Kerry's loss in 2004: Best thing that happened to the Dems since...forever?

I say yes.

My own emotional scars from waking up that cold November day in 2004 and learning that Bush fucking won still haven’t faded away. I was shocked and hurt by the news. I thought it was pure disaster. But now I look back on that day and breathe a sigh of relief.

It would be naive to think that Kerry would not have inherited the economic mess. The wheels on that trainwreck-to-be were set in motion years before 2004 and odds are he wouldn’t have had the cojones or gravitas to stop the inevitable crash, even if he’d seen it coming. Maybe Kerry would have made some strides in ending the war, but any accomplishments in that arena would have been overshadowed by the credit collapse. So let’s assume he would have done what Bush did–because that’s what the Democrats ended up agreeing to–and took the bailout option.

A Democrat president spending $700 billion on saving the banking industry from itself? Such a move would have destroyed his chances at reelection along with that of his Senate comrades. We’d probably be looking at a Republic blowout right now. Kerry and the rest of the Dems would have been sent home with their tails between their legs, and September 2008 would forever go down in history as what happens when you let Commie Pinkos run the country.

And someone like Obama would never have gotten a chance to get elected.

As it happened, I think the only reason why Obama succeeded was because a lot of independent factors came together at just the right time that:

1) People were sick of 8 years of Bush and other Republicans.

2) He went against Hillary Clinton in the primary...and HC is an easy person *not* to like, rightly or wrongly...and as woman, she didn't have a clear advantage over him in the -ism department. 

3) McCain picked the one person (Palin) who messed up his best face card: experience.

4) The economy went into cardiac arrest while Bush was holding the hot potato. 

Take away any of these things and I don’t think Obama would have been able to get into the White House, in spite of his charisma and brilliance.

Now if Kerry had won in 2004, he’d more than likely be the Dem nominee and therefore Obama would have been irrelevant, but looking at the big picture, I shudder to think what would have happened to the party if 2004 had gone differently. Not only would the idea of a black president still remain the stuff of daydreams, but I think the Dem party would have been dealt a fatal blow. And if not a fatal one, a hit that takes decades to recover from. The emergence of an electable black president from a party that emasculated would be close to impossible under those conditions. All the Republicans would have to do is remind people what happened when those Commie Pinkos were in power to retain their power grip. Any future economic woes could and would always be blamed on Kerry and 'em.

So my thesis: Because a Kerry victory in 2004 would have ultimately killed the Democrats and allowed a complete Republican takeover, it is a wonderful thing that he lost. What could have potentially been gained by his presidency is greatly overshadowed by what would have almost certainly been lost.

So, then, the Republican party is now completely destroyed, never to return then? By your logic they are certainly worse off than the Dems under Kerry would have been, because they would have all that under their belts, plus the blame for the prior four years too.

ywtf, I was thinking about this earlier today.

Assuming Kerry did enough like Bush to have ended up in the same pickle (which isn’t guaranteed, but we’ll say so for the sake of this discussion), Kerry would have lost last night to… someone. As a guess I’d say Romney.

Republicans would be trumpeting how liberals did exactly what they always said liberals wanted to do: Give a frazillion dollars away. It would be living up to the worst possible stereotypes about the party. (Republicans today argue that Bush is anti-conservative, playing a rather charming game of no true neo-Scotsman).

And Bush wouldn’t have had his long, slow decline into the depths of approval rating hell.

So, then we’d be looking at the beginning of a Republican term after what would probably at that point look like a mediocre Republican term (Bush) and a disastrous Democratic term (Kerry).

It would be very bad indeed.

Granted, we can’t see the future, so we don’t know how Obama is going to do with the financial situation. It could be in 4 years we’re saying, “God, nothing worked against that depression and now Obama is tarnished by it and the Democrats will never get out of this alive!”

I’ve heard people muttering that it would have been nice, in a way, for McCain to win and have to clean up the mess his party made, but I’m not so sure it would have worked out that way.

Better yet, McCain could have gotten us into a war against every other country on the planet, which would have wiped out 99% of the US population by 2011–and wouldn’t that have positioned the Democrats for the 2012 election?

If nothing else, I do think that Obama learned a tremendous amount from the Kerry defeat: answer criticism swiftly and firmly; stay on message; get out the damned vote.

I’m very heartened by what I heard on the radio today. Republican pundits were saying that the election “wasn’t about McCain” and that McCain ran a very clean campaign, that it was “all about Bush.” It’s my fond hope that top Republican strategists do their best not to learn anything from this election.

Ha! Yeah, I think we should all be trying to take elections as they come and let the future fend for itself. :slight_smile:

And keep running Sarah Palin out there as their nominee!

No, of course not. It is implicit in the analysis that there is a fundamental asymmetry in the meritocracy of American politics. Most Democratic Party supporters simply accept this because that is the way it is.

