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May 19, 2004



Dammit, if Iraq is Vietnam then Syria and Iran are Laos and Cambodia. But more like, Iraq is North Africa, and Iran and Syria are Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany. It's isn't enough to have a plan for getting out of the battle in Iraq! How do we win the WAR? How does either candidate, ANY candidate, propose to advance U.S. security interests, international law, and human rights? The question is not how to "stabliize" the regions. Nazi Germany's hold on continental Europe was "stable". The Viet Cong's post-1975 control of dissent, refugees, and Hmong and other ethnic minorities has been "stable". Bathist/Fascist/Nazi control of Syria and Lebanon is stable, too.

Dammit, the Shrub may in fact be the pampered ex-drunk frathouse incompetent uninterested smirking chimp his opponents paint him being. Fine. He at least wants to win the war. A war, by the way, that even Clinton-era officials acknowledge the U.S. has suffered attacks in for the past DECADE. We've had our generation's Lusitania AND our Pearl Harbor, but there are still Chamberlains looking for "peace in our time".

Thank God for Tony Blair! The air that Churchhill breathed still lingers on Downing Street and inspires another great man. And a Liberal, at that!

I can see the Left being soft on Communism. But why the hell is the Left soft on Arab Nazis? Are they afraid of being labeled anti-Semetic?
Is this the end posture the heir of FDR offers modern American liberals?

Patrick R. Sullivan

"Is this the end posture the heir of FDR offers modern American liberals?"

He's more like the the heir of George McGovern and Ted Kennedy.


That's just fricking hilarious - a secret plan to end the war. I'm convinced that Bush and the Repubs made a strategy decision not to strongly defend their Iraq policy yet, but just let Kerry twist out there saying things like this. Then when the debates, come, they will crucify him. "Senator Kerry both opposed and supported the war - now he tells you, like Richard Nixon, that he has a secret plan to end the war, but he won't tell you what it is or whether it will be an end in victory or an end in defeat."



Well said, sir. Well said!

"You ask, What is our policy? I will say; 'It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.' You ask, What is our aim? I can answer with one word: Victory."


"Victory above all, victory despite all terror. For without victory there is no survival."


i read the quoted bits about judicial appointments twice, i simply don't see any contradiction. if we break it down, all he is saying is:

-kerry's judicial appointees may disagree with him on particular issues

-his appointees may even disagree with him on abortion, but he draws the line at appointing an anti-abortion justice to a 5-4 court

-as proof of kerry's willingness to appoint people who disagree with him, he cited his vote for scalia

-kerry also said that he now regrets his vote for scalia because, while he does not mind have some differences with people he supports for position on the bench, he did not realize the degree of scalia's partisanship at the time of the confirmation vote.

so where exactly is the problem with that? where's the contradiction? it actually seems like a pretty coherent answer to me.

The Kid

Yo Pouncer.

I would add only that our exit strategy from Iraq should be to split our forces and depart via Syria and Iran.


The contradiction regarding potential Kerry nominations to the federal courts turns upon the idea that he may, or may not, use a litmus test regarding Roe v Wade, or on other issues that the nominee might have "a different point of view."

In other words, instead of using criteria such as temperment, experience, et. al., Kerry chooses to follow Shummer's lead using ideology and partisanship to select nominees--and he's uncertain how such criteria would be employed.

Kerry's problem seems to be that he presents himself as infinitely flexible across the political spectrum, yet his actions, by way of his voting record, clearly demonstrates him to be one of the most left wing member of the Senate, throughout his career.

First, he claims to have actually voted for the $87 billion before he voted against it, now he merely voices his regret for having actually voted for Scalia's confirmation, after the fact. But don't ask him on what basis he would potentially make nominations, 'cause he's got a 'secret plan.' (Oops, sorry, that was regarding the conflict in Iraq.)

On what basis did he ever expect not to disagree with any of Scalia's Supreme Court votes, because his expression of regret regarding his vote for Scalia's confirmation--rather than expressing support for our system of consensual, representative government, no matter the outcome, because that is the expression of the free will of the people--suggests that he is a man devoid of ideas and principles, thereby lacking the leadership qualities expected of someone running for the presidency.

Pat Curley

Thought of just as politics, this is one of the dumber moves that the Flip-Flopper has tried. Does anybody really believe that Kerry would nominate a pro-lifer to the SC, as long as it was to replace one of the existing pro-lifers?

When a politician makes a statement like that, he's trying to reach out to one side while not getting the other side angry at him. But in this case, he's NOT going to get the pro-life people to vote for him because he's not offering enough, and he's probably made the pro-choice side nervous. And they think Bush is stupid!


When the Nixon comparisons are coming not from bloggers but the AP, that's bad.


but forbes, there is no contradiction in the statements quoted here. kerry seems to be saying he would only use an abortion litmus test on a supreme court nominee when there is a closely divided court. that's not a contradiction, that's a coherent position (albeit one i disagree with). just because its more complext than can be summarized in a 5 work sentence does not mean its contradictory

kerry definitely has his ridiculous gaffs but it makes his critics look stupid when they try to turn every single series of statements into one.


upyernoz, it's quite simple. He brags about having voted for Scalia (as a show he's capable of independence from the "toe the line" crowd). And yet, in the very next soundbyte, he bemoans his own decision by saying he regets doing it.

