Skip to comments.Mark Steyn: Kerry can't shoot deer or stop terror
Posted on 07/26/2004 4:42:20 PM PDT by Pokey78
There's a bumper sticker I see on a lot of Vermont cars these days: "BE PATRIOTIC VOTE GEORGE BUSH OUT". The trouble is you can't vote Bush out, you have to vote the other fellow in. And convention week marks the point when Americans begin to get to know the challenger the way they know the incumbent. I find it hard to believe that getting to know John F Kerry can possibly work to his advantage.
He was in Wisconsin the other day, pretending to be a regular guy, and was asked what kind of hunting he preferred. "I'd have to say deer," said the senator. "I go out with my trusty 12-gauge double-barrel, crawl around on my stomach... That's hunting."
This caused huge hilarity among my New Hampshire neighbours. None of us has ever heard of anybody deer hunting by crawling around on his stomach, even in Massachusetts. The trick is to blend in with the woods and, given that John Kerry already looks like a forlorn tree in late fall, it's hard to see why he'd give up his natural advantage in order to hunt horizontally.
Possibly his weird Vietnam nostalgia is getting out of control. Still, if I come across a guy in the woods in deer season inching through the undergrowth with a mouthful of bear scat, at least I'll know who it is.
Conversely, if you're a 14-point buck and get shot in the toe this autumn, you'll know who to sue.
Crawling around on your stomach is a lousy way to hunt deer, but it's proved a smart way to campaign for president. For months now, George W Bush has been up there getting fired on from all directions. Meanwhile, down in the scrub, John Kerry was crawling forward on his stomach, a stealth candidate advancing slowly, off the radar, prone alone.
Sadly, the stealth candidacy has come to an end. This week the real John F Kerry has to stand up, and, judging from the way those Senate and House candidates in tight races are staying away from the convention, a lot of bigshot Democrats aren't too sure Americans are going to like what they see.
If I were a mad scientist hired by Bush svengali Karl Rove to construct the most unelectable Democratic presidential candidate possible, I'd start with a load of big-government one-size-fits-all dependency-culture domestic policies. Next I'd throw in a consistent two-decade voting-record aversion to American military power. Then make him the kind of fellow whose stump speeches are always butt-numbingly ponderous and go on way too long because someone told him that if you intone a platitude slowly and sonorously enough it sounds like the Kennedy inaugural address.
He'd probably be a senator because, in a business that attracts pompous blowhards, senators are the crème de la crème. A senator from Massachusetts, because that's as near as you can get to running Jacques Chirac while still meeting the citizenship eligibility requirements. He'd have to be an aristocratic Massachusetts senator, because there don't seem to be any other kinds, but he wouldn't be glamorously high-class, like Jack and Camelot, just aloof and condescending and affected. And every time he tries to talk a little guy talk, a little hunting or baseball, it doesn't come out quite right. And he's so nuanced he's running not only as America's most famous war hero but also as America's most famous anti-war protester.
No, scrub that last bit. No one would believe it.
But what do I know? My ne plus ultra of unelectability was chosen by Democratic primary voters this spring mainly because he was perceived to be "electable". I don't know where they got that idea from. Probably from the American media, who seem barely to recognise Kerry's principal defect his boring self-righteousness perhaps because it's also theirs. Nevertheless, if this week the senator gives the kind of speech he's given for the last year, Americans will flee in horror from the prospect of spending four years listening to this guy.
About 20 per cent of the electorate are Bush-haters, but another 20 per cent seem to be suffering from so-called "Bush fatigue", which is, more accurately, a weariness with the epic nature of politics since 9/11. They want a break. As Andrew Sullivan put it in the Sunday Times: "Much of the hard work has now been done. Nobody seriously believes that Bush will start another war. And in some ways Kerry may be better suited to the difficult task of nation building than Bush."
The notion that you can take a four-year intermission from the war is appealing, but a fantasy. Both Iran and North Korea are likely to come to the boil during the next presidential term, and nothing in either John Kerry's record or temperament suggests he's up to settling either of those crises in America's favour. So our hopes of avoiding Armageddon may rest on how effectively Kerry bores his candidacy into the ground.
The other day, he attended a glitzy fundraiser at which Whoopi Goldberg did a little riff comparing the Bush in the White House to her own, ah, pudenda.
The senator, in his own anatomical response, said these celebrities represented the "heart and soul of America".
Afterwards, asked about his apparent enthusiasm for the potty-mouthed has-beens, he replied thus: "When I talked about the heart and soul, I'm talking about the artistic expression. I'm talking about sort of the, I mean, I believe in the arts. I think that there's a great expression in it, and there's always this struggle. You know, does life imitate art or art imitate life? Which comes first? It's a little of both.
"I do think we have a responsibility, as leaders, to stand up. I think there were people at that concert we had in New York who stepped over the line. I've said that. They don't speak for me. They speak for themselves. I will stand up and struggle, as others have, to try to get that right balance between violence and sex and things."
If on Thursday John Kerry stands up and struggles to get the right balance between violence and sex and things, it should be a helluva speech. If, on the other hand, he sounds like he sounds at the end of that sound bite as if the more he talks about standing up and struggling the more he's struggling to stay awake he's done for.
You may run, John Kerry, but you can't hide, any longer....
I hope the 14 pointer chases him down and kicks his effete ass!
uh....how many people actually hunt deer with a 12-guage???????????
Do they hunt deer with a "12-guage double-barrel" back East?
You can see it coming...and there's no way to stop it...yet you can't look away.
Does he use buck shot?
I remember when Clinton said he duck hunted with a rifle. Must be a damn good shot!
I have a bet with a liberal lawyer that GWB will win. The bet is the loser buys drinks and has to wear the winners t-shirt. Are there any t-shirts that are a little more over-the-top than the ones at the Bush website?
In some socialist states, a shotgun has to be used to hunt deer because of the close proximity of houses. Illinois for instance.
There is a shotgun deer season although most hunters I know use 20 gauge with slugs.
The Kerry solution to deer and terror.
Dunno about Mass, but in NJ, it is the law...no rifles. We the People cannot be trusted with a rifle...we might resist. The crawling around on his belly is still pretty stupid though.
Thank you for the UNEXCERPTED Steyn column.
This guy is a one man weapon of mass destruction to the Left.
Logic, timing and a rapier wit are the hallmarks of great worsmiths.
Steyn leads the pack.
Check these out http://www.thoseshirts.com/
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