Skip to comments.Slighting Substance - Kerry's statements deserve greater scrutiny.
Posted on 10/04/2004 7:28:39 AM PDT by wcdukenfield
October 04, 2004, 9:39 a.m.
I hate to swim against the current, but shouldn't we pay more attention to what John Kerry actually said during Thursday night's debate? Apparently the mainstream media doesn't think so.
Iran: Kerry made this remarkable statement about how he would have confronted Iran's frenzied efforts to secure nuclear weapons: "I think the United States should have offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel, test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes. If they weren't willing to work a deal, then we could have put sanctions together."
President Bush made the point that sanctions are already in place. But why hasn't Kerry's proposal received any attention, let alone the condemnation it deserves? (At the moment, only the Iranians themselves have given it the time of day, saying it would be "irrational" for them to jeopardize their country's nuclear program by relying on foreign supplies.) In a rare declarative statement, Kerry proposed providing the most active terrorist regime ? which harbors al Qaeda terrorists, is sending them into Iraq to attack our forces, and threatens to attack Israel with nuclear weapons ? with material that can be used to speed up their nuclear-weapons program. He's offering to do for Iran what Bill Clinton did for North Korea: arm it. This is stunning.
North Korea: Some have pointed out that while Kerry argues a coalition of over 30 nations in Iraq is not a coalition, he calls for bilateral negotiations with North Korea. Another obvious question is what exactly Kerry would tell Kim Jong-Il that, say, Bill Clinton didn't already discuss with him? Moreover, what does Kerry want to offer this tyrant that is so compelling he can only discuss it in a one-on-one negotiation? Does anyone know?
"Mistake": Kerry said, "the president made a mistake in invading Iraq." But later, Jim Lehrer asked him, "Are Americans now dying in Iraq for mistake?" Kerry answered, "No, and they don't have to, providing we have the leadership that we put ? that I'm offering." So, the war in Iraq is a mistake, but soldiers who die fighting the war aren't dying for a mistake? What kind of perverse thinking is this?
Global Test: While numerous conservatives have noted Kerry's astounding comment about a president having to pass "the global test" to "prove to the world that [he took military action] for legitimate reasons," the mainstream media seem to have missed it. Where's the discussion on the editorial and op-ed pages? Where's the "news analysis?"
The post-debate discussion has been about style and impressions and the president's missed opportunities. Okay. But to the near exclusion of substance? These are affirmatively stated positions that require further inquiry, despite the fact that the next debate is about domestic issues.
Then there were two incredible gaffes that would have splashed across the front pages of every major newspaper had they been uttered by the president.
Treblinka: Kerry said, "Well, let me just say quickly that I've had an extraordinary experience of watching up close and personal that transition in Russia, because I was there right after the transformation. And I was probably one of the first senators...to go down into the KGB underneath Treblinka Square and see reams of files with names in them. It sort of brought home the transition to democracy that Russia was trying to make."
As everyone but Kerry knows, Treblinka was a Nazi death camp. He meant Lubianka. This is on a par with Gerald Ford's mistake in his debate with Jimmy Carter when he said that Poland was not controlled by the Soviet Union. Some believe that cost Ford the presidency. But nary a word about Kerry's error has appeared in the mainstream media.
Armistice: Kerry said, "... I want bilateral talks which put all of the issues [with North Korea], from the Armistice of 1952, the economic issues, the human rights issues, the artillery disposal issues, the DMZ issues and the nuclear issues on the table."
A small thing, but the armistice ending the Korean War was signed on July 27, 1953, not 1952. Dwight Eisenhower was president at the time. Again, this has been completely ignored. Would it have been ignored if Bush had made the mistake?
Interestingly, as I reviewed the debate transcript, I found no such factual errors or gaffes from the president.
I've observed many presidential debates over the years, and I understand that more than substance is considered by commentators, analysts, and voters. But I've never witnessed a post-debate situation in which substance has been so minimized. (The fact that the president did not confront Kerry on these statements during the debate is no explanation.) This isn't the swimsuit portion of the Miss America contest. We're deciding on the next commander-in-chief in the midst of a war. You'd think substance would be more important than ever.
? Mark R. Levin is president of Landmark Legal Foundation and talk-radio host on WABC 770 AM in New York.
I wait all day for his radio progarm. He inspires,and he eductates. Levin is the best we have, the very best. Wish we could see and hear more of him. His expertise is much needed.
