INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Monday, July 07, 2003

The Cost of Return

Frank Paynter comments:

The next Democratic president in this country will be one who has made an accommodation with the progressives, including the left Dems like Kucinich, and the paperback writers like Nader. And that coming together will have to be more than a strange bedfellows thing... it'll have to be real. “

Frank is more optimistic than I am. My belief--fear, actually--is that a leftward turn such as he describes (real vs. opportunistic) cannot occur without a prerequisite of sustained economic collapse over a period of several years, coupled with a growing and equally sustained guerilla war in Iraq, costing hundreds, perhaps thousands of casualties to our troops.

That's a hell of a price to pay. I fervently hope that the Dems can return at a lower cost than that. There’s only one way I can see that it could be possible—and that’s with an ever-so-slightly left-of-center guy like Howard Dean--one that's just mainstream enough to be acceptable to the 60% or so of at-large voters who are not right-wing; yet one who presents an alternative distinctive enough to prevent a mass defection of Greens and other fringe groups.

A tall order, but I refuse to cave in to my pessimistic tendencies. I’m going to assume that Dean is that guy unless and until it becomes demonstrated otherwise.

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