Image is Everything

Sen. John F. Kerry delivered another in an expanding line of forgettable speeches last night in Boston. It was boilerplate leftist rhetoric full of buzzwords, insults, lies, myths, and misconceptions, and a boatload of domestic programs and promises that no President can ever fulfill. That only a few minutes of the interminably long address were devoted to the war on terrorism is insulting and not statesmanlike. Al—Qaeda was not mentioned once. All the nominee did was download files called Carter '76, Mondale '84 and Dukakis '88, then copy and paste them into his TelePrompTer. The speech changed nothing, except we now know that the nominee sweats like Nixon. It was also the first time a presidential nominee called—out Al Sharpton's name in praise. 

Kerry has spent his entire life trying to emulate John F. Kennedy, from capitalizing on his fortunate initials, his self—portrayal as a war hero, and his tenure as a wealthy senator from Massachusetts. But that's where the similarities end. President Kennedy's injuries in the war could not be healed with mere Band—Aids, and he would never have thought to discard military decorations — his own or those of others. There would be no self—produced reenactment of the ramming of Kennedy's PT boat by a Japanese destroyer, captured to prove his heroism to future voters. Kerry has given no memorable speech in his career as a politician; listeners ask not what they can do for their country, but ask what they can do for a strong cup of coffee. Most importantly, agree or disagree with his policies or his methods, the American voter knew exactly where Kennedy stood concerning the primary enemy of the United States.

Kerry opened his speech last night 'reporting for duty' and mentioned his military service in Vietnam approximately 574 times. A political candidate trying to make some political hay out of military service is usually no big deal. Yet this is a farce, and another example of how Kerry — and the Democratic Party — wants it both ways. Kerry quite obviously wants to look as if he is a soldier through and through, that he is tough enough to lead the fight against our enemies and make life and death decisions because he has seen war (and, implicitly, that President Bush has not).

When he came home, however, Kerry loudly participated in anti—war rallies, saw an opportunity for the spotlight when testifying to a Senate committee to 'war crimes' he and others supposedly committed, and threw his or someone else's medals away in a public demonstration. Now the American electorate is asked by Kerry and the Democratic Party — the same party that has no trouble defending (and celebrating) Bill Clinton's evasion of service, on the basis that Vietnam was an immoral war — to view Kerry as an unselfish patriot doing his duty in a just fight. We are asked to ignore Kerry's demonstrations, grandstanding, and possible sedition. He would have been more impressive last night had he tried to explain and defend these actions  as the acts of a patriot alongside his military service. 

Kerry's record, his public persona, and his public actions have the central theme of expediency, right on down to his sporting a Lance Armstrong 'Livestrong' yellow wrist bracelet. Whatever is popular at the moment, and whatever is best for Kerry is this man's main concern. Wishing to be the next JFK, Kerry took pains to gather footage that would showcase his valorous military service in future campaigns. When the war became more and more unpopular, and student demonstrators spat upon soldiers and called them baby killers, Kerry immediately abandoned his comrades still fighting overseas, to distance himself from the conflict, and align himself with potential future voters disillusioned with the war.

His Senate career, notably in regard to matters of war, is one of dizzying bobs and weaves, well—suited to a man who rests easy knowing most voters do not peruse the Congressional Record for light reading, and an electorate in Massachusetts that has returned Ted Kennedy to office for decades.
 
As much as the Democratic Party wishes that ignoring it will make it go away, we live in perilous times. Just as he promised, President Bush has never wavered in his quest to rid the world of the enemies of the United States, our allies, and the civilized world. Like it or not, the American people know, as they knew with John F. Kennedy, exactly where President Bush stands. Kerry talks vaguely about winning back allies, 'lightening the load,' and earning 'respect' in the world that the President has somehow lost.

It is not satisfactory to ask for the nation's vote with empty phrases and unserious insults. Specifics are necessary. How would President Kerry respond to a major domestic attack? What of the growing threat in Iran? When do we go to war and when do we not? How will he reform the crisis among the intelligence agencies? How will he get the troops home from Iraq? Nobody knows what Kerry would do. 'I have a plan,' and 'Go to johnkerry.com' is not enough. He asks us to judge him on his record, but he has been on every side of every issue.

In the end, Kerry demonstrated again that he does not realize, or cannot properly convey, that he fully realizes the severity of the situation facing the United States. If he is somehow elected, his view will most decidedly change when he sits down in the big—boy chair. But just as he has always done, Kerry would rather look good being wrong than stand alone in the right. Kerry is the dandy second baseman constantly looking into the stands, wondering how he will look when fielding the sharp line drive.

That's a good way to miss the ball altogether.

