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"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."-Winston S. Churchill

"The wandering scholars were bound by no lasting loyalties, were attached by no sentiment of patriotism to the states they served and were not restricted by any feeling of ancient chivalry. They proposed and carried out schemes of the blackest treachery."-C.P. Fitzgerald.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Nothing Here, Move Along... 

John Kerry made a rousing speech in Seattle today outlining his approach to National Security.

Just to prove that he is the Gift that keeps on Giving, he produced four themes to his foreign and defense policies:

_ New alliances with foreign countries;
_ An updated military to meet terrorist threats;
_ The use of diplomacy, intelligence, economic power and "the appeal of our values and ideas" to keep the country safe;
_ Freedom from dependence on oil from the Middle East.

Now understand that behind all the Bush bashing and the charges of incompetence, there is no there there to this approach. Indeed, in each case, Bush has been pursuing the policies that Kerry advocates.

-the Administration has forged alliances of convenience with interested parties during the War on Terror and its subsidiary campaign in Iraq.
-the U.S. military has been forged into the finest fighting instrument the world has ever seen.
-number three is not even worth commenting on, as all Administrations of both parties use each of the tools stated above to achieve foreign policy goals.
-number four is a pipe dream, but both parties have been peddling that intellectual hashish since 1973, at least.

John Forbes will flesh this out over the next couple of weeks. He won't be yelling at his audiences like Al Gore did yesterday. He's trying to become "presidential". However, one will find that there will be less daylight between him and Bush in foreign policy than we might have supposed. Which is fine by me, because the old Kerry's record cannot sustain the new Kerry's aspirations. And the hard lefties who hate Bush may begin to sit out.

All this comes against a backdrop that Kerry did not anticipate. Bush has had an awful two months. The problem for the President has been that the bad guys shot most of their wad in April and May. He is taking a drubbing in the polls, but should be behind by ten points by now. That he is not brings into stark relief the profound weaknesses of Kerry as a candidate.

Part of Kerry's problem is that he assumes that misfortune will proceed all the way to November. That's a fool's bet. These things come in cycles. I will bet you that Bush probably will be back in the lead in a month. The reason? The bad news from Iraq has petered out, and the voters are tired of being pummelled by the news media's agitprop campaign against the President. When Fortune's Wheel turns to Bush, as it should begin to over the next couple of months, Bush's poll numbers will climb again. How do I know this? Kerry can't hold on to a lead, that's how I know this.

Kerry's misfortune is that the terrorist offensive occurred now. Part of that was the fact that the handover is scheduled to occur on June 30th, so Zarqawi and his Ba'athist allies, along with Fat Muqtada, had to make their move before that date. Of course, the bad guys got their asses handed to them, and are probably out of the major offensive business for the next year. Today, Fat Man had to slink out of Najaf using a ceasefire as window-dressing for his humiliation.

Had this happened in October, Bush might have a real problem. But it didn't, so Bush won't.

Counterintuitive hunch: Iraq will be less important to the voters in November than it is now. Elections are won on the price of hogs in St. Louis. The economy is fast becoming Bush's hole card. If that's the case, turn out the lights on the Kerry bandwagon.

Remember, when ALL the beautiful people in the Chattering Classes say that someone, in this case Bush, is toast, it's time to start buying white bread.

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