Senator Kennedy shared his vision for America this week in a speech at the National Press Club. The only common thread I could find in his shotgun critique was a stubborn fidelity to failed liberal policies of the past.
Kennedy is certain that, despite the election results, "We, as Democrats, may be in the minority in Congress, but we speak for the majority of Americans." Democrats lost only because they didn't "take our stand and state it clearly."
So you would assume at the very least that Kennedy's vision would differ substantially from John Kerry's message or that he would state it more clearly. But Kennedy just repeated the Kerry line on issue after issue, proving that the problem is not the delivery of the message, but the message itself.
On the War on Terror, Kerry offered criticisms, but no real solutions. He complained about how we got into Iraq (false pretenses, diversion of military resources from pursuing Osama bin Laden and "unilateralism,"), but he never suggested anything meaningfully different from President Bush on how we should go forward once we were there.
Similarly, Kennedy repeated the repudiated lie that "the administration turned away from pursuing Osama bin Laden and made the catastrophic choice instead that has bogged down America in an endless quagmire in Iraq." Like Kerry, he said that our action against Iraq has created "much more intense anti-American feeling than Osama bin Laden ever dreamed of. And the sooner we reverse that distressing trend, the better."
How do we reverse the trend? Simple. "John Kerry could have worked with the international community to end that war and bring our troops home with honor."
So the fault does not lie with militant Islamists who attacked us without provocation and hate us because of who we are. Rather, we provoked them to hate us, and we continue to do so. If we would just quit making the Muslim world mad, the War on Terror would end.
With all due respect, I'm just trying to figure out how we could make the Muslim world quit hating us, much less keep international terrorists and Iraqi insurgents from killing us and sabotaging the democratization of Iraq by sweet talking other nations -- non-Muslim ones, at that. Does that make any sense?
This is a war. The terrorists are not part of a nation state. They and the Iraqi insurgents are not amenable to negotiation, unless we agree to just surrender and hand over the world to them and convert to radical Islam. We can talk until we're blue in the face with the international community, and it won't enhance our standing with terrorists one bit.
The inescapable truth is that Kennedy and Kerry believe that America is the bad boy on the international block. Kennedy said, "America is the strongest in the world when we use our superpower status to join with others to achieve great goals. Instead of bullying them to salute us, more than ever our strength today depends on pursuing our purposes in cooperation with others, not in ways that anger them or ignore them or condescend to them."
This, my friends, is the vision for America's foreign policy from a pair of Massachusetts liberals. Do they represent the party? Is their vision the Democratic vision? So far, it has been. Whether it continues to be will likely determine the party's fate.
On the economy, Kerry complained about the deficits, but his domestic agenda would have added billions upon billions of spending increases. Likewise, Kennedy, on domestic issues, offers the same fantasy panacea across the board. Read his speech. From health care, to poverty, to education, we are not spending enough federal money.
Though Kennedy was integrally involved with the "No Child Left Behind Act," he has never missed an opportunity to slam Bush over his education policy. Even though we are -- regrettably -- spending more federal money on education than any Democratic administration ever did, Kennedy refers to it as "a tin cup education budget."
These guys will never tire of spending our money and will never hold themselves accountable for their boondoggles. For them the failure of $5 trillion to eradicate poverty simply means that we haven't spent enough money. Ditto with education. The solution is always more money. No amount of empirical evidence will shake their socialist theology.
If Democrats heed Kennedy's advice and are completely upfront about their agenda in the future, eventually there will be an electoral rout that even they can't try to delegitimize with false claims of voter fraud. So, by all means, Senator Kennedy, keep preaching it, sir, "clearly."