I swear, stuff like this is almost enough to make me want to become one of those partisan Democratic hacks that Matt refuses to be. It ought to be crystal clear to everyoneâ??it surely is to Cheneyâ??that Kerry meant by a “more sensitive” war on terror exactly what Bush did when he used the same word: It’s a point about more deft diplomacy, not a suggestion that we watch Steel Magnolias with Osama and talk about our feelings.
Ditto the “I voted against it before I voted for it” thing, which I’m just astounded continues to make the rounds, even if it was a stupid bit of phrasing. Anyone who knows the context can see that there’s nothing remotely dodgy about it: Kerry voted for the version that included amendments he and Joe Biden sponsored, and (apparently as a symbolic protest) against the Republican version of the bill that he had problems with. How long does it take to punch this into a search engine and figure it out? I know the Roveites are just being deliberately disingenuous, but what about the ordinary people who keep passing it aroundâ??aren’t they just the slightest bit curious what it might’ve meant? Why is this utterly par-for-the-course Senate behaviorâ??voting for one version of a bill and against a different versionâ??supposed to be “flip floppy”? Not that there isn’t plenty of legit stuff to slag off on Kerry about, but it’s depressing to see what makes the cut. It reminds me a little of the campaign in the Prisoner episode “Free for All“:
Prisoner: Far be it for me to carp, but what will you do in your spare time?
Number 2: I cannot afford spare time.
Prisoner: Do you hear that? He’s working to his limit! Can’t afford spare time! We’re all entitled to spare time! Leisure is our right!
Of course, more and more of contemporary politics is evocative of The Prisoner, but that’s another story.