Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Trying to be cool about this

But this really kind of bugs me a bit.

One of them, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, said in a news conference that General Clark would have to explain why he had supported Republicans like Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Mr. Kerry spoke after being endorsed by the International Association of Firefighters.

Howard Dean, in an appearance on ABC, also said he was surprised that General Clark had voted for the two Republicans. Asked if the general was a true Democrat, Dr. Dean said, "I think that we have to find out about that."

No, I'm not really bugged that Clark supported Republicans. I think the comments he's made over the past few years show that he's left of center and, in some areas, further left than Dean. What bugs me is that Clark says honestly who he voted for and people try to make a case out of it.

But, hey, look at the facts people. I was only one year old at the time, but even I know that McGovern, good guy that he was, got his ass kicked by Nixon in 1972 as had Humphrey in 1968, though not as severely. Does anyone believe that his wins would have been possible without at least some Democratic support?

And, hey, Reagan had his own name brand line of Democrat to help his walk over Carter. Plenty of Dems have voted for Republicans and plenty of Republicans voted for Clinton. I think the fact that the guy isn't a partisan helps him in the long run (as long as the issues are there for Dems in the primary).

Even funnier, though, is Kerry trying to punk Clark as a "faux Democrat." Kerry's political stances are fine, but does he think that we won't remember this bit from "Meet the Press"?

MR. RUSSERT: But there’s a lot of discussion in the ’90s about you trying to cast off some of the orthodoxy of the Democratic Party, being described as a New Democrat. What caught a lot of people’s attention was the 1994 election, when the Republicans won both houses of Congress, Newt Gingrich became speaker of the House, and this is what you told the Boston Herald: “Sen. John F. Kerry broke from Democratic Party ranks, saying he was ‘delighted’ by the GOP election purge and laying the blame on the doorstep of President Clinton and arrogant House leaders. ...‘I want this change. I’m delighted with seeing an institutional shakeup because I think we need one,’ Kerry said in a Herald interview. ‘The Democrats have articulated in the last two years a very poor agenda. It’s hard for me to believe that some of these guys could have been as either arrogant or obtuse as to not know where the American people were coming from.’ Kerry deliberately set himself apart from Kennedy...He said Kennedy and Clinton’s insistence on pushing health care reform was a major cause of the Democratic Party’s problems at the polls. When told his calls for ‘change’ did not match Kennedy’s re-election rhetoric, Kerry smiled and said: ‘I’m amazed people didn’t pick up on it.’”

You were clearly separating yourself from Clinton and from Kennedy on the issue of health care...

SEN. KERRY: I was upset, Tim.

MR. RUSSERT: ...and delighted by Newt Gingrich?

SEN. KERRY: No, I was upset at what had happened in 1994.

Click the link if you want to really read why he said he was mad, but I don't think he really has room to be chastising other Democrats for supporting Republicans in the past. I'll support Kerry if, in the end, he gets the nod, but he really needs to keep his Pot v. Kettle testimonies to himself.


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