Tuesday, October 26, 2004


The blogosphere, that collective intelligence that never sleeps, has turned up some interesting and relevant facts that are cause for updating and modifying some of my "voting against Kerry" statements made below.

First, the Kerry Campaign has cleared up the "I was 30 yards away" from Bill Buckner while attending a conference in Boston on the same evening time-space paradox:
Kerry campaign spokesman Michael Meehan issued this response: "Kerry attended an event in Massachusetts in the early evening. He hopped on a shuttle flight to NYC and got to the game in progress. The Sox were up 3-2 in the series and on the verge of possibly winning the whole thing. What Red Sox fans would not jump through hoops to be there in person?"
More here. Still, even in clearing this up, Kerry can't resist adding a little detail that just doesn't sound right:
"I was about 30 yards away from Billy Buckner when that ball wiggled away. I had cracked a bottle of champagne, was jumping up and down ? prematurely."
A bottle of champagne? In Shea Stadium? With the Mets down 3-2? I have to agree with Taegan Goddard on this one:
Not the biggest issue in the world, but if Kerry was there I seriously doubt they had bottles of champagne in the stands behind the Mets dugout.
So if Kerry is telling the truth, he must have brought a bottle of champagne with him on his shuttle flight. Yep, Kerry's "just one of the guys."

Second, the indispensable Kausfiles comes up with this Kerry quote from the middle of the Afghanistan campaign:
I have no doubt, I've never had any doubt -- and I've said this publicly -- about our ability to be successful in Afghanistan. We are and we will be. The larger issue, John, is what happens afterwards. How do we now turn attention ultimately to Saddam Hussein? How do we deal with the larger Muslim world? What is our foreign policy going to be to drain the swamp of terrorism on a global basis? [Emphasis added]
I find myself in agreement with Kaus (an admitted Kerry supporter) on this one:
Wait--I thought shifting the focus to Saddam was a "diversion" and distraction from the fight against Al Qaeda! Not, apparently, when Kerry saw an opportunity to score political points by advocating it. [But would he have rushed to war in Iraq without a plan to win the peace!-ed. Maybe not. But, given Kerry's recent he-took-his-eye-off-the-ball rhetoric, it's embarrassing that he brought up pivoting to Iraq "now" long before the Afghan campaign was over--indeed, when the Tora Bora battle against bin Laden's men had barely begun.]
Will the real John Kerry please stand up?

Once--just once, mind you--I'd like to hear John Kerry admit that he might have been wrong about something he said. Even something as simple as, "I'm sorry, I must not have remembered that correctly. Too many long nights on the campaign trail, I guess." Honest admittance of such human foibles would give him a tremendous boost of credibility in my book. Instead, Kerry seems to regard himself as a man who never makes mistakes; a man who, regardless of what happens, is never to blame. There's always someone else to take the fall for him, and he's always glad to use a fall guy--even a Secret Service agent--for that purpose. (Remember "I don't fall down! That SOB knocked me over!"?) That's not the sort of behavior I expect from a man who is running for the ultimate accountable position in the United States.

How far the Democrats have come from Harry Truman's "The Buck Stops Here."
Good point. The Democrats really have come a long way from "the buck stops here." Of course, regardless of party, its much easier to say the "buck stops here" when you never had to be elected President to begin with. Okay maybe I'm going down the wrong road (election night 2000, supreme court).

Tuesday’s election will be about two candidates. One's record has proven to be disastrous. He created the largest deficits in our nation's history, entangled the United States in quagmire that has diminished her ability to quickly mobilize against real threat, selected neoconservative wing-nuts to fill his administration's cabinet and administrative posts(Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice), gave tax cuts to those least in need (at the expense of future generations), increased the tax burden of the middle class, I could go forever. I cannot say it best, perhaps Michael Kelly does posthumously. Tom Schaller has some interesting thoughts.Here is what I am really trying to say: You are out to dinner with some friends. You choose Morton’s. If you do not like what is offered on the menu you can always have McDonalds (adjacent to Morton’s). Although you order your filet-mignon medium-rare, the server brings out a steak that has been cooked to medium. Instantly you declare this steak unsatisfactory, which is true, any steak you order at Morton’s should be cooked to perfection. The question is, will you vote against having your filet-mignon despite being done medium at the risk of having McDonalds? Is this slightly over cooked albeit palatable filet-mignon really worse than the alternative? I think not.
Your analogy is well-stated. Our primary difference of opinion is which candidate in your analogy best represents Morton's, and which McDonald's.

Personally, I view a candidate who attempts to be all things to all people as being rather more "McDonald-esque" than the other. I am certainly not wholly satisfied with the current administration's decisions, but neither am I convinced that it is time to clean house and begin again with an administration that has a fundamentally different (and, I believe, deeply flawed) idea of how to deal with terrorist threats. (Hint: 9/11 was a bit more than a "nuisance.")

At the end of the day, that's what it comes down to for me. I actively dislike Bush's "No Child Left Behind" policy and I disagree with many of the choices he and his administration have made when it comes to domestic policy. But I also recognize that he has a clear understanding of the kind of people we are up against in this war, and that they must be stopped--even if it is unpopular to do so (and even if, I might add, the unpopularity of the task costs him a second term).

No matter how many ways I turn his media profile, I just cannot see John Kerry as the kind of man who is capable of steeling himself to this unpopular but necessary task. His campaign has been one of consistent modification, of differing (and often conflicting) promises to different audiences. Yes, he is clearly intelligent; and like most people, he is considerably better at public speaking than President Bush. But it is the pronounced lack of content, not the excellence of form, which I note most.

If I vote for Bush, I'll know just what to expect--many exasperating domestic policies, but an administration firm in its resolve to find and destroy terrorists to keep America safe and proffer freedom abroad. If I vote for Kerry, *I have no idea what I'll get.* And if I can still say that less than a week before the general election, it's not a good sign.
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