The lead editorial in today’s LA Times was actually interesting and insightful. I suspect the Michael Kinsley effect is being felt there: Kerry-Edwards Stonewall.
They’re pretty web-hostile at the Times, yanking their fishwrap quickly and trying to charge for access, so here are some excerpts. But it’s actually worth reading the whole thing, if you can get there in time. It’s just damn refreshing to hear someone making intelligent observations that aren’t hardcore partisan spin.
If not murder, John F. Kerry and John Edwards have accused President Bush of something close to criminally negligent homicide in Iraq. “They were wrong and soldiers died because they were wrong,” Kerry said of the Bush administration over the weekend.
This is strong language, but not unjustified….
The trouble is, both Sens. Kerry and Edwards voted yes on the resolution authorizing the war in Iraq. And now they refuse to say whether they would have supported the resolution if they had known what they know today…
Reluctance to answer the question is understandable. If they say they stand by their pro-war votes, this makes nonsense of their criticisms of Bush. If they say they were misled or duped by the administration, they look dopey and weak. Many of their Democratic Senate colleagues were skeptical of the administration’s evidence even at the time. If Kerry and Edwards tell the probable truth — that they were deeply dubious about the war but afraid to vote no in the post-9/11 atmosphere and be tarred as lily-livered liberals — they would win raves from editorial writers for their frankness and courage. And they could stop dreaming of oval offices.
Kerry and Edwards are in a bind. But it is a bind of their own making. The great pity will be if this bind leads the Democratic candidates to back off from their harsh, and largely justified, criticism of Bush. The Democrats could lose a valuable issue, and possibly even the election, because the Democratic candidates were too clever for their own good.