Defining John Kerry
It is tempting to view John Kerry as the"Anyone But Bush" or"Anyone But Cheney" candidate and, so, give his Presidential bid a lesser-of-two-evils endorsement...but I've been burned before and recently. I detested the political correctness and identity politics cultivated by Clinton's administration so deeply that, when the hanging-chad scandal arose last time, I hoped Bush would win."He couldn't be worse than Gore," I said -- infamous last words that rank right up there with Socrates'"I drank what!?
I realize how little I know about Kerry. For example, I have no clear sense of specifics on his recommendations re: the occupation of Iraq. Unlike his Democratic rival Dennis Kucinich}}, Kerry voted for war when saying"no" to it really counted and failed to distinguish himself on the issue. In the last few months, Kerry has swept into being almost certainly the Democratic candidate for President on the basis of being electible rather than on his policy stands. Into this vacuum the Bush administration sagely strides with negative ads that have a real chance of defining Kerry to the American public either through their message or by putting him always on the defensive. It is a risky strategy because negative ads can backlash but -- hey! -- we are talking about the Shock and Awe administration that yelled"Let's Roll!" Besides which, they can always pull back to positive ads just before the elections. One of Kerry's few remarkable accomplishments is not likely to be used in his campaign: The Kerry Report (.pdf) aka""Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy." As the Memory Hole site states,"In 1987, two subcommittees of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held three days of hearings on drug trafficking. Headed by Sen. John F. Kerry (D - Mass.), who has since become a candidate for President, the panel heard evidence of official corruption in Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and the United States. The next year, the government published the transcripts in a 4-volume set that has remained a touchstone for anyone interested in narco-corruption, particularly as it involves US intelligence agencies." What are the odds that Kerry will run on a record of linking the drug war to American corruption?
For more commentary, please see McBlog.