In what could only be described as an attempt to get in touch with the basest instincts of his inner hack, David Brooks shamelessly spins and distorts Kerry's foreign policy speech at NYU in his column today. There's plenty to call him on among all that drivel, but this was the most revolting bit of hackery I've read by him ever:
Kerry's new liberal tilt makes him more forceful on the stump, but opens huge vulnerabilities. Does he really want to imply that 1,000 troops died for nothing?
Let's be honest; that's a shamelessly loaded question. There are families still mourning each of those soldiers, and Brook's taunt is invoking their pain to score political points here.
Moreover, as is usually the case with Our Dreadful Mr. Brooks, he's asking the wrong question. If he wants to look seriously at the issue he's clubbing Kerry with, I'll turn it around for him. What both candidates should be discussing is a much harder, blunter question: What did those 1,000 troops die for?
I still, against reason it seems at time, hope a stable democracy will arise out of the ashes of chaos in Iraq, but even that is looking more and more like wishful thinking, so that unanswered question haunts me: what did those 1,000 troops die for?
I'm treading where angels should fear to here, I know, but I'm sick of being gagged with spin and false optimism. It may not be good campaigning or good "reporting" to let the tough questions distract from the parade of bitchy sound bites, but I hold both those practises in such low esteem at the moment, I won't lose any sleep over it.
ADVISORY: I would not want to see this thread descend into the sort of vile nonsense we've all read on other sites. I know it's a topic where passions run high. I will delete the thread rather than let it become disrespectful to either the soldiers or the war protesters. I expect many answers to be patriotic or philosophical, and I feel that's fair game for discussion, but I'd ask we all keep sight of the fact that we're discussing fellow citizens who've paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Again, it's a tough question, but if it's going to be used to club one or the other candidate in the election, it deserves to have a good dose of light shined on it. Given what we now know about WMD, Hussein and 9/11, and the increasing unlikiness of democracy in Iraq, what do you tell the families of the fallen? What did their loved ones die for?