Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows who I’m going to vote for, and it’s not just because of his space policy. I’m still hopeful that Bush will win, but I fear a Kerry presidency for reasons that I’ve heard few discuss. Some have said that a Kerry presidency will be similar to the Carter presidency, because he’ll have no mandate other than to not be George Bush. While I think that’s true, I fear that a Kerry presidency will be unlike Carter’s in one very important way, and more like Bill Clinton’s, thanks to the extreme bias of the MSM.
Say whatever you will about Jimmy Carter (and there are plenty of uncomplimentary things to say), he wasn’t corrupt, and he had no skeletons in his closet. Bill Clinton’s presidency, by contrast, was wracked with scandal, and it wasn’t just because of fabrications by the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. While not every charge flung at him was true, many were, and he truly was the most corrupt president since Harding, and perhaps in US history. That he was came as no surprise to those who had observed him as Attorney General and Governor of Arkansas. The Whitewater problems were no secret before the 1992 election, nor were his dalliances, except to most of the public. While many of his scandals were for things that occurred during his administration, his Arkansas record should have been adequate to keep him out of national office, had it been known.
Thus, the tragic thing about the Clinton presidency is that it didn’t have to happen, and we could have been spared all of the scandals, including Lewinsky, had there been proper coverage and investigation of him before the election. In fact, the media could have even gotten a different Democrat president, had they simply properly aired the laundry during the primaries. But they fell in love with Bill Clinton, and as we all know, love is blind. The problem, of course, is that when the major media wear blinders, the rest of us don’t get the view, either, and that was particularly the case in 1992, when the web had just been invented, and the only people using the internet were nerds.
As Ed Driscoll and the Powerpoint guys point out here and here (and others have as well), they really are putting a cocoon around Senator Kerry that is astounding and dismaying.
I’m not saying that a President Kerry will be a crook (though he certainly has character issues, in his continual willingness to lie about his Vietnam record, and other things). His problem is not corruption in the sense that he will do anything for campaign contributions, or engage in shady business deals for personal gain. The senator has figured out a more legal way to raise money–by marrying it. But I am saying that because much of the media refused to take the Swift Boat Vets seriously, because they continue to ignore his fantasy Cambodia adventures, his unwillingness to release his military records, his potential less-than-honorable discharge, his behavior after the war, and in fact become part of his auto-cycle spin machine when anyone else mentions these things, the American people are once more forced to buy a pig in a poke (though nowhere near as much of a pig as Bill Clinton was and remains).
And those stories will come out (indeed they already have–they just haven’t fully penetrated through to the public, or been fully fleshed out). If John Kerry is elected, this stuff is not going to go away. There will be at least four years for it all to seep out, particularly as the current trends continue and more people get their news from the web, and fewer from newspapers and television network news. The response will be similar to that of the Clintons’, of course. “It’s old news.” “It’s just lies by the right wing.”
But once again, we will have a president in the White House that will give great cause for buyer’s remorse, and once again, we’ll have a continuing issue on which to divide the electorate that doesn’t directly relate to performance in office, but says a lot about the character of the man who holds it, and whether or not he can be trusted. He sold himself as a war hero, and as the books and stories come out that he was oversold on that basis, a lot of people are going to feel cheated, and whatever legitimacy he gets from whatever the electoral results are will evaporate.
I just hope that, if the MSM manages to drag the carcass of this rotting campaign across the goal line, thanks to the revolution of the new media, it’s the last election in which they’ll be able to do so.