Kerry voted for the USA PATRIOT Act, and for the war in Iraq - so I'm a little dubious when he goes off insulting Shrub.
Oh, I dunno. I'll certainly grant that voting for the war in Iraq was questionable (although a lot of fairly smart people went along with that bandwagon), and voting for the Patriot act reprehensible (although ditto).
OTOH, there's a difference between going along with the tidal wave a couple of times, vs. the complete idiocy and fanatacism that's been evinced by the Shrub. Two failures to make a stand do not a complete failure make. Making the wrong decision at absolutely every turn -- that's a true failure.
(Yes, I'd rather have a president with the guts to stand up for the right thing every time, and the leadership chops to pull it off. OTOH, I think that Clinton was actually a pretty competent president overall, and he was a terrible panderer to public opinion...)
I make this point mainly because I want to get the idea across now: none of the candidates for president are perfect. (Dean's biggest weakness is that he's nearly as monomaniacal as Bush himself, which worries me more than a little.) But any of the Democratic candidates (with the possible exception of Sharpton) would be a hell of an improvement over Bush. Even Gephardt (who I utterly despise) would be an improvement. And the worst possible tragedy would be for the rational people to split again, and the Great Idiot to slide back into power in 2004...
So my stand, at this point, is: <Whoever> For President in 2004! I'll express my opinion in the primary, and I'll hope that my preferred candidate wins (and I confess, I haven't made a final decision there yet). But barring disaster, I'm going to vote for whoever wins the Democratic primary in the final election, and I encourage others to do the same. Getting the madmen in the current administration out of office must be the highest priority, and the eventual Democratic candidate is almost certainly going to be the only one who stands a chance of doing it.
And yes, it matters to say this, and say it loudly and repeatedly, because when the time comes, the Republicans will be doing everything possible to split and discourage the Democratic vote. This isn't paranoia -- it's Karl Rove's established style. He doesn't believe in winning on the issues; he believes in trying to get the other side to stay home. So get used to the idea now: staying home on election day, or splitting the vote, is voting for Bush. It's exactly what they want you to do.
I'm a little surprised by my own vehemence here; I'm normally pretty middle-of-the-road, and generally consider both parties to be full of idiots. But I'm verging on actually calling the administration "evil" -- certainly the worst since Nixon, and possibly the worst in my lifetime. They must be ousted, at the first possible vote...