Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 13, 2004
POLITICS/WAR: The Oldies Station
It's late, so forgive me if I ramble . . . Instapundit asks, "[t]o the Democrats, well, 'we'd all love to see the plan.' Where is it?" I'm starting to wonder if Kerry is running the Nixon '68 playbook, what with his platform of having a secret plan to end the insurgency in Iraq and have peace with honor, the details of which he won't share with us. (Of course, he voted for it because he was brainwashed by Bush!) Here's a problem with nominating a guy like Kerry whose entire resume is built on something he did 35 years ago - the ability to adapt his thoughts to new and changing circumstances is painfully limited. Frankly, Kerry's a has-been. George W. Bush gets accused of being inflexible, but maybe there are advantages to nominating a guy who didn't make up his mind on a lot of things until recently.
Meanwhile, Goldberg blasts Ted Kennedy for raising the specter of quagmire. Jonah's column is pretty standard fare - there's something to be said for the idea that using the "V" word is a universally recognized signal for defeatism. Frankly, when you hear a liberal say "Vietnam," you know the meaning of what he's saying without listening just as sure as you know a conservative's meaning when you hear him mention Neville Chamberlain. But it did make me wonder: as Lileks has noted, despite the Democrats' current conventional wisdom that Vietnam was Nixon's war, Kennedy actually voted for the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, as did Robert Byrd, the other big quagmirist in the current war (has Kerry ever asked either one for an apology?). As with John McCain and campaign finance reform, or Trent Lott's momentary vow to become a born-again fan of affirmative action: Lord save us from penitent politicians, forever making amends at our expense.
Unrelated Cynical Question of the Day: What percentage of America's voting public is aware that Wesley Clark and Richard Clarke are not the same person? (Not that I blame the average voter for a certain rational indifference to the Beltway crisis of the hour, by the way). There's this Clark guy running around on TV, used to be sort of a Republican, used to work for Clinton, now he says Bush should have prevented 9/11 and not gone to war with Iraq . . . I can see how folks would get confused.
Finally, speaking of McCain, I think it's just funny that the Democrats' cupboard of leadership is so bare that many of them would kill to put a Republican (and not just any Republican, but one who's more of a war hawk than Bush, and is a firm supporter of school choice and private Social Security accounts and other heresies) on the ticket. I mean, could you imagine anybody in the conservative press or blogosphere agitating to put Bob Kerrey or even Zell Miller on the GOP ticket? The closest we'd come is lifelong liberal Republicans like Powell or Giuliani or Schwarzenegger, and even they'd be viewed with mixed feelings.