The Speech: A Day Late and a Link Short
There are no words to describe the anger that I feel after reading this speech - especially the sentence quoted above. The problem is, Kerry gave his speech in an echo chamber. If anyone else felt anger over that line, it won't get heard while the sound of applause is still ringing in Kerry's ears. I didn't really expect Kerry to address the protesting or throwing of medals incident, but if he wanted to completely whitewash it, he shouldn't have said anything at all, especially using a euphimism like making peace with Vietnam, which I guess means years of protesting the war. bq. The United States never goes to war because we want to, we only go to war because we have to. Which, I suppose, let's out the possibility of going to war because we are provoked. Also, as E. Nough says: So the Iraq war was elective? We should have left it alone, even though everyone thought it had a WMD program? Hmm. Oct, 1998, Kerry signed a letter to President Clinton that read, in part: bq. "We urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs. In January 2003, he said: bq. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real. I would like John Kerry to clarify what he means by "have to" go to war. Would that be to retaliate after we've already been attacked or would it be to protect ourselves when threatened or provoked? Or, as Captain Ed said: bq. "We only go to war because we have to." After twelve years of failed containment, I suppose this means Kerry would have waited until the sanctions utterly collapsed, Saddam re-armed, and actually did catastrophic damage before doing anything about him ... Other random thoughts: A lot of the speech was filled with nastiness directed towards the Bush administration. I thought the Bush bashing was verboten during this convention? Or did Sharpton's ad-lib moments give way to Kerry's verbal attacks? Hey, barn door is open, may as well let all the bulls out? I really thought Kerry would try to appeal to the center with his speech. Instead, what we got was a private talk with the left. How much of a bounce can he get by delivering a speech to a targeted audience of people who are already voting for him? For a candidate that stresses he wants to be a uniter, not a divider, he sure did a lot of divisive speaking last night. If this was what a positive campaign looks like to Kerry, we're in for a nasty few months ahead of us. There was a underlying sense of socialism running through the speech. Everytime someone talks about one of those programs - like Head Start - I hear my college professor screaming about the dangers of "from each according to his abilities to each according to their needs." He was right. I heard this speech not as a "What can a John Kerry presidency do for you" moment but as a "What can not voting for George Bush do for you" thing. Again, Kerry isn't really telling people what he will do, just what he won't do. All in all, it was typical of any convention speech. If you're a Kerry supporter, you thought it was great. If you're not a Kerry supporter, you'll pick on his words. The problem here is, for anyone who is not a Kerry or Bush supporter, for those proverbial fence sitters, there wasn't much to cling to. I hope Bush remembers that 7% when he stand up at the podium in August. Around the sphere: Stephen Green did a great job blogging the speech as it happened and Glenn Reynolds actually had comments open on his speech post. Kerry alluded to the "bake sale for body armor" myth. Michelle Malkin points the way to a debunking of that lie. She also has a few links to go with the air pollution/asthma lie. John Podhoretz in today's New York Post: So, in the end, it appears Kerry has decided to run as Howard Dean with some medals. Mickey Kaus: This is the Eddie Yost candidacy. Say as little as possible and hope for a walk. My favorite speech related post comes from Jesse Walker at Reason: bq. Don't mind me, I'm obviously not the target audience for these things. I keep getting bored and flipping over to the convention reruns on C-Span 2. Last night I saw George Bush '88 promising never to raise our taxes. Tonight I saw Bill Clinton '96 promising to protect our airlines from terrorists.
Kind of puts the week in perspective, no? For now, the only speeches I enjoyed at this convention were Bill Clinton's and Al Sharpton's. The rest will only become entertaining after history adds some layers of irony and dust. I think that when history adds those layers, we'll be fondly recalling the 2004 Democratic Convention with memories of rodent mouth-to-mouth and fucking balloons.