By Harry Welty
me back to old Vietnamy
time a Massachusetts Senator with a good head of hair and medals on his chest,
for commanding a small boat in enemy waters, ran for President he won. On
Monday the Democrats in the state of
The Bush Administration scheduled the State-of-the-Union speech for the following day. This may have seemed like good timing while the Democrats were holding fast to the Dean campaign. The unexpected elevation of Kerry and South Carolina’s John Edwards, however, changed the odds for the President. The 2004 campaign is less likely to be a cakewalk.
Bush was obviously not cowed. He delivered his speech with relish and lots of squint-eyed western can-do. At one rare point when the Democrats stood up to applaud him quicker than the Republicans he smiled. He was having a good time.
Bush had nothing to fear from the lame Democratic counterpoints delivered afterwards by the over articulating Nancy Pelosi and sugary Tom Daschle. Nonetheless, the following day a Zogby poll suggested a continuing even split by American voters about the Bush Presidency.
When Saddam Hussein
crawled out of his spider hole I said, to no one in particular, that George
Bush had just won reelection. I was premature. Back then Governor Dean was
heating up the Internet and seemed a shoo-in for the nomination. Wes Clark,
with his ambiguous politics, seemed the Democrat’s only alternative to the
It is possible that the Democrats could end up nominating John Edwards. I haven’t heard him on the stump. I’ve only heard sound bites. He has a formidable reputation having made a fortune persuading juries that incompetent obstetricians botched deliveries leaving infants with cerebral palsy. (Since almost every American obstetrician has been sued for malpractice I can only speculate that there is no such thing as a competent doctor.) It might be nice to have a President with the charisma to unite America in the same way that Edward's woos juries.
John Kerry is not so
charismatic. When I suggested that he might be the next
Democratic nominee I was told that he was a “stuffed shirt.” Yes, despite
that head of hair John Kerry is dour and cerebral. He also has the homeliest
political puss since Abraham Lincoln. Kerry’s eyebrows are permanently
arched and aloof. His long droopy face could belong to a bloodhound. When I
saw him unshaven, in an interview after
On the other hand I’ve only been in an audience once when someone gave a really great speech. It was over thirty years ago in a packed student union at Mankato State College. The speaker was from the Vietnam Veterans against the War. It was John Kerry. Of course, I was young and impressionable but Kerry’s simple eloquence stunned me and I was not alone.
In my estimation we are in
for the long haul for better or worse. I believe beating a hasty retreat would
be terrible. I’m not likely to vote for any Democrat who threatens to turn America’s back on the Iraqis just because some guerillas are harrying our
beleaguered soldiers. I’m also inclined to pay for
Just as 9-11 made America
look at police and firefighters with new respect our losses in
During the Vietnam War lots of war hawk congressmen made sure that their sons stayed home. George Junior was the son of a Congressman and a war hero to boot. While John Kerry enlisted in the Navy, friends of Bush Senior helped get the young Bush a much coveted placement in a National Guard outfit that was unlikely to go overseas. Then, while the earnest Kerry captained a patrol boat on the lethal Mekong River, Bush Junior apparently stopped reporting to his guard unit long enough for there to be speculation about whether he had gone AWOL or not.
For the eight years of the Clinton Administration a great many Republicans howled in outrage over Clinton’s successful attempt to dodge the draft. They made it clear that Bill Clinton was a sorry excuse for a Commander-in-Chief.
In a fifty-fifty election its worth pondering how these same patriots might vote should our current President’s past turn out to be less than stellar. A real war hero, even a dull and pedantic one, might hold some appeal to a nation hungry for honor.
is a small time politician who lets it all hang out at: www.snowbizz.com