Monday, December 04, 2006

Mark Barrett Gets it Right on John Kerry!

Kudos to Mark Barrett who writes about Senator Kerry:

For the past four years now, the best voice on Iraq has been John Kerry. Starting with his floor statement on the Iraq War Resolution vote, through his opposition to the launch of the war before Bush pulled the trigger, right up to today, nobody has been more consistently accurate and engaged about what to do about Iraq than John Kerry.

But we can’t say that. We can’t notice that one person, again and again, gets it right.


Well, to begin with, he voted for the IWR. In the shorthand used by the brain-dead people who cover politics, that’s equivalent to voting for the war even though there was no actual vote to start the war. George Bush pulled the trigger on his own. But that’s too complicated for the pundits, so they simply say that John Kerry voted for the war, and of course anybody who voted for this war isn’t somebody we should listen to.

There’s also the fact that he lost to George Bush in 2004. Never mind the context, the Republican prostitution of 9/11, the cynical $300 tax cuts handed out to every voter, the slanderous attacks on Senator Kerry’s war record, and most importantly the wholesale lies told by the Bush administration about their own failing war policy. John Kerry lost the election, so that means he’s a loser. And we don’t take advice from losers in this country. We take advice from winners like George Bush.

More recently of course there’s the botched joke. Never mind that it was a mugging by the Bush administration and a piling on by the press that turned the story into a front-page saga. How dare John Kerry defend his good name? We don’t take advice from people who aren’t willing to have their noses rubbed in filth whenever the President and the press decide they need a break from confronting the realities of the Iraq War.

Then there’s the 2008 election, and how other candidates might not fare too well in comparison with Senator Kerry’s engagement on the issue. Hillary Clinton spent most of the past three years in hiding. Barack Obama didn’t have to vote on the IWR, but he and his disciples will tell you he was against the war from the beginning. Same goes for Al Gore. Those are all people we need to protect, and we can’t protect them if we notice that John Kerry has been right about Iraq while they’ve been playing politics.

Maybe the worst crime John Kerry has committed, however, is that he’s answered the questions people have asked in the context of the moment. And that’s a very serious crime. That’s a flip-flopper’s attitude, unlike the cool-hand certainty and unshakeable resolve of our victorious decider, George Bush. Unbelievably, John Kerry keeps modifying his advice as the facts change on the ground, which is obviously a sign of weakness and indecision. Why is it so hard for John Kerry to do what George Bush did and pick one inviolate course of action that’s perfect for every possible situation?

Finally, we can’t notice that John Kerry gets it right more than he gets it wrong because we don’t want him to run for president again. He had his chance, and now it’s time to pick somebody new that can help us forget about how right John Kerry was when we decided not to elect him in 2004. He’s not saying that himself, of course, because he’s focused on bringing the troops home and finding a political solution to the problem. But most of us here in the United States really haven’t felt the effects of the war, so we’re much more concerned with how we can get a good, guilt-free night of sleep. And we can’t do that if John Kerry doesn’t go away and let us forget.

So let’s just keep saying that nobody’s willing to have a serious discussion about Iraq, so we don’t have to notice that John Kerry has been having a serious discussion for four years, and getting it right all along. Let’s just keep saying there’s nobody who knows what’s going on or what to do about it, because that means we don’t have to know what’s going on or what to do about it.

And isn’t that the easy way out of Iraq we’ve all been looking for?

– Mark Barrett


Blogger Michael said...

"John Kerry has been having a serious discussion for four years, and getting it right all along"

Care to back that up with an example or two?

6:01 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

My name is Lauren and I'm a graduate student at Columbia Journalism School. I'm working on a story about the candidate draft movements and I was wondering if you would be able to speak with me about this. I was hoping we could talk sometime this week. I can be reached at

3:12 PM  
Blogger Jael said...

