The grass roots are just that--roots. The thought is often lost on those at the top of the political food chain. Without roots, the top topples. The grass roots are not impressed with the way that John Kerry conceeded in the face of overwhelming upset at fact and suspicions of foul play, fraud and supression. Some of the 'roots' are disillusioned to the point of jumping ship to Green territory. Some are just not going to choose any alternative. Some secretly wish Al Gore would reconsider and enter.

What the top seldom realizes as they create the campaign blueprints that they expect everyone like sheep to line up and follow, providing the competitive footwork and fund with every agressive email solicitation, is that the grass roots on the last campaign, staked not only their credibility, but took considerable abuse for doing so in backing Kerry. Many of them worked volunteer for many long months at considerable personal sacrifice and negative personal cash flow because they believed it that important to stop the agenda of this Administration.

When Kerry, only a day later, by 10:30 the next morning had thrown away their money and hard work by a concession they took it like a gut punch. Less than 24 hours was simply considered inadequate time to do anything like a thorough analysis of the facts on the ground or a review of the recounts. Less than 24 hours was simply inadequate time to get all the data, stats, facts, and check any controls. To anyone with a tiny bit of statistical understanding who has been half awake during the last ten years of computer development, the last minute collective exponential swing in battle-ground states looked presumptively dirty. 

Not only did Kerry fold the towel, in something that looked so unbelievable that many still surmise it had something to do with back door deals or promises, but Kerry didn't support the people who persisted in unraveling the fraud, leaving no stone unturned and no vote uncounted (as Edwards promised the campaign would do). He seemed to instead operate against these efforts as if to try to prove that his premature concession was the correct choice so as to not look Gore-like or like "sour grapes". He hired an attorney in Ohio with close Republican ties, he didn't join the only State Court action that might have under Ohio law challenged the Electoral College votes going to

Congressional affirmation, he apparently didn't fund or finance the recount efforts of other candidates that benefited him as well (Cobb-Badnarak efforts), he and anyone from his team or camp was conspiciously absent for Conyers hearings on voting protection and fraud issues, and he wasn't even in the country when Barbara Boxer stood up to challenge the electoral college votes coming from Ohio.

Someone I am sure thought that it was a good idea for him to rise above all of this- someone I am sure thought that if he just quietly in a dignified manner took the high road and did nothing but propose legislation after the fact (that is really ineffective in addressing much of the problem) that this would resurrect his image after the earlier almost hostility to the effort to get to the bottom of the truth of the matter. Someone was wrong. The grass roots felt totally stomped on.

If Kerry is going to have any serious play, if he is going to have a prayer of mobilizing the same sort of effort that he earlier did, he is going to have to do something he and his advisors have not thought of yet. He is going to have to give this voting fraud issue far more serious attention and credibility than what has taken place to date. What has taken place to date is just more insult to those who were on the ground, who saw the screens jumping, who saw the barriers to filling out the provisional ballots (when the precincts stocked them at all) who saw the purging, who witnessed the suppression techniques, or who stood in line for 9 hours waiting to vote.  Instead of honoring the efforts to find the mechanism of the fraud and study the exit polling (something that had the Ukraine in the streets protesting) there was insinuation that people just couldn't let it go because they had too much time, money and emotion invested in it. That was deeply insulting and people won't forget it.  It is going to take more than speeches. Kerry let a lot of people down, insulted a lot of people, gut punched a lot of hard working people who stuck out their neck for him and took serious abuse for it and they are not going to forget it. People felt like they were fighting a battle for democracy for the benefit of someone who didn't really want the job. They knew he had a war chest and raised money specifically for voter fraud efforts in email soliciations, but didn't see it used at all or effectively. There were people on the ground going precinct to precinct interviewing witnesses and pulling registration information while "official" Kerry people were nowhere.

The grass roots are the Roots. A tree without roots will rot and topple. 

A Kerry campaign has a foundational problem from the outset which may not now be overcomeable.