On Iraq, Kerry needs to make clear that even though he authorized Bush to go to war, Bush did so in the worst way possible, and that the mess on the ground — and the massive diversion of U.S. dollars to that mess — is entirely of the president’s making. It’s up to Kerry to decouple — again — the actual war from the battle against terrorism, under which banner the Bush people place every administration action since September 2001.
In this endeavor, Kerry has the facts on his side. Median household income has declined by $1,535 since 2000 (to $43,318); U.S. fatalities in Iraq this week surpassed 1,000, and the prospects of an Iraqi Tet cannot be dismissed. Which is to say, Kerry needs to change the subject of this campaign back to reality: No easy chore, but as he’s shown in his earlier outings, he has the chops to do it.