Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Kerried Away?

In a public letter to Senator Kerry published on March 19, former CBS newscaster and outspoken critic of the Bush Administration Walter Cronkite tells Kerry that “some detailed explanations are in order.” What does Cronkite accuse Kerry of? The letter wonders why Kerry tried to refute the media’s characterization of him as a liberal, saying, “What are you ashamed of? Are you afflicted with the Dukakis syndrome – that loss of nerve that has allowed conservatives both to define and to demonize liberalism for the past decade and more?” Cronkite points out that when the National Journal said that Kerry’s Senate voting record makes him one of the most liberal Senators, Kerry called it “a laughable characterization” and “the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

As Cronkite asks, why should Kerry be afraid to admit his liberalism? The reason is because he has studied the politics of the last few decades, and knows what America doesn’t want. Since at least the 1972 election, the United States has a history of defeating self-confessed liberals. In fact, the only openly liberal president elected in living memory is the one-term wonder Jimmy Carter. Back in 1972, Nixon defeated the openly leftist George McGovern, who only won a single state (Massachusetts). In 1976, with the public disgusted over the Watergate mess, Jimmy Carter beat Ford by only 2% of the popular vote. After four years of Carterism, however, the public could stand no more, and handed Carter a resounding defeat – Reagan won 44 out of 50 states. The next election produced yet another self-confessed liberal. Walter Mondale ran his campaign on a pledge to raise taxes, and, in a repeat performance of the ’72 election, won only one state (Minnesota). The most successful of the openly liberal candidates was Dukakis, who in 1988 lost to Bush Sr. by a count of 40 states to 10. Then of course we have Bill Clinton, who was smart enough to campaign as a centrist (surprisingly enough, Mrs. Clinton has also appeared to shift towards the center in recent months, could she be readying herself for 2008?). That is why Kerry has tried to avoid being called a liberal candidate.

Setting that to one side, let’s ask another question: Who wants Kerry to win? Despite the fact that Kerry has refused to divulge the names of the numerous foreign leaders who support him, some of these leaders have made their support public. Surprisingly, Kerry had a press statement issued that says in part, “John Kerry does not seek and will not accept any such foreign endorsements.” Why doesn’t he want these guys support? Let’s look at who they are:

First of all there is Spain’s newly elected Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. “We’re aligning ourselves with Kerry,” the Prime Minister Elect said, “Our alliance will be for peace, against war, no more deaths for oil, and for a dialogue between the government of Spain and the new Kerry administration.” This is the fellow who announced that his response to the Madrid terrorist attacks was to remove his troops from the war on terror. If he actually believes that thing about “deaths for oil” he should read William Saphire’s Op-Ed in the March 29 New York Times about the oil-for-food scandal. It turns out that before the war, under this program, at least $5 billion in kickbacks (mainly from Russia and France) went into Saddam’s pockets. “Prices were inflated to allow for 10% kickbacks, and the goods were often shoddy and unusable.” It was a joint oil-for-trash rip-off of the Iraqis by Saddam and the UN.

The second “endorsement” for Kerry has come from none other than North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-Ill. As the Valley Morning Star reports: “…the dictator’s preference for Kerry over President Bush is evident, according to a report in The Financial Times, by the fawning treatment Kerry is getting on North Korea’s state-run media…While the North Korean media relentlessly excoriates Bush, it plays up polls showing Kerry could defeat the president, spotlights Kerry’s claims that Bush deceived the world on Iraqi weapons programs, broadcasts Kerry speeches and replays the senator’s pledge to adopt a ‘sincere attitude’ toward North Korea if elected — all music to the regime’s ears.”Lastly, we have an endorsement from former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who said “I think Kerry would be much more willing to listen to the voices of people and of the rest of the world.” To fill you in on Mahathir Mohamad, he is an avowed anti-Semite who also said, for example, “the Muslims will forever be oppressed and dominated by the Europeans and the Jews.”That’s one great set of endorsements there. If that, combined with America’s past aversion to liberal candidates doesn’t smother him, there is another thing that Kerry has to worry about: himself.

“I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it” said Kerry, in order to clarify his position on granting the money for our troops. Among his other ‘strangeties,’ Kerry has announced his intention of becoming America’s “second black president” (after Bill Clinton). Then, of course, Kerry loves to talk about his four months in Vietnam. Surprisingly, he did not respond to one of his boat-mate’s allegations that he was an “opportunist” who was always out to “save his lily-white ass.” After Vietnam Kerry first got public notice when, in a theatrical act of anti-war defiance, he threw his medals over the White-House walls. Years later, though, Kerry’s medals are hanging on a plaque on his wall. It turns out that it was someone else’s medals that ended up on the Presiden't lawn. Then of course Kerry was elected Senator, and has served there to take both sides of nearly every issue (except for military funding and tax-breaks, which he has always been against).Do you really want this guy for President?

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