Skip to comments.THE WATERSHED (Dem Nominees Drowning in Hate)
Posted on 10/17/2003 12:19:48 PM PDT by NYC Republican
We may look back at yesterday as the defining moment of the 2004 election. Ted Kennedy framed the debate over the vote on Iraq by delivering a stinging indictment of the Bush administration on the floor of the Senate. It was a full embrace of the most liberal views within the Democrat party regarding Iraq: Bush took America to war on a lie, the war is a complete and total failure, and we need to turn everything over to the U.N. and get out now. Just to provide some context to how far left Ted Kennedy is leading his party on the issue, his speech is virtually indistinguishable from Dennis Kucinich's position on the war.
John Edwards has already taken the bait and probably crippled his candidacy in the process. I spoke to a senior advisor to the Edwards campaign a few days ago and their strategy is to try and make a respectable showing in Iowa (third or fourth and within double digits of the winner) and then use victories in the more conservative states of South Carolina and Oklahoma on February 3 to become the delegate leaders in the race. But after initially supporting the war, Edwards is now tying himself in knots to explain his position on Iraq:
CROWLEY: Senator, if I could -- you know, it's very clear that the primary voters in your party are very much against this war and it's also clear that you voted for it. If we look at this in the political sense, this looks like a way to kind of backpedal this. You know, it was a war you were for. Why not step up to the plate and say here's the money?
EDWARDS: A very simple reason -- because this policy is failing. The way this president is conducting this period of the work in Iraq is not being successful. You know, we don't have a plan, we don't know how long we're going to be there. We don't know even an estimate of the longterm costs. When is the transition from our security force to the Iraqi security force supposed to take place? There are so many unanswered questions. And before we just give this president a blank check going forward, we need answers to those questions. More importantly, the American people need answers to those questions. I have not backed away one iota from the importance of getting rid of Saddam Hussein. But I want this mission to be successful. And in order for it to be successful, we have to change the course that we're on right now.
In order for the mission to be successful you have to deny funding for it? This makes no sense. To say you're going to deny our troops in Iraq funding because you want to "send the President a message" is bad politics and even worse policy.
Edwards may think he can triangulate his way to the nomination based on polling data, but he's mistaken if he thinks he can separate his vote on reconstruction with his vote on the war resolution itself. Mort Kondracke and James Klurfeld get it right; this is a horrible mistake for John Edwards and John Kerry.
At least Howard Dean has been consistent, even though this vote has taken its toll on his candidacy as well. Dean has shown himself to be far less than the "principled, straight-talking leader" he's billed himself to be by engaging in a hypocritical kabuki dance for the last two weeks and refusing to take a stand on the issue because "he's not running for Congress, he's running for President."
Finally, after being lambasted in the press for lacking leadership, yesterday Dean announced he would oppose money for Iraq's reconstruction. Last night he went on to tell the audience at a Virginia fundraiser, ""People will be attracted to you if you tell them what you truly believe." Better late than never, I guess.
Gephardt is most likely the big winner here (Lieberman got it right too, but his campaign is on life support). He's already running well in Iowa even though he's supported the war from the beginning. This vote shouldn't change his standing. And Gephardt has offset his support of the war by cranking up the Bush-bashing rhetoric about 50 notches to try and keep pace with Dean. Now Gephardt can still continue his harsh criticisms of Bush knowing that he's got the national security issue in his back pocket for the general election. Dean, on the other hand, has set the controls of his campaign for the center of the sun.
So we should end the war on poverty because we don't know how long it will take or how much it will cost.
When one them becomes the candidate next year the turn to the right will be so fast as to cause whiplash.
... and as soon as you tell me what that should be, I will let you know!
I spoke to a senior advisor to the Edwards campaign a few days ago and their strategy is to try and make a respectable showing in Iowa (third or fourth and within double digits of the winner)
His teams idea of a respectable showing is finishing within double digits of the leader?!?
Considering that a triple digit deficit is mathematically impossible, theyve pretty much guaranteed that theyll live up to expectations.
" I swear to continue the War On Terrorism"
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