Monday, January 31, 2005

Kerry's Magic Elixir

Reaching out and not overhyping

This space has refrained from commenting on John Kerry post-election as a sign of respect to a losing candidate within the democratic process. Enough ink was thrown at him prior to the election, and there remained no more to be said except ungracious piling on after his loss.

But his appearance on Meet the Press cancels out that policy. After throwing cold water on one of the most proud days in American foreign policy history (“no one. . . should try to overhype this election”), Kerry proceeds to cite a litany of process failures that could only be solved by “a more significant outreach to the international community” – Kerry’s Magic Elixir for all things Bush:

“I was in Egypt three weeks ago. I met with President Mubarak. We were talking about training. I asked him, 'You know, why don't you do more training?' His response was, 'We've offered do more training. We're doing 146 officers today. I don't know why we're not doing more. People haven't followed up with us. They haven't gotten back to us.'"

Did Kerry then offer to smooth Mubarak’s feathers and gain a commitment of tangible support for the training effort? Did Kerry offer to work the issue to see how their support might fit into our plans? Did Kerry question Mubarak’s assertion that it’s all the U.S.’ fault? No. Kerry isn’t about solutions, he’s all about process - all talk, all the time. It’s why he hasn’t been successful in passing legislation in the Senate. He prefers to carp, criticize, and pontificate about others’ actions.

Bush is thinking about eliminating Global Tyranny, Kerry is more interested in who returned who’s phone call. It's why he could never credibly articulate a foreign policy alternative for Iraq that was worthy of comparison against Bush's Grand Vision of Democracy as the antidote to terror in the Mideast. Kerry doesn't have anything to say. When asked whether Iraq was now more or less of a threat to the U.S., he replied "more," and then launched into a discussion of how we need to inspect more ocean containers at the ports. Maybe he can hire some Egyptian trainers.

Kerry is a caricature writ large of the pompous, blow-hard Senator who is all talk and no action. It's why he keeps hawking his Magic Elixir of "outreach" - you don't have to have an end in mind, or be accountable for its success or failure.

At least his colleague from the State of Massachusetts has a specific strategy for Iraq.