Monday, May 28, 2007

John Kerry: Living in Bizarro Land

Having only finished the first paragraph of this non-stunner, I've come to a very sad conclusion. But first, the paragraph that prompted the thought.

Senator John F. Kerry voted for the Iraq war resolution in 2002 after weighing the political ramifications and being told by his future campaign manager that he would never be elected president in 2004 unless he sided with President Bush on the issue, according to a forthcoming book by Kerry's former strategist.

Only in Bizarro Land could John Kerry - an honored veteran, turned important operator of peace on his way home - become a pro-war candidate. How sad it is this dimension we call home is in fact Bizarro Land, where insane things that just don't make any sense happen every day.

And what a shame it is. John Kerry could have been the man to have ended this war two years ago - if he just stood up and spoke his mind when he had the chance. Instead, we've suffered two years under Mad Man "Mr. 28%" Bush - with another two years yet to come.

If Kerry had just stood on his principals during the presidential election, hundreds of soldiers would be saved and the billions we've poured into Iraq could have been used on something productive - like health care for every child in this country.

Yet, here we are today - in the middle of another Presidential campaign. The leading candidate, Senator Clinton, is a war hawk. She wants to get us out of Iraq about as badly as Senator Joe Lieberman claimed during his last election - which is to say, she'll pay it lip service, but behind the scenes will vehemently oppose it. The candidate with the second largest chance, Senator Obama, isn't much better.

Democrats will do well to learn from Mr. Shrum, Kerry's former strategist and pretty much the worst thing to ever happen to democrats ever. If he thinks it's a good idea, run away - far away - from whatever that position is. People want out of Iraq - and they want it now. No more of this center-right bullshit; the rise of the progressive movement has long since arrived.


Ed in Swampscott said...

We've got to vote for center-right candidates for President, because as Richard Gere said in "An Officer and A Gentleman",

"We've got nowhere else to go!"

Ryan Adams said...

Oh, there are choices, but there would be more of them if less candidates went to the center. After having been a student of electoral politics for the past three or four years, I'm quite convinced 'going right' is disaster. I'm not saying a center-right candidate can't win, but a left winger who then jumps right for political positioning is going to be seen by the populace as a left winger going right for political positioning. One thing that will make it harder for Obama or Clinton if either of those two get the noms is the fact that the population just isn't going to buy their center-right positions.

Anonymous said...

Maybe there's a reason there are always center-right candidates. Maybe more of the populace is center-right than you want to beleive. Why not find a real "progessive" candidate you like, support them and let them fly. Then see if it goes anywhere.

Ryan Adams said...

Um... no.

John Kerry is not a center-right candidate. He's a left candidate that went to the center-right on many issues to his political disaster. If he ran as the candidate he was, the Iraq war would probably be over right now. And so would DOMA. And so would DADT.

Anonymous said...

So he lost because he didn't stay left-wing enough?

Ryan Adams said...

By saying yes, I mean he didn't stay true to himself. He is a fairly liberal senator - not the most liberal out there (for example, he's always been fiscally moderate), but liberal nonetheless. He ran from that label and held many uncharacteristic stances in the campaign he has subsequently changed back on (and, indeed, in at least one case really did switch for political reasons, according to mr. shrum). I contend that his stances on those issues, while more "liberal" were more true - and now are the standard positions all over, i.e. Iraq. There's even been a massive switch on gay rights: a majority of this country supports either gay marriage or civil unions, a position Kerry holds, but was also running away from during the campaign.

Anonymous said...

Ryan - only one flaw in your argument.

John Kerry doesn't HAVE any principles. Or principals either.

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