Saturday, March 20, 2004

I am not impressed by Kerry's response to the bombing in Spain, if I only knew what it was. The only place I found a mention of the response was in Sullivan's blog, where some of the more conservative readers pointed out that Kerry's condemnation of the bombings was "coded" in that he still looked at terrorism as an individual act, and not a state-sanctioned act.

I said this in my "Tuesday" post, but to take more time with it, if people think that Kerry will be inadequate to the task of fighting terrorists, Kerry will not be able to get to the domestic agenda. There are plenty of Democratic hawks who will vote Bush if they think Kerry is too soft. McCain's innoculation helps a lot, but Kerry has to find a position where it is clear that he will continue the war against terrorism, that it will be an American-led fight, but that it will simply be a different tone than the war Bush is waging.

How many voters feel the way I feel about these things? To sum up:

1. I am in favor of the war against Iraq. I hope we can stay the course.

2. I don't really care if the Europeans like the Americans or not. Our families all had very good reasons to leave Europe. Everytime a European politician opens his mouth, those reasons are simply reinforced. I think that Kerry is in a too-liberal bubble if he thinks that the American public as a whole will vote for him because people around the world don't like us.

3. As a general rule, it is ridiculous to assume that the United Nations can be entrusted in a long-term mission to spread democracy. Although, I guess, it is possible that the U.N., as an institution, can grow into it if they were asked to do it.

4. I believe in the vast right-wing conspiracy. As a matter of domestic policy, the Bushies were looking for a war, any war, as a vehicle to clamp down on what they saw as too much freedom at home. Like a lot of dictatorships in the Middle East, it is easy to say that (i) you are in favor of the rights of people far away, like the Palestinians or the Iraqis, and that (ii) their lack of freedom is causing such a grave crisis that you have no choice but to clamp down on freedom at home.

5. One piece of proof is that the PATRIOT Act was all typed up and ready to go minutes after September 11. Another piece of proof is the constant refusal of this Administration to take actions, even symbolic actions, that will engage the American public as a whole in the war-effort. They are looking to create a ruling class and a warrior class and a subject class.

6. And it is because of this systematic and unneccessary clamp-down of freedom at home that Bush has to go.