Thursday, February 12, 2004

That's our boy!

Jeff Jacoby has fun with John Kerry's shifting stands:
In the 2004 presidential field, there is a candidate for nearly every point of view. His name is John Kerry.
One stop shopping!
Equivocating politicians are sometimes accused of trying to be "all things to all people," but few have taken the practice of expedience and shifty opportunism to Kerry's level. Massachusetts residents have known this about their junior senator for a long time. Now the rest of the country is going to find out.

Here's how it works: Say you're in favor of capital punishment for terrorists. Well, so is Kerry. "I am for the death penalty for terrorists because terrorists have declared war on your country," he said in December 2002. "I support killing people who declare war on our country."

But if you're opposed to capital punishment even for terrorists, that's OK -- Kerry is too! Between 1989 and 1993, he voted at least three times to exempt terrorists from the death penalty. In a debate with former governor William Weld, his opponent in the 1996 Senate race, Kerry scorned the idea of executing terrorists. Anti-death penalty nations would refuse to extradite them to the United States, he said. "Your policy," he told Weld, "would amount to a terrorist protection policy. Mine would put them in jail."

What does Kerry really think? Who knows? He seems to have conveniently switched his stance after Sept. 11, 2001, but he insists that politics had nothing to do with his reversal. Either way, one thing is clear: His willingness to swing both ways fits a longstanding pattern of coming down firmly on both sides of controversial issues.
Take Iraq:
Reviewing the bidding, then, Kerry's position is that he voted against a war he was really for and voted for a war he was really against. But the war he was really for he never said he was for at the time. Except when he was writing to voters to say that he was. And that he wasn't.
Try saying that fast!
Confused? Don't feel bad. Trying to keep up with Kerry's shifting stands can be baffling even to those of us who have followed his career for decades. You'll be hearing a lot more about them before this campaign is over.