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Monday, October 04, 2004

Shorter William Safire: "What Bob Said"

From William Safire's column in today's NY Times:
As the Democratic Whoopee Brigade hailed Senator Kerry's edge in debating technique, nobody noticed his foreign policy sea change. On both military tactics and grand strategy, the newest neoconservative announced doctrines more hawkish than President Bush.
Unfortunately, I think Safire is right to call Kerry a "neocon" and to say that his doctrines are "more hawkish than Bush." He's wrong to call this a sea change, however, since Kerry was calling for forcible regime change in Iraq back in the mid 1990's.

He's also wrong to say that nobody noticed. I was talking with an old friend of mine yesterday. He is usually a one-issue voter, being strongly anti-abortion, so his natural inclination is to support Bush. But he realizes that the wars are all nonsense and criminal and based on lies and so on. He didn't really know that much about Kerry's positions until the debate, but he was struck, as Safire was, by what Kerry said:
"What I want to do is change the dynamics on the ground," Kerry volunteered. "And you have to do that by beginning to not back off of Falluja and other places and send the wrong message to terrorists. ... You've got to show you're serious."
My friend also noticed this line from Kerry, which Safire didn't mention: "I believe in being strong and resolute and determined. And I will hunt down and kill the terrorists wherever they are."

So my friend, who might consider voting against his anti-abortion preference for once because of how insanely Bush pursues wars, was discouraged to see that Bush's "opponent" seemed to be even more hawkish. Kerry's hawkishness pleases William Safire, but Safire is a bloodthirsty old nut who regularly talks to Richard Nixon, who died in 1994.