Sen. John F. Kerry delivered another in an expanding line of forgettable speeches last night in Boston. It was boilerplate leftist rhetoric full of buzzwords, insults, lies, myths, and misconceptions, and a boatload of domestic programs and promises that no President can ever fulfill. That only a few minutes of the interminably long address were devoted to the war on terrorism is insulting and not statesmanlike. Al—Qaeda was not mentioned once. All the nominee did was download files called Carter '76, Mondale '84 and Dukakis '88, then copy and paste them into his TelePrompTer. The speech changed nothing, except we now know that the nominee sweats like Nixon. It was also the first time a presidential nominee called—out Al Sharpton's name in praise. 

Kerry has spent his entire life trying to emulate John F. Kennedy, from capitalizing on his fortunate initials, his self—portrayal as a war hero, and his tenure as a wealthy senator from Massachusetts. But that's where the similarities end. President Kennedy's injuries in the war could not be healed with mere Band—Aids, and he would never have thought to discard military decorations — his own or those of others. There would be no self—produced reenactment of the ramming of Kennedy's PT boat by a Japanese destroyer, captured to prove his heroism to future voters. Kerry has given no memorable speech in his career as a politician; listeners ask not what they can do for their country, but ask what they can do for a strong cup of coffee. Most importantly, agree or disagree with his policies or his methods, the American voter knew exactly where Kennedy stood concerning the primary enemy of the United States.

Kerry opened his speech last night 'reporting for duty' and mentioned his military service in Vietnam approximately 574 times. A political candidate trying to make some political hay out of military service is usually no big deal. Yet this is a farce, and another example of how Kerry — and the Democratic Party — wants it both ways. Kerry quite obviously wants to look as if he is a soldier through and through, that he is tough enough to lead the fight against our enemies and make life and death decisions because he has seen war (and, implicitly, that President Bush has not).

When he came home, however, Kerry loudly participated in anti—war rallies, saw an opportunity for the spotlight when testifying to a Senate committee to 'war crimes' he and others supposedly committed, and threw his or someone else's medals away in a public demonstration. Now the American electorate is asked by Kerry and the Democratic Party — the same party that has no trouble defending (and celebrating) Bill Clinton's evasion of service, on the basis that Vietnam was an immoral war — to view Kerry as an unselfish patriot doing his duty in a just fight. We are asked to ignore Kerry's demonstrations, grandstanding, and possible sedition. He would have been more impressive last night had he tried to explain and defend these actions  as the acts of a patriot alongside his military service. 

Kerry's record, his public persona, and his public actions have the central theme of expediency, right on down to his sporting a Lance Armstrong 'Livestrong' yellow wrist bracelet. Whatever is popular at the moment, and whatever is best for Kerry is this man's main concern. Wishing to be the next JFK, Kerry took pains to gather footage that would showcase his valorous military service in future campaigns. When the war became more and more unpopular, and student demonstrators spat upon soldiers and called them baby killers, Kerry immediately abandoned his comrades still fighting overseas, to distance himself from the conflict, and align himself with potential future voters disillusioned with the war.

His Senate career, notably in regard to matters of war, is one of dizzying bobs and weaves, well—suited to a man who rests easy knowing most voters do not peruse the Congressional Record for light reading, and an electorate in Massachusetts that has returned Ted Kennedy to office for decades.
 
As much as the Democratic Party wishes that ignoring it will make it go away, we live in perilous times. Just as he promised, President Bush has never wavered in his quest to rid the world of the enemies of the United States, our allies, and the civilized world. Like it or not, the American people know, as they knew with John F. Kennedy, exactly where President Bush stands. Kerry talks vaguely about winning back allies, 'lightening the load,' and earning 'respect' in the world that the President has somehow lost.

It is not satisfactory to ask for the nation's vote with empty phrases and unserious insults. Specifics are necessary. How would President Kerry respond to a major domestic attack? What of the growing threat in Iran? When do we go to war and when do we not? How will he reform the crisis among the intelligence agencies? How will he get the troops home from Iraq? Nobody knows what Kerry would do. 'I have a plan,' and 'Go to johnkerry.com' is not enough. He asks us to judge him on his record, but he has been on every side of every issue.

In the end, Kerry demonstrated again that he does not realize, or cannot properly convey, that he fully realizes the severity of the situation facing the United States. If he is somehow elected, his view will most decidedly change when he sits down in the big—boy chair. But just as he has always done, Kerry would rather look good being wrong than stand alone in the right. Kerry is the dandy second baseman constantly looking into the stands, wondering how he will look when fielding the sharp line drive.

That's a good way to miss the ball altogether.