Lileks in THE BLEAT today:

” I donÂ?t care what Kerry said 30 years ago; I care what he says today about what he said 30 years ago. In other words, what he said 30 years ago is of interest to me if he still believes it.

Someone could probably dig up a tape of George Bush shouting “Jesus Christ, I haven’t been this F#*$&in drunk in a week!” Does that somehow alter the fact that he’s a devout abstainer today? No. People change. So if you ask Kerry whether he believes US troops should be stationed around the world only under the auspices of the UN, he has several possible responses.

1. “I believed that then, but I was wrong, and let me explain.”

2. “Yes, I still believe that, and let me explain.”

3. Complex, evasive response that has it both ways e.g., “while I will never surrender American sovereignty to an international body, I believe strongly in the need to consult our allies and work with the international institutions that have served us so well for all these years,” etc.

What would be wrong with someone actually saying you know, “I used to hold that opinion, but I’ve changed my mind.” It would be refreshing”

But the question then becomes, would the voters trust such a shift?
I doubt it, for several reasons.

First, because all we’ve gotten out of him on about ANYTHING is in the evasive mode.

Secondly, because one does not suddenly shift 30 years of left- leaning. Would the voter, for example, trust a similar Jane Fonda claim, were SHE to run for office? I think we can find evdience they will not. More, I think we can find evdience in the way of words and actions that more than suggest she has not in fact changed her mind. Indeed, she embarked on a campaign to reclaim her ‘good name’ some years ago, and was roundly rejected by Ma and Pa America.

Similarly, Kerry has lived enough of his life in the public eye and the public record that patterns can be and are well established, and fairly well known. I suspect any attempts to change that pattern now would be rekected.

Thirdly, there’s another problem as regards Kerry; Nobody will ever set up such a question to him. The test, in the words of the poet, cannot be made. 

And again,as a subset of that, the question comes up of would we trust a ‘changed’ response….Even if he said: “UN? Are you kidding?” Nobody would trust him; there’s too much of a record there, even recently. He and his party have just spent the last two years bitching that we didn’t submit to the UN as regards Iraq. so clearly, anyone in the center or right wouldn’t trust him.

Another angle…

Let’s assume he was to say such a thing… and denounce his past positions… would he enjoy the support of the Democrat voter? You know he wouldn’t.  the reason is one I’ve mentioned before…. His positions of 30 years ago… the anti-American, pro-one-world, pro-socialist agendae, are in fact the heart and soul of the Democrat party of today… to go against that would be a political poison pill for Kerry. Neither side would vote for him.

The most obvious conclusion of all of this is, he’s not changed his positions at all since those days.