The Echo Chamber
Monday, March 15, 2004
  9:26 AM

Kerry Writes Off Americans Who Voted Bush in 2000

[Stephen Gordon]

I'm not a big fan of hecklers. My freedom of speech stops when it interferes with another's freedom of speech. Nevertheless, once Senator Kerry choose to engage the heckling Cedric Brown, he showed why he should never be President.
The town meeting was contentious at times, with 52-year-old Cedric Brown repeatedly pressing the candidate to name the foreign leaders whom Kerry has said are backing his campaign.

"I'm not going to betray a private conversation with anybody," Kerry said. As the crowd of several hundred people began to mutter and boo, Kerry said, "That's none of your business."

Here's the Kerry comment that started all this:
"I've met foreign leaders who can't go out and say this publicly, but boy, they look at you and say, `You gotta win this, you gotta beat this guy, we need a new policy,' things like that," Mr. Kerry said, according to a transcript from a reporter who attended the session.
And here's how Kerry is spinning it now:
"I think the quote, the quote in the comment I made publicly, I believe, was that I `heard from,' that's the direct quote," Mr. Kerry said. "I've likewise had meetings. I've also had conversations. I said I've heard from, that was what I believe I said."
Mr. Brown persisted:
"I just want an honest answer," Cedric Brown, 52, who owns a small sign company, told Mr. Kerry.

"Were they people like Blair or were they people like the president of North Korea?" he asked, referring to the British prime minister, Tony Blair. "Why not tell us who it was? Senator, you're making yourself sound like a liar."

Because Kerry didn't like the question he did what all good politicians do, he sought to change the subject. But what he sought to change the subject to boggles the mind:
"Are you a Democrat or a Republican ? what are you?" he asked. "You answer the question."

After Mr. Brown said he voted for Mr. Bush in 2000, Mr. Kerry added: "See? Democracy works both ways."

Kerry delivered the last line while looking at the crowd with a conspiratorial smirk. Kerry apparently believes that people who are registered Republicans and who voted for Bush are morally disqualified from pubic discourse.

What was the "See? Democracy works both ways" crack supposed to mean? Last time I checked it was Kerry who was running for President, not Cedric Brown. Brown's question, as rude as he was, is legitimate. A man can be known by the company he keeps. Since Kerry has said that foreign leaders want him to win, voters have a right to know who. Not to betray the confidence of those leaders - Kerry has already done that - but to better know Kerry.

But here's what Kerry's final remark really meant: "See, I can be an S.O.B. too." Kerry wants to be seen as a scrapper. Fine, be tough. Americans like tough. This was not tough. Kerry thinks he needs to be treated with kid gloves. He would like to campaign in a world where questions raised by Republicans are automatically illegitimate and suspect.

Who else is going to raise the tough questions?
 


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