Thursday, July 29, 2004

The Kerry Speech: Initial Reactions

I'll have more thoughts on the Democratic convention later. In the meantime, here are some initial reactions to John Kerry's acceptance speech:

"I'm John Kerry...and I'm reporting for duty."
-Jesus, I thought I was a dork. I burst out laughing at that line. How could anyone take that seriously?

-John Kerry confirmed that he will use force against our enemies, as long as the threat is "real and imminent", and we have "hard intelligence" to that effect. In other words, we'll be digging survivors out of the rubble before John Kerry would be willing to act. In the real world, there is no such thing as 100% intelligence, and no way to know whether a threat is truly imminent until it's too late. As Mort Kondracke pointed out, it was incredible how eager Kerry was to lay out all the circumstances in which he wouldn't use force. George McClellan is the historical analogy that comes to mind.

-Kerry repeated the same disgraceful canards about George Bush "misleading" us into war. Never mind that the same intelligence that convinced George W. Bush also convinced John Kerry to call for action against Saddam, including "regime change", and to vote in October 2002 to authorize the president to go to war against Saddam. As Kerry wrote in an essay appearing in the March/April 2003 issue of Foreign Policy: "I support the Bush administration’s goal of a regime change in Iraq. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is a renegade and outlaw who turned his back on the tough conditions of his surrender put in place by the United Nations in 1991."

-Kerry's appeal to President Bush for a positive campaign was nothing short of nauseating in its hypocrisy.

-I admittedly have a bias, but I thought the speech was average. Kerry did arouse great enthusiasm among the delegates gathered in the Fleet Center. Then again, he could have just stood there wearing a "Bush sucks" t-shirt and received a similar response.


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