Rich Lowry

"This is groundbreaking legislation," John Kerry, B.D. (Before Dean), gushed on the Senate floor, "that enhances the federal government's commitment to our nation's public education system ... and embraces many of the principles and programs that I believe are critical to improving the public education system." He didn't just support the bill, he took credit for it: "Last year I worked with 10 of my Democratic colleagues to introduce legislation that would help break the stalemate and move beyond the tired, partisan debates of the past. Our education proposal became the foundation of the bill before us today."

As for the North American Free Trade Agreement, the target of Dean and other liberal critics, Kerry promises to "fix it." The agreement supposedly doesn't do enough to keep Mexico from employing low-wage workers, thus encouraging jobs to leave the United States and depressing wages here. True to form, he used to love the trade deal. "NAFTA is not the problem," he explained in 1993. "Job loss is taking place without NAFTA."

And so, if the senator grabs his party's nomination, it will make for the fight of the century, a brawl to the finish -- Kerry vs. Kerry. No wonder he wants to get himself out of the Senate. By his own lights, Kerry's votes there were simply too dangerous and shortsighted for the nation to tolerate any longer.

Rich Lowry

Rich Lowry is author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years .
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