Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Kerry Bashing For The Sake of Kerry Bashing

John Kerry has announced that he will take no action to prevent the inclusion of a plank supporting gay marriage in the Massachusetts Democratic Party platform despite his religious objections to gay marriage. This is consistent with his long standing policy of avoiding imposing his religious beliefs on others, in accordance with his principles supporting church and state. Kerry has a 100% voting record on issues of gay and lesbian rights. Gay.com has said the following of Kerry's record:
If gay voters wanted a better champion than John Kerry, they'd have to invent him. The three-term senator boasts a near-perfect voting record on gay and AIDS-related causes, a record virtually unrivaled among national politicians.

Kerry has gone far beyond allies who vote with the community but risk little in doing so. He has sponsored federal gay rights legislation dating to 1985, when such stances were considered far more politically dangerous, and early HIV-prevention and treatment bills.

During the 1993 backlash against President Clinton's effort to lift the military ban on gay service members, Kerry faced down fellow Democratic senator Sam Nunn in riveting congressional testimony. And Kerry was one of only 14 senators to vote against the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.
This report is not anything new. Instead it is one way in which John Kerry's answer to a loaded question from the Boston Globe might have been reported.

Kerry-bashers took a different approach, stressing Kerry's personal opinion against having a pro-gay marriage plank, despite the fact that he has no plans to prevent the plank from being in the platform.

Some blogs have engaged in an orgy of Kerry-bashing over his comment They started with the premise that Kerry was wrong, and took it from there. Some bloggers claimed that Kerry went out of his way to bash the plank, when in reality he only responded when asked a direct question. Point that out, and they will object to how he answered, claiming he should have avoided giving his opinion. Of course these are the same people who regularly misquote Kerry and then claim his answers are waffling and too nuanced. While it is fair to disagree with Kerry on the platform, as well as on gay marriage, it is certainly understandable why Kerry might feel it is a mistake to openly campaign in favor of gay marriage so soon after being beaten in an election where the Republicans used the issue to turn out an unexpected number of people voting on such so-called moral issues.

Other facts, such as Howard Dean also favoring civil unions over gay marriage, or Barney Frank's opposition to the plank, also are ignored by the Kerry bashers.

Kerry is called an opportunist over his statement, but he showed his character during the 2004 election. Bill Clinton advised Kerry to support the anti-gay marriage proposals in states where they were on the ballot in order to pick up more votes. Kerry refused to compromise his principles. While he has accepted the hypothetical possibility of a state amendment, in reality it is unlikely he will find one he can support. Kerry has such strict requirements for ensuring full legal equality through civil unions that it is questionable if any anti-gay marriage proposal would ever meet these requirements to gain Kerry's support.

Perhaps the worst of the Kerry bashers is Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga of Daily Kos. Previously one of the bloggers paid by the Dean campaign to improve Dean's reputation in the blogosphere, Moulitsas is like one of the Japanese soldiers found on a Pacific island after World War II who didn't realize the war was over. He continues to view everything as an opportunity for Kerry-bashing long after the primaries, and even the election, are over.

Besides twisting Kerry's position on gay rights to attack him, Moulitsas also resorted to fabricating a quote this week. The Boston Globe, in an article on Kerry speaking out against the Republican leadership in Congress, portrayed him as an outsider. Although Kerry did not apply this over-used term to himself, Moulitsas, who should be happy to see Kerry taking on the GOP leadership, began making fun of Kerry by inventing a non-existent Kerry quote of "no really, I'm an outsider."

This is typical of Moulitsas's strategy of creating a straw man to attack rather than reviewing what Kerry has actually said or done. The ditto heads on his blog then repeat the same anti-Kerry mantras, fortunately with some members objecting.

Moulitsas appears to desire to become a major player in Democratic politics, but instead is quickly becoming the Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter of the left. Moulitsas's first Ann Coulter-moment was when he showed pleasure over the death of paid civilians working in Iraq (for which he did ultimately apologize). Moulitsas's Kerry-hatred has biased his other reporting, such as when he interpreted the Tony Blair's electoral problems as being due to following the advice of Kerry's advisors, ignoring Blair's use of at least one former Dean advisor. He has also interpreted Blair's decreased support as a warning against movement towards the center. Not only isn't this supported by facts in Britain, Kos's attacks on centrism are hardly consistent with his unwavering support for Howard Dean. After all, while Dean spent a few months on the far left as Presidential candidate, he spent his year's as Vermont Governor firmly in the center, and returned to the center when campaigning for the DNC Chair.

While reading the ditto heads on Daily Kos would give the impression that bloggers agree with this hatred of all things Kerry, most blogs refrained from bashing Kerry for his remarks this week. Kerry also received a number of posts in support (for example, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).


Blogger IFK Editor said...

Another on the money post Ron. Thanks.

Have you tried to publicize your blog more? See if you can create an rss feed so more people can see your content.

For instance Yahoo has an rss feed, that I think you can get added too somehow.

I'm looking into it too.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Ron Chusid said...

THere is a RSS feed, with link for info near the top of the right side of the main page.

We are concentrating on Light Up The Darkness, and word is spreading with page loads now averaging over 1000 per day.

10:49 AM  

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