June 29, 2004
The big hostageBy Thomas Lifson
John F. Kerry likes to drone on about courage and leadership, recalling his long—ago wartime bravery, topics which have the potential to electrify audiences in the hands of a skilled orator. But his own candidacy, indeed his very lifestyle, betrays a pattern of entering into voluntary hostage status, unable to confront threats directly, instead allowing those who might harm him to dictate the limits on his actions.
The latest instance of a Kerry cave—in came yesterday in Boston. The city's police union has been leveraging municipal desires for a smooth Democratic National Convention into bargaining clout, demanding a four year contract with pay raises substantially above the rate of inflation. Mayor Thomas Menino, who would have to live with the pay raises while facing re—election, has been willing to endure picketing of the Fleet Center, thereby delaying construction of facilities for the press.
Yesterday, the police pickets were deployed in front of the meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, who were also meeting in Boston. Rather than cross their picket line, Kerry chose to find pressing business in Baltimore. The police union is so pleased with Senator Kerry's support that they have promised not to picket the Democrats next month. The assembled mayors were less impressed, perhaps aware that they too face union bargaining demands from time—to—time, and would appreciate support from federal officials.
So labor leaders all across America now understand that they face a prospective president who is a willing hostage to picket lines. Kerry has not just extended a helping hand to the labor barons, he has allowed them to take custody of another portion of his anatomy. He will sell out a natural ally, the Democrat mayor of the town where he ostensibly resides, and where he expects to receive the nomination. Just because he was mildly threatened.
Ronald Reagan was unafraid to confront labor leaders who overstepped their bounds. When air traffic controllers launched an illegal strike, he fired them all. Soviet leaders saw this courageous behavior as a predictor of how he would deal with them in a crisis, and accordingly chose to give up their Cold War struggle of decades standing, rather than play a game of chicken with Reagan. Kerry's opposite pattrern of behavior also sends a message to our global opponents, and it is not one which would discourage their effots to defeat us.
Kerry is also visibly being held hostage by the left wing crazies of his party. The latest exemplar is Michael Moore, whose box office success has now officially made him a 'war profiteer.' Farenheit 911's premier drew admiring comments from Terry McAuliffe, chairman of Kerry's political party, giving credence to Moore's charge that the Afghan war was fought to ensure pipeline construction profits for Unocal.
Kerry must realize that the crazy conspiracy theories propounded on the record by the leader of his party can only harm him with swing voters. But he has been completely unwilling so far to denounce those theories. The same goes for Al Gore, Howard Dean, and other prominent Democrats whose philosophy has degenerated into inchoate anger.
The lunatic left has another prominent candidate to support, Ralph Nader. If Kerry were to speak up against extremists of the left, he might actually suffer some erosion of his support on the far left. So Kerry has made himself hostage to Moore, a man who has publicly stated about Americans that
'They are possibly the dumbest people on the planet... in thrall to conniving, thieving, smug pricks. We Americans suffer from an enforced ignorance. We don't know about anything that's happening outside our country. Our stupidity is embarrassing. And 92 per cent of us don't own a passport."
The greater the box office success of Farenheit 911, the more Americans will become interested in the actual message propunded by Moore. When swing voters discover the contempt in which they are held, they are unlikely to flock to join the ranks of those who find them so stupid. The Bush—Cheney campaign has begun to exploit this vulnerability of Kerry to his left wing captors.
Meanwhile, candidate Kerry today addresses Jesse Jackson's Operation PUSH, an organization which has perfected the process of using threats of embarassment to obtain benefits for itself and its supporters.
A willingness to allow oneself to be held hostage is completely in character for a serial gigolo. John F. Kerry's two wives have both been drawn from the infinitessimal percentage of the population comprised of women with nine or ten—figure fortunes. Statistically speaking, there is no case to be made that he "just happened " to fall in love with two women who "turned out" to be fabulously wealthy heiresses.
A man who marries the person who signs the checks supporting his taste for luxury is a man who is accustomed to practicing deference to powerful others.
The question facing Americans is whether these habits are appropriate for a wartime president. Thanks to the global reach of the electronic media, our foes in the Islamicist terror movement are quite aware of Kerry's pattern of behavior. They can only draw the conclusion that further outrages will produce a compliant President Kerry, anxious to avoid further trouble with them. Just the sort of man Osama bin Laden can work with.
Leaders by definition take risks, and are unafraid to identify obstacles and address them boldly. Kerry's approach to problems is just the opposite: palliation of those who hold threats over his head, caving—in rather than confronting, learning to accommodate the limits they impose.
For a nation at war with terrorists who dream of carrying—out horrific threats, such a leader would be an absolute catastrophe. The Islamists recognize compromise and accommodation as signs of weakness, and speak only of temporary truces in a longer run plan to establish a global Caliphate. And we all know what they do to hostages.