You’ve got to hand it to Senator John F Kerry, he is consistently inconsistent. Earlier in the Democratic primary campaign, Senator Kerry began to parrot Howard Dean, taking credit for some of Dean’s best one-liners for President Bush which, ironically, also means that Kerry parrots Clinton as well.
Clinton, as we all know, was the master when it came to taking credit for the work of others. Everything from NAFTA and Welfare Reform to the “dot com” explosion were his to exploit. Of course, everything after the “dot com” bubble burst was all George Bush’s fault.
But I digress…
Now, Senator Kerry borrows yet another page from the Dean Book-o’-Politics with this letter to President Bush:
Letter to President Bush:
February 21, 2004
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC 20500
Dear President Bush,
Over the last week, you and your campaign have initiated a widespread attack on my service in Vietnam, my decision to speak out to end that war, and my commitment to the defense of this nation. Just today, Saxby Chambliss– a man elected to the US Senate on the back of one of the most despicable campaigns ever conducted against Max Cleland, a true American Hero– was carrying this attack for you.
As you well know, Vietnam was a very difficult and painful period in our nation’s history, and the struggle for our veterans continues. So, it has been hard to believe that you would choose to re-open these wounds for your personal political gain. But, that is what you have chosen to do.
I am fighting to become the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. Even before Democrats make their choice, you’ve launched a campaign of attacks against me. I am determined to run a campaign on the great challenges facing this country– from creating jobs, to solving our health care crisis to getting our nation’s ballooning deficit under control. But I will not sit back and allow my patriotism to be challenged.
America deserves a better debate. If you want to debate the Vietnam era, and the impact of our experiences on our approaches to presidential leadership, I am prepared to do so.
This is not a debate to be distorted through your $100 million dollar campaign fund. This is a debate that should be conducted face to face.
Mr. President, I hope you will conduct a campaign worthy of this nation’s future.
Ouch! Gosh, I sure hope the President can handle such a stinging rebuke from one of Washington, D.C’s biggest hypocrites.
So, Republicans, after a month of non-stop pummeling by Senator Kerry in the press, are finally starting to answer back with challenges of their own. And this is a problem because?
The letter is made even more laughable by the fact that it was Howard Dean who wrote to Terry McAuliffe just a couple of months ago denouncing the attacks against him by other Democratic hopefuls. Dean, whose entire campaign was built on its willingness to mercilessly pummel the DNC — and Chairman McAuliffe in particular — actually wrote to the Chairman to say, in so many words: “It’s not appropriate for everyone to criticize me the way I’ve been criticizing them; please tell everyone to stop. You too please.”
Was this an appropriate request for Governor Dean to make? The DNC didn’t think so, and neither did Senator Kerry. As a matter of fact, the New York Times quoted Kerry in a February 1 article as saying this:
“If George Bush wants to make national security an issue in this campaign, I have three words for him that I know he’ll understand,” Mr. Kerry said, in language that became his new rallying cry [emphasis mine] and started him on the two-month march toward his stunning comeback in the Iowa caucuses and his decisive victory in New Hampshire last week. “Bring it on!”
Since that time, it has been a constant litany from the Senator. Loosely quoted, you can hear him on any given day saying thinks like: “If George Bush wants to make homeland security an issue, BRING IT ON!” Or, “If George Bush wants to make the military an issue, I have three words for him… BRING IT ON!” And on and on.
More important, it is Kerry himself who has made national security an issue, and Viet Nam as well through incessant references made to his service. Yet, I wonder if the Senator is truly proud of his service in Viet Nam, or if he is actually proud of his anti-war activities instead. Does he understand that you can’t have it both ways? He can’t be proud of his wartime service and his anti-war activities at the same time. So which is it?
The only way to tell is to look at what Senator Kerry has said and his voting record, and these two areas leaves little doubt as to his stance on such vital issues.
It was Joshua Muravchik, whose Op-Ed in the Washington Post pointed to Senator Kerry’s “inner dove:”
As leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Kerry accused American soldiers of “war crimes . . . committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.”
As a first major foreign policy cause, he championed the “nuclear freeze.”
The litany of weapons systems that Kerry opposed included conventional as well as nuclear equipment: the B-1 bomber, the B-2, the F-15, the F-14A, the F-14D, the AH-64 Apache helicopter, the AV-8B Harrier jet, the Patriot missile, the Aegis air-defense cruiser and the Trident missile. And he sought to reduce procurement of the M1 Abrams tank, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the Tomahawk cruise missile and the F-16 jet. Time and again, Kerry fought against what he called “the military-industrial corporate welfare complex that has relentlessly chewed up taxpayers’ dollars.”
When Saddam Hussein swallowed up Kuwait in 1990, Kerry voted against authorizing the use of force. “He stressed,” reported the Boston Globe, “that he thinks [economic] sanctions can work if given time.”
The next major international crisis came in Bosnia. By 1995, with the death toll there estimated to have reached a quarter-million, Congress voted to end the arms embargo hamstringing the beleaguered Bosnians. Kerry was one of 29 senators who opposed this resolution. Before the vote, Kerry argued that lifting the embargo would not necessarily provide arms, but Sen. Joseph Lieberman called his bluff, saying, “I will be glad to join him, as soon as this measure passes, in introducing a package authorizing aid to . . . the Bosnians.” Kerry brushed aside the offer.
And how does this jibe with the Kerry challenge of “BRING IT ON?” Simply this:
The challenge has been issued on numerous occasions and the President and his supporters — I include myself among his supporters of course — are now in the process of answering that challenge.
You want us to BRING IT ON in regards to national security? Happy to do so. You ask that we BRING IT ON in regards to the military? No problem.
But when you challenge someone to BRING IT ON, don’t start whining when that is exactly what happens! It just brings to mind the old saying, which goes, “be careful for what you wish for, you might just get it!”