Friday, April 02, 2004

The mythos of Max

Michael Crowley, writing in Slate, deconstructs the past and present symbolism of former Sentaor Max Cleland in the context of the Kerry candidacy. Concluding graf:

What Cleland brings to Kerry's campaign is the emotional power of victimization—a throwback to the worst of old-time Democratic Party politics, to its emphasis on victimhood over ability and virtue. But whereas in the past it was specific interest groups—minorities, women, gays—who were the noble victims, today it is the Democratic Party itself. Cleland is a reminder to fellow Democrats that they have spend the past three years being persecuted and that it's time to start avenging their humiliations. That's fine as far as it goes. But eventually Kerry will have to stand for something more than Bush hatred and payback. Revenge is not a campaign platform.

The Democrats will surely savage this article as GOP agitprop, but it’s actually a cautionary message for John Kerry. As Crowley notes, we’re voting for a President, not a “platoon leader.”

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