Man Without Qualities

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Pathetic ... And Bound To Lose XI: Eight Months Of Campaign Debates!?

Senator John Kerry has spent exactly one day actually voting in the United States Senate this session. Essentially all of the remainder of his time has been spent campaigning, a virtual orgy of "politics as usual" at the expense of representing his constituency and doing his job. He also seems to think that it's just fine for other public officials generally to take as much tme off from their elected offices to campaign as suits their private fancies and ambitions - even the President:

John Kerry ... planned to challenge President Bush on Saturday to a "real discussion about America's future" in a monthly series of debates. ... Kerry challenged the Republican president to monthly debates on the "great issues" of the day, including the war on terrorism, the loss of U.S. jobs and the plight of Americans without health care.

But it is the clear obligation of the President of the United States to be spending essentially all of his time trying to actually deal with the "great issues" of the day - not debating them or preparing to debate them. The President is supposed to be actively thinking about, conferring with experts and proposing steps to address the loss of U.S. jobs and the plight of Americans without health care - not posturing in debates for eight months. The President is supposed to be actively leading the war on terrorism - not chatting about it on television with a Senator who can't be bothered to show up for Senate votes more than once a session. Right now, for example, Mr. Bush should be spending a lot of time speaking with Spanish President Aznar, not Senator Kerry - who, to judge from that Senate attendance record, seems to be one of those people we read about in articles on the calculation of the unemployment rate who have removed themselves from the job market.

Senator Kerry seems to have no shame. Proposing to distract the President from his office for eight months of campaign debates, he actually brings himself to intone: "2004 can't be just another year of politics as usual ... The challenges we face are just too grave and too great. We confront big issues -- as big as any in our history -- and they call for a new and historic commitment to a real and informed exchange of ideas."

Contrary to Senator Kerry's bizarre thinking, those big issues in fact call for elected officials to spend more time on the old and historic obligation to show up and do their jobs.

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