Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

The Mercurial Senator Kerry

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Victor Davis Hanson has a grand piece in the NRO looking at what Kerry is really after:

If these annoying political campaigns are in fact valuable training grounds for the presidency, then the chaos of the Kerry crusade bodes ill for us all. Why bring up Vietnam as an exemplar of principled service when tapes exist of past slurs against the troops in the field? Why slander George W. Bush’s record when such attention will only invite commensurate investigation of one’s own controversial wartime service? Why transmogrify past antiwar activism into solid support for American military engagement when such recasting only recalls one’s similar contemporary metamorphosis, replete with the same old calls for withdrawal timetables, multilateral solutions, and the accustomed slanders against a sitting president?

Teresa Heinz Kerry charges “un-Americanism” and alleges plots to produce Osama bin Laden on the eve of the election — all the while producing howlers such as suggesting that hurricane-devastated refugees “go naked” and quipping “Who cares?” about what happens in Arizona. She does so because, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan’s outburst in the 1980 campaign, she really is “paying for this.” Populism is the Democratic mantra, but in the postmodern age it requires a disciplined candidate who, for just a few months, can be weaned from appearing in trendy aristocratic garb snowboarding and windsurfing only to do glum penance the next day in the mandatory jeans and hunting vest. One can’t have an assault rifle and not an assault rifle anymore than he can own and not own an SUV. But then, are those in Michigan with whom he’s not comfortable more numerous than the Cambridge crowd with whom he is?

The volatility on the part of Kerry’s handlers descends even to the superficial — we do not know whether the candidate will appear pale, tan, or now orange. His hair may be black, gray, or salt-and-pepper, his lines smoothed or creased — radical changes in appearance that transcend even the wear and tear of the campaign and become a metaphor for his fluctuating message. Windsurfing, orange dye on the epidermis, whitened teeth, hair tint, and teenager runabout clothes — these are not the things that captivate auto workers, farmers, miners, and welders. So everything else Kerry has done in this disastrous campaign has only added to the image that he is an undisciplined and contradictory thinker without either strong beliefs or the moral courage to risk offending critics in pursuing his ideals.

It’s a must read.


Written by martinipundit

October 1, 2004 at 8:32 am

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