With apologies to L. Hughes...

Garance Franke-Ruta has a lovely explication of the new Kerry campaign slogan "Let America be America Again" on Tapped. Debate can be had about whether this is too 'nuanced' for a campaign, but it does boldly ask perhaps the most difficult question of this election: is the country over September 11? The question is not whether we are over terrorism--that is a battle we will be fighting longer than any presidential tenure could cover. But is the country ready, as the horse race people say, to change ships in midstream?

Kerry's task is convincing voters that it is time to move onward and upward--that the country need no longer submerge its prudence and long term goals to the exigencies of disaster, and, indeed, that Bush has drawn the country too far down a path we need not have taken. Anything less than an honest appraisal of this issue, and Kerry risks branding himself irrelevant. Think 2002. You remember...the one where Republicans actually won.

No easy chore, of course, considering Bush is running almost exclusively on the idea that September 11 is still the nation's overwhelming primary concern.


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