Peddling dishonor

In the piece posted earlier today by Trunk, Charles Krauthammer ridicules John Kerry’s proposed solution to the problem of Iraq — going to the U.N. Krauthammer explains that this position is a loser politically because “Americans are a serious people, war is a serious business, and what John Kerry is offering is simply not serious. Americans may be unsure whether Bush has a plan for success in Iraq. But they sure as hell know that going to U.N. headquarters, visiting foreign capitals and promising lots of jaw-jaw is no plan at all.”
The interesting question to me is why Kerry is offering such a lame proposal. It is true that some polling before the war started showed that Americans favored war only if the U.N. supported that action. However, now that we are engaged, and the U.N. has been exposed as feckless and corrupt, the public isn’t likely to rally around a solution that involves going hat-in-hand to French and Russia diplomats. Indeed, such an approach will strike many as dishonorable. So why is Kerry pushing it?
It may simply be that he is tone-deaf. Or it may be that he feels no other position is available to him. He isn’t courageous enough (and may feel constrained by prior statements) to say what, most likely, he really thinks — that we should leave Iraq. But he can’t take a “me-too” position on the only issue as to which Bush currently seems vulnerable, now that the economy is taking off. Nor can he easily take what may be the best position — that we need to finish the job with or without the help of others, but should never have gone to war in the first place — since he voted to for the war.
It can’t be easy to be John Kerry right now.


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