Clearing the Fog
in the
War of Words


  logomachy--1. A dispute about words. 2. A dispute carried on in words only; a battle of words.
logomachon--1. One who argues about words. 2. A word warrior.



Kerry's Extreme Makeover on Iraq

Kerry's Extreme Makeover on Iraq

Maybe you have already read some of the quotations at NRO from the RNC's video showing how Kerry went from supporting war to remove Saddam Hussein to being opposed to the war to remove Saddam Hussein.

I'm not going to talk about it. Go see it. It's great. It makes clear that Kerry was a hawk on Iraq until he had to counter Howard Dean's challenge in the primaries. It also makes clear that he didn't just change his mind, he flip-flopped, rope-a-doped, and ducked and rolled.

Kerry now tries to explain that he hasn't flip-flopped, he just thinks the way Bush went about the war was a "mistake". In view of what he says were Bush's mistakes, two clips are particularly delicious:
His 1997 statement that France's and Russia's opposition to removing Saddam had put them "in a box" from which they would have "enormous difficulty following up" on continued violations by Iraq. (To true, John, and you weren't even talking about Oil for Food money being spent on French and Russian weapons.)
And his 1998 declaration that he was "way ahead of the commander-in-chief (Clinton)", his colleagues, and the country, in advocating an invasion if Saddam did not immediately comply. (Until he needed to get way ahead of Howard Dean in the primary.)

Can Liberals be Patriots?

Can Liberals be Patriots?

A friend just sent me this e-mail.
I just saw a clip on CNN -- part of an interview (at the Dem convention) with Richard Dreyfuss. He was, in his best "Mr Holland" hat, trying to explain intellectually the situation we face in America. He said (as far as I can recall) that we have two opinions in this country:
One group dogmatically believes that America is a fixed entity, bound north and south by Canada and Mexico, that must be defended at the cost of our children and grandchildren.
The other group, he said, believes that America is more an "idea" or an "ideal," existing more as a state of mind . . . intimating that as such, it must be flexible, open to change and progress, etc.
The CNN flack was eating it up.

Thirty or forty years ago William Buckley or someone commented that liberals can't be patriots because their loyalty is to an idea of the perfect country that is to come, rather than to a real place where real people live. Starting with anti-antiCommunists, liberals have become more and more touchy about that insight. During WW III, they replied to any question about their foreign policy proposals by instantly crying of "McCathyism!"; more recently, they have taken to whining "You're questioning my patriotism".

Now Richard Dreyfuss has let the cat out of the bag.

It makes sense of Ed Rendell's speech this evening on the DNC's "Make America Stronger" theme. The secret is Kerry's plan of energy independence through an industrial policy (Fascism), price controls (Fascism), jobs program (Fascism), trade wars (Fascism), new technologies (more Fascistic dreams, promised also by Teresa), and a cleaner environment (eco-Fascism).

Paired with "Make America Stronger" is another catchphrase, "We can do better". The Democrats don't want America ever to be strong. They can't stand that America is strong and that President Bush has used America's strength to strike our enemies. But they do have a plan for future strength, their future strength, by leading America in pursuit of an unattainable goal. Their prescription for "making America stronger" is the same as their pie-in-the-sky prescription for anything: give us power, let us cower lest someone mean hurt us, let us try to control all the little and big uncontrollable things in life, keep giving us more power until we reach that goal.

Dems make me gag

Dems make me gag

Teresa on the little levers of power

"With John Kerry as President, global climate change and other threats to the health of our planet will begin to be reversed."--Teresa Heinz Kerry

Although she doesn't say it in so many words, Teresa (who all Democrats admit is really smart) believes there are little levers in the desk in the Oval Office that can "invent the technologies . . . and conservation methods . . . and alternative fuels . . . of the future".

We all knew about the levers that can "create good, competitive, and sustainable jobs", because the Dems have been telling us that GWB is just too mean-spirited, too radical and extreme, and too committed to oil industry profits to use them. But this is new. John "Band of Mongols" Kerry has discovered where the Oval Office climate control levers are (make that Climate Control), right next to the ones that give the president control over future technologies. Unlike a Republican president during 2005-2009, JFKy won't be be limited to the technologies of today.

