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March 7, 2004
Telegraph: John Flip-Flop Kerry

In another article on the presidential race, the UK Telegraph has an excellent review of John Kerry's flip-flops -- the kind of research that the US media seems reluctant to do:

Forget the occasional about-face on defence policy and the Iraq war, in the mawkish world of American politics one of the most fundamental questions a candidate can face is: Do they have any Irish blood? ... In a speech to the Senate in 1986 he even said: "For those of us who are fortunate to share an Irish ancestry, we take great pride in the contributions [of] Irish-Americans."

When presented with proof that Mr Kerry's grandfather was the Jewish-born Fritz Kohn, the senator's aides reversed their position without a backward glance. "He has never indicated to anyone that he was Irish and corrected people over the years who assumed he was," said Kelly Benander, a Democrat spokeswoman.

While this is a somewhat silly example of Kerry's prevarications, it's certainly indicative of his general character and his propensity for landing squarely on both sides of any issue. The Telegraph also notes:

As the campaign gets under way, it's a fair bet there will be a role for Wallace Carter, a constituent of Sen Kerry's from Massachusetts. Two letters dispatched to Mr Carter in 1991 provide evidence of the speed with which Mr Kerry can change his mind.

"Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to the early use of military force by the US against Iraq. I share your concerns," the first letter assures Mr Carter. "I voted in favour of a resolution that would have insisted that economic sanctions be given more time to work and against a resolution giving the President the immediate authority to go to war."

Just nine days later Mr Carter was surprised to receive another letter with an opposing view. "Thank you very much for contacting me to express your support for the actions of President Bush in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait," it said. "From the outset of the invasion, I have strongly and unequivocally supported President Bush's response to the crisis and the policy goals he has established with our military deployment in the Persian Gulf."

He didn't get any better with the 2002 Iraqi vote, either, or on the Patriot Act, for which he voted and against which he now campaigns. The article also reviews Kerry's use of the Vietnam War and the smear campaign against Bush's National Guard service against his earlier statements in defense of the draft-dodging Democratic Presidential candidate in 1992:

An earlier John Kerry, however, deplored the use of Vietnam as a campaign card. In the run-up to the 1992 election Mr Kerry said: "I am saddened by the fact that Vietnam has yet again been inserted into the campaign. What saddens me most is that Democrats, above all those who shared the agonies of that generation, should now be re-fighting the many conflicts of Vietnam in order to win the current political conflict of a presidential primary."

This article gives yet another example of how the media across the pond seems to be doing a much better job of covering John Kerry than anything we're seeing from the American media, who fancy themselves the watchdogs of US politics. Either the American media are pathetically incompetent or they're deliberately laying off John Kerry. Make sure you read the entire article.

UPDATE: The California Yankee links to a funny game at the RNC site about Kerry's flip-flops, along with a couple of links to check out.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 7, 2004 11:05 AM

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