Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Paralysis of a John Kerry Presidency

William Tucker envisioned the Kerry Nightmare.

When I think of what a Kerry presidency would be, which isn't often, I envision 9/11. I think of how Kerry will respond to the next attack. I know he said he sat there stunned for 40 minutes (even though he criticized Bush, a la Michael Moron for sitting there for 7 minutes). But that's not really what I mean.

I mean, what would be his response. Kerry says he'll use military force so long as were attacked, but I just can get the image out of mind that he'll be paralyzed, not physically (and if he were John Edwards could heal him), but unable to make a decision. He may want to respond, but the crazies that would have elected him would be against any use of force. I just get the impression that he'll hesitate, he won't be sure of his decision, that he won't be able to convince enough people of the rightness of his decision, whatever it is. He'll be politically paralyzed. He certainly won't be able to calm the nation the way Bush did.

Because of this fear of mine and of many others, I think Bush will ultimately win. I know that not everyone is thrilled with Bush on a lot of issues, including the Iraq war, but in the end he has a plan. He is doing something. We haven't been hit since 9/11 and we are safer, though not safe. Kerry makes a great Monday morning Quarterback, but he offers nothing other than "diplomacy" which amounts to sucking up to countries that aren't really our friends. For Kerry the war on terror can't be won if there is no unanimity on how to fight it. For him diplomacy and agreement is the goal, not the means to the goal. It is like passing a law, with a promise not to enforce it. By the time every single person agrees on the law, it is so watered down that it is useless.

That's the Kerry strategy. That's how we get phrases like "serious consequences," when everyone knows we mean military action, though the French insist it means another UN resolution, one probably calling for really, really serious consequence and this-time-we-mean-it language. Kerry may understand that everyone isn't always going to agree, but his core won't let him act until that they do. He will be paralyzed waiting for that to happen. He won't act when he would need to. He would Jimmy Carter redux. We can't afford that.

We're lucky that Bush is president. It's as if we had Reagan as president in 1945, rather than waiting until 1981. We wouldn't have had to go through all the deterrence and MAD. We would have went straight to defeat the evil empire. We're lucky that we have a president who understands the threat at the beginning, rather than at the end, and acts upon that understanding to defend us.

We're lucky to have Bush. We should keep him around for 4 more years.