April 23, 2004 [LINK]

The war in Iraq & U.S. politics

Even as President Bush gets hammered by scholars and pundits alike over the charges leveled at him by Richard Clarke and Bob Woodward, his poll numbers are as strong as ever. Why? Charles Krauthammer in today's Washington Post explains it thus:

The answer is simple: Americans are a serious people, war is a serious business, and what John Kerry is offering is simply not serious. Americans may be unsure whether Bush has a plan for success in Iraq. But they sure as hell know that going to U.N. headquarters, visiting foreign capitals and promising lots of jaw-jaw is no plan at all.

Krauthammer goes on to credit Kerry for refusing to join those simpletons calling for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, as Spain's new Prime Minister Zapatero has done, and I agree. Foreign policy in practice embodies much more continuity than partisans would like to admit, and I wouldn't expect Kerry to actually do much different than Bush. The question is which candidate can better articulate a strategic vision to protect American interests and promote global security, and Kerry's habit of mealy-mouthed pandering to the European anti-American crowd would be far worse than Bush's often-shaky gestures of resolve.

NOTE: This is a "post facto" blog post, taken from the pre-November 2004 archives.