The salute

Outside the Beltway:

The opening salute with "reporting for duty" was lame beyond words. Jay Severin, interviewed on the Don Imus show this morning, observed that it was more "Village People" than "John Wayne." I must concur. Not only was it incredibly hokey but it was one of the most half-hearted, limp wristed salutes of all time. Didn't the Navy teach the man how to render a hand salute?

Plus, while I get that he's apparently basing his entire campaign on the facts that 1) he went to Vietnam and 2) he's not George W. Bush, I'm constantly bemused that a man who has been in the public spotlight for thirty-odd years wants us to think that he left Vietnam and suddenly emerged last week wanting to be president. His entire political career has been elided for the purposes of the campaign. I honestly can't recall a presidential nominee who didn't point to any achievements from his adult career.
Joynor all links several other blog comments on the speech that are worth checking, including:

  • Stephen Green: "Man, they didn't let me get away with salutes that sloppy in high school."
and,

  • Steven Taylor notes that several parts of the speech were "pilfered" and that the salute was "more evocative of Gilligan than it was of the Commander in Chief."
Shirk any burden

James Tarranto:

We Shall Shirk Any Burden
The least persuasive part of Kerry's speech had to do with foreign policy:

I know what we have to do in Iraq. We need a President who has the credibility to bring our allies to our side and share the burden, reduce the cost to American taxpayers, and reduce the risk to American soldiers. That's the right way to get the job done and bring our troops home.

Here is the reality: that won't happen until we have a president who restores America's respect and leadership--so we don't have to go it alone in the world.

And we need to rebuild our alliances, so we can get the terrorists before they get us.

Kerry made no mention of Britain, Australia, Poland, Italy, Japan or the other allies that actually have contributed to the Iraqi effort. (Nor did he mention Israel, the ally that has suffered the most from Islamist terrorism.) And the notion that fair-weather "allies" like the French and Germans have either the military capability or the inclination to relieve America's burden is so utterly fatuous that it alone disqualifies Kerry for the presidency.

What Kerry is attempting to do is say President Bush is responsible for the bad conduct and bad faith of France and Germany. The price of the respect of those two right now is too high for any president who is truly interested in US national security.

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