Heh Heh, Kerry's Boring
In John Kerry's Senate speech where he eventually announced that he would not contest for the Democratic nomination next year, he actually laid out the importance of stopping the Iraq war now before it expands across the Middle East.
The fact is, what happens here in the next 2 years may irrevocably shape or terribly distort the administration of whichever candidate is next elected President. Decisions are being taken and put into effect today and in the days to come that may leave to the next President a wider war, a war even more painful, more difficult, more prolonged than the war we already have.
Iraq, if we Senators force a change of course, may yet bring stability and an exit with American security intact or it may bring our efforts in the region to a failure that we will all recognize as a catastrophe.
I don't want the next President to find that he or she has inherited a nation still divided and a policy destined to end as Vietnam did, in a bitter or sad legacy. I intend to devote all my efforts and energies over the next 2 years, not to the race for the Presidency for myself but for doing whatever I can to ensure that the next President can take the oath with a reasonable prospect of success for him or her--for the United States. And I intend to speak the truth as I find it without regard for political correctness or partisan advantage, to advise my colleagues and my fellow citizens to the best of my ability and judgment, and to support every action the Senate may reasonably and constitutionally take to guide and direct the ship of state.
Dana Milbank called this part of the speech "long-winded and meandering" in his column today:
Kerry later went to the Senate floor to announce that he would not run for president in 2008 but meandered through the better part of half an hour before getting to the point.
God forbid a reporter actually LISTEN to a speech. "Get to the point, you blowhard! Blah blah blah, we're going to attack Iran, blah blah blah. I've got a deadline! Are you running or not?"
These things MATTER, dude. Your horse-race process story can wait. The President is ignoring everybody's counsel and pushing a policy destined for failure for no other reason than "because it has to work." He held to this plan even though the Prime Minister of Iraq didn't want it. He did it even though the plan relies on an Iraqi army who openly laugh at our troops who are taking the lead and doing their job for them.
And he continued to make threatening noises toward Iran in the process. We're going to end up in multiple wars and completely isolated on the global stage if this madman isn't checked, and one of the few people who, with backbone and principle, is trying to do something about it, THIS is the guy you offer up for mockery.
The failure to listen and challenge White House spin, the failure to look at anything except through the lens of politics, is what got us here in the first place. The media continues to fail to learn their lesson. And more people die, and the world is less safe, in the process.
[UPDATE] Here's the thing. I don't hate Dana Milbank, he's generally one of the better reporters in Wahsington, but his columns all too frequently have this Maureen Dowd-like quality to boil everything down to process and how people sound and look and a bunch of other crap that does nothing but alienate Americans from their leaders. This can be seen in pretty much all the assembled output of Joke Line, who loves him some Jim Webb because he drinks beer like a manly man, but hates John Kerry because he's effete and drinks Chablis. Policies don't appear to matter to these people, they instead treat politics like a high-school dance where they decide who they like based on what barrette is in their hair. Well, this has to stop. It's corrosive and severely damages the ability to have a well-informed citizenry.