The way to defeat Bush is not to advertise how much you hate him. Hard-core ideologues who hate Bush are not going to decide this election. They’ll vote for the Democrat, as they do every four years, but there aren’t enough of them to elect a Democrat. You need swing voters to do that. Hatred may motivate the left to contribute money, but it is hardly an effective talking point for public consumption if you want to win elections.
Ari Emanuel, a talent agent who represents Larry David and whose brother served in the Clinton White House and now in Congress, knew just how bad the Drudge story was for Democrats. “People are assembling over a political issue — the 2004 election,” he told the press in response to the ruckus about hating Bush. “The invite didn’t say ‘Hate Bush,’ and I don’t think (the Drudge story) was productive.”
Productive? I bet it produced a lot of money for George Bush. And worse, it helps produce votes for him.
The people whose votes Democrats will need to defeat George Bush don’t hate him. On a personal level, they like him. They need to be convinced not to vote for him, for reasons that have to do with the war, or special interests or the economy. “Hate Bush” headlines do just the opposite.
Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time.