How could anyone imagine the democrats running such a poor campaign that they could not easily unseat George W. Bush from office given his record over the past 4 years. Granted, there were going to be some difficulties in supporting your "opponent" for 4 years and then trying to run against him. Still Bush's failures in both foreign and domestic policy should have made an easy victory for even the worst of candidates. Still, the democrats continue to find ways of running campaigns of incredible ineffectiveness.
So how have the democrats helped Bush.
1.They've funneled money into ads attacking Nader which have accomplished only pushing people away from the democratic party
2.They've fought against the principles of democracy by allowing Bush special concessions with regard to ballot access and depriving Nader of legal access.
3.They allowed the republicans to capitalize on 9/11 by holding their convention in September in NY and then graciously allowed them to bend the rules in states with an August 31 deadline for ballot access.
4.They've pissed off their own supporters who wish to see a serious critique on Bush.
5.They've alienated anti-war voters by promising more troops and 4 more years of war, which has also helped legitimize Bush's war.
6.They've made the serious mistake of attacking third parties showing the arrogant assumption that they are entitled to people's votes, a mistake that the republicans have yet to make.
7.They've legitimized both the unconstitutional authorization for the war on Iraq and the war itself by continuing their support for the war.
8.They're running Kerry on the "I was fooled by a moron" platform which enables Bush to likewise pass blame on "bad intelligence".
9.They've failed to join with other parties in their critiques of Bush's policies.
10.They've allowed much of the Bush agenda to gain legitimacy by failing to challenge it. Though many people talk about the Patriot Act, who mentions the Homeland Security Act?
11.They, of course, capitulated and conceded Bush's bloodless coup in 2000, and by blaming Nader, offer Bush as a legitimately elected president.
12.They've used the first page of the Bush playbook and engaged in a strategy of scaring people to vote for them.
13.They've championed Bush's "war on terror" a war which is endless and sure to cost many more lives and much more money.
14.By subverting the electoral system they've shown to everyone that politics in the US is about doing whatever it takes to win, so I guess it's ok that 2 republican brothers will be responsible for counting 80% of the votes this year (certainly the democrats will never question the outcome and tell us it's time to move on).
15.They've refused to attack Bush's service record which all available evidence makes clear, Bush dropped out of the guard immediately prior to random drug testing. I guess maybe the democrats think people wouldn't really be interested in that as much as the swift boat controversy.
And I could go on but the point it in every instance the democrats have lent legitimacy and strength to Bush's policies. War on terror? Hey let's hope it's as successful as the war on drugs or the war on poverty. War on Iraq, hey Kerry might have invaded if he was president and he certainly believes that congress should have violated the constitution and authorized the use of force. It was what Kerry would have wanted as president. Portray the democratic party as fascists who care about winning at the expense of democracy, yeah that's going to go over well with voters. And hey, now the republican electoral fraud looks like just part of the game. And hey "separate but equal" worked so well with blacks let's try it with gays next. Voters would be quite turned off by a president who believed in equal rights for all.
So, the question is, could the democrats possibly be running a worse campaign for them, or a better campaign for Bush? Perhaps if Kerry announced that he was a gay communist Muslim. But other than that... They are lucky that the Bush campaign continues to make mistakes as well or else they really would have no chance.
P.S. to Eric, keep the term "liberal", no one else wants it.