John Kerry appears unable to formulate a demagogic attack on President Bush that has any bite. He has no shortage of demagogic attacks, but from his lips they seem to me incredibly lame. His most recent shot across Bush’s bow is his criticism of the president’s attendance at the Daytona 500 yesterday: “We don’t need a president who just says, ‘Gentlemen start your engines.’ We need a president who says, ‘America, let’s start our economy and put people back to work.'”
To paraphrase an old William Buckley column on political rhetoric like this, I say we need a president who says, “Let’s cut the crap.” I hope he’s not paying anybody to write dreck like that; I’m pretty confident it won’t inspire any defections from NASCAR nation. The AP report on Kerry’s speech is “Kerry attacks Bush’s economic policies.”
Just in the nick of time comes Mark Steyn to ponder Kerry’s meditations on economics. When Steyn turns from the issue of media coverage to the substance of the Kerry campaign — Kerry’s current jeremiads against that demon “outsourcing” — the anger recedes while the humor remains high:
[T]o date, the John Kerry presidential candidacy to keep jobs in America has exported its campaign calls to Ontario, its sex scandal to Kenya, and the spousal ketchup to Middlesex. What’s wrong with this picture? Nothing. Except Kerry’s hostility to the global economy. Part of this is just the necessary image re-positioning of a politician who suffers from the disadvantage that hardly anything about him appears to be American-made. His education, for example, was outsourced to a Swiss finishing school. But the rest of it betrays an ignorance about how the world works.
Steyn’s Telegraph column is “The default Democrat from another world.”