What A Shock

Andrew Sullivan has finally come out and endorsed John Kerry. Too bad, as Sullivan made a lot of sense post-9/11. In fact, looking back on what he wrote then and what he writes now, it seems implausible that it could have been the same person.

Sullivan falls for Kerry’s exhortations that he’s not weak on national security, which is an obvious and blatant fa&ccedi;ade. His constant need to explain that he’d hunt down the terrorists and kill them is forced and artificial.

Imagine this scenario. Iran has developed a nuclear weapon. There is intelligence – shadowy at best – that they intend to use that weapon on Tel Aviv as a show of force. The United Nations stalls on any actions to stop the Iranians. Jacques Chirac says that he would strongly condemn any use of force in the region. Kofi Annan travels to Tehran where the mullahs assure him that all they’re doing is developing peaceful technology for nuclear power.

Would John Kerry have the will to stand up and demand full compliance? Would he have the guts to take out the Iranian’s nuclear capability before it could be used? Or would he back down and let the “international community” try and take over the process.

We’ve been down this road before. Kerry stands for a return of Clinton-era foreign policy – taking strong stands but never backing them up. Under Clinton we had the Khobar Towers bombing, the African Embassy bombings, the USS _Cole_. Al-Qaeda got away with only token retaliations each time. We had Osama bin Laden bragging that our withdrawl from Mogadishu proved that we were a paper tiger. We had the “Agreed Framework” with North Korea that was worth less than the ink it was printed with – and now a decade later we have a North Korea armed with nuclear weapons. We had the disastrous push towards a naive peace that quickly descended into bloodshed with Oslo and Taba.

We dare not go back to those days, which is why Andrew Sullivan’s support for Kerry is based on a superficial understanding of both Kerry and the world we live in. He blindly puts hope in a man who has been consistantly wrong on every issue in the past three decades. He tries to paint him as a fiscal conservative when he is a Massachusetts liberal who would dramatically increase spending. And worst of all he argues that the people of Iraq, whose very lives hang in the balance, should be sacrificed to some nebulous premonition that Kerry would somehow do better.

Such a concept is not only illogical, but dangerously so.

UPDATE: Or more concisely who the fuck cares what Andrew Sullivan thinks?

UPDATE: On a more serious note, Megan McArdle has some very cogent criticisms of Sullivan’s _apologia_ for Kerry including this apt metaphor:

Similarly, it doesn’t strike me as very logical to imply that Democrats have abandoned national security issues, and then suggest electing them anyway as a way to force them to “take responsibility” for national security, any more than I would employ a drug addict in a pharmacy to force him to “take responsibility” for enforcing our nation’s drug laws.

8 thoughts on “What A Shock

  1. Check out those new ABC/Washington Post numbers. Kerry’s now at 50%. See what I mean about “blistering momentum”? 🙂

  2. And bad news for Kerry: Rassmussen has Bush ahead by 4 in Ohio, TIPP has Bush ahead by 6 nationally, and Zogby has Bush by 3.

    Wait, weren’t you the one who is constantly lecturing everyone about the hazards of cherry-picking polls?

  3. Jay, yesterday’s Zogby poll showed Bush up by only one in Ohio. Is there a new one today or are you referring to an old poll? Zogby had one strong Bush day on Saturday this skewering the numbers from the last couple days. Once those Saturday numbers (where Bush had a seven-point advantage) drop off their tracking monitor, it will be a tie or a Kerry lead again. TIPP’s polls have a history of erratic fluctuation. In 2000, they had Bush up 9.1% two days before the election. Certainly ABC/Washington Post could be the ones who are wrong, but every shred of evidence outside of TIPP shows momentum for Kerry. And just think how far that momentum will be able to snowball in the next seven days. 🙂

  4. I notice that Sullivan mysteriously disappeared from your blogrolls a while back… not willing to support opposing views, eh?

    Anyway, it seems to me that a no-confidence vote on Bush, in the form of a vote for Kerry, is the only route for an “Eagle” to take at this point, which I why I’ve decided on it myself. As it stands, the “conservative” congress is writing Bush a blank check to push through all the illiberal policy and legislation he can- whereas they’d put a solid check on anything a hypothetical President Kerry would attempt. Iraq is becoming a bigger mess by the day, and the yes-men gathered around the Bush administration refuse to admit it. The Patriot Act still stands. The FMA could still be pushed through. And, despite what Bush continues to say, a draft is a very real possiblity, especially if our war on terror expands into other countries. Given that I trust Bush as far as I can throw him, his reassurances that we’ll continue to have an all-volunteer army don’t mean much to me.

    As miserable as a second term with Bush would be, a Kerry administration could only be better, even if not by much. And, as Sullivan has pointed out, it will force the Republicans into a position of reappraisal- and possibly a shift away from the extremist right wing, and the politics of fear and Straussian deception that they’ve so (unwisely and unfortunately) embraced.

    At the same time though, I deeply regret the fact that I’m going to be a straight-ticket Democrat this election cycle, above the county level at least. When I was in Minnesota in 2000, there were strong third-party candidates and moderate Republicans that I could support, but the polarizations of South Dakota politics tend to be so extreme (and, in the case of some recent Herseth ads, surreal) that I don’t really have an option…

    (Oh, and in case you didn’t know, Sullivan can only endorse- he can’t vote, as he’s still not a US citizen. Funny, that…)

  5. Jay, I really like your scenario, it would be perfect in a movie in order to make arabs look like devils, europeans like cowards and cement the israeli-american alliance.

    Unfortunately, considering one of your assumption being that Kerry is elected, the rest of the scenario just falls flat:
    -Kerry would (I hope, but heh, this is just a scenario) end this illegitimate support to the extremists ruling the State of Israel. People of all religions could finally live in one same country, with the same access to water and hospitals.
    -Following that, Iran wouldn’t be willing anymore to destroy this country as many arabs would be living in it happily.

    That’s were our views diverge;
    -you think that terrorists should be killed (even though it will provoke collateral damages -because killing terrorists in a refugee camp with a missile will eventually kill many-, mistakes and create even more terrorism.
    -I think terrorist areas should be helped and favored in order to pull them out of ignorance and hate (the reasons of terrorism).

    The questions are:
    -do you see long term or short term? (walls never build peace)
    -Do you care about non-americans at all? (if you don’t, they will care about you in a little while…)

  6. Yes, let’s end our support of Israel so that we can kill off another six million Jews.

    Why do I get the feeling that Europe learned nothing from the Second World War?

    Which is another reason why I will not support a candidate who would knowtow to a group that has every interest in seeing the bloody status quo of the Middle East continue.

  7. Well done Jay, you really kicked the ass of this strawman you’ve just built!!

    I never said that the US should stop supporting Israel. What I said was:”end this illegitimate support to the extremists ruling this State”. Don’t twist my words like that. I do not wish to detroy Israel but only to remove from their charges the leaders of this country who are racists and irresponsible.

    I don’t think Kerry wants to have a status quo. Actually, the status quo in the ME is Bush’s best achievement during his mandate.

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