Sunday, February 22, 2004
...to figure out that John Kerry is a vain, if clueless, bungler.
Earlier today, the Associated Press reported that John Kerry sent a letter to President Bush. It was one of those open letters that gets released to the press before it reaches the White House mailroom. Typical Washington boosheet; it happens on K Street all the time. This kind of thing has been perfected by D.C. con men to make constituents believe that they actually care enough about the voters to send outraged letters to the President. Anyway, Kerry got all postal on GW over a conference call arranged by the RNC for Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). During the call, Chambliss criticized Kerry's voting record on national defense and intelligence.
Senator Kerry got busy, and got petulant:
"As you well know, Vietnam was a very difficult and painful period in our nation's history, and the struggle for our veterans continues. So, it has been hard to believe that you would choose to reopen these wounds for your personal political gain. But, that is what you have chosen to do."
Kerry set up a straw man argument: that Chambliss, speaking for Bush, was attacking Kerry's service record. In fact, Chambliss said the following:
Sen. Saxby Chambliss said during a conference call arranged by the Bush campaign that Kerry has a "32-year history of voting to cut defense programs and cut defense systems."
Chambliss said nothing about Vietnam. He's not that stupid. Neither is Bush. That didn't stop Kerry from pretending he did, however. The AP story goes on, however:
When Kerry responded later, at his side was Max Cleland, a triple-amputee Vietnam veteran who lost his Senate seat to Chambliss in 2002 after being portrayed as soft on homeland security.
He said the president "decided once again to take the low road of American politics."
"Saxby Chambliss, on the part of the president and his henchmen, decided today to question my commitment to the defense of our nation," Kerry said in Georgia, one of 10 states choosing electoral delegates on March 2.
Oh, you think? Kerry made sure to trot out poor old Max Cleland again to emphasize that Kerry and Cleland were real men, while squalid little draft dodgers like Bush and Chambliss were, well, squalid little draft dodgers.
Later, in a televised interview for ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolous, Kerry didn't hesitate to emphasize the chickenhawk meme:
"I don't know what it is that all these Republicans who didn't serve in Vietnam are fighting a war against those of us who did," the Massachusetts senator said.
Yes, Senator, for the last time, we know you served in Vietnam.
Never has a man advertised his weaknesses to his enemy so many times in so short a period.
John Kerry voted against almost every major weapons system during the Reagan buildup, including:
-the B-1 Lancer bomber.
-the M1-A1 main battle tank
-national missile defense ("Star Wars")
-the Aegis fleet missile defense cruiser and its component systems.
-the F-14D Tomcat follow-on
When he ran for Senate in 1984, he advertised the fact that he was foursquare against the Reagan buildup. "Diotima", one of my fellow graverobbers over at FreeRepublic.com got her hot little hands on a Kerry for Senate handout from that campaign. Two of the more interesting pages are reproduced below:
Let's just say that his subsequent voting record pretty much followed this bill of particulars. There's an entire mountain of stuff like this out there, and then there's the Congressional Record.
So when John Kerry wheels poor old Max Cleland out to make sure that some of Cleland's heroism rubs off on John Forbes, Lord Kerry is signaling that he doesn't want Bush to make an issue of his record. When Kerry plays the "chickenhawk" card on national television, he gives Karl Rove the Road Map to Victory. Kerry is either foolish, stupid, or both. He is signaling his weaknesses, and he is too bloody vain to realize it.
I'm not sure that I'm ready to nominate the Senator for the First Annual "Flaming Ronald" Award,
....but, let's just say that he's in the running.