Is Kerry proud of his actions (in voting for Scalia) or is he ashamed? That's the flip-flop.


he's citing scalia as an example of an appointment he supported even though he new scalia was against abortion. he explains he regretted the decision (not because of the abortion issue) but rather because of the level of ideology and partisanship he later detected in scalia.

abortion could be overlooked, his ideology and partisanship would not have been had he known about it.

no contradiction, no flip-flop. unless you consider changing one's position as they get more information a flip-flop. that looks more like judgment to me


Well, Kerry's position on judges may be intellectually coherent (and I applaud Upyerz for a valiant salvage effort) but it is politically ludicrous. First, the idea that Kerry will deliberately disappoint his entire party by appointing a pro-life judge is politically, if not intellectually, absurd; secondly, the notion that, having been wrong with Scalia, he might yet be inclined to risk repeating that mistake is ridiculous.

And did he have to boast about backing Scalia, the most polarizing SC Justice who is loathed by liberals? The reporters must have been laughing out loud at that one.

But why take my word for it? Howard Kurtz at the WaPo has some reaction:

The Note rips JFK for his overly nuanced comment that he's not averse to appointing anti-abortion judges as long as they don't change the Supreme Court majority for Roe:

"John Kerry -- mystifying his friends and delighting his enemies by displaying the kind of pandering, flip-flopping verbal gymnastics over abortion that truly have the capacity to single-handedly keep him from winning the White House. Not a smooth slide to the center or a Sister Souljah -- just flailing."

Kerry later issued a clarification.

And the NY Post has the clarification:

"I want to make myself clear," said a Kerry statement issued by his campaign. "I believe that a woman's right to choose is a constitutional right. I will not appoint anyone to the Supreme Court who will undo that right."

I am staying with my view that bragging about backing Scalia and ruminating about appointing pro-life judges count as gaffes in the Democratic Party.

capt joe

Hey, if Kerry wins, white house press conferences will be as understanable as the tax code.

Reporters will need to read goat entrails to figure what the heck is talking about.

The humor quotient will be great for blogging.


This is so cute. :-)

Kerry is accused of flip-flopping because he voted for Scalia, but doesn't like what Scalia has done? Get real.

How two dimensional can you get?

I suppose if you're telling jokes in a bar, then this passes for serious political commentary.

(This is so cute! :-)


Oh wait. I voted for Clinton, but didn't like what he did with Monica.

Does that make me a flip-flopper? I guess you're right. Once I voted for him once, I have to agree with him on everything he ever does.

OK, *now* I understand why the Bushies feel they have to keep supporting him.



Kerry is accused of flip-flopping because he voted for Scalia, but doesn't like what Scalia has done? Get real.

Man, when did I become too fast for the house? His vote for Scalia is either a bold example of the independent approach Kerry would bring to future judicial appointments, or it is an example of a mistake Kerry would be disinclined to repeat.

For Kerry to attempt to use Scalia as examples of both, in the same interview, as evidence supporting the absurd notion that he will defy Democtratic orthodoxy and his own many past statements and appoint a pro-life Justice, is, yes, a pander-flop.

However, you are right - it is not voting for Scalia, and then, years later, disagreeing with him, that represents the flopping. Plenty of Repubs have (un)mixed feelings about Souter.

wait, i'm right, no i'm wrong, wait

Hmmm. So I *was* right after all. (That's such a relief. I can't tell you. :-)

Kerry voting for Scalia, but later disagreeing with him, is not a flip-flop.

But oh wait, I'm wrong again!

Kerry "pander-flopped" because, ummm, because, well ... because *you've* decided it's absurd to think that Kerry could ever appoint a pro-life justice under any circumstances.

How convenient. :-)

By that line of reasoning, you pretty much get to decide that *anything's* a flip flop.
(That is SO COOL.) I'll bet you never lose an argument. :-)

I'll bet *I'm* a flip-flopper now!


My suspicion that Kerry would not refute his own website, his many campaign statement, and years of Dem Party orthodoxy in order to appoint a pro-life judge was merely Bold Speculation when I made it. Since he back-pedaled to the obvious position (I will appoint pro-choice judges) a few hours later, I am not quite sure how you can be arguing that he did not flip-flop.

Try another example - I have no doubt (well, not not much doubt) that George Bush, or Bill Frist, or Dennis Hastert, are sufficiently familiar with the arguments that they could present a coherent case for raising taxes. I strongly doubt they will present such arguments, and I am sure that Hastert would not brag about having backed Bush I's tax hike (if in fact, he backed it).

There are plenty of *logically defensible* positions that certain politicians are not going to espouse. Kerry appointing pro-life judges is one of them, as he eventually realized.

From the WaPo:

What is more remarkable to many Democrats is how Kerry is catching little flak from the party's base even when he strays from liberal orthodoxy. Abortion rights groups, for example, defended Kerry this past week when he told the Associated Press he would consider nominating antiabortion judges. Even so, Kerry sent a clear message to the base hours later when he issued a statement saying he would never appoint an abortion rights opponent to the Supreme Court.


Why do conservatives claim to love their country but clearly hate its people? Kerry is a veteran of a foreign war; bush went awol, flunked out and used his daddy to keep him out of harm's way. If the situation was reversed, you'd call that cowardice.
Bill Clinton lied about who he was having sex with; George Bush has lied about everything else, from who created the 'mission accomplished' banner to whether he knew Chalabi to why American soldiers are dying. And you folks don't seem to notice, or care. That's not patriotism folks. It's adherence to fundamentalist ideology - and don't we need more of THAT in the world today.

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