Maintaining Optimism in the Face of Reality. Occasional observations on the state of the world, society, business and politics. Usually anchored by facts, always augmented by opinion.

So I Guess the "F" Is for Fickle, Then?  | e-mail post

I thought it was funny that on Labor Day, John F. Kerry was out saying that the "W" in George W Bush's name stands for "wrong." [Boston Herald] Wrong war, wrong time, et cetera, ad nauseum. Of course, most recently, he had just said he would have gone to war. Then before that... Well, we all know the story.

While I really think much of the criticism that Kerry is facing for being a "flip-flopper" is a little unfair, to the extent that any legislator's record will likely contain inconsistencies because of omnibus legislation, various committee votes, political logrolling and the like, this sort of back-and-forth that Kerry is doing on the campaign trail makes it too easy for all the other claims to stick. Up until this change-up, I really hadn't bought into Kerry being fundamentally unable to make up his mind, although I have been frustrated by his ability (or willingness) to articulate a position that is more than simply the negation of the current administration's policy.

Of course, Kerry's in a tough spot on this. Because Kerry has not been able to articulate any clear policy directions, or at least not any consistent policy themes, it's boiling down to the Iraq situation. If Kerry's for it, he doesn't offer a clear contrast with Bush. When he's against it, he's at risk of being called weak in a world that most seem to agree needs strong leadership. He is probably going to be forced into more "flip-flops" on this before it's all done and said.

Right now, Bush & Co are forcing Kerry into batting his own positions around like a shuttlecock. I think they're waiting for Kerry to get himself so worked up that he loses his self-composure. If Kerry loses his cool in anyway close to the way Dean did in Iowa, that's going to send a message to a lot of people that having him in the White House might be a little disconcerting.

Question to Democrats: we get it; you don't like the war and you're pro-choice. Is there anything else, or should John Kerry just change his name to "Not Bush." There's got to be more to it than that.

e-mail post | Link Cosmos | [Permalink]  |  | Wednesday, September 08, 2004
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