This is the first of two columns -- one won't be enough -- addressing the audacious statements in John Kerry's convention speech.
On divisiveness after 9-11, Kerry said he was proud that all Americans were unified after September 11 and "How we wish it had stayed that way." This self-serving formulation ignores that the Democrats' Bush-hatred preceded 9-11 by almost two years and merely took a short, required sabbatical following the terrorist attacks.
On divisiveness in general, Kerry said, "Let's build unity in the American family, not angry division. ? This is our time to reject the kind of politics calculated to divide race from race, group from group, region from region. ? I see us as one America red, white and blue." Need we remind the senator that it is his party that routinely plays the class warfare and race cards, clearly promoting "angry division"? In this very speech, Kerry railed against tax cuts for the rich, even though the wealthiest Americans received the smallest percentage tax cuts under the Bush plan. And should we interpret Kerry's echo of Barack Obama's "one-America" theme, an outright repudiation of his running mate's two-Americas shtick?
On his record, Kerry said, "I ask that you judge me by my record." But that's the last thing Kerry wants us to do, as evidenced by the balance of his speech and most of the other convention speeches, which were all calculated to obscure Kerry's anemic record on national defense. For good reason, the only facts Kerry shared about his Senate voting record dealt not with national security, but a balanced budget initiative and a law enforcement measure.
On negative campaigning, Kerry lectured President Bush, "In the weeks ahead, let's be optimists, not just opponents." This was after Kerry had pledged to "restore trust and credibility to the White House, accused V.P. Cheney of conducting illicit secret meetings with "polluters" and accused President Bush of "mislead(ing) us into war," playing footsie with the Saudi Royal family, not guiding policy by facts and "distorting facts with politics." Campaigning doesn't get any dirtier than this. And if Kerry meant to suggest that Bush either pressured the CIA or distorted the intelligence provided to him, he is contradicting the 9-11 Commission and the agencies themselves. (And don't forget Kerry's bizarre hedge as recently as May, admitting that we still might find WMD in Iraq.)