Wretchard, over at the Belmont Club has run what has to be the last McClellan/Lincoln analogy of this election cycle. He is careful with his conclusions but wanders into the predictable pop history territory. The comments section under his posting was crawling with the usual anti-McClellan nonsense, so I had to weigh in. Let me quote myself trying to have the final say:
Don't suspend your usual standards of analysis for a casual retelling of the 1864 election from a single source. Not even if you are ill.
McClellan ran to the right of Lincoln as the candidate for efficiently prosecuted war; he represented a constituency that felt the Republicans had prolonged the war through both incompetence and design. McClellan lost because war voters had a choice and peace voters could not stomach their choice.
Lincoln took McClellan at his correct value, a strong war candidate. (He knew McClellan well, both before and during the war.) Lincoln, however, did not believe the Democratic Party would allow a victorious McClellan the war policies he espoused.
That is the parallel with 2004. There are two war candidates. One is less credible because of his party's peace wing. And the peace wing of his party has no strong reason to trouble itself with voting.
Goodbye meme. We'll miss you.