Memo To Democrats: Don’t Forget The 2004 Republican National Convention
I hope we haven’t forgotten what the Republicans did to John Kerry in 2004. While the Democrats weirdly operated under a "no Bush-bashing" rule — after weeks of concern trolling about how voters were tired of negative attacks — the Republicans waited for their turn and watched the Dems week-long lovefest. And then they promptly spent their week tearing Kerry’s face off.
While it was rare to hear the word "Bush" at the Democratic convention, the Republicans made their convention an auto de fe for Kerry.
When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, John Kerry voted against the Persian Gulf War. Later he said he actually supported the war. Then in 2002, as he was calculating his run for President, he voted for the war in Iraq. And then just 9 months later, he voted against an $87 billion supplemental budget to fund the war and support our troops.
He even, at one point, declared himself an anti-war candidate. Now, he says he’s pro-war. At this rate, with 64 days left, he still has time to change his position at least three or four more times.
My point about John Kerry being inconsistent is best described in his own words when he said, "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it." Maybe this explains John Edwards’ need for two Americas – – one where John Kerry can vote for something and another where he can vote against the same thing.
Even in this post-9/11 period, Senator Kerry doesn’t appear to understand how the world has changed. He talks about leading a "more sensitive war on terror," as though Al Qaeda will be impressed with our softer side.
On Iraq, Senator Kerry has disagreed with many of his fellow Democrats. But Senator Kerry’s liveliest disagreement is with himself. His back-and- forth reflects a habit of indecision, and sends a message of confusion. And it is all part of a pattern. He has, in the last several years, been for the No Child Left Behind Act — and against it. He has spoken in favor of the North American Free Trade Agreement — and against it. He is for the Patriot Act — and against it. Senator Kerry says he sees two Americas. It makes the whole thing mutual — America sees two John Kerrys.
George W. Bush says what he means, he means what he says, you can trust him. Senator Kerry, on the other hand… Well, what can we say of Senator Kerry?
He was for the war and then he was against the war. Then he was for it but he wouldn’t fund it. Then he’d fund it but he wasn’t for it.
He was for the Patriot Act until he was against it. Or was he against it until he was for it?
I forget. He probably does too.
This is a candidate who has to Google his own name to find out where he stands.
John Kerry remains the personal injury lawyers’ best friend. George Bush will put the interests of patients, doctors and nurses first.
But this requires strong leadership. Now, Senator Kerry’s leadership is illustrated best by the Senator himself when he said, "I actually voted for the 87 billion dollars before I voted against it."
He also recently said that he doesn’t want to use the word "war" to describe our efforts to fight terrorism.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I don’t want to use the words "commander in chief" to describe John Kerry.
And to those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: "Don’t be economic girlie men!"
This is just a small sample. And of course, we all remember Zell.
What was the result of all this? Combined with the Swift Boat attacks, it was devastating. The Republicans spent a week in primetime bashing Kerry and reinforcing the negative attacks of Rove’s campaign — and Kerry never recovered.
Take a look at who’s speaking at this year’s RNCC. Same crowd. Do you think it’s going to be any different?
Let’s hope the Democrats learned their lesson.