Dick is annoyed by Mark Steyn again. The Canuck commentator aroused backseat driver ire by penning a tribute to John Kerry’s wife.
I really don’t see what the big deal is, it is obvious that the aristocratic, diffident and defiantly anti-populist Maria Teresa Thierstein Simoes-Ferreira Heinz Kerry is Steyn’s kinda dame (as he would probably put it). Dick rather misses the point in inferring that Steyn considers Mrs Kerry “terribly presidential”. It seemed to me that it was her lack of interest in politicking and matters presidential which he found appealing.
Dick is also overeager to absolve Kerry of hypocrisy. The charge is that Kerry, who boasts he will rid the whitehouse of “special interests”, has shown little success ridding such special interests from his own political career. “Rubbish!” claims Dick based on this New Republic piece by Peter Bienart which includes these unimpressive arguments:
Let’s stipulate that Kerry has occasionally helped out his financial backers–sometimes at the public’s expense. Brooks says this makes Kerry’s attack on special interests “phony.” But virtually every governor or member of Congress–which is to say, virtually every presidential candidate–has raised money from people with an interest in legislation and at some time or another has written a letter, or voted for a bill, on their behalf.
So they’re all at it. I guess that’s ok then. Then there’s this audacious piece of chutzpah:
For example, when politicians do favors for oil, mining, or timber companies, environmental organizations usually object. When they do favors for pharmaceutical or telecommunication companies, consumer groups object. These organizations may not always espouse the right policies, but they are a good barometer of how beholden a politician is to corporate special interests..As it happens, they don’t consider Bush and Kerry to be equally corrupted. Kerry’s lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters is 96 percent. By contrast, the League gave Bush its first ever “F.”
So, because certain “good” special interest lobbying groups - environmental activists good, big corporations bad - favour Kerry over Bush, that makes him independent and “unhypocritical”? As Dick might say, in an alternative universe, “Give me a break!”