What do you mean by dealing with substance?
Now, come on. Saying one word when you mean another is "on a par with" making a statement which is factually at odds with reality?
It seems like the populace came to the gunfight thinking it was all about the ten-gallon hat.
Overreaching like this by conservative analysts is crying wolf. It tends to get other issues ignored.
As FR used to be, when I actually learned things.
Now it seems the Hollywood crowd has taken over FR, with constant whining.
Not a surprise considering Hollywood and NY elites have run our culture for 30 years, and they have now found FR, and consider us an enemy to their power.
Connect this with the fact that he is taking money from Iran mullah supporters and you have political dynamite.
I don't think missing the year of the armistice by a year, or messing up where KGB HQ was is a big deal. I am curious if there is any reaction to 'Treblinka' in the Jewish community. I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't, but you can be sure that if an R made this gaffe, the media would at least check, and probably manage to find someone 'deeply offended'.
All that is minor. But Levin does have a major point about the silence in the media about major (and majorly stupid) policy positions taken by Kerry. Global test? Unilaterally talking to Krazy Kim? And what is Kerry going to do about Iraq? Giving the Mad Mullahs enriched Uranium?
Most Americans did not watch the debate. Most Americans have read or heard about it. All they've heard from the MSM is:
'Kerry Won! Kerry WON! KERRRRRRRRRYYYYYY WON! Yeah! YEEEAAAHHHHRRRRRGGGGG'
I've never heard Levin and have only read his stuff a time or two. Are there live streaming audio (or archived audio) files available of his show on the Internet? Good article.
And talking about TOO MANY different points at the same time dilutes the emphasis on the important ones.
Kerry's idea of giving Iran nuclear fuel has got to be the single most outrageous, frightening things he's said. It's the one thing the barely conscious undecided voters can get a real handle on, AND NOBODY'S EMPHASIZING IT. For myself, I've written the RNC about it. If anyone thinks the same way, I suggest you write them, the campaign, and anyone else you can think of too.
"on a par with Gerald Ford's mistake..."
Not even close. Lurch's boner was just a slip of the tongue; Ford persisted in making his argument that Eastern Europe really wasn't dominated by the Soviet Union despite an incredulous follow-up question by the moderator.
Kerry was judged to have "won" the debate not because he was expressing coherent policy, but because he presented it in a smooth, articulate manner. But if you analyze it, as Levin does, it completely falls apart. Another contradiction I noticed: he criticized Bush for "going to war on the cheap," but then said that even the money we DID spend would have been better spent on ourselves. So he was playing both sides against the middle and - again - failing to offer a coherent policy.
Lisa Myers mentioned this the other day on PMSNBC and then basically said "No big deal".
This is what we're up against folks.
"I think the United States should have offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel, test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes. If they weren't willing to work a deal, then we could have put sanctions together"
Shades of Carter and Clinton
My question would be, was he actually there, looking at the files...was he in Cambodia in Christmas time, etc...
"He's a smooth talker, but bullshit artists always make mistakes that give away the game." -- Don Luskin at http://snipurl.com/9j30
"If John Kerry is so polished and eloquent and forceful and mellifluous, how come nobody has a clue what his policy on Iraq is? As he made clear on Thursday, Saddam was a growing threat so he had to be disarmed so Kerry voted for war in order to authorize Bush to go to the U.N. but Bush failed to pass ''the global test'' so we shouldn't have disarmed Saddam because he wasn't a threat so the war was a mistake so Kerry will bring the troops home by persuading France and Germany to send their troops instead because he's so much better at building alliances so he'll have no trouble talking France and Germany into sending their boys to be the last men to die for Bush's mistake. Have I got that right?" -- Mark Steyn at http://www.suntimes.com/output/steyn/cst-edt-steyn03.html
(then he goes on and on, singing "Summit-chanted evening, you will meet a stranger..." etc.)
When they listen, they are only listening for certain catch phrases they wish to hear.
Details are ignored. The concept of voting for a President who would:
Ensure the safety of the country
Explore and rout out corruption in gov't
Continue the war on organized crime (terrorists) to break them and minimalize their abilities
Support bills good for the people and economy
Have good moral character
Stick to promises
IS SOMETHING MOST PEOPLE DON'T CARE A WHIT ABOUT.