Thanks, John Kerry

As I mentioned briefly yesterday, John Kerry has decided not to run for president again. If I'm honest, I've never quite forgiven him for not insisting on a recount in Ohio, from where we get news even now of convictions for vote-rigging during the 2004 presidential election recount. Would the election's ultimate outcome have been any different if the army of lawyers Kerry had supposedly amassed in preparation for a fight actually fought? That we don't know the answer to that question is why I consider Kerry's decision not to run again A Good Thing. That may be unfair, or not, but either way, that's how it is, and I can't talk myself out of it.

All that said, there's something for which I believe we all owe Kerry a thank-you:

"John Kerry made an enormous contribution to shifting the national debate on Iraq. Some of the positions Republicans attacked Kerry for in 2004 are the same ones they hold now. His advocacy of phased redeployment from Iraq and his strategies for fighting terrorism have now become accepted thinking among even some leading Republicans. Even George Will, of all people, has acknowledged that Kerry was right about how to fight terrorism." — Robert Zimmerman, a Democratic donor who personally raised over $1 million for Kerry in 2004.

Quite right. I don't think Kerry's campaign was as craptacular as has become the conventional wisdom; certainly there were problems, some big ones, but there was a lot the campaign did right, a lot Kerry personally did right, and this was one of them. Think how silly all the flip-flop gags and the snide "he was for the war before he was against it" mockery now seems, when nearly the entire country has abandoned Bush and his war, when most prominent hawks are themselves now flip-floppers, were themselves for the war before they were against it. Kerry did indeed blaze that trail—and paid a price that no one else had to, because he did.

So when I read that Kerry will not run for president and has instead "vowed to use his Senate perch to hasten an end to the war in Iraq, saying he would work with lawmakers from both parties to reverse President Bush's troop 'surge' and force him to withdraw virtually all troops from Iraq by early next year," I'm happy. I'm grateful. I think he can do that; I think he has been and still is an important figure with an important role to play in ending this war.

Thanks, John Kerry. You've made the right decision. And I, for one, am deeply appreciative for it.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus