Hands off John Kerry

To get a sense of the Democratic position about criticism of John Kerry, consider the following imaginary dialogue between and Republican and a Democrat:
R — I’m disturbed by what Kerry did when he got back from Vietnam, accusing his brothers of war crimes, denouncing his country, and opposing the use of force by the U.S. unless approved by the U.N.
D — He was a young man then, and had undergone difficult experiences in Vietnam. This was the early 1970s, more than 30 years ago.
R — But the trend continued. In the 1990s, he opposed weapon system after weapons system.
D — The cold war had ended. We didn’t need all of that stuff. Even the Republcans were in favor of a military build-down.
R — But Kerry had campaigned for the Senate on a build-down during the mid-1980s when the cold war was still on.
D — There you go again. Talking about stuff that’s almost 20 years old.
R — But what the past few years? He flip-flopped on the war and voted against supporting our troops in the field.
D — Kerry felt there was a right way to go after Saddam and a wrong way. Bush was proceeding without a real international coalition.
R — But what about 1991, when he opposed going to war with Saddam after the invasion of Kuwait? The U.S. had an enormous coalition and the full backing of the U.N. Yet Kerry still wasn’t willing to deal with Saddam. Whatever decade you look at, this is a guy who won’t support the use of force to protect our interests.
D — It sounds like you’re questioning John Kerry’s patriotism. This is a man who won medal after medal defending his country in Vietnam.
R — And we respect that, although he does seem to have exaggerated his service.
D — It was more service than George W. Bush provided.
R — Right, although he still shouldn’t exaggerate it. But what really bothers me is what Kerry did when he got back from Vietnam.
D — He was a young man then. . .


Books to read from Power Line