Clinton on Kerry the "war hero"

I almost gagged when I heard Bill Clinton talk about Bush, Cheney, and himself as men who "chose" not to go to Vietnam.

According to Clinton, John Kerry said "Send me". Actually, Kerry said "Send me to a project that won't go to Nam until I'm off active duty". As it happened, the Swift boats were first assigned to off-shore anti-smuggling patrols, then, soon after Kerry arrived, assigned to much hotter riverine patrols. Four months after he arrived in-country, on the basis of some questionable Purple Hearts, Kerry got himself reassigned to a politically advantageous stateside position as an admiral's aide, at the insistence of his superior officers, who didn't want him in their command.

The Democrats refer to Bush's National Guard service and Cheney's student deferments as "draft-dodging". But Clinton's actual draft dodging--lying and cheating--is "choosing". But it's too late in the day to expect distinctions between what was honorable and dishonorable to register with Clinton or the rest of the party. The people who cheered Bent Willie on Monday are the same people who 35 years ago were declaring that the draft dodgers and people who went to Canada were "the real patriots" and the "fascist Johnson-Nixon regime" was subjecting draftees to involuntary servitude. But they had it wrong. Military service and Vietnam were things you chose.

Thanks for telling me.


John Kerry, Girlie-Man

John Kerry, Girlie-Man

We expect our politicians to fight for what they believe in, even when we don’t believe in the same things. We don’t want them to be “girlie-men”, afraid to “stand up to the special interests”.

John Kerry, like most politicians, is always promising to “fight for” this or that. It’s a big part of the image he is trying to build. Google finds nearly 500 hits of him declaring “I’m a fighter”.

But Kerry’s no extremist on the image thing. In early July he told an interviewer for the Dubuque, Iowa, Telegraph Herald, "I oppose abortion, personally. I don't like abortion. I believe life does begin at conception."
But he won’t fight for that belief. He’s too nuanced for that.

"I can't take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant or a Jew or an atheist," he continued in the interview. "We have separation of church and state in the United States of America."

Politically and theologically, this is incoherent. It is phrased like considered action based on principle, except the action belies the principle and the principle has nothing to do with the facts of the situation. (See Mark Steyn for more.)

Kerry hasn’t just refrained from imposing his views on those who disagree with him. He has vigorously and consistently opposed every attempt to restrict abortion and has enthusiastically courted the abortion industry’s political support--"sucked up to" is a fair characterization. He thinks abortion is homicide, but declares that opposition to homicide is just one of those crazy quirks of Catholic doctrine that Protestants, Jew, and atheists couldn’t possibly share, despite the fact that murder has been on the books everywhere since, oh, since forever. Apparently, he has forgotten that no longer ago than today the "Protestant fundamentalists" of the "Christian Right" oppose abortion.

Two things are possible here: either Kerry is abysmally ignorant of basic Catholic teaching—-among other things, that murder is contrary to human nature, that is, against natural law, and not an article of faith—-and of basic principles of American democracy, and further, is incapable of thinking coherently about those principles, or he is being deliberately distorting and misleading. Either way, it is one more indication that he is a hollow man, an empty suit inside a crispy shell of ambition, a girlie-man, who believes only in getting elected.

Back in Dubuque, the Post reported, Kerry had a "photo opportunity on the spot where the 1989 movie 'Field of Dreams' was filmed. Kerry took a turn at bat, fielded ground balls at second base and pitched to an assortment of kids."

But he didn’t do so well in the big leagues. Yesterday he slipped into Boston for the Yankee-Red Sox game, where he threw out the first pitch. As NPR reported, he threw the ball in a slow arch that bounced on the ground well short of the plate. The NPR reporter got the reaction of a couple of pre-teen fans in the front row: “He threw like a girl”.

John Kerry, girlie-man.



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