Can Kerry Win?
Well its official, Bush got the bump in the polls (11 percent) everyone anticipated Kerry would receive, but didn’t. The bump Bush wasn’t supposed to receive because he is the incumbent, but did. And it’s beginning to look as though Kerry will loose this election, unless he does something to set himself apart from Bush and show himself to be the leader, the visionary, the President people need him to be.
Even before the now fabled bump Kerry was slipping; the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, the pundits all agree, did their damage, planting the seed of doubt deep in the soil of the American electorate’s unease about Kerry. And now that seed has taken root and not unlike to apple of Eden, I believe has poisoned Kerry’s chances to be elected Pres-44 and called into question both his leadership abilities and trustworthiness. His less then enthusiastic response to these attacks on his character only lent fuel to the fire. Why can’t the Democrats mange to formulate an effective response to these types of nasty attacks? Their continued malaise and unwillingness to do what it takes to check the Republicans can only buttress the conservatives charge that the Democrats are weak and spineless, thereby unable to defend America against the now ubiquitous and ever looming terrorist threat.
True, Kerry did come out swinging directly after the Republican Convention, but the punches to me, lacked real power. He only skirted the surface, still refusing to truly refute the mounting accusations against him. Why, for instance, doesn’t Kerry address the charges leveled by Democratic turncoat Zell Miller and Vice President Cheney in their respective speeches at the Republican Convention, line by line, laying waste to the half-truth’s and misrepresentations that laced them? Why doesn’t Kerry compare Cheney’s defense record against his own? Point out that Cheney, while defense secretary under Bush I, fought to cut the same weapons systems Zell Miller castigated Kerry for voting against.
Why continue to allow the Republican’s to own the field of battle, to define the issues, to set the pace of the debate? I was astonished, stunned speechless when Kerry, when given the perfect opportunity, stated that he would still have voted for the war with Iraq even when faced with the evidence that Saddam owned no WMD. Here was a chance to redefine the issue, to separate once and for all the ill-advised war in Iraq from the necessary War on Terrorism, and Kerry’s team blew it. Here was a chance for Kerry to be a leader, to stand apart from Bush, but he ceded the field to the Republicans. Why?
Note to John Kerry: if you want to win this election you must define yourself, you must set yourself apart from Bush, detach yourself from his shadow and present your vision for America. Stop reacting and take the offensive. Get off the ropes and punch back with force; this is war man, political war, but war nonetheless. Be the leader you claim to be, marshal the troops and take the offensive. It time to get, well, nasty; sling some mud, I am sure the undecided voters will not mind; indeed it is preferable to being muddied and not responding in kind. You sir have been slapped with the gauntlet by Zell Miller, pick it up and redden Zell’s face, let him, the Republicans, and indeed the American people know that you are not to be trifled with. If being above the fray means losing the election, sink to their level and beat them at their own game; then at least you know you gave it your all man!
Where do you want to take America? We need more then slogans and quaint sounding rhetoric. You told us you can do better, but how? What is the plan, where are the policy statements, where is that bold vision that will convince those undecided voters that you can lead? And for God sakes man show some passion, some conviction, some moxie, and some emotional depth. Pound a fist on the podium, raise your voice, rant a little, scream; call Howard Dean if you have to and ask him how it’s done.
With less then two months until the election Mr. Kerry you need to step it up, kick some Republican booty, close the deal before we—your supporters (albeit reluctantly of late)—start wondering what patch of land in Canada would best suit our particular needs as the dullard from Texas occupies the Peoples House for another four disappointing years.Posted by V. Edward Martin at September 5, 2004 5:12 PM