October 26, 2004
ANDREW SULLIVAN HASN'T DECLARED HIS SUPPORT FOR KERRY YET? I asked with some surprise fifteen days ago. It sure seemed obvious already that he was for Kerry. Today, he's made the official declaration. Of course, he's for Kerry. His key question about Kerry, back when I expressed surprise that he was still claiming to be undecided was:
[C]an John Kerry be trusted to fight the war on terror? Worrying about this is what keeps me from making the jump to supporting him.
So how well does he answer his own question today?
[Kerry's] record is undistinguished, and where it stands out, mainly regrettable. He intuitively believes that if a problem exists, it is the government's job to fix it. He has far too much faith in international institutions, like the corrupt and feckless United Nations, in the tasks of global management. He got the Cold War wrong. He got the first Gulf War wrong. His campaign's constant and excruciating repositioning on the war against Saddam have been disconcerting, to say the least. I completely understand those who look at this man's record and deduce that he is simply unfit to fight a war for our survival.
Exactly. So how does Sullivan dig himself back out of that hole? His argument with regard to Iraq is mostly: "There is no alternative to seeing the war through in Iraq." And he contends that the Democrats ought to have to take responsibility for national security. The notion is that it would be good for everyone if the Democrats had their President so that those who now sit on the sidelines and criticize would have a partisan motivation to support the war. That's not enough to convince me to abandon my mistrust of Kerry's commitment to national security. But give Sullivan his due and read the whole thing.