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Friday, August 06, 2004

John Kerry is No News personified

Jonah Goldberg:
If America is attacked, he says he wouldn't hesitate to respond with force. That's nice, I guess. But what else is he going to say? . . . He makes it sound like he's the first President to have the courage to commit to a policy of retaliation to attacks. Has any president actually rejected such a policy?

Kerry promises "I will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security." Again, great. But no major candidate has ever promised to do otherwise.

Charles Krauthammer:

. . . the association of fitness for the presidency with military experience does not withstand five minutes of reflection. If that were the case, Lincoln would have failed as commander in chief in the Civil War, and FDR would have failed as commander in chief in World War II. By that logic, Ulysses S. Grant should have been -- as Douglas MacArthur would have been -- a great president.

Yes, Vietnam service gives Kerry a credential for high office. But beyond that, what is there? His biography, as presented to the world, was this: He was born, went to Vietnam, and is now running for president. Just about his entire adult life is a 30-year void. The hagiographic film at the convention omitted his first entry into politics (his failed run for Congress in 1972, an attempt to cash in immediately on his Vietnam/antiwar service). There was no mention of the fact that his first elected office was as Michael Dukakis' lieutenant governor. And practically nothing was said about his 20 years of deeply unmemorable service in the Senate.

The convention gave no bounce because it consisted of but two elements: Vietnam, plus attacks on the president.

Daniel Henninger:

John Lewis Gaddis, the noted foreign-policy historian, said several months ago that any Democratic nominee should acknowledge "that pre-emption does have a place in American foreign policy. . . . Pre-emption is out there now for discussion and debate as a legitimate instrument of foreign policy, in a way that it certainly wasn't before September 11."

The Kerry campaign recently directed voters to the new Kerry-Edwards book, "Our Plan for America: Stronger at Home, Respected in the World." The book's main text has one reference to pre-emption: "And his doctrine of unilateral pre-emption has driven away our allies and cost us the support of other nations." It sounds like a Barbra Streisand song: I want to be loved by you, just you, nobody but you. . . .

The book says, "We will join our European allies to offer Iran a simple deal. . . ."

Peter Beinart:

Nowhere in Kerry's speech did he say that building security at home means building liberalism abroad--which will require more money and more sacrifice, not less.

At the close of his speech, Kerry asked Americans to imagine "what if" we cure Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. "What if" we provide after-school programs and end discrimination? But he never asked "what if" we help liberate the Middle East--so Muslims can live in freedom and Americans can live in peace. Biden said this generation of Americans "longs to do great things" in the world. But, when it came to the war against radical Islam, Kerry almost implied that great things were not necessary.

And Rick Richman at Jewish Current Issues again exposes Kerry on Israel:

[Alan Solomont] said John Kerry's record on Israel is ''perfect" and that the senator has traveled a number of times to the region and familiarized himself with the issues and its leaders.

''John Kerry has been as good a friend of Israel as anyone," Solomont said. ''He didn't need to be a candidate for president to become interested in these issues. He already has the deep knowledge and experience in foreign relations."

Sheesh. Where to begin?

1. A "perfect" record on Israel? As good a friend "as anyone"? Uh, no. On important votes, he was basically a 60-40 guy.

2. "[F]amiliarized himself" with the region’s leaders? Kerry has never spoken with Ariel Sharon. But during his January 2002 trip to the region, he went to Ramallah for a private meeting with Arafat.

3. "[D]eep knowledge" of the issues? Hmmm. See how many errors you can spot in Kerry’s April 23, 2004 statement about Taba to the Newspaper Association of America/American Society of Newpaper Editors Joint Conference:
If you go back to Taba, President Clinton in fact arrived at an agreement on right of return as well as the annexation of a number of settlements.
The correct answer is . . . three.
Three errors in one important foreign policy sentence. You have to read the rest to see what they are, but forget "deep knowledge" of the issues. Forget his being so thoughtful, so very much more intelligent than the president.

The Generic Anti-Bush doesn't have a cogent plan. That's why I say he's No News, and that's why Zev Chafets says Bush is going to win:

John Kerry is not a bad man. He probably wouldn't make a bad President. But he is a bad candidate in a terrible situation. He represents the wing of the Democratic Party that is imbued with a sense of its own moral, intellectual, cultural and social superiority. In short, he is the standard bearer for the unbearable.

No news? No plan? Met with Arafat but not Sharon? Unbearable? Anybody but Bush?

I don't think so.