Matt Taibbi of the New York Press has a scathing article on John Kerry from the liberal perspective. Taibbi raises an interesting point, why would a liberal vote for Kerry?
Look at the Democratic National Convention. Let’s say you took a voter who didn’t know who John Kerry or George W. Bush was, and described to them what the Democratic Convention was like. Would they identify it as a Democratic Convention? Or would they be more likely to think it was a Republican gathering.
You have saccharine patriotism, claims that the ideology of the party is synonymous with patriotism, the usual autobiographical pap, and a smattering of mealy-mouthed platitudes about making America “stronger”. If one were going to parody a Republican political speech by taking the most two-dimensional view of the GOP agenda, Kerry’s speech, with only a few exceptions, would be it.
If the liberals weren’t frothing at the mouth with anti-Bush hatred, I think Kerry would be sunk by now. Kerry turned his back on years of liberal doctrine at the convention, and just professed that he’s (gasp!) for the war, no ifs ands or buts. Howard Dean may have been slightly unhinged, but at least you damn well knew what he thought on any given issue. No waffling there, he was a liberal and damn proud of it. It’s ironic that Dean is saying that someday “Democrats won’t be afraid to call themselves Democrats” because right now they certainly are. Kerry’s speech was a massive effort in compensation, window dressing to disguise what he really thinks. As Taibbi notes:
It’s not fair to expect brilliance from politicians. It’s not fair to expect them to be charismatic, or to electrify the hall with their speaking skills. It’s not even realistic to expect them to tell you what they actually think about things.
But it is fair to demand that they at least make an honest attempt to tell us something about something. Give us some kind of plan; explain something to us. John Kerry has had a front-row seat to the inner workings of the highest levels of the U.S. government for nearly 20 years. He knows more about how the world actually works than all but a handful of people in this country. He has something to tell us.
But what does he do? He climbs up a mountain of cliches, shouts “Think Positive!” from the summit and then calmly skies down into a sea of champagne and confetti with a toy M-16 draped over his shoulder. That is a gross insult, both to our intelligence and to our natural human desire to have some kind of active role in the management of our own affairsâ€”and we all ought to be mighty pissed about it.
If I were a liberal, I’d be pissed too. Kerry is spending almost all his time running away from the liberal ideology. Granted, Clinton did it too, but Clinton was charismatic enough to see ice to Eskimos and Zippo lighters in Hell.
Liberals (or “progressives” as many like to call themselves) should consider whether their hatred of Bush is really advancing their agenda or showing that the only way a Democrat can win in this country is by becoming a virtual Republican.