Kerry's coming implosion

When will candidate John F. Kerry implode? It seems a matter of time, when the i’s have been dotted and the t’s crossed on the tea leaves, but another question stands in the way of our answer: Will the media let him fall apart? After all, Kerry was foisted upon the Democratic Party in a truncated, McAuliffe-ized nominating process wherein momentum was mistaken for electability. It was over after Iowa, but the nation’s political press wants a race. This race could be over now…

When will candidate John Kerry implode? It seems a matter of time, when the i's have been dotted and the t's crossed on the tea leaves, but another question stands in the way of our answer: Will the media let him fall apart? After all, Kerry was foisted upon the Democratic Party in a truncated, McAuliffe-ized nominating process wherein momentum was mistaken for electability. It was over after Iowa, but the nation's political press wants a race. This race could be over now…

When Howard Dean was the political press' "sure thing," I was scribbling that Dean could not win the nomination. I explained, "Dean says things." He was everywhere on every issue, and it must have been trying for Joe Trippi and the boyz to have to explain what the man was saying and doing. They explained that their candidate "spoke from the heart" and "without notes," but I augured him a certain political implosion.

Dean's problem was, as I've indicated, that he said things. The man flip-flopped enough to make one wonder if candidate Kerry does not run the risk of being too done on one side. Take a look at this piece from Slate, last September 11 (2003). They depict Dean's flip-flops on the death penalty and the social security retirement age. Then there are his diverse opinions on campaign spending and the war in Iraq.

Dean's campaign collapsed inward on itself during the Iowa caucuses. He knew this, but all he could say in his own defense was: "YEARRRRRRRGH!"

Dean is out of the way as far as the nomination, though he's still "saying stuff" on Kerry's behalf. Which is fine, because John Kerry also says stuff. I will point to another piece in Slate, this one from March 3. The site stipulates Kerry's waffling stances on welfare reform, mandatory minimum sentences, affirmative action, the death penalty, education reform, double taxation, gas taxation, social security, and trade.

Then there is funding for our military overseas. As has been famously noted, Kerry told us that he did vote for the $87-billion, before he voted against it. He voted for the Biden amendment, which would have funded the troops but raised taxes to do so. That amendment failed, so Kerry -- driven by the then-extant Dean-dynamic in the Dem Party -- voted against funding the troops.

On CBS's Face the Nation last September 14, Kerry explained that he was going to vote for the Biden amendment. (He even claimed the Biden amendment as partly his own, something not mentioned by Joe Biden on CNN's Late Edition later that Sunday.)

Schieffer asked Kerry if he would vote for the funding even if Biden's amendment failed. Kerry responded:

"I don't think any United States senator is going to abandon our troops and recklessly leave Iraq to whatever follows as a result of simply cutting and running. That's irresponsible."
Reckless and irresponsible, two things a Presidential candidate cannot afford to be, especially when facing a professional and mega-funded campaign machine like President Bush's.

For the sake of context, here is the entire quote in question [CFR transcript]:

I don't think any United States senator is going to abandon our troops and recklessly leave Iraq to whatever follows as a result of simply cutting and running. That's irresponsible.

What is responsible is for the administration to do this properly now. And I am laying out the way in which the administration could unite the American people, could bring other countries to the table, and I think could give the American people a sense that they're on the right track. There's a way to do this properly. But I don't think anyone in the Congress is going to not give our troops ammunition, not give our troops the ability to be able to defend themselves. We're not going to cut and run and not do the job.

Look, we could do this job over a period of time at greater loss, at greater risk, and with much loss around the world with respect to the United States. The question is will we do this the best way possible so that we do the best to protect our troops and the best to advance the safety and security of the United States?

Senator Biden proposed that the troops be funded in a different way, one which Kerry claimed for himself; in the end, however, Kerry said that it would be damnable to leave the troops hanging.

He voted to do just that.

Kerry says stuff. That was not just some old quote fished from his days of Senate antiquity, as claimed by ABC News' Mark Halperin. That was front-and-center from a very current topic of discussion.

Very recently, also, Kerry boasted that nameless world leaders had told him that he had to get rid of President Bush for the sake of the world. He invented this detail, of course, but he stood by it even after the initial reporter claimed to have errantly transcribed the statement. A few days later, his candidacy is supported by an actual world leader, the anti-Semitic former prime minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, and Kerry foreign policy guy Rand Beers declares that they do not want any foreign endorsements.

John Kerry is unfit to be the Democratic nominee. All the statement, all the votes, all the deeds will be put on display by the Bush campaign. And there will be plenty more, because candidate Kerry is unfit to be President, and he will implode as far as the media will allow.

What the Democrats needed this time was a candidate around whom they could rally to defeat President Bush. They needed a candidate with John Edwards's fire and Joe Lieberman's convictions. They needed someone who could turn the heads of moderate voters, who could force a grudging admiration from Republican voters. They did not get that in John Kerry, and this fact will be in our faces for the next seven months, two weeks. The media, wanting something to cover, will play taxidermis with Kerry's campaign, as did Halperin (see above), but stuffed and mounted candidates do not make for exciting races. And those who will vote simply against President Bush are, at most, 43-percent of the electorate.

To a conservative Republican backing the President, I think this is a fine thing -- but not, per se, for our democratic process. Democrats can howeverlook forward to 2006 and 2008, as their awful party chairman, Terence McAuliffe will have been replaced. It says here that the next chairman of the DNC will be the otherwise-unemployed John Edwards. That's the 50,000-volts the Democrats are going to need heading into the new year.

Posted by at March 20, 2004 9:44 AM