Monday, April 25, 2005

Will Pulling a John Kerry Work? (No)

Michael Howard has opened up the new Tory whupass campaign, and it looks familiar. Does he support the Iraq War? Of course! But he wants to pound and criticize Tony Blair for lying about it so he could get us into it! Meaning. . .???? I'm for the war but against the way Tony Blair convinced me to be for it. Again. . .????

This is exactly the same kind of shenanigans that sunk John Kerry, and it will sink Howard too. Tories are already falling in the polls against labor, down to 33, which is a miserable 9 point lead against the LibDems (24). Labour has stood still after it's recent drops at 37. The election is imminent, so it doesn't look like the Tories can pull it off. The LibDem voters will probably chicken out at the last minute and hop to Labour anyway.

John Kerry tried to dissemble about the Iraq War and pretty much failed on two grounds: 1) to convince pro-war people he was tough enough and 2) to convince anti-war people he was left enough. For that reason he had to stagger to the left, then stagger to the right, then stagger to the left again, losing more credibility each time. He failed to actually define his position from Bush's enough to actually make hawkish liberals want to support him and had to spend too much time shoring up lefty support. Howard is obviously not trying to even get lefty support, but Britain was of course in general much more lefty toward the Iraq War. So, he will develop the opposite problem. Like Kerry could never convince most hawks to go along with him because of his vote against the war supplemental, Howard will fail to convince most doves because he still supports the war. In general, this is a loser of a proposition, and a loser of a strategy. And Michael Howard will be a loser from it.