It's rare when you get to brag about the fulfillment of a long-term prediction, especially when you don't make many predictions. But this one was fulfilled so early that I want to call your attention to it – especially those who doubted.
I wrote a column March 19 entitled "It's Multilateralism, Stupid," where I posited that Democrats, despite President Bush's inevitable success in the war against Iraq, would still use Bush's alleged ineptitude in foreign relations as a campaign theme.
Here are a few lines from my column. "Given international events and the war on terror, Democrats will only get limited use out of the Clinton-Carville slogan, 'It's the economy, stupid.' They're going to have to articulate a coherent foreign policy message that will survive a resounding American victory in Iraq. No small order. Not to worry; they're resourceful. It seems obvious that the Democrats' principal theme will continue to be that George Bush is wielding American power unilaterally and with an unparalleled arrogance. ... After the war, Democrats will likely say that our success in eliminating the Saddam threat pales in comparison to the damage we've done to our relationship with other nations. It just fits so well with their projected image of George Bush as a tough-talking, unsophisticated Texas cowboy – a bull in the china cabinet of foreign relations, breaking every relationship in the world through his ignorance and arrogance."
I was wrong that they would wait until after the war. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is so hungry for the limelight that he is already peddling the theme I forecasted. In a speech on April 2, Kerry said that by attacking Iraq, President Bush committed a "breach of trust" in the eyes of many members of the United Nations, creating a diplomatic chasm that can't be bridged as long as he is in office. So, Kerry had the audacity and poor taste to call for a "regime change" in the United States along with the "regime change in Saddam Hussein and Iraq."
Why is Kerry so exercised? Well, he's talked with foreign diplomats and world leaders of course, who told him they felt betrayed when the president chose to go to war instead of letting diplomacy run its course. (I wonder if the world-wise Kerry asked these leaders just how you go about negotiating with a regime that brutalizes and murders its own people, remains in power by terror and is so hopelessly dishonest it is even telling its people that it has American forces surrounded as we are breathing down Baghdad's neck.)