Dean vs. Bush
Matthew Yglesias, in response to Jim Henley(*), engages in a bit of speculation about whether Howard Dean would be doing any better than John Kerry. He doesn't think he would. In fact, I suspect Matt thinks Dean would be doing far worse.
First of all, it is way to early to be wasting time on what-iffing. If the worst happens then we can come back here on Nov. 3rd and we can (and will) spend a lot of time speculating about what might have been. However, since Matt brings it up, my quick opinion on this is that he is wrong that Dean would have a tough time making the case against Bush even considering that he would have an easier time holding Bush accountable for Iraq. Again, we can talk about why I feel that way later, if necessary.
Second, Matt says,
The nominee you want is John Kerry after receiving a tongue transplant from Edwards. Or a Wesley Clark who started earlier and learned from his mistakes before the going got tough. In the real world, though, you can't get the perfect, so you get Kerry-Edwards, the closest approximation to the ideal given the material that was available.
All through the primary season I heard this kind of wishing for a Frankenstein candidate. But, as Matt points out, that isn't what you get in the real world. In the real world, when you go into battle, you don't waste time wishing for a better weapon. Instead, you find ways to win using the weapons you have available to you. The good warrior doesn't need a perfect weapon. It is their skills that make the weapon better.
It's time to be good warriors.
(* - I agree with Jim Henley that a Bush vs. Dean race would be a lot more interesting.)