The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Friday, July 30, 2004

KERRY, THE WAR ON TERROR, AND POLITICAL REALITY: “As president, I will ask hard questions and demand hard evidence. I will immediately reform the intelligence system -- so policy is guided by facts, and facts are never distorted by politics.

And as president, I will bring back this nation's time-honored tradition: the United States of America never goes to war because we want to, we only go to war because we have to.

I know what we have to do in Iraq. We need a president who has the credibility to bring our allies to our side and share the burden, reduce the cost to American taxpayers, and reduce the risk to American soldiers. That's the right way to get the job done and bring our troops home.

Let there be no mistake: I will never hesitate to use force when it is required. Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response. I will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security. “
John Kerry, acceptance speech, July 29, 2004.

I am pretty sure that Kerry believes what he said last night, but I think this makes him a minority in the Democratic Party. In order for him to win he will have to energize the Democratic base, which has swung further and further to the left over the years. He may believe in what he says, but the people who will elect him, by and large, do not, and in order to govern he will have to concede to many of their wishes. Nowhere, I think, will he have to concede more than on the issue of national security, since this issue is the cornerstone of the Bush Presidency his supporters loathe so much. Kerry, to use a historical analogy, in much the same position as George McClellan, the Democratic candidate in 1864, who repudiated the anti-war plank in his party’s platform that year, saying that he would never negotiate with the Confederacy. The plank stayed in the Democratic platform, despite his protests, and Lincoln, for one, understood the consequences of a McClellan victory, even if McClellan did not.

"This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this Administration will not be re-elected. Then it will be my duty to so cooperate with the President-elect as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such grounds that he cannot possibly save it afterwards." Abraham Lincoln, in a memorandum, August 23, 1864.



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