The distinguished list of Kerry supporters

Posted: Mar 17, 2004 12:00 AM

While his support among voters dwindles, the John Kerry alliance of elites is growing. Failed Democratic candidates love him. Unnamed European leaders from Kerry's imagination support him. Dictators, socialists and terrorists are hoping for a Kerry victory in November.

Prominent Democrats are rushing to the Kerry bandwagon. On Sunday, Gov. Howard Dean, fresh off his massive Vermont primary victory, endorsed Kerry as someone who would "make a far better president than George Bush." Kerry politely declined Dean's request to "yell with me, Lurch."

On Monday, Rev. Al Sharpton halfheartedly endorsed Kerry, pledging not to attack the Massachusetts milquetoast. Sharpton also pledged to continue his own "urban agenda" campaign until he signs a TV deal. Really. Apparently, part of the "urban agenda" is getting Al Sharpton a multifigure contract in order to raise the average black income. Rumor has it that Sharpton will play Jesus in Black Entertainment Television's remake of "The Passion."

Meanwhile, Kerry continues to beg Al Gore not to endorse him. The only Democratic rival left for Kerry is congressional powerhouse Dennis Kucinich. Both of Kucinich's voters are determined to see a Kucinich victory in the Harvey Milk High School mock election.

But Kerry has bigger game to hunt. According to the candidate, "I've met more leaders who can't go out and say this publicly, but boy, they look at you and say, 'You've got to win this, you've got to beat this guy, we need a new policy,' things like that."

After being challenged by Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and White House spokesman Scott McClellan to name these "foreign leaders," Kerry began backpedaling. "I have had conversations with leaders, yes, recently. That's not your business, it's mine," he told a Pennsylvania audience member. He again refused to name any of the leaders endorsing his candidacy (some sources suggest that Count Chocula supports Kerry -- other sources suggest that Count Chocula is Kerry).

Kerry's supporters do include many well-known foreign leaders. Newly elected Spanish appeaser Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero backs Kerry to the hilt, explaining, "We're aligning ourselves with Kerry. Our alliance will be for peace, against war, no more deaths for oil, and for a dialogue between the government of Spain and the new Kerry administration." Jacques Chirac of France certainly has no great love for President Bush, and neither does Gerhard Schroeder of Germany. Romano Prodi, European Commission president, feels that the Bush "approach itself has not been sufficient to deal with the situation completely. ... Europe's response must be more wide-ranging than the American reaction."

It appears Kim Jong Il of North Korea wants Kerry to divorce the ketchup queen and meet him in San Francisco. His communist-regime newspapers reprint Kerry speeches; his radio mouthpieces broadcast Kerry quotes. Kim told advisers that he would like to see a Kerry administration come 2005.

Kerry desperately continues to take both sides of every issue in an attempt to gain new voters. He voted for authorization to use force in Iraq and then said he was misled. He uses the Patriot Act as ammunition for his stump speeches but voted for it in the Senate. He voted against the Defense of Marriage Act and urged the Massachusetts legislature to stop an anti-gay marriage amendment, but now says he favors such a state amendment.

This is known as "nuance." Nuance in foreign policy was popularized by Bill Clinton, who intimated that his sophisticated knowledge of global affairs meant he could do nothing to stop terrorism for eight years. Nuance was discarded by President Bush, who once remarked, "My job isn't to nuance," and instead focused on killing terrorists.

John Kerry actually attempts to nuance the question of whether he is nuanced. On one hand, he claims that "I refuse ever to accept the notion that anything I've suggested with respect to Iraq was nuanced." On the other, he protests that "Some of these issues are very complicated and deserve more than a simplistic this or that." And that's just one interview with Time Magazine.

"Nuance" may be popular among elites, but it doesn't make for good U.S. policy. It makes for the kind of policy Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero likes. It makes for the kind of policy Kim Jong Il likes. And it makes for the kind of policy Al Qaeda likes.