Kerry Watch:

Andrew Sullivan:

"I was mainlining C-SPAN yesterday. The John Kerry event was fascinating it was so awful. I must say I find his Shrum-populism sad and dumb at the same time - the pathetic demonization of drug companies, and the vapid citation of Enron and Worldcom in whatever context he feels like dumping on Bush, to name a couple of examples. The fact that he isn't satisfied with the vast new Medicare entitlement is scary; that he wants essentially to undo solid testing standards in the No Child Left Behind Act is scarier; and that his first act as commander-in-chief would essentially be to return to the U.N. and tell them that America's war on terror is now in their hands is terrifying. He even wants to lower the retirement age for Petessake. All of this is a major reality check for those with disappointments with this president (ahem). Kerry couldn't even say a bad word about Malcolm X (and lapsed wonderfully into French during the post-stump chit-chat). He kept speaking of the American commitment in Iraq as entirely unilateral. He droned monotonously on, that stooped back and drooping face looming toward whichever poor schmuck he was condescending to at the moment. I know this much: he's a shameless panderer to the paleos on the stump. I also know his voting record is all over the map, and that his policy zig-zaggery is a legend. He has, in other words, all the liberal baggage with none of the liberal fire. There's a reason his campaign didn't catch alight for a year! Maybe he'd provide a close race as the Newsweek poll suggests (but many readers have let me know they think that poll is dubious). But he doesn't impress me at this point. In fact, he's only where he is because of Dean scaring the Dems into panicked timidity. And surely there's still time for them to realize he's a cynical drone! C'mon, New Hampshire. Give us a shock."

The case for war

More from Andrew Sullivan:

"It was never incumbent on the world community to prove that Iraq had dismantled its WMD program before the war. It was incumbent on Saddam to show otherwise. He refused - either because he was being lied to and wanted to conceal weapons that did not exist, or because such an admission of impotence would have been terribly damaging to the dictator's reputation, both internally and with regard to Iran, or because he was slowly going nuts and his regime was collapsing from within. But what matters is that he refused. The responsibility for the war therefore lies squarely with the dictator. Moreover, we know that if Saddam had been left in power and sanctions lifted, he would have attempted to restart such programs - and indeed Kay has found a vast apparatus of components, scientists and plans to achieve exactly such a result. Kay has now told us that Saddam was working on a ricin-based biological weapon right up to the eve of the invasion. We know now something else: his tyranny was worse, more depraved and more brutal than we believed to be the case before. The moral and strategic case for his removal appears stronger now than ever. We also have a chance to move one part of the Arab world toward some kind of open, pluralist society."


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