John Kerry — deferential liberal

Mark Steyn thinks that John Kerry’s address to the convention was “classic Kerry: verbose, shapeless, platitudinous, complacent, ill-disciplined, arrogant, and humourless.” It was the speach of a man who, in place of a vision, has a “default position.” As Steyn describes it:
“[Kerry’s] default position is the conventional wisdom of the Massachusetts Left: on foreign policy, foreigners know best; on trade, the labour unions know best; on government, bureaucrats know best; on defence graying ponytailed nuclear-freeze reflex anti-militarists know best; on the wine list, he knows best.”
But, no longer having much commitment to the policies these default positions produce (except perhaps when it comes to ordering wine), Kerry is willing to override them whenever it seems expedient to do so. This fortunate tendency may explain another phenomenon that Steyn and others have observed — Kerry’s heavy reliance on others to speak for him. It is hard enough, one suspects, to be fired up by prejudices no longer deeply held (let Ted Kennedy handle that part). How can we expect Kerry to enthusiastically embrace the politically calibrated retreat from those prejudices when John Edwards is available?


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