Wednesday, October 13


Robert Kuttner of The Boston Globe has a great piece today (by my liberal lights):

To the extent that he evades difficult questions, Kerry looks weaker across the board. Just being resolute wins voter respect, even from those who may disagree with him on the issues.

One thing the conservatives have done brilliantly is to make progressive Democrats feel embarrassed about their own first principles. The federal government has been turned into the enemy (except when George W. Bush wants to promote fantastical expeditions by the armed forces at the direction of the Defense Department, a branch of the government that is somehow seen as uniquely competent).

For instance, when Bush claimed in the St. Louis debate that Kerry wanted a "government program" for health insurance, I was waiting for Senator Kerry to respond, "Mr. Bush, 40 million seniors have secure health coverage -- the only health plan where you can still freely chose your own doctor and hospital, the only one where they don't discriminate against people with histories of serious illnesses. It's called Medicare. In case you forgot, Medicare is a government program. Are you against that?

"We Democrats enacted it because the private sector didn't want to insure seniors. The Republicans didn't give us much help. And you, Mr. Bush, get your insurance through a government program, as do I and every other member of Congress. I want every American to have insurance coverage as secure as the government coverage we get. Anything wrong with that?"
I'd like to hear Kerry say: "Let me tell you about my kind of liberal. It's a leader who keeps America militarily and economically strong while winning the world's respect -- the legacy of FDR, Harry Truman, and JFK. It's a leader who opens up opportunity and provides security through great liberal programs like Social Security, Medicare, and college aid. It's leadership like Bill Clinton's, to clean up Republican fiscal messes and to provide 20 million new jobs. It's leadership like Martin Luther King's, fighting for civil rights. That's a label I don't run from. I wear it proudly."

I'd like Kerry to tackle the issue of abortion and the courts more steadfastly. "Mr. President, based on the far-right lower-court judges you've appointed so far, you and I both know that you will appoint judges likely to overturn Roe v. Wade. I want the fewest possible abortions, but I defend a woman's right to choose. I'm not sure that you do."
As in the Iowa caucuses that effectively won him the Democratic nomination, John Kerry is at last winning by running as if he had nothing to lose. More, please.


Post a Comment

<< Home