Friday, August 06, 2004

Will has some questions for Kerry

George Will has some questions for Kerry. Some of the best:
The Clinton years were, you say, glorious because "we were not at war and young Americans were not deployed." Did not the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, followed by the attacks on the Khobar Towers, the USS Cole and the East African embassies mean we were at war but were uncomprehending? Have not scores of thousands of young Americans been deployed, ashore and on ships, since 1942?

You say, "I stood up and fought against Richard Nixon's war in Vietnam." Nixon's war? Did it start after John Kennedy put U.S. combat troops there, and after Lyndon Johnson increased the number to 500,000?

The easily distressed abortion rights groups were distressed when you said that your faith teaches you what elementary biology teaches everyone: life begins at conception. But you say personhood does not. Fine. When does it? What are its defining attributes? Does, say, an elderly person with dementia have it, and hence a right to life?

You oppose, on federalism grounds, a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. You say marriage law is traditionally a state responsibility. But so was abortion law for the Republic's first 197 years, until 1973. What is the difference?

When the Pope said Catholic legislators have a duty to oppose gay marriage, you said he had "crossed the line" because "it is important not to have the Church instructing politicians." Have you felt that way even when the Church has instructed politicians take liberal positions regarding economic justice, race and other matters?

You have often said — e.g., in Algona, Iowa, last year, when your campaign was impoverished — that "there's too much money loose in the American political system." Now your campaign is awash with money. So are the 527 groups that are supporting your campaign — but of course without even a smidgen of "coordination" with it, because that would be a crime under the new campaign finance law. Do you advocate new laws to discourage the kind of people who are choosing to participate in politics through financial contributions on your behalf?

Do you think he'll answer them?

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