After the New Hampshire primary, Dennis Kucinich’s new slogan is: “.001 Percent of America Can’t Be Wrong!” John Edwards’ new slogan is: “Vote for Me or We’ll See You in Court.” Joe Lieberman’s new slogan is: “Sixth Place Is Not an Option.” (Bumper sticker version: “Ask Me About My Delegate.”) Al Sharpton’s new slogan is “Hello? Room Service?” Wesley Clark’s new slogan is: “Leading America’s War on Fetuses.” Howard Dean’s new slogan is: “I Want to Be Your President … And So Do I!”
That leaves John Kerry (new slogan: “Nous Sommes Nombre Un!”), who is winning Democratic voters in droves on the basis of his superior ability to taunt George Bush for his lack of combat experience. Like every war hero I’ve ever met, John Kerry seems content to spend his days bragging about his battlefield exploits. Wait, wait … Let me correct that last sentence: like no war hero I’ve ever met …
As everyone has heard approximately 1 billion times by now, Kerry boasts that he has REAL experience with aircraft carriers, and if Bush wants to run on national security, then … BRING IT ON!
I note that when George Bush directed that precise phrase at Islamic terrorists who yearn to slaughter American women and children, liberals were enraged at the macho posturing of it. But they feel “Bring it on!” is a perfectly appropriate expression when directed at a dangerous warmonger like George Bush. (“Bring it on!” was deemed better than Kerry’s first impulse, “Let’s get busy, sister!”)
Kerry was indisputably brave in Vietnam, and it’s kind of cute to see Democrats pretend to admire military service. Physical courage, like chastity, is something liberals usually deride, but are tickled when it accidentally manifests itself in one of their own. One has to stand in awe of Kerry’s military service 33 years ago. Of course, that’s where it ends, including with Kerry — inasmuch as, upon his return from war in 1970, he promptly began trashing his fellow Vietnam vets by calling them genocidal murderers.
But if Bush can’t talk to Kerry about the horrors of war, then Kerry sure as hell can’t talk to anyone about the plight of the middle class. Kerry’s life experience consists of living off other men’s money by marrying their wives and daughters.
For over 30 years, Kerry’s primary occupation has been stalking lonely heiresses. Not to get back to his combat experience, but Kerry sees a room full of wealthy widows as “a target-rich environment.” This is a guy whose experience dealing with tax problems is based on spending his entire adult life being supported by rich women. What does a kept man know about taxes?
In 1970, Kerry married into the family of Julia Thorne — a family estimated to be worth about $300 million. She got depressed, so he promptly left her and was soon seen catting around with Hollywood starlets, mostly while he was still married. (Apparently, JFK really was his mentor.) Thorne is well-bred enough to say nothing ill of her Lothario ex-husband. He is, after all, the father of her children — a fact that never seemed to constrain him.
When Kerry was about to become the latest Heinz family charity, he sought to have his marriage to Thorne annulled, despite the fact that it had produced two children. It seems his second meal ticket, Teresa Heinz, wanted the first marriage annulled — and Heinz is worth more than $700 million. Kerry claims he will stand up to powerful interests, but he can’t even stand up to his wife.
Heinz made Kerry sign a prenuptial agreement, presumably aware of how careless he is with other people’s property, such as other people’s Vietnam War medals, which Kerry threw on the ground during a 1971 anti-war demonstration.
At pains to make Kerry sound like a normal American, his campaign has described how Kerry risked everything, mortgaging his home in Boston to help pay for his presidential campaign. Technically, Kerry took out a $6 million mortgage for “his share” of “the family’s home” — which was bought with the Heinz family fortune. (Why should he spend his own money? He didn’t throw away his own medals.) I’m sure the average working stiff in Massachusetts can relate to a guy who borrows $6 million against his house to pay for TV ads.
Kerry’s campaign has stoutly insisted that he will pay off the mortgage himself, with no help from his rich wife. Let’s see: According to tax returns released by his campaign, in 2002, Kerry’s income was $144,091. But as The Washington Post recently reported, even a $5 million mortgage paid back over 30 years at favorable interest rates would cost $30,389 a month — or $364,668 a year.
The Democrats’ joy at nominating Kerry is perplexing. To be sure, liberals take a peculiar, wrathful pleasure in supporting pacifist military types. And Kerry’s life story is not without a certain feral aggression. But if we’re going to determine fitness for office based on life experience, Kerry clearly has no experience dealing with problems of typical Americans since he is living in the lap of other men’s money.
Kerry is like some character in a Balzac novel, an adventurer twirling the end of his mustache and preying on rich women. This low-born poseur with his threadbare pseudo-Brahmin family bought a political career with one rich woman’s money, dumped her, and made off with another heiress to enable him to run for president. If Democrats want to talk about middle-class tax cuts, couldn’t they nominate someone who hasn’t been a poodle to rich women for the past 33 years?