That’s A Fisk?

Ken AshfordElection 2004Leave a Comment

At the Bush-Cheney blog, they’re trying to make some inroads by pointing out Kerry flip-flops. Here‘s an example (NOTE: I’ve put Kerry quotes in italics, but otherwise, this is a cut-and-paste from the Bush-Cheney site):

Let’s go back to the Time piece for some historical reference:

TIME: What would you have done about Iraq had you been the President?
KERRY: If I had been the President, I might have gone to war but not the way the President did. It might have been only because we had exhausted the remedies of inspections, only because we had to—because it was the only way to enforce the disarmament.

Which directly contradicts what he told Rolling Stone in December:

If I were president, we would not be in Iraq today — we would not be at war.

Which is kind of hard to square with this, from the first Democratic debate in May 2003:

I would have preferred if we had have given diplomacy a greater opportunity, but I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein. When the president made the decision, I supported him and I support the fact that we did disarm him.

Why is it so hard to square these three quotes?

In the first quote (from Time), Kerry is saying that if he had been President, he might have gone to war but only if other remedies were exhausted.

In the second quote (from Rolling Stone in December 2003), Kerry said if he were President, we would not be at war. (And why not? Clearly BECAUSE OTHER REMEDIES HAD NOT BEEN EXHAUSTED!)

Are the first and second quotes "direct contradictions" as the Bush campaign claims? Hell, no. They’re consistent!

In the third quote, Kerry talks about his support of Bush’s decision to disarm Saddam Hussein. That’s a different subject altogether from the decision to go to war. It IS possible to support disarming Saddam Hussein, and still be opposed to the Iraq War.

Is this the best they can do???