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Your "buts" are showing, senator

I'm not the only one who noticed Kerry's "but"s last night. James Taranto has a nice collection.

  • "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 . . ."

  • Comments

    I see your point, but so what.

    It's a old debating trick, PE. It pretends to allow that there is validity to an argument and then decides that there is none.

    If Bush was over-prepped on the 'flip-flops' (and he certainly was), Kerry relied too much on a hoary debating trick from school.

    One could also argue that it shows Kerry cannot see any issue to be black or white, right or wrong.

    There's more Carter than JFK in him.

    I see an entirely different mindset in Kerry regarding foreign issues than that of Carter's. If anything, Kerry's team think much like the Scowcrofts and the Powells of Bush 41's team. They are realists whose first priority is global balance and security. Carter was a moralist whose first pursuit was human rights. I see great differences between the two.

    As far as old debating tricks go, the use of the word "but" is also simply a means of balancing priorities.

    I am there for my family, but sometimes my job does take me away.

    The founders of this country gave the President great powers to take immediate action as commander in chief, but gave the power of the purse and the power to declare war to the Congress.

    The current President is a nice man, but I base my vote on his priorities and his effectiveness in leading the nation.

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