OxBlog

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

# Posted 10:15 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

JOHN KERRY, HYPOCRITE: I am still in touch with my inner dove. So today, I'm going to defend Howard Dean, who told Time.com that
"We have to take a different approach [to diplomacy]. We won't always have the strongest military."
No, I'm not going to defend the actual content of his remarks. But I won't criticize it either, since what Dean offered up is nothing more than a vague cliche that implies his support for a more multilateralist foreign policy.

What I am going to do is defend Gov. Dean from the Kerry campaign's offensive suggestion that Dean's comment
"raises serious questions about his capacity to serve as commander in chief...No serious candidate for the presidency has ever before suggested that he would compromise or tolerate an erosion of America's military supremacy."
As Will Saletan points out, Kerry himself used to talk about the inevitability of China's growth to superpower status back in the mid-1990s. So I guess being a "serious candidate" requires a short memory.

But let's say Kerry had said no such thing. Attacking Dean's competence as commander in chief is the stuff of gutter politics. I may strongly criticize Dean, but I don't suggest that his views on military spending make him unfit for office or indicate that he doesn't have America's best interests at heart.

But what makes the Kerry campaign's remarks so disgusting is that, just a few weeks ago, Kerry harshly criticized Republicans for attacking his patriotism after Kerry called for "regime change" in the United States.

While I thought Kerry should have taken back his rather stupid remark, Josh Marshall defended him on the grounds that
"there is only one way to deal with [Republican] bullies: you must fight back against them with at least the ferocity and intensity that they use against you."
But as this most recent attack shows, fighting back with that sort of ferocity just leads to character assassination and hypocrisy.

Kos argues that the Democrats can't start throwing mud at one another if they want to stand a chance in 2004. I agree. In contrast, ByWord is perversely proud of Kerry (his man in 2004) because Kerry is
aggressive and smart - he picks the fights he wants, and then goes out and starts them...

He's playing the Democratic Primary game on a different level than anyone else in it. It really is a pleasure to watch him work.
While I'm not naive enough to say that fighting dirty doesn't work, I think that when one's hypocrisy is as transparent as John Kerry's, it's hard to go all that far in presidential politics.
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