Indeed, perhaps we should view his paradoxical beginning as both a war hero and war protester as a foreshadowing of his future political career. One day he was working on behalf of our troops in Vietnam, and the next working against them. And now one day he supports our troops in Iraq, and the next day he cuts their legs out from under them.
There is a potential silver lining for Kerry. If things get much worse in Iraq, he'll be able to revert to his antiwar propensities, where he'll once again be comfortable in his skin. But until that time he will have to continue vacillating and straddling the fence, thus the endless flip-flopping.
We saw this again recently when Kerry even began to hedge his bets on WMD. "We may yet find them," Kerry told "Hardball's" Chris Matthews. How does Mr. Kerry plan on reconciling that admission with his party's overt accusation that President Bush lied about WMD?
This really highlights Kerry's dilemma. As long as there is ambiguous news coming out of Iraq making it unsafe for Kerry to commit to a position, we can expect more ambivalence, confusion and double-talk emanating from his campaign.
If all else fails, he can return to the mindless hate-Bush theme that brought him to the dance when he inherited the baton from the falling Howard Dean. That will certainly solidify his base, but it will also ensure his defeat in the general election.
Unfortunately for Senator Kerry, most voters just don't believe that President Bush is contemptible. Recent polls reveal that he's more "likable, compassionate and compatible with the voters" than Kerry.
Even more problematic for Kerry is that his inconsistencies make him appear remarkably indecisive and unreliable -- two essential attributes for leadership, especially in wartime.
The result of all this is that Kerry probably can't win the election on his own. In all likelihood he will only become president if things go way south in our war effort. I shudder at the prospect of either of those events.