M.
Up to a point: It looks as if the much-discussed 10/11 L.A. Times front page scoop reporting that
The Bush administration plans to delay major assaults on rebel-held cities in Iraq until after U.S. elections in November ...
Photograph of Howard Dean on the Slate home page by Jim Bourg/Reuters.