Posted by Peter
James Taranto points out that John Kerry is a but man.
John Kerry made some strong and sensible statements during the debate last night, but did you notice what the next word usually was? Here are some Kerry quotes:
• “I’ll never give a veto to any country over our security. But...”
• “I believe in being strong and resolute and determined. And I will hunt down and kill the terrorists, wherever they are. But...”
• “We have to be steadfast and resolved, and I am. And I will succeed for those troops, now that we’re there. We have to succeed. We can’t leave a failed Iraq. But...”
• “I believe that we have to win this. The president and I have always agreed on that. And from the beginning, I did vote to give the authority, because I thought Saddam Hussein was a threat, and I did accept that intelligence. But...”
• “I have nothing but respect for the British, Tony Blair, and for what they’ve been willing to do. But...”
• “What I want to do is change the dynamics on the ground. And you have to do that by beginning to not back off of the Fallujahs and other places, and send the wrong message to the terrorists. You have to close the borders. You’ve got to show you’re serious in that regard. But...”
• “I couldn’t agree more that the Iraqis want to be free and that they could be free. But...”
• “No president, through all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to pre-empt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America. But...”
• “I’ve never wavered in my life. I know exactly what we need to do in Iraq, and my position has been consistent: Saddam Hussein is a threat. He needed to be disarmed. We needed to go to the U.N. The president needed the authority to use force in order to be able to get him to do something, because he never did it without the threat of force. But...”
Maybe Kerry misunderstood when someone told him he needed to have the “qualifications” to be president. But it’d inspire a lot more confidence if he had followed any of these remarks with a “therefore” clause instead of a “but” one.