Thursday, September 23, 2004

Channeling Howard Dean, Part II

An earlier post on, A Time For Choosing, called John Kerry Channels Howard Dean, dealt with John Kerry's sudden veer to the left on the issue of Iraq. Today the editorial page of the Chicago Tribune has an editorial called, thats right, Channeling Howard Dean, that also deals with Kerry's sudden anti-war stance. It is a great editorial that cotians a lot of John Kerry's past statements in support of the war and his subsequent statements of the new, anti-war Kerry. (More on A Time For Choosing here, and here.) An excerpt of the Tribune editorial:

Kerry's aggressive defense of his own stand on Iraq came as no surprise: After his 2002 Senate vote to authorize the war, Kerry often characterized disarming Hussein as "the right decision." In May 2003, Kerry said on ABC that while he "would have preferred" more diplomacy before going to war, "I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein. And when the president made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him."

As recently as last month, Kerry was sticking by that principle, stating that even if he had known the U.S. wouldn't find unconventional weapons in Iraq or prove close ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda, he still would have voted to authorize the war. But succeeding weeks have confronted Kerry with two harsh realities: His presidential candidacy has ebbed in public opinion polls, and Iraq has grown bloodier.

So it was bizarre, although not exactly shocking, to hear Kerry veer left during a speech on Monday: "We have traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure ..." he said. "Invading Iraq has created a crisis of historic proportions, and if we do not change course, there is a prospect of a war with no end in sight."

Kerry, who knows a few things about changing course, evidently believes he and his Senate colleagues were right to give President Bush the authority to wage war, but that Bush was wrong to use the authority. What's more, he suggested, under Bush, we may be losing that war.

Kerry gave little definition to the change of course he represents. He did, though, say: "We could begin to withdraw U.S. forces starting next summer and realistically aim to bring all our troops home within the next four years."

That's the kind of specificity that different listeners hear in different ways. Appreciative Americans might fairly conclude that Kerry wants to bring our boys and girls home. Other groups--nervous Iraqi citizens awaiting democracy, the vicious insurgents who plague them, and the coalition forces serving alongside U.S. troops--might fairly conclude that the Democrat who would be president is primarily interested in getting the heck out of Iraq ASAP.

That is exactly what the President means when he states that John Kerry is sending the wrong message to the enemy. Dick Morris has declared John Kerry's new anti-war stance a loser, and although any Dick Morris assessment should be taken with a grain of salt, he makes very good points in his article in the New York Post. It seems that 30-40% of Kerry's supporters disagree with his new stance, giving the President room to take some of those moderates who believe that Iraq is integral to the war on terror. Dick Morris believes and states that this will be the end of the Kerry Campaign.

Be sure to check the current posts for updates.