August 24, 2004


Wretchard puts his finger on a big part of what is so maddening about Kerry:

John Kerry's troubles have largely been forced on him by the Democratic Party platform. He has been given the unenviable task of presenting it as the War Party when in fact it is not, nor does it want to be. The Democrats could have chosen to become a real anti-war party, in which case it would have nominated Howard Dean or it could have elected to become a genuine war party and chosen Joseph Lieberman. Instead it chose to become the worst of all combinations, an anti-war party masquerading as the war party.

To carry out this program, it required a Janus-like figure and found it in Senator Kerry; the only man of sufficient stature who could look two ways at once. It would have been a desirable trait, as Christopher Hitchens pointed out, in a peacetime President...

Kerry is emblematic of the infuriating slipperiness of the Democrats. It's impossible to debate with them because they won't honestly avow their positions.

It's clear that many of them still hold the American troops are war criminals position that Kerry pushed in the 70's. You have only to remember the rapture with which they greeted Abu Ghraib, and instantly assumed that prisoner abuse was widespread. (See here for good evidence that it is not.) But they could never be pinned down on this, so the debate was always on false terms.

Kerry has never repudiated the charges of war crimes that he made in the 70's (the most he will say is that his language "was too harsh"). But neither does he defend them!

And the mainstream media have no desire to open the question, and they treat as right-wing cranks anyone who tries to. Which has left Vietnam Vets growling into their beers for thirty years. Until now. Until the rise of the New Media. Until Kerry ran for President.

Posted by John Weidner at August 24, 2004 9:34 AM
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