Monday, June 09, 2003

TNR's Primary: New Republic's Clay Risen says that John Kerry's defense and security speech at the Take Back America gathering "was a bold stand in a season that has, as of late, been somewhat of a pander-fest to the party's left wing." I'm sure it took some boldness to make his most hawkish speech to an anti-war group -- although you never know with Kerry. His foreign policy statements have been so bizarre and so poorly timed, this might have been just another gaffe. The problem here is that while Kerry's speech may have seemed "a crystal-clear elucidation of the senator's foreign-policy vision," it was also a rather eloquent summation of the Bush Doctrine. When Kerry tacks left, Howard Dean accuses Kerry of me-too-ism. When Kerry tacks right, he professes the principles that he formerly criticized Bush for professing (e.g., accusing Bush of unilateralism and failed diplomacy, then smacking those "who place a higher value on achieving multilateral consensus" than on security).

It's a shame Garry Trudeau already used a waffle as the personification of Bill Clinton; Kerry's making Clinton look positively JV.

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