First Impressions of Kerry Speech

July 30, 2004

These are the notes I jotted down last night. I want to dig into the comparison between Cold War Liberalism and Kerry's approach to the Islamofascists, but right now I am typing in edits while the (sick) toddler naps.

Kerry is not Clinton, but very few people are. A better speaker than GWB, but many people are.

Felt like he had too much material. As a result he worked too quickly, stifling his audience at several points rather than feeding back from them. Killed the energy in order to get his words in.

Needs an editor.

Fascinated that the first time he challenged GWB on values, he muted the accusation - literally he dropped his voice and told the audience not to cheer the line about values are not words, but deeds.

Audience liked hearing his later discussion about values, especially his use of Lincoln - I will never claim that God is on our side, but with AL I will pray that we are on God's side.

Amused, he ran through the faults of the Bush admin - will not hire a VP who makes secret deals with polluters, will not hire a sec def who refuses to listen to the professional soldiers, will hire an atty genl who will uphold the Constitution - then towards the end challenged GWB to argue the issues and not politicize the Constitution.

Trying to work a nuanced position on trade - fair trade, no tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas, tax breaks for keeping jobs here. Did not hear what I wanted to hear, a simpler tax code. Instead appeared to be raising corporate taxes, repealing GWB's "windfall to the rich," engaging in extensive give-aways through tax breaks and targeted relief.

What is the 21st century equivalent of Cold War Liberalism? Because much of his move to the right of GWB on the war on terror was made using CWL approach - best way to win an ideological war is to uphold the promise of American values, strong military with strong domestic, mix hard and soft power abroad.

Strong critique of the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war. Remember, GWB himself in his call for invasion of Iraq agreed that the threat was NOT imminent. JFK would wait until there was imminent danger, or at least a clear and present danger, rather than GWB's clear and future danger. (And, of course, we later found out it was not so clear.)

Posted by Red Ted at July 30, 2004 12:33 PM | TrackBack