Wednesday, August 18, 2004


Marty Schram thinks that Kerry is “blowing the election.” Why? Because, apparently, he isn’t Howard Dean.

Privately, but no longer quietly, Democrats are beginning to despair. They cannot fathom why their man, John Kerry, cannot seem to fathom how easy it should be to put President Bush away, seize the high ground and take command of the issues of the war on Iraq and the war on terror.

The true answer to that question is that these people are so hopelessly solipsistic in their partisan hatreds that the idea that a majority of Americans see national security differently than they do – i.e. actually take it seriously – can never occur to them. In much the same way that they don’t consider as “legitimate” any election that doesn’t put them on top.

But that’s not Mr. Schram’s theory.

Democrats say privately they don't know what is wrong with Kerry. Here is what's wrong: The Democratic presidential nominee has no clearly defined conceptual framework that is the basis of what he thinks about the war on terror and the war in Iraq.

Here's the conceptual framework that Kerry should internalize until it becomes the bedrock and basis for all of his responses on these issues: America has become less safe due to President Bush's egregious mistakes, misjudgments and mismanagement of the war on terror. Bush made the classic blunder of diverting U.S. military forces, economic resources and diplomatic goodwill away from the war to crush al Qaeda before that war was won -- diverted them into a new war to topple Iraq's evil dictator before we had accomplished our mission to vanquish the evildoer who attacked the United States mainland.

Without that conceptual framework as a foundation, Kerry has been despairingly unable to clearly and forthrightly answer even the simple question a reporter put to him during a photo op moment at the rim of the Grand Canyon.

In other words…John Kerry is not Howard Dean.

Helen Thomas – yes, that Helen Thomas – spins much the same tale of woe.

Kerry has made a colossal mistake by continuing to defend his October 2002 vote authorizing President Bush's invasion of Iraq…Kerry has passed up several chances to distance himself from the Iraqi debacle…The senator should have called Bush's hand months ago and laid it on the line after so much official deception.

Now get a load of this next paragraph:

Kerry has a weak fallback position - that he would have planned things differently before going to war and would have lined up more European allies. Knowing what they know now about the Bush fiasco, France and Germany are congratulating themselves for having the good sense to stay out of Iraq.

In those two sentences dear Helen cuts Kerry’s balls off on everything he said at the VFW today.

So Kerry has blown it big time, rising to Bush's bait and throwing away his ace in the hole - Bush's shaky credibility on the profound question of war and peace.

In other words, once again, John Kerry is “blowing the election” and “throwing away his ace in the hole” by not being Howard Dean.

Well, there’s only one thing I can say to Schram’s and Thomas’ laments, and all libs who share them – actually, two – (1) they’re completely full of shit, and (2) they could have had Howard Dean but inexplicably went with Mr. Apocalypse Now instead. For some reason they thought that the Boston Balker was more “electable” than Dr. Demented, and now they’re discovering just how badly they short-sheeted their own collectiv(ist) bed.

Eleven months ago I offered up honest, heartfelt campaign advice to the Democratic Party: stop attacking Bush on the war, downplay it instead, do anything it takes to get it off the issue front-burner, and wrench public focus back to “kitchen table” domestic issues instead. But they just couldn’t help themselves; when it came to the choice between using their heads (following my advice) or their hearts (re-enacting their Vietnam heyday), it was like trying to keep Michael Moore on the Adkins diet. And mix in their raging Bush hatred? Forget about it.

Governor Dean wouldn’t have beaten George Bush, either. But I’ve always thought that if the choice is between an honest extremist and an incompetent liar, Democrats are better off with the honest extremist. And, provided Dean had been sufficiently medicated, I think he would have been a stronger general election opponent for the President than Kerry will end up being. At least that way there’d have been a clear choice with some measure of consistency, if not credibility. With Kerry you have the same crackpot pacifism with neither consistency nor credibility nor any genuine conviction or passion.

Howie Dean was a loon, but he was a three-dimensional loon. John Kerry isn’t even a department store mannequin. He’s one of those cardboard cutout displays you see in athletic shoe stores. Press a button on his lapel and a computer chip intones, “I’m John Kerry and I served in Vietnam.”

And then the chip gets stuck and won’t shut off for another two and a half months, until somebody finally shows up to cart it away with the other trash.

Maybe next time people like Marty Schram and Helen Thomas will be more careful about which buttons they push.