George Will: 20 Questions for Kerry

George Will, rather than cranking out an actual column today, combs through John Kerry’s platform and poses a bunch of questions. Among them:

Regarding military action, your platform says “we will never wait for a green light from abroad when our safety is at stake.” But the platform’s preceding paragraph denounces President Bush’s “doctrine of unilateral pre-emption.” If unilateralism is wrong, are you not committed to some sort of “green light from abroad”?

Your platform says: “A nuclear-armed Iran is an unacceptable risk.” But Iran’s radical Islamist regime is undeterred by diplomatic hand-wringing about its acquisition of nuclear weapons, which may be imminent. Is pre-emptive military action against Iran feasible, or are its nuclear facilities too dispersed and hardened? What would you do other than accept Iran as a nuclear power?

The easily distressed abortion rights groups were distressed when you said that your faith teaches you what elementary biology teaches everyone: life begins at conception. But you say personhood does not. Fine. When does it? What are its defining attributes? Does, say, an elderly person with dementia have it, and hence a right to life?

You oppose, on federalism grounds, a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. You say marriage law is traditionally a state responsibility. But so was abortion law for the Republic’s first 197 years, until 1973. What is the difference?

Fair questions all. Of course, I’m not sure I’ve heard an answer to the IRan question from President Bush, either.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. dc says:

    “Regarding military action, your platform says “we will never wait for a green light from abroad when our safety is at stake.” But the platform’s preceding paragraph denounces President Bush’s “doctrine of unilateral pre-emption.” If unilateralism is wrong, are you not committed to some sort of “green light from abroad”?”

    NO

    “Your platform says: “A nuclear-armed Iran is an unacceptable risk.” But Iran’s radical Islamist regime is undeterred by diplomatic hand-wringing about its acquisition of nuclear weapons, which may be imminent. Is pre-emptive military action against Iran feasible, or are its nuclear facilities too dispersed and hardened? What would you do other than accept Iran as a nuclear power?”

    Will, we’ll let you engage in rhetorical ‘hand wringing’ if you want to. America with a Kerry administration will have its diplomatic credibility restored and therefore be a postition to utilize a more muscular diplomacy.

    “The easily distressed abortion rights groups were distressed when you said that your faith teaches you what elementary biology teaches everyone: life begins at conception. But you say personhood does not. Fine. When does it? What are its defining attributes?”

    Common sense has to prevail here. As long as a fetus is biologically dependent upon another it really cannot be thought of as having seperate rights. Where to draw the line? The courts say when the fetus is viable outside the womb, which is commonly thought of as sometime after the first three months.

    After that it becomes a nightmare issue for both sides. Do you sacrifice the mother of your children and your wife for the unborn child within? Even Catholics have abortions in those cases. Perhaps like war, conservatives can learn to live with a little bit of collateral damage when it comes to such private issues as a womans womb.

    “Does, say, an elderly person with dementia have it, and hence a right to life?”

    Yes.

    “You oppose, on federalism grounds, a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. You say marriage law is traditionally a state responsibility. But so was abortion law for the Republic’s first 197 years, until 1973. What is the difference?”

    The difference is huge. States were denying women a basic human right – the right of controll over their own reproductive system. The courts stepped in with Roe vs Wade to formally recognize that right.

    You conservatives want the federal government to step in and deny individuals a right some states are willing to grant.

    That Will cannot see the difference between these is mind boggling.

  2. Jeff Harrell says:

    Sigh.

    It’s a good thing you’re not running, DC, and that you’re not advising the Senator. Because your answers are awful.

  3. Attila Girl says:

    I like how kissing up to France enables us to be more “muscular” in our diplomacy.