Friday, January 30, 2004

Kerry and the Party Establishment

Here's the Republican Party line for the near future, coming from a conservative pundit near you: Sen. John Kerry is the establishment candidate who derailed Howard Dean's brave insurgency on behalf of a frightened party leadership.

The party-liners will then predict that Dean's intrepid supporters, intent upon real change, will -- and should -- continue to vent their rage and take Kerry apart. Many who will be saying this were, just a couple of weeks ago, trashing Dean as a dangerous, unelectable, flaky dove. That won't bother them a bit. The identity of the Democratic front-runner has just changed, so all the hostile fire must be redirected Kerry's way.

Republicans have good reason to trash the Democratic leader early, first Dean and now Kerry. The New Hampshire Democratic primary turnout of more than 210,000 voters broke all records by far. The exit polls suggested that independents rushed to pick up Democratic ballots -- and those who did vote were very unhappy with President Bush. More than 80 percent of the people who voted in the Democratic primary said they were either angry or dissatisfied with the president.

The Republican establishment knows it has a problem. That means that its claims in the coming weeks about Kerry and the other Democrats should be verified before they are trusted.

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