So, just because the Democrats would be tainted by a particular crisis or failed decision doesn’t mean the Republicans would be to the same extent. The Republican base, in recent history, has been cemented to the party by polarising politics, and a self-reinforcing counter-culture, which creates a higher starting buffer of electoral viability made easier by the electoral college system - which allows them to ignore half the country. That enables them to more easily evade accountability, as we’ve seen with Stevens and Bachmann, and get away with offensive-based political strategy. I also believe Democrats tend to handicap themselves more as political operations, compared to the kind of Atwater-Rove ruthlessness which is du jour Republican strategy.

The corporate media environment also strongly promotes memes about Republican economic stewardship and other matters, due to the proprietors of said media genuinely believing that Republican policies are better for them to consolidate.

This kind of asymmetry is reflected throughout recent history, with everything from “only Nixon could go to China,” to Iran Contra.

No. Republicans are obviously worse off then they would be otherwise, but it doesn’t follow they’d be worse off than the Democrats in the same scenario.

As we’ve seen, Republicans find it remarkably easy to smear the Democrats as socialists and promoters of big wasteful governments and other bad things. They get away with this even though they are the biggest offenders of that which they decry.

So even though the bailout is not one of Bush’s high points and helped cost McCain the election, that alone will not have the long-lasting negative impact to his party to the degree that I think Kerry would have experienced. Especially if he’d had a Dem majority in congress and a Republican minority that would have voted against the bill and come out looking like roses.

I’m a Democrat who is glad Kerry didn’t win in 2004 and I started a thread about it some time ago. If Kerry had won, he would have inherited Iraq and Katrina just to name a couple of problems. I think four more years of Bush was in essence tough love for America and brought Bush style Republicanism to its natural conclusion for all to see.

I agree madmonk28.

Four years ago Americans were still buying the fear tactics that Republicans mastered and helped win them Bush’s reelection. I think this extra four years has led the majority of Americans to finally see the reality of these bogus scare tactics. I saw a lot of this in the “get out the vote” canvassing that so many people (especially old white people) told me they don’t believe the punches Republicans throw anymore. i think Busy-Rove style Republicanism is done.

(Where is that lasting majority now?)

Well then, wouldn’t it be better for McCain to have won this election? After all, we’ve got this financial crisis going on and it’s going to take a huge effort to clean up. Obama’s going to be blamed for raising taxes and cutting spending. If McCain had won, the Republicans would get the blame. Much better.

And then in 2012 the country would still be in trouble, so better for Sarah Palin to win. And then the country would be further in trouble due to all of Palin’s inevitable screwups, so thank Christ she’s gonna win in 2016. And then God forbid a Democrat should have to take the blame for cleaning up after Palin, so luckily we’ve got Huckabee waiting in the wings for 2020. And after his two terms, then Jenna and Barbara Bush on a dual-Bush ticket can run in 2028 thus pinning the blame for all the subsequent disasters on the Republicans for yet another 8 years.

After a couple of hundred more years of uninterupted power by the Republican party, then I figure the voters will be getting mighty sick of them, so the Democrats would be poised for a comeback. Picard/Riker 2348!

Don’t be ridiculous. Picard’s a French citizen and Riker would only be 13 so neither would eligible for office.

Like Sauron after the Ring was destroyed, they still exist… but only as a harmless spirit of malice.

Are you sure? I thought that was my job.

So the best thing to happen for Democrats is that Kerry lost and Bush was allowed to screw everything up for 4 more years.

Therefore, the best thing to happen for Democrats was that Bush got elected in the first place because other Republicans might have been more competent and wouldn’t have screwed everything up like Bush has done.

Therefore, the best thing for Democrats was for Gore to lose a race he should have won, in large part because people were somewhat sickened by Bill Clinton’s blow job incident.

Therefore, Bill Clinton’s blow job was the best thing to happen for Democrats, leading Gore to try to distance himself from Clinton.

Therefore, the best thing to happen for Democrats is the fact Bush 41 fell “out of touch” with the American people, leading to the election of Clinton.

Therefore, the best thing to happen for Democrats is the fact Bush 41 was isolated by high public office for so long due to Reagan’s enduring popularity.

Therefore, the best thing to happen for Democrats was Iran’s taking American hostages, highlighting Carter’s perceived incompetence, helping catapult Reagan/Bush into office.

Therefore, the best thing to happen for Democrats was Watergate, allowing a perceived boob like Carter to get elected in the first place.

Therefore, the best thing to happen for Democrats was LBJ botching the Vietnam War, giving rise to so much civil unrest that the people elected Nixon.

Therefore, the best thing to happen for Democrats was the Kennedy assassination, putting LBJ in office.

Therefore, the best thing to happen for Democrats was Nixon’s scowl in the Nixon-Kennedy debates, putting Kennedy in office.

Therefore, the best thing to happen for Democrats was Ike’s selection of Nixon and election of the Ike/Nixon ticket based upon Ike’s popularity.

Therefore, the best thing to happen for Democrats was Ike being a war hero, putting him in a position to be elected.

Therefore, the best thing to happen for Democrats is…


OK, I’m done…

You are assuming that the dems would have allowed the financial institutions to go unregulated. The rules about swaps had been gutted by Bush .Even with a repub senate and house ,a Kerry president could have vetoed a lot of the repub looting. Therefore the economic destruction may not have happened.