The President’s self-inflicted wounds have hurt him with the American public, and the Democrats are salivating at the idea that they may actually be able to beat him next November. And indeed they may. But it remains to be seen whether the Democrats will be able to put their historic anti-defense and anti-intelligence biases behind them, so as to present a plausible face to the voters in 2004.
Polipundit pointed us to this Republican National Committee research on John Kerry’s record on intelligence. The facts, as you might imagine, aren’t pretty.
Kerry, whose involvement in politics arose out of his virulent opposition to the Vietnam War, said at the beginning of his career that he would like to “almost eliminate CIA activity.” This might be defended as a youthful indiscretion, except that throughout his career in the Senate, Kerry has acted in a manner consistent with those early sentiments. In 1994 he tried to cut $1 billion from the intelligence agencies’ budgets. In 1995 Kerry offered legislation to “reduce the intelligence budget by $300 million” in each of the fiscal years 1996 to 2000. His bill never made it to the floor.
To Democrats of Kerry’s generation, American power is a threat to peace, not the source of our security. The CIA, especially, has been viewed with open hostility as an oppressor of third-world socialist movements. These beliefs are at the core of the value systems of liberals like John Kerry, and they are entirely out of step with the views of the American people. It will be interesting to see how successful Kerry and most of the other Democratic candidates will be in putting their anti-defense and anti-intelligence pasts behind them.
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