Reconciling Kerry's actions and votes with reality

Ross Mackenzie
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Posted: Mar 07, 2004 12:00 AM

A mythical conversation with John Kerry. The questions are drawn from fact. The responses are logic-based fantasy...

A Washington Post headline the other day read, "Kerry Labels Bush a 'Contradiction.'" Could an even greater contradiction be you?

OF COURSE NOT. I AM TOTALLY CONSISTENT - ALWAYS HAVE BEEN.

How does consistency explain your votes against the 1991 Gulf War, for last year's war to remove Saddam, and against appropriating $87 billion to rebuild Iraq now?

THOSE VOTES DEMONSTRATE MY ABIDING BELIEF IN THE EXTENSION OF LIBERTY AND DEMOCRACY, AND MY ABIDING SUPPORT FOR AMERICAN FORCES - MY "BAND OF BROTHERS" - WHEREVER THEY SERVE.

Is that why, in your 1971 testimony before Congress, you described some U.S. Vietnam veterans as torturers, rapists and murderers ashamed of their service?

MY TESTIMONY, WHICH I STILL STAND BEHIND, ALSO SAID, "THIS COUNTRY, IN A SENSE, MADE THEM DO (IT)." BUT AT LEAST THEY SERVED ON THE FRONT LINES, AND NOT IN A CUSHY JOB AT HOME BECAUSE THEY WERE RICH AND WELL-CONNECTED.

Directly or indirectly, you're obviously disparaging President Bush for his Vietnam-era service flying F-102s for the Texas Air National Guard. Today, do you similarly disparage the guardsmen and reservists carrying so much of the contemporary military load?

I SUPPORT AMERICAN FORCES EVERYWHERE; I ALSO HAVE SAID WE SHOULD MOVE BEYOND VIETNAM, AND IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT ANYONE DID DURING VIETNAM - WHETHER IT WAS SERVING IN THE GUARD OR BEING DRIVEN BY CONSCIENCE TO CANADA, ETC. MOREOVER, I AM A GREAT BELIEVER IN ENHANCING OUR NATIONAL SECURITY. WHAT I OPPOSE IS WRONGHEADED MILITARY ADVENTURISM AS IN IRAQ NOW - REGARDING WHICH BUSH MISLED US.

How could you have been misled when - as a recent alumnus of the Senate Intelligence Committee - you were seeing nearly all the same intelligence the president was?

WELL -

And if you're such a strong supporter of American security, how do you explain your acquiescence in - if not your backing of - Leninist guerrillas in Latin America? You dismissed the U.S. intervention in Grenada as "a bully show of force." You blasted President Reagan for failing "to create a climate of trust" with Nicaragua's Communist Sandinistas.

THESE GENTLEMEN NEVER WERE SERIOUS THREATS TO OUR HEMISPHERIC SECURITY.

Is your belief in the importance of American security reflected in your Senate votes on weapons and missile defense systems?

OF COURSE.

Then how do you explain your enthusiasm for the "nuclear freeze" and your desire to cut funding for missile defense? How do you explain your votes opposing or slashing funding for - let's see: the Trident, Tomahawk and Patriot missiles; the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the Abrams tank; the Aegis cruiser; the Apache helicopter; the B-1 and B-2; the Harrier, the F-14A, F-14D, F-15 and F-16?

I STAND BY ALL THOSE VOTES, THOUGH SOME OF THEM I NOW SEE WERE "STUPID." BUT YOU'RE CONFUSING THE RECORD BY BRINGING THEM UP.

Oh? What about your votes for the Bush-proposed No Child Left Behind and Patriot Acts?

INDICATORS OF MY SUPPORT FOR TOUGHER SCHOOL STANDARDS AND LOCKING UP TERRORISTS. AGAIN, BUSH MISLED US. HE IS NOT USING THOSE ACTS AS HE SAID HE WOULD.

Did President Clinton mislead you into voting for NAFTA and against the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that he signed?

ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Then how come these days you're not campaigning as a free-trader (all that business about "Benedict Arnold" CEOs and exporting jobs)?

ON THE CONTRARY, I BELIEVE IN FREE TRADE.

And how come you now favor limiting marriage to a man and a woman?

BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN CIVIL UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUALS, BUT NOT HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE, SO I OPPOSE ENCUMBERING THE CONSTITUTION WITH THAT BELIEF - IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

Let's move on to some other issues. You've told an Arab group you oppose the Israeli security fence, and you've been quoted in the Jerusalem Post as favoring it -

ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF MY PERSISTING CONSISTENCY. I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SAY ANYTHING A PARTICULAR AUDIENCE MIGHT WANT TO HEAR.

You have criticized President Bush for fielding surrogates to defend his record, while you field your "band of brothers" and Teddy Kennedy and former Senator Max Cleland to defend yours...

AT LEAST I'M NOT CONTRADICTORY THE WAY BUSH IS.

You rip the "special interests," yet among all senators during the past 15 years you have accepted more "special interest" money than any other. Is that not a contradiction?

NO.

Is there any contradiction in your use of the phrase "Bring it on!" - which you incredulously criticized President Bush for using many months ago in regard to resistance to U.S. troops in Iraq? Or were you superciliously mocking?

I SEE NO CONTRADICTION, ONLY MOCKERY. BESIDES, HE'S OVERSTATING THE THREAT OF TERRORISM.

What about unproductive searches to find any major legislation bearing your name?

FURTHER PROOF OF MY GREAT INFLUENCE AS A LEGISLATOR.

You said last week that voters soon "will see that I'm speaking to concerns that Ralph Nader and other people have" -

THAT'S WHY I THINK HE SHOULD GET OUT OF THE RACE, BECAUSE WE'RE SO IDEOLOGICALLY DIFFERENT. IT'S SIMILAR TO BUSH AND ME - I WAS BECOMING A WAR HERO WHILE HE WAS PLAYING IN THE GUARD, SO I'M OBVIOUSLY MORE QUALIFIED TO BE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF.

But George McGovern, decorated for his combat exploits as a pilot in World War II, went up against an incumbent president far from combat during the war, and carried just one state.

NO CONTRADICTION THERE. I'M GOING TO BE AS EFFECTIVE AGAINST THE ILLEGAL PRESIDENT BUSH AS MY IDEOLOGICAL BEDFELLOW MCGOVERN WAS AGAINST THE DREAD NIXON.