On honoring the Constitution, Kerry said he "will appoint an attorney general who actually upholds the Constitution." Like Janet Reno, perhaps, who demonstrated her allegiance for the document in ratifying or ordering the storming of Waco and the home of Elian's Miami relatives? And while Ashcroft is the Democrats' favorite demon, Kerry wants us to forget that he voted for the Patriot Act himself. Kerry also admonished President Bush not to misuse the Constitution for political purposes -- presumably, like his colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who have often usurped the president's judicial appointment power.
On nuance, Kerry said, "I know there are those who criticize me for seeing complexities -- and I do -- because some issues just aren't that simple." Sorry, but the reverse is true. Republicans haven't dogged Kerry for his pretentious, self-congratulatory nuance. They have merely applauded President Bush for his moral clarity and defended him against Democratic criticism that he lacks nuance. Nuance and complexity are fine, but paralytic indecisiveness is not nuance, and moral uncertainty is neither proof of complexity or mental agility.
On war, Kerry guaranteed he would never lead America into war unless "we have to." I suppose, then, he will apologize for his support of the Iraq War resolution and the bombing of Serbia and recant his earlier pronouncements that preemptive war may sometimes be necessary.
On defense, Kerry said he would "provide our troops with the newest weapons and technology to save their lives and win the battle." I note that it was not at this juncture in the speech that Kerry asked to be judged on his record.
On the draft, Kerry made an utterly irresponsible statement, unfitting a would-be commander in chief: "We will end the backdoor draft of National Guard and reservists." Every reservist is told before he enlists or re-ups that he can be called into active duty. To suggest that the administration somehow misled the reserves by activating them is unconscionable. It also invites the question of how Senator Kerry, who has sometimes been critical of our troop levels in Iraq, would have brought them to sufficient strength. Oh, that's right. He would have simply asked the foreign leaders who would prefer him as president, and they would have complied because they like him.
More on such foolishness in Part II.