Tuesday, September 13, 2005

John Kerry: The First Democrat To Stand Up To George Bush

Is there some reason some people either do not hear John Kerry or forget what he says?

Checking on the links to The Democratic Daily, one comes from a site which acts shocked that Kerry is speaking out against Bush. It’s not only today. Every time Kerry speaks out–and it happens quite frequently– there’s a round of comments along the lines that its about time Kerry did so. Such comments typically claim Kerry has grown a backbone (or other anatomical parts). Soon afterwards, on another day, Kerry will speak out against Bush again. Then there is inevitably another round claiming this is the first time.

It’s far from the first time. John Kerry was speaking out against Bush before very many were doing so, just as he spoke out against Richard Nixon on Vietnam and Ronald Reagan on Iran Contra. For example, it was John Kerry who called for regime change in the United States when Bush went into Iraq.

Check out the title of this New York Times article from 2002 for more evidence of who was among the first to criticize Bush (emphasis mine):

By Attacking Bush, Kerry Sets Himself Apart
By James Dao
New York Times | Politics
Wednesday, 31 July, 2002

WASHINGTON, July 30 — Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was cruising through a Senate hearing on arms control, charming his Democratic adversaries and deftly parrying their questions, when Senator John Kerry, a Democrat from Massachusetts, took the microphone.

In the aggressive style he honed as a prosecutor two decades ago, Mr. Kerry unleashed a barrage of criticism against President Bush’s nuclear arms treaty with Russia, saying it “neutered” previous pacts and included a “huge contradiction.” Twice, he interrupted a clearly irritated Mr. Powell in midsentence.

For many Democrats, the war on terrorism has made that kind of frontal assault on Bush foreign policy seem risky, if not politically suicidal. But not for Mr. Kerry. A decorated Vietnam veteran and potential presidential candidate, he has lustily attacked the administration on policies like trans-Atlantic relations, Pentagon spending, Middle East negotiations and even Mr. Bush’s greatest triumph, Afghanistan.

“I think there were serious errors,” Mr. Kerry said in an interview, referring to the American ground campaign in Afghanistan that he contends probably allowed Osama bin Laden to slip into Pakistan. He made the point again on Monday as he joined other potential presidential candidates in speaking to centrist Democrats in New York.

The full text was originally here, and is also available here.

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