June 03, 2004


Doug Payton sets the record straight:

I was dead wrong. Alexandra Polier, the intern that a Wesley Clarke aide, and later the Drudge Report, said had had an affair of some sort with John Kerry gives the step-by-step description of what she went through during the whole media handling of the story. While Drudge certainly took front and center when he posted the story, blame doesn't lay with him alone by any means. The article hits both new and old media (and some friends of Alexandra's) that all share culpability.

And in some small way it rubs off on me, since I wasn't entirely skeptical enough. I did, however, take her word for it when she denied it, so I hope that counts for something.

I apologize to both Polier and Kerry. I jumped the gun and got slapped back fair and square. I suppose that's easy for me, a miniscule voice in the blogosphere, but I think it's worth saying anyway.

Well said, and the same goes for me. I was wrong, and I apologise.

UPDATE. And here’s a positive development at Kerry headquarters -- the Senator’s staffers aren’t kissing up to anti-war journalists:

How do you deal with terrorists? You crush 'em, said Burton, continually shutting down the conversation when I brought up the wimp concept of "root causes." There lay only danger and weakness, apparently. The least suggestion that injustice may be a cause of global insecurity "is giving terrorists a cover." End of conversation.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 3, 2004 02:18 PM

credit where credit's due...

Posted by: Swade at June 3, 2004 at 02:50 PM

He mentions wrecked infrastructure? Is he referring to the damage done to Saddam's palaces? Bah!

Posted by: Rob at June 3, 2004 at 03:49 PM

The poor old lefty. He just can't accept reality.

Posted by: Michael Gill at June 3, 2004 at 03:49 PM

Well done. Seriously.

Posted by: felixrayman at June 3, 2004 at 05:29 PM

Boy that Robert Koehler is a wanker, huh? I did like the whole root couses=wimp concept bit. Nader is the man for this guy! Write a column about it Bob, tell your friends.

Posted by: debbie at June 3, 2004 at 09:17 PM

kerry the visionary?

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 3, 2004 at 10:25 PM

Kerry appears to have finally obtained a clue. That's good for him and good for America.

Posted by: Sergio at June 3, 2004 at 11:46 PM

Until Kerry changes his mind again.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at June 4, 2004 at 12:38 AM

Don't you believe it. This is all pousery, and the media stooge is knowingly complicit. Don't buy it for a minute--they're the same navel-gazing gappers they always have been.

Posted by: spongeworthy at June 4, 2004 at 12:41 AM

Kerry the wind-sailor is tacking centerward because he has the nomination sewn up & is now playing to the national electorate.

But look at his past record. He has voted against one defense bill after another & in 1994 launched a surprise budget-cutting bill that fellow Dems said would cripple US intel abilities & put “blindfolds on our pilots” as Dem Senator Inouye put it. See “Kerry's '94 budget plan irked fellow Dems” AP via MSNBC.com March 19, 2004 at http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4564249/

Kerry not just any leftist, he’s a root cause, so to speak, of the current leftist problem. In the 1970s, chiming in with a chorus of liars all testifying under oath before Congress, he made himself a major source & carrier of the cruel stigma on Vietnam-era US troops & of the “Vietnam Syndrome” long afflicting the US public & US policy. His current viability as a Presidential candidate is a measure more of American forgetfulness than of American forgiveness.

He is the kind of leftist who denounces special interests while setting a Senate record for accepting money from them. “Kerry Leads in Lobby Money: Anti-Special-Interest Campaign Contrasts With Funding” by Jim VandeHei, Washington Post, Jan. 31, 2004 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A64727-2004Jan30.html?nav=hptop_tb

Kerry’s Senate record is one of zero leadership. He’s an empty suit, ideologically equipped with a lot of politically & socially useful blather, a blueblood gigolo with fancy tastes, sailing the winds of others’ fortunes.

Posted by: ForNow at June 4, 2004 at 02:33 AM

Hear, hear, ForNow!!

Posted by: Well said! at June 4, 2004 at 02:43 AM

I agree w/ ForNow (and Well Said!). Who is he? What does he believe/stand for? So far he's said and voted for whatever he thought would be most popular/earn the most political capital with his audience. What's he going to be like once he's attained the highest office in the land, though?

If the republicans are smart, they'll paint this shift as a validation of their policies.

Posted by: SPY at June 4, 2004 at 06:08 AM

This is yet another scene in Kerry's on going quest for the Oval Office. He plays for the audience, nothing more, nothing less. I'd call him a hollow mockery, but that would be wrong. He's full of unprocessed fertilizer.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at June 4, 2004 at 06:51 AM

As a Democrat, I had to reply to send 'Sweat Old Bob'. This is what I wrote (sorry it's lengthy, but I couldn't help myself):


I have found a few "oversights" in your essay titled Spectator Democracy. Maybe a quick, unresearched review may help.

