March 4, 2004

verbal gymnastics...

Poor poor Kerry. He's trying out a number of explanations why his vote to authorize the liberation of Iraq didn't actually mean that the administration was authorized to do so, and that for Bush to do what he clearly said he would do was a shocking and astonishing treachery. Here's one of them:

...Kerry's answer reminds me of the angry customer in the Federal Express ad who, clad only in a towel and a loofah mitt, calls a company to complain that FedEx delivered his package as scheduled, which he should not have expected, and by the way, it inconveniently interrupted a "complicated exfoliation."

Kerry's answer was that Washington insiders believed that Bush didn't mean what he said. "I think that you had a hard-line group (then Pentagon adviser) Richard Perle, (Deputy Defense Secretary) Paul Wolfowitz and probably (Vice President Dick) Cheney. But when Brent Scowcroft and Jim Baker (former advisers to the first President Bush) weighed in, very publicly in op-eds in The New York Times and the (Washington) Post, the chatter around Washington and (Secretary of State Colin) Powell in particular, who was very much of a different school of thought, was really that the president hadn't made up his mind. He was looking for an out. That's what a lot of people thought."...

I'm not sure that makes sense, but perhaps it's not intended to be scrutinized too closely. Another line he's taking is that he voted for war because he thought that would make it harder for Bush to go to war!

I don't know how these contrivances will fly with the electorate, but no doubt Josh Marshall finds them perfectly reasonable. (Maybe he wrote them.)

And the poor Dems are going need some other verbal gymnastics soon. They have to explain why the the new Bush campaign ads, which are upbeat and feature happy Americans saying they are pleased with the President, somehow constitute a vicious smear campaign of shocking ugliness, one that's forcing Democrats, despite their reluctance, to respond in kind...

* Update: Jonah Goldberg gets it right, on the complaints that Bush ads shouldn't use 9/11 imagery:

...I'm sorry, but while I have a great deal of sympathy for the families of 9/11 victims, I think these complaints are nonsense squared. A lot more people died during Vietnam than on 9/11 and John Kerry has been running ads with footage from there for months. These families may have a unique relationship to 9/11 but they do not have ownership of that day, politically, culturally or otherwise and it would be absurd if this administration caved on this point, even though I'm sure the media will be delighted to exploit the personal tragedies of these families...

Posted by John Weidner at March 4, 2004 1:37 PM
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