Sunday, 21 March 2004

Blame Howard!

Remember John Kerry’s flip-flop on the Iraq-Afghanistan reconstruction bill? As Steven Taylor notes today, it apparently came about due to Kerry trying to counter Howard Dean’s strident anti-war rhetoric. Not that this absolves Kerry, of course, as Steven aptly points out:

Of course, in reality, it is really Kerry’s own fault for seeking political advantage when he should have been voting his own conscience. And, indeed, this is one of Kerry’s main political liabilities: it is difficult to ascertain exactly what his political conscience is.

As I pointed out in a comment at Half the Sins of Mankind, Kerry was in a bit of a bad position—which, of course, was the point of the roll-call; he could vote aye and catch hell from Dean then, or vote no and possibly catch hell from Bush later on (assuming he survived long enough to gain the nomination—which, at the time, seemed quite unlikely). He chose the latter option—better to live to fight another day, I suppose.