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Friday, July 02, 2004

Why Trust Kerry?

I know I'm sounding like a broken record (or for those of you between 20 and 30 who don't know what a broken record sounds like, I'm sounding like a skipping CD. For those under 20 whose CD players have always had skip protection? I'm sounding like Scott McLellan.) I've heard all the arguments ad nauseum, the gist of which is this: Only two people have a chance to be president, and George W. Bush is one of them. So why am I not fawning over John Kerry like so many others?

Well, consider October 2002. Bush has been hinting at going to war with Iraq for a year, and actively selling it for a month. He had presented practically no evidence, and what he did present seemed shaky at the time (and has since been shown to be worse than that). Knowledgeable people like Scott Ritter were telling anyone who would listen that whatever WMD's Iraq might possess were in no way a threat to America. John Kerry was the junior senator from alledgedly the most liberal state in the union. His constituents opposed going to war with Iraq. Kerry is definitely smart enough, and had access to enough inside information, to know that Iraq was not a serious threat. He had fought in a war, and knew firsthand how horrible all wars are. He certainly had ample evidence of the questionable decision-making abilities of Bush.

Here in Michigan, probably a less liberal state than Massachusetts, two senators generally thought to be less liberal than Kerry (I think they are anyway; Stabenow for sure), both voted against giving the reckless cowboy from Texas authorization to start a needless war. But Kerry voted for that authorization. I have never understood his rationalizations for that vote, and I believe that they are simply coverups for this: he thought that supporting the war gave him a better chance of becoming president. In other words, just like Bush, he was willing to trade American and Iraqi lives in order to get elected. It was a crass, immoral decision. And why anyone thinks he would be less crass and immoral in picking Supreme Court justices or anything else than he was in his Iraq vote is beyond me. (And if that's not enough, consider his vote on the Patriot Act.)

Being better than Bush is not just lowering the bar; it's not having a bar at all.