In yesterday’s comments about Obama’s nomination of John Kerry as Secretary of State, Geoffrey Britain referred to Kerry as a “loathsome type.”
That reminded me that it was that very quality of John Kerry’s that helped drive me to become a blogger way back in 2004, when my posting was intermittent and I had a readership of about three—and two of them were me.
Sure enough, if you go back to posts from the earliest days of this blog (and eliminate “testing,” and two posts I’d written for other venues first and simply republished on the blog) you come to the very first post I wrote expressly for the blog. It appeared on September 30, 2004, and the subject was Democratic nominee John Kerry.
Revisiting it now, after all these long and eventful years (eight, count ‘em), I find that not only do I still agree with the description there of Kerry, but that it also is a fairly good fit for Obama.
Odd—but still another reason why Obama might find Kerry so very simpatico:
Kerry is one slick operator, very experienced in this venue [debates] and relatively cool, calm, and collected. But his narcissism (and I mean that in the clinical sense) was on full display last night. The word “I” is not only his favorite word, but his voice caresses it and draws it out in a way that is very telling. He seems to believe that he only has to say that he will do something, and–by virtue of being the very remarkable “I” that he is–he will convince us that it will be done. It is a remarkable and very consistent trait, not a good thing in a leader, and clearly antithetical to any idea of coalition-building.
As for Kerry’s policy statements, others have discussed them better than I (for example, see this and this ). But I must say that Kerry said a few things that literally made my jaw drop: his emphasis on “summits” and the UN (I thought I was back in the early 60s); the giving of nuclear fuel to Iran as some sort of test; and the nixing of the bunker busters, one of the few weapons that have the potential to allow us to destroy nuclear weapons and material stored in underground bunkers by the likes of Iran or North Korea…
I wonder how anyone can credit a person like Kerry who only says, “He, Bush, did it wrong; but I, Kerry, would do it right,” without providing a crumb of evidence as to why that would be so.
And now he’s going to be Obama’s Secretary of State. In retrospect, it seems inevitable.
[NOTE: The subject of John Kerry and Vietnam is so vast that it can be hard to know where to stop. But for those of you unfamiliar with Kerry's post-Vietnam exploits and why his appointment might especially gall those Vietnam vets who are not on the left, see this about Kerry's Winter Solder Investigation and whether it was based on truth or not (also see this for a discussion of the more general problem of false witness by fake Vietnam vets). Also, there's Kerry's famous 1971 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee---a committee of which he is presently chairman, forty-one years later.
I was going to choose some excerpts from that testimony of his. But I can't. Or rather, I could, but I won't, because I'd really like you to read the whole thing. I think it needs to be taken in as a whole.
And then afterwards it might be sobering to reflect on the fact that this man---with his "most people didn't even know the difference between communism and democracy" mentality, is about to become our new Secretary of State. As such he will be instrumental, along with President Obama, in setting and implementing our foreign policy around the world.
I'd also like to direct you to discussions of just a few of the "facts" cited by Kerry in his testimony. One is the quote about destroying the village in order to save it (see this and this for discussions of the veracity of the quote). Another is his assertion that black soldiers had the highest percentage of casualties (see this for some actual statistics, as well as this).
I will add that, strangely enough, back when I was a liberal in the 60s and 70s, something about Kerry almost instantaneously raised my hackles. He seemed a phony, self-aggrandizing, pompous, opportunistic, narcissistic windbag even back then. Or maybe especially back then.]