Rick Heller explains why a voter committed to getting rid of Bush might still have some questions about Kerry. In particular, Heller would like to hear Kerry say “I was wrong.” Me too. Surely we don’t need two infallible Presidents in a row.
I agree with Heller that Kerry’s vote against the first Gulf War is the vote that most needs explaining, though I’m not as convinced that it can’t be explained. Most of us who supported that war regret, or at least regretted until recently, not having finished the job back then. But we’re learning now what the Bush I foreign policy team suspected: that conquering Iraq is easier than ruling it.
I’m not as concerned as Heller about Kerry’s vote against the $87 billion. Kerry can reasonably say — has said, though in a way that has allowed Bush to make fun of him — that he had no objection to spending the money, as long as we paid for it out of current taxes rather than charging it to our kids’ credit card. [I know this point was made eloquently on one of the blogs I read, but I can’t remember which one.]
But Heller’s broader point is precisely right. Kerry ought to try having enough respect for the voters’ intelligence to say to them, “I’ve been wrong in the past, and I surely will be wrong in the future. When I find out I was wrong, I change my mind.”