Senator Kerry takes a stand, or two, or three

Weir Thinking About It

As I watched Senator John Kerry on Meet the Press on Sunday I imagined an appropriate scenario for one of Johnny Carson's skits. As 'Carnac the Magnificent,' Johnny puts the envelope to his head and says: 'The answer is, yes and no, pro and con, for and against.' Then he opens the envelope and reads: 'Describe John Kerry's position on any major issues.'

Tim Russert, moderator for the weekly interview show, asked Kerry if he agreed with what Senator Ted Kennedy said about immediate withdrawal of some troops after the Iraq election. 'No,' was Kerry's terse reply. Then, there was the inevitable, 'But,' as the former presidential candidate began his usual two—step into verbal ambiguity. In the next few sentences he agreed with his Massachusetts colleague as many times as he disagreed with him. It was déjà vu all over again as Russert played a video of Kerry during the campaign. 'I actually voted for the military spending bill before I voted against it,' Kerry said.

When Russert brought up the claims by Kerry that he was in Cambodia on Christmas Eve of 1968, even though members of his unit said it was untrue, Kerry said, 'I was on the border.' Then he quickly added, 'Did I go into Cambodia, yes I went into Cambodia. It was not on that night, but I did go there.' The reason this is important is because it goes to the very heart of the man's propensity to exaggerate, as Russert emphasized by showing an editorial from the New York Daily News in which Kerry's veracity was questioned.

Once again, the junior Senator from Massachusetts did a quick shuffle by appearing indignant and attempting to distort what others heard him say. When the discussion moved to abortion, Russert referred to a statement by Kerry to a group of Democratic Party loyalists, several weeks after the election, in which he said that Democrats needed new ways to make people understand that the party didn't like abortion. In addition, he said that Democrats needed to welcome more pro—life candidates into the party. Russert asked the Senator how he was going to broaden the base of the party when most Democrats have a Litmus Test regarding abortion.

Thus began another foray into political contortionism as Kerry made it 'clear' that he was both pro— and anti—abortion. 'I don't want abortion. Abortion should be the rarest thing in the world,' he said, once again preparing to take both sides of an issue. 'The discussion is not about pro—abortion, it's about how you truly value life,' he added, parroting the recent statements by Hillary Clinton. 'Abstinence is another choice, and it's worth talking about,' he continued.

'That doesn't mean that I'm not pro—choice,' he said quickly, as he made that sharp U—turn, trying desperately not to offend the radical wing of his party as he attempted to keep one foot on first base while stretching his elastic principles enough to reach second. He went on to say that he wouldn't vote for a Supreme Court Justice that wasn't pro—abortion, thereby endorsing the Litmus Test.

What has become clear is that George W Bush, in winning reelection, has given the Democrats a road map to follow if they expect to mount a formidable challenge to the GOP in future national elections. With the country moving inexorably to the right of center, those with presidential ambitions whose views are not in line with that shift, are destined to become dinosaurs unless they make some 'adjustments.' We can expect to see many changes in the Oval Office wannabes as they keep their eyes on the prize and alter their views to conform to a rebirth of values in America.

The next Democratic president will have to be a renaissance man or woman who is prepared to lead this country back to its traditional roots; a time when motherhood was sacred and women didn't use abortion as a failsafe backstop against an irresponsible and licentious lifestyle. A time when religion was viewed as the foundation of a healthy moral compass, and our children were being taught the virtues inherent in spiritual conformity.

However, true leadership comes from those who make decisions based on their core beliefs, and have the courage to challenge others to follow. Thankfully, most Americans were discerning enough to view Kerry's style of vacillation as a liability for a commander in chief.

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City policy department. He is the editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com

Weir Thinking About It

As I watched Senator John Kerry on Meet the Press on Sunday I imagined an appropriate scenario for one of Johnny Carson's skits. As 'Carnac the Magnificent,' Johnny puts the envelope to his head and says: 'The answer is, yes and no, pro and con, for and against.' Then he opens the envelope and reads: 'Describe John Kerry's position on any major issues.'

Tim Russert, moderator for the weekly interview show, asked Kerry if he agreed with what Senator Ted Kennedy said about immediate withdrawal of some troops after the Iraq election. 'No,' was Kerry's terse reply. Then, there was the inevitable, 'But,' as the former presidential candidate began his usual two—step into verbal ambiguity. In the next few sentences he agreed with his Massachusetts colleague as many times as he disagreed with him. It was déjà vu all over again as Russert played a video of Kerry during the campaign. 'I actually voted for the military spending bill before I voted against it,' Kerry said.

When Russert brought up the claims by Kerry that he was in Cambodia on Christmas Eve of 1968, even though members of his unit said it was untrue, Kerry said, 'I was on the border.' Then he quickly added, 'Did I go into Cambodia, yes I went into Cambodia. It was not on that night, but I did go there.' The reason this is important is because it goes to the very heart of the man's propensity to exaggerate, as Russert emphasized by showing an editorial from the New York Daily News in which Kerry's veracity was questioned.

Once again, the junior Senator from Massachusetts did a quick shuffle by appearing indignant and attempting to distort what others heard him say. When the discussion moved to abortion, Russert referred to a statement by Kerry to a group of Democratic Party loyalists, several weeks after the election, in which he said that Democrats needed new ways to make people understand that the party didn't like abortion. In addition, he said that Democrats needed to welcome more pro—life candidates into the party. Russert asked the Senator how he was going to broaden the base of the party when most Democrats have a Litmus Test regarding abortion.

Thus began another foray into political contortionism as Kerry made it 'clear' that he was both pro— and anti—abortion. 'I don't want abortion. Abortion should be the rarest thing in the world,' he said, once again preparing to take both sides of an issue. 'The discussion is not about pro—abortion, it's about how you truly value life,' he added, parroting the recent statements by Hillary Clinton. 'Abstinence is another choice, and it's worth talking about,' he continued.

'That doesn't mean that I'm not pro—choice,' he said quickly, as he made that sharp U—turn, trying desperately not to offend the radical wing of his party as he attempted to keep one foot on first base while stretching his elastic principles enough to reach second. He went on to say that he wouldn't vote for a Supreme Court Justice that wasn't pro—abortion, thereby endorsing the Litmus Test.

What has become clear is that George W Bush, in winning reelection, has given the Democrats a road map to follow if they expect to mount a formidable challenge to the GOP in future national elections. With the country moving inexorably to the right of center, those with presidential ambitions whose views are not in line with that shift, are destined to become dinosaurs unless they make some 'adjustments.' We can expect to see many changes in the Oval Office wannabes as they keep their eyes on the prize and alter their views to conform to a rebirth of values in America.

The next Democratic president will have to be a renaissance man or woman who is prepared to lead this country back to its traditional roots; a time when motherhood was sacred and women didn't use abortion as a failsafe backstop against an irresponsible and licentious lifestyle. A time when religion was viewed as the foundation of a healthy moral compass, and our children were being taught the virtues inherent in spiritual conformity.

However, true leadership comes from those who make decisions based on their core beliefs, and have the courage to challenge others to follow. Thankfully, most Americans were discerning enough to view Kerry's style of vacillation as a liability for a commander in chief.

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City policy department. He is the editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com