H.D. Miller has a long post called “The Empty Suit”:
A very good, very long piece on John F. Kerry in this morning’s New York Times, one which shows that despite all of the huffing and puffing about his towering intellect he’s really not that deep a thinker. Worse, because of what can only be described as timidity and his fear of the electorate he’s been unable to articulate a coherent policy for either Iraq or the war on terror.
Read the whole thing, but I think this is the key quote, from the Times:
This is, of course, a common Democratic refrain: Republicans sound more coherent because they see the world in such a rudimentary way, while Democrats, 10 steps ahead of the rest of the country, wrestle with profound policy issues that don’t lend themselves to slogans. By this reasoning, any proposal that can be explained concisely to voters is, by definition, ineffective and lacking in gravitas. Other Kerry aides blame the candidate and his coterie of message makers, most of whom are legendary for their attack ads but less adept at thinking about broad policy arguments. ”If you talk about this the right way, then the American people, or most of them, will get it,” one of Kerry’s informal advisers told me. ”But you’ve got to have guts.”
The implication being, of course, that Kerry doesn’t have guts.
In fact, that’s exactly what I take away from this entire piece, that John F. Kerry is a man who’s so intent on getting himself elected that he’s 1) unwilling and afraid to articulate a coherent theory of foreign policy, because it opens him up to challange, 2) willing to shift which ever way the political wind is blowing, 3) not as smart as he and his supporters like to think he is.
What’s ironic is that Kerry’s inability to explain his policies, and relience on Nixonian “secret plans” hasn’t sat well with his one natural constituency: the press.