A Good Question

Analphilospher asks an important question:

“How can John Kerry wage an effective war against radical Muslims when he can’t wage an effective presidential campaign?”

The amateur hour aspects of Kerry’s campaign raise serious doubts about his leadership abilities. Don’t tell me that it is not his fault because the real blame lies with his management team. Folks, the ability to pick good advisors and to sort through the chaff of opinions to reach a good decision is a key characteristic of leadership.

Almost no one will argue that the Gipper was an intellectual. But he had the ability to appoint cabinet officers and White House staffers who could translate his vision of America into reality. Whether you love him or hate him, Ronald Wilson Reagan was an incredibly important figure in American history.

Kerry’s inability to discipline and, dare I say it, fire ineffective staffers bodes ill for the effectiveness of a Kerry administration.

The blogosphere as a whole has been trashing the undecided voter. Perhaps the indecision comes not from ignorance but from a legitimate angst over the choices offered in this election. I can see several scenarios where a voter might have thoughtful positions on the issues but still be unwilling to vote for the other side.

A liberal who likes Kerry’s social positions might be very nervous about foreign policy by committee.

A libertarian alarmed by Bush’s demonization of people outside of the mainstream might be concerned that Kerry will take Bush’s wrongheaded health policy and magnify its faults.

A fiscal conservative might be alarmed by Bush’s penchant to spend money like a drunken sailor and the endless sea of deficits on the horizon, but how could he be confident that Kerry would impose fiscal discipline?

Someone who desperately wants to win the war on terrorism might be alarmed at Bush’s handling of postwar Iraq and refusal to adjust a failing policy, but be concerned that Kerry’s naivete about our allies also bodes ill.

Keith Burgess-Jackson is right. Bush ought to be tremendously vulnerable as an incumbent whose economic and foreign policies have resulted in a net loss of jobs (Note to Rusty: Notice that I am talking about actual jobs, NOT unemployment percentages which are also up), and a quagmire of an insurrection. Kerry’s leadership failures have meant that many people who are dissatisfied with Bush’s leadership will STILL VOTE FOR BUSH.

One wonders if the Democratic Party is actually, as an institution, suicidal.

Many of our readers may suspect that I’m pulling a Sullivan, but your humble Smallholder, despite my beliefs that government ought to balance the budget, that progressive tax rates are a societal good, that we ought not to discriminate based on consensual bedroom behavior, and that we should balance economic and environmental issues, has had to do a lot of soul-searching before deciding how to cast my Tuesday ballot.

If Kerry had offered even a smidgen of reassurance on foreign policy, he would have had my vote hands down. As it is, I’m not so much voting for him as I am voting against the incompetence, obstinacy, rigidity, and willful blindness of Bush’s foreign policy team. I do so without much faith in the plan(s) that Kerry has offered to win the war. But at least he might do something different.

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