Much as I'm interested in anatomizing what went wrong in the 2004 voting, I'm with Arianna Huffington on this one:
This election was not stolen. It was lost by the Kerry campaign.
The reason it's so important to make this crystal clear — even as Kerry's concession speech is still ringing in our ears — is that to the victors go not only the spoils but the explanations. And the Republicans are framing their victory as the triumph of conservative moral values and the wedge cultural issues they exploited throughout the campaign.
But it wasn't gay marriage that did the Democrats in; it was the fatal decision to make the pursuit of undecided voters the overarching strategy of the Kerry campaign.
This meant that at every turn the campaign chose caution over boldness so as not to offend the undecideds who, as a group, long to be soothed and reassured rather than challenged and inspired.
The fixation on undecided voters turned a campaign that should have been about big ideas, big decisions, and the very, very big differences between the worldviews of John Kerry and George Bush — both on national security and domestic priorities — into a narrow trench war fought over ludicrous non-issues like whether Kerry had bled enough to warrant a Purple Heart.
This timid, spineless, walking-on-eggshells strategy — with no central theme or moral vision — played right into the hands of the Bush-Cheney team's portrayal of Kerry as an unprincipled, equivocating flip-flopper who, in a time of war and national unease, stood for nothing other than his desire to become president.
Yes, sure it was really close, if things had gone a little differently, or if Diebold's machines weren't in use, Kerry might have won by 15 votes. But given the nature of the Bush presidency -- the man is a flaming incompetent -- it shouldn't have been close. Kerry blew it over the summer. True, Bush has the incumbent advantage and the advantage of being the wartime president he dreamed of becoming. But Kerry spent much of the summer on really pointless things.
(Via The Gamer's Nook.)
AND FURTHER TO THE SUBJECT OF ELECTION INFRASTRUCTURE, The Onion has this to offer: U.S. Inspires World With Attempt At Democratic Election. (Via Glen Engel-Cox.)