Dale Franks argues that the Democrats in general and John Kerry in particular have been incredibly inconsistent on both Iraq and the broader war on terrorism.
Case in point: former GA Senator Max Cleland, who, last week, declared that President Bush invaded Iraq because “he basically concluded his daddy was a failed president” and he “wanted to be Mr. Macho Man” so he “flat-out lied.” This would, by the way, be the same Max Cleland who voted in favor of the Iraq War, and who ran campaign adds in 2002 that declared, “Max Cleland is a respected leader on national security who supports the president on Iraq.”
But, somehow, there is no indictable past when it comes to Democrats. Kerry voted for the war, too? No, no, you misunderstand, Kerry voted to authorize the war as a bargaining chip, to show how serious we were, not to actually, you know, go to war. There was a whole nuance thing there that you’re, like, totally missing. Kerry has voted consistently to defund the military to one extent or another for his entire career? What a scurrilous attack on the patriotism of a man who volunteered to serve in Vietnam, and who came home with three purple hearts!
The broader problem, as someone I was reading this morning (I can’t remember who) argued, was that the assembled delegates at the Democratic National Convention are almost uniformly opposed to the Iraq War and have been since the beginning. Howard Dean was indeed the natural choice to lead them. Both John Kerry and John Edwards voted to authorize the war–presumably owing to some combination of believing it the correct policy and thinking it would prove the wiser political course in time–and have had a tough time balancing that position with the reality that their base is closer to Ralph Nader than to them on the issue.