I don't get it. Why is there anybody in the Democratic Party who is still supporting John Kerry for President. Have you people been asleep for the last five years. John Kerry will never be President. Ever. Not because he's "unlikeable," not because of anything cosmetic. But because he sucks at Politics. We're talking about Iraq. Kerry had his chance to talk about Iraq he was the democratic Nominee against the man who lied us into the war. And he never said it. He never said that Iraq was a destraction from the war on terror. He never said that the war in Iraq was a mistake. Anything he's said since 2004 doesn't matter. He had his chance, and he proved that he is a political amatuer. He can win in Massachuesets because his initials are JFK, and he won the nomination as a dark horse (basically) but the man doesn't know the first thing about politics. If he runs for President again, he will LOSE. There is no question. He is a habitual LOSER. THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CANT AFFORD ANOTHER LOSS ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL. Please dismantle this blog, and look into the possible candidacies of Evan Bayh, Bill Richardson, Kathleen Sebelius, Mary Landruae, Wesley Clark, and other Dems who actually have a chance of winning in 2008.........I like John Kerry, but he'll never be President.......Ever........The man doesnt know the first thing about politics.......every decision he will make in the '08 campaign will be a mistake, just like every decision he's made since June 2004 has been a mistake......dont believe me ask me and I'll go into detail

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Lou said...

Hi Jael,

I understand that it is sometimes easier to live in whatever little bubble we create in our own little heads, but next time you might want to think twice before you decide it's a good idea to lie about John Kerry.

You said:

"Kerry had his chance to talk about Iraq he was the democratic Nominee against the man who lied us into the war. And he never said it. He never said that Iraq was a destraction from the war on terror."

Hmmmm....Let's take a look back

September 20, 2004, John Kerry at New York University:


“We must have a great honest national debate on Iraq. The President claims it is the centerpiece of the war on terror. In fact, Iraq was a profound diversion from that war and the battle against our greatest enemy, Osama bin Laden and the terrorists. Invading Iraq has created a crisis of historic proportions and, if we do not change course, there is the prospect of a war with no end in sight.

This month, we passed a cruel milestone: more than 1,000 Americans lost in Iraq. Their sacrifice reminds us that Iraq remains overwhelmingly an American burden. Nearly 90 percent of the troops and nearly 90 percent of the casualties are American.

Despite the president's claims, this is not a grand coalition.

Our troops have served with extraordinary bravery and skill and resolve. Their service humbles all of us. I visited with some of them in the hospitals and I am stunned by their commitment, by their sense of duty, their patriotism. When I speak to them, when I look into the eyes of their families, I know this: We owe them the truth about what we have asked them to do and what is still to be done.


In June, the president declared, The Iraqi people have their country back. And just last week he told us, This country is headed toward democracy; freedom is on the march. But the administration's own official intelligence estimate, given to the president last July, tells a very different story.

According to press reports, the intelligence estimate totally contradicts what the president is saying to the American people and so do the facts on the ground.

Security is deteriorating for us and for the Iraqis. Forty-two Americans died in Iraq in June, the month before the handover. But 54 died in July, 66 in August and already 54 halfway through September. And more than 1,100 Americans were wounded in August; more than in any other month since the invasion.

We are fighting a growing insurgency in an ever-widening war zone. In March, insurgents attacked our forces 700 times. In August, they attacked 2,700 times; a 400 percent increase.

Fallujah, Ramadi, Samarra and parts of Iraq are now no-go zones, breeding grounds for terrorists, who are free to plot and to launch attacks against our soldiers.

The radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who is accused of complicity in the murder of Americans, holds more sway in suburbs of Baghdad than the prime minister.


Now, I will say to you, it is never easy to discuss what has gone wrong while our troops are in constant danger. But it is essential if you want to correct the course and do what's right for those troops, instead of repeating the same old mistakes over and over again.

I know this dilemma firsthand. I saw firsthand what happens when pride or arrogance take over from rational decision-making. And after serving in a war, I returned home to offer my own personal views of dissent. I did so because I believed strongly that we owed it to those risking their lives to speak truth to power. And we still do."


Much more here:

Any questions?

8:42 PM  

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