Another great essay from R.J. Eskow on the Huffington Post. Pithy parts:
When the Democrats in the Senate made their fear-based and cynical decision to vote for the Iraq war (despite the fact that most of them realized it was wrong), they did so in a group meeting behind closed doors. It came out recently that Kerry made an impassioned argument for voting against the war during that meeting, but bowed to the majority.***
Kerry's decision to work within the political system, and within the Democratic Party, was wise and sound. He's done a lot of good as a result. It's his hamartia, and it's not a flaw. But he took the spirit of accommodation too far. The Party's leadership has demonstrated a craven and cynical attitude toward the moral choices that confront them - an attitude that's not only wrong ethically, but foolish strategically.
Kerry's compromise with his Party's leadership and advisors ended his quest for the Presidency - in 2004 and probably forever.
It's what I've been saying all along: shifting the party back to the left, and being ruthless with caucus members who defect on key issues, isn't an exercise in ideological purity; it's good strategy. Bush himself authorized leaks of classified intelligence? Gonzalez claims the right to spy on Americans domestically without warrants? Russ Feingold is being proved more right every passing day. Kerry should have stood tall when they took the Iraq vote. The rest of the Senate should stand with Feingold now.
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