Your simplistic reference to the pro-War's attitude was: "that bombing is to democracy what April showers are to May flowers". Well, sounds bad, something you'd say to a Wolfowitz fan to try and take the wind out of his sails. However, for such a simplistic cliché, I'll give a couple of simple examples, where ironically, this statement is rather true: Germany and Japan. Question: are any history courses required for a degree in Journalism?
"11,000 civilian dead". If that number is accurate. Still, pretty small compared to the numbers of Kurds and Shia's killed prior to last year's invasion. And let's not confuse whose deeds were worse in Abu Ghraid. If you can't see the difference between having women's panty's on your head versus your head meeting a plastic shredder then, well, maybe you can't. And true, maybe suffocating under a chemical cloud is not as bad as being blown up by a car bomb or a stray "smart" bomb. I've never tried it.
"...a wrecked infrastructure". Yes, the US did a lot of that during the last Gulf war, but Saddam had over 10 years to fix it. Did he? That UN 'Oil-for-Food' program sure did help, if success was based on the number of the palaces and Russian weapons Saddam was able to build and buy from it.
" ...and a united Shiite-Sunni opposition". From Dr. Seuss, "come now, come now, let's not be so dumb now". What united opposition? Of course the Sunni's will hate us, they always will for they were the ones getting spoiled under Saddam's regime. Now, the Sunni "opposition" is barely that, albeit for a blood thirsty, power hungry cleric or two. Not to say this could get worse, but it is not "opposition" from the majority of Shias.
"...the insurgency that's now devouring American and Iraqi lives at such a heartbreaking rate?" Again, I refer to Dr. Seuss.
"widespread depleted-uranium contamination". Now, this is Rumsfield's fault (the Turks do share some of the blame here, too) as is a lot of the current mess we are in. Much could've been gained if all those Ministry buildings were secured in a prompt fashion. A huge tactical mistake. That is, it should've been a goal to better secure these areas as soon as our troops were within sight of them. However, those weapon storage compounds were in bad condition and just as open way before the Army ever got there.
Finally, what "root causes". Come on now. The people Al Qaida hates the most is your type. You are the "root cause" Bob, because you're weak willed, a bleeding heart liberal, probably OK with feminism, homosexuality, short skirts, openness, acceptance, secularism, etc. I'm OK with those things too (from feminism and on that is) and will fight to keep those freedoms for all. I'm a liberal and a registered Democrat. But, like Kerry, I too want to distance myself from such short-sided 'idealogs' as yourself. The difference between you and Kerry is that Kerry will fight for what is just and right. Saddam was neither. And, don't pretend you'd would fight (actually fight and not just with a keyboard) for what you believe in. Your ideology prevents you from taking such 'drastic' measures.
What Kerry needs to do to win this election, one he should have in the bag already, is to distance himself from your crowd. It's not because Bush is ALL bad, but because of the elitism and extreme pro-oil, pro-rich, and un-secular mentality of the majority of his cabinet.
Have you thought of moving to Canada?
Forrest Baker
Portland, Oregon.

Posted by: Forrest at June 4, 2004 at 07:09 AM

Forrest, a President Kerry never would have fought Saddam in an elective war. Even as a Senator, he never really "fought" for anything or initiated meaningful legislation. His long record is widely regarded as spectacularly unspectacular, leftist and lackluster. He is not a fighter, but a self-promoter who doesn't make really tough decisions and stand by them. Hasn't Kerry set some kind of an equivocation record on the subject of both Iraq wars?

Candidate Kerry is still the supercilious Beacon Hill type liberal he has been for decades. The only difference now is that his handlers believe they can make him look like a good centrist for the remainder of the campaign. This is NOT a "positive development" for the electorate, since it only can be a cynical bait and switch strategy for the November election. Kerry's 19 years of Senate votes, public statements, and even his stump speeches of a few months ago tell us that his politics are strongly Left. Why would anybody believe a long-time politician could change his political leanings so suddenly? Why would anybody, who did believe Kerry's politics have shifted toward the center, trust someone who suddenly morphs his ideology while running for President?

If Kerry is elected, we'll have proof positive that American grown-ups have ultra short attention spans, no long-term memory, weak reasoning skills and are easily manipulated by image-makers. And we'll have put our national economy and defense into the hands of the Kennedy-Carter Democrats. Oh, joy. Is this what al-Qaeda is counting on?

Posted by: c at June 4, 2004 at 02:27 PM