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March 19, 2004
Kerry's Theme Song: Call Me Irresponsible

Call me irresponsible,
Call me unreliable,
Throw in undependable too ...
Do my foolish alibis bore you?

John Kerry may have to adopt this as his new campaign theme song, now that ABC News has captured yet another John Kerry flip-flop on videotape:

In an interview several weeks before he voted against $87 billion in funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., seemed to argue that such a vote would be reckless, irresponsible, and tantamount to abandoning U.S. troops. ...

Asked if he would vote against the $87 billion if his amendment did not pass, Kerry said, "I don't think any United States senator is going to abandon our troops and recklessly leave Iraq to whatever follows as a result of simply cutting and running. That's irresponsible."

Kerry argued that his amendment offered a way to do it properly, "but I don't think anyone in the Congress is going to not give our troops ammunition, not give our troops the ability to be able to defend themselves. We're not going to cut and run and not do the job."

Of course, the new George Bush ads feature John Kerry's tortured explanation of his voting record on the funding for the troops in Iraq: "I actually did vote for the 87 billion before I voted against it." And vote against it he did, even though a few weeks earlier, he denounced any such vote as reckless and irresponsible. The Kerry campaign's response that his 'nay' was a "protest vote" is unlikely to counteract the damage that Kerry's own words are doing to him this month.

In fact, ABC News political director Mark Halperin probably predicts the long-term outlook of this presidential campaign when he says, "John Kerry has years and years of public statements including recent ones that the Republicans seem to have more thoroughly catalogued and at-the-ready than the Kerry campaign does." Either the Democrats have once again underestimated George Bush, or wildly overestimated Kerry's "electability," the very quality that convinced primary voters to dump Howard Dean and embrace Kerry.

What really happened was that when the vote was taken on the funding package, Kerry saw that the primary winds were blowing radically anti-war, and he was desperate to prove his street creds with the MoveOn contingent that was making the most noise. It was part of a strategy Kerry employed to co-opt Dean's message and Dean's support as Dean himself imploded under the weight of his own words. He shifted his position, as he has whenever he sensed advantages in doing so, and now he finds himself trapped by his own big mouth yet again.

John Kerry is about to be beat like a drum all the way to November, and the only ones who don't know it now are the Ted Rall contingent. I doubt that Kerry will withdraw, but unless he develops a sudden case of laryngitis that lasts a year or so, he'll continue to write Republican ads all by himself.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 19, 2004 7:23 PM

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