That old devil consequence, &c.

John Kerry testifies before Congress, April 18, 2013. (C-SPAN)


Couple of days ago, some colleagues and I were sitting around talking about John Kerry. (Yeah, we have a lot of fun.) He has put on remarkable performances of late.

First, he was testifying before Congress, when Dana Rohrabacher asked him about Benghazi. You remember Benghazi: It was only last September 11. Four of our people were killed there. How that happened is still somewhat of a mystery. Kerry gave an adequate answer, but he finished this way: “We got a lot more important things to move on to and get done.”

Joe Sensitivity, he is. You remember Abu Ghraib, don’t you? No Americans died there, as I recall. And yet Democrats weren’t too eager to move on from it. Neither were “their allies in the media,” to use the longstanding expression.

Next, Kerry drew a casual comparison between the dead on the Mavi Marmara and the dead in Boston (thanks to those charming brothers). The Mavi Marmara was the Turkish ship carrying the cutthroats who were bent on breaking the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza.

Third, Kerry said the following, when asked about jihadists: “I think the world has had enough of people who have no belief system, no policy for jobs, no policy for education . . . And we need to, all of us, do a better job of communicating to people what the options of life are.”

Uh-huh. Most jihadists of my acquaintance have a belief system. And they have chosen an option in life: to kill those who do not share their belief system.

I’m finally getting to my point: You often hear that the Democratic and Republican parties are Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Alternatively, some wag will say, “Tweedledum and Tweedledummer,” in a tone that suggests nobody has ever said that before. As far as I’m concerned, the parties are all too far apart.

Just consider the matter of the State Department job. Under a President Romney, John Bolton or someone like him would be secretary of state. Instead, that position is filled by John Kerry. That is a huge, yawning difference, isn’t it?

Elections have consequences, we are told, and boy is that right. A huge consequence of Election 2012 is Secretary of State John Kerry. That is something that both Left and Right can certainly agree on.

It occurs to me: I know the names of the Boston-bombing brothers; I don’t know the names of their victims. That is shameful.

I delighted in a piece by Bruce Anderson, the veteran British journalist. He was talking about Michael Gove, among others. Gove is the heroic education secretary in the Cameron government. “Lefties hate him,” wrote Anderson, “because he not only threatens their control of education: he does so in the name of social mobility and social generosity.” Exactly. Anderson continued, “They see a good school and think: ‘This is unfair.’ He sees a bad school and does not merely think it unfair. He acts to prevent it blighting its pupils’ life chances.”

Yes, yes, yes. Anderson reminds me of one reason I became a conservative in the first place. They see a good school and think, “This is unfair.” We see a bad school and think, “This is unfair.” They see prosperity and think, “This is unfair.” We see poverty or hopelessness or dependency and think, “This is unfair.”


As long as I’m waxing autobiographical, let me mention something that President Obama said to Planned Parenthood. He said, “There is nothing conservative about the government injecting itself between a woman and her doctor.”

This is a question I had to wrestle with in my teens, and a question we all have to wrestle with, sooner or later: Does an unborn child constitute a life, a human being, an entity worth considering, apart from the mother? If so, an abortion is not simply a matter for “a woman and her doctor.” Someone else — a tiny and growing someone else — is involved.

Obviously, Barack Obama came to a conclusion different from the one I came to.

There was a proud bumper sticker all over Ann Arbor (my hometown): “If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one.” I thought, “Hmmm: If you don’t like slavery, don’t own one?”

Anyway . . .

A reader writes, “Jay, it used to be ‘pro-abortion.’ Then it was ‘pro-choice.’ Now I hear people talk about ‘women’s health.’ That’s an amazing evolution, huh?” Yeah. Who knows what the next trimester will bring?

I read an excellent article by Mary Anastasia O’Grady earlier this week — a typically excellent article. It began,

In the debate about whether the U.S. should end what is left of the embargo it has imposed against Cuba for the last half century, the side that wants to lift it often invokes the names of dissidents on the island who agree. But there are also Cuban dissidents who support the embargo because they fear that ending it would strengthen the dictatorship.

Mary went on to discuss the great Berta Soler, a member of the Ladies in White.


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