Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

August 14, 2003

by V

Selective Service

John DiStaso shares some old John Kerry rhetoric that's at odds with his stances today: Granite Status: Kerry puts emphasis on his war service
...it appears that between 1992 and 2003, he changed his mind on the importance of service in Vietnam as a qualification for being President of the United States. In 1992, Kerry defended candidate for President Bill Clinton. Then, service in Vietnam didn’t matter, according to Kerry.

...He told his fellow senators, "What saddens me most is that Democrats, above all those who shared the agonies of that generation, should now be re-fighting the many conflicts of Vietnam in order to win the current political conflict of a Presidential primary. . .We do not need to divide America over who served and how. . ."

He said that neither those who served in Vietnam nor those who did not had "cornered the market on virtue or rectitude or love of country."

In October 1992, with Clinton and President George H.W. Bush in a general election campaign, Kerry, again on the Senate floor, blasted Bush for criticizing Clinton as a draft-dodger and anti-war protester.

"Mr. President," Kerry said, "you and I know that if support or opposition to the war were to become a litmus test for leadership, America would never have leaders or recover from the divisions created by that war."

Now, though, times and the world have changed. Kerry is running for President and we’ve had a terrorist attack and a war on terrorism and on Iraq. And Kerry has made his service in Vietnam the litmus test he once shunned.

...Kerry spokesman Robert Gibbs said that, indeed, times have changed.

"I believe everyone understands that the world today is much different than a decade ago," he said. "In 1992, the Cold War was over. Now, and certainly since Sept. 11 (2001), experience in dealing with national security is extremely important and there is simply no better way to understand the experiences of our soldiers than to have been one. Senator Kerry understands first-hand the experience of war and defending our country."
I do have to say that Kerry's spokesman Gibbs is doing as good a job as one could hope given the situations he finds himself in (both on this issue and on yesterday's silly Philly sandwich flap). This is in sharp contrast to some of Kerry's other staff like Jim Jordan and Chris Lehane, who just spew transparent nasty BS every chance they get.

I place no small amount of blame for the 2000 election's closeness on Lehane's tin ear and big mouth; when representing Gore, Lehane made Ari Fleischer look good.
Posted by V at August 14, 2003 11:37 AM

"simply no better way to understand the experiences of our soldiers than to have been one"

Sure, but that assumes that first-hand understanding of the experiences of soldiers is essential to formulating solid foreign and national security policy.

I do not buy this assumption, Gibbs.

Posted by: J at August 14, 2003 11:50 AM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
The Politics of Truth... A Diplomat's Memoir

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush

Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
The Great Big Book of Tomorrow

Clinton Wars
The Clinton Wars

Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

In Association with Amazon.com