Mark Steyn once again hits the bull’s eye. Here’s why John Kerry should be careful about matching military records with President Bush:
In 2002, the Dems had no ideas and they ran on biography: In Missouri, Jean Carnahan was the brave widow of the late governor; in Georgia, Max Cleland was a Vietnam veteran and triple amputee; in Minnesota, Walter Mondale was the lion of the ’84 campaign and a friend of Paul Wellstone. In all three cases the public shrugged and voted Republican. These are serious times and they demand politicians rise to them.
Yet here we are two years later, and they’re running on biography all over again. But this time their chosen biography is Vietnam, and for many Americans, and especially boomer Democrats, that’s far more psychologically complicated. Look at Kerry’s stump speech: ”We band of brothers,” he says, indicating his fellow veterans. ”We’re a little older, we’re a little grayer, but we still know how to fight for this country.” Thirty years ago, he came back from Vietnam and denounced his ”band of brothers” as a gang of drug-fueled torturers, rapists and murderers.
These versions are not reconcilable. When he was palling around with Jane Fonda in the ’70s, he hated the military. It wasn’t just that he opposed the war but that he accused his ”band of brothers” of a level of participation in war crimes and civilian atrocities unmatched by the Japanese, the Nazis and the Soviets. If he’d said, ”We band of brothers . . . We’re a little older, we’re a little grayer, but we still know how to get high, murder the gooks and rape their womenfolk,” it would at least have been consistent with his congressional testimony.
So one John Kerry is a fake. Which is it? The Jane Fonda in pants of the early ’70s? Or the Bob Hope USO tour Kerry of today? Running on biography is lame enough. Running on fake biography is pathetic.