T Nation

But is Kerry Competent

Kerry continues to complain of the President’s incompetence, and "colossal failures of judgment.’’ But can we determine if he will be competent, if he were to become the president. Will he run the country competently? To answer this question, I propose we consider how he has run his campaign thus far. What do we see but a pile of incompetence? He can’t figure out how to articulate his position. Today, if you ask, who is John Kerry, about all you can come up with is, he is not George Bush. He has a lot on his web site, but has yet to find a way to make those positions part of the John Kerry perceived by the general public. Rather, he does stupid things like try to show he’s a regular guy by eating at a fast food restaurant, then getting caught sneaking in something from the yacht club. His decision to make his Vietnam service such a big part of his campaign can now be clearly seen as a colossal failure in judgment. Didn’t he know how it would play out, with his anti-war activities being brought front and center. He accuses Bush of saying he would do the same thing in Iraq again, even with what is known today, yet his campaign was not able to make the adjustment when those anti-war activities began to become a negative for him. What a failed strategy it has become.

Colossal incompetence from start to present.

I don’t think John Kerry has conducted his campaign in a competent manner. The average ABB person is not at all excited about the Kerry candidacy.

At this point the typical Kerry voter should have a clear understanding of their candidates stand on the major issues of the day. That has not happened from what I can see.

While I think John Kerry is a very articulate man, his policys seem to be lost in a quagmire of anti-Bush spiel which seems to further torpedo his chances of becoming the next President.

The worst part for him is that time is running out!

Mr. Chen,

That is hardly an unbiased view of Kerry’s ethos.

You know the slanting fallacy?

What you wrote exemplifies it.

Are you looking for truth or trying to persuade?

And who are you trying to persuade?

Democrats aint going to be swayed by what you wrote. So all you have is the republicans, who already agree with you.

I have found that generally,people don’t change their minds about politics.

There is no changing your mind, Im sure, because you know you are correct.

I envy your certainty.

DudeDilly Squat,

Your post was a complete waste of space. We talk generally here, sometimes to persuade.

The Kerry campaign has been horrible - much as Gore’s was. It’s not partisan - the Democrats just rely on terrible campaign strategies and have for several of the last election cycles. It’s not a liberal or conservative thing, it’s just bad strategy.

When outside pundits are recommending that Kerry ‘be himself’ this late on the game, it’s clear the people running Kerry’s game are incompetent on the face of it. Democrats rely entirely on too many consultants and focus-groups to try and craft an image of their candidate. Kerry should be responsible for his image, not his handlers.

The shame of it is, Kerry is probably more competent on paper than his campaign suggests, but he failed the biggest competency test by failing to take command over his own destiny in his campaign.

If Kerry can’t get his act together on the campaign trail, how will he do in the Oval Office?

It’s not over just yet folks.

I also don’t think it is fair to claim Kerry is incompetent because republicans have been brilliantly capable of spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Anyway, to go back to a point earlier, I don’t think Kerry was concerned with being attacked on his anti-war policies. That is not the controversy that has caused him problems. The swifties may have been motivated by that, but that was not the message they put forth.

All that being said, sure, the guy has made mistakes. Everybody does. I wonder if he’s willing to realize that and adjust his ways. That might be seen as a big plus by some people.

[quote]dude-dilly squat wrote:
That is hardly an unbiased view of Kerry’s ethos.[/quote]

I was intending to discuss Kerry’s persona, not his ethos.

[quote]You know the slanting fallacy?

What you wrote exemplifies it.[/quote]

I deny that I have committed the slanting fallacy. If that is your contention, please support it with a detailed analysis.

I seek only truth, as you my son. I think, therefore I am. And I’m having fun too. And you?

Actually, I would be glad to consider someone other than Bush. I wasn’t happy at all about the last budget. However, I see nothing in Kerry to make me consider him as an alternative.

Keep studying and striving, one day you can find your own certainty, just as I have.

Peace man.

[quote]vroom wrote:
It’s not over just yet folks.

I also don’t think it is fair to claim Kerry is incompetent because republicans have been brilliantly capable of spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Kerry is incompetent because he has not gotten a clear message to the voters! It has nothing to do with the republicans. Fear is being spread by both parites, which is typcial. If Kerry is elected there will be more terrorist attacks says the VP. Iraq is a mess and getting worse says Kerry. Nothing new here.

Anyway, to go back to a point earlier, I don’t think Kerry was concerned with being attacked on his anti-war policies. That is not the controversy that has caused him problems. The swifties may have been motivated by that, but that was not the message they put forth.

All that being said, sure, the guy has made mistakes. Everybody does. I wonder if he’s willing to realize that and adjust his ways. That might be seen as a big plus by some people.[/quote]

I agree with your final paragraph!

Yeah, Kerry’s campaigning doesn’t bode well for administration, I have to admit that. He sure has made some stupid errors and hired some real morons, can’t argue with that. He’s very much of victim of his own party, namely that a large portion of the democrats’ voting base is highly incompetent and/or extremely liberal(not that ignorance doesn’t cross the aisle!), so in an attempt to pander to both the stupid and the swing voter he’s forced to double-talk and flip-flop around key issues. Bush faces similar problems although statistically a high number of his base will turn out regardless of what they think he’ll do for them.

But what’s up with these stupid front porch fiascos!?! Who the hell thought THAT was a good idea? I do hope that the campaign is not indictative of what we’ll see in the white house.

I especially hope this is and has been true of Bush. Bush’s 2000 campaign was one of the dirtiest, most unethical and brutally fought campaigns in history. Again this year he’s consistently bending the laws and manipulating the public debate of the issues, not to mention the sheerly unethical practices of the RNC and their 527 cronies(yes I know the dems have their own 527s, but I’ve yet to see them throw outright lies in the arena, at least not yet). I recall the whisper campaign in SC in 2000 where the Bush people accused McCain of being psychotic and of having a black baby(which he does and abopted from a country I can’t recall offhand). So for my money, if a candidate runs his administration like his campaign, give me Kerrys antics over Bush’s ethics.

What is the issue is Kerry’s rhetorical skills.

They suck, specifically,his pathos sucks.

Bush has much better pathos, though his logos is kinda whacky.

“You’re either with us or against us”
is a false dillema fallacy. ITs typcial bush logic.

The logic seems to be , “If Kerry cant run a good campane then he is not suitable to a government?”

This is a false analogy fallacy, I think. Good rhetorical skills, which is the issure here, are not the only skills required to be a good leader. They are nice, but i have friends who are really smooth talkers but when its time to get dirty and get a job done they are worthless. I have horrible rhetorical skills, but give me a task I believe in. . .

So Bush has better rhetorical skills?

Is that reason for him to be president?

Hitler had great rhetorical skills, especially his pathos–he knew his audince–far superior to
Kerry. But would than mean he would be a better choice to run America?

A lot of anti-Bush folks cringe when Bush speaks, because they think he’s dumbed everything down to buzzwords.

Compare that to Al Gore who would cite all kinds of statistics and studies and percentages… most people don’t want to hear that. They want ‘bumper sticker’ politics. They called him “Al Bore” because most people are not interested enough to discuss policy. They want it quick and snappy.

Kerry is a big brain who has decades of experience and has a good grasp on the issues… you will see that during the debates. What he’s not good at is “bumper sticker politics”.

Do you want a president who has a big brain and decades of experience, or a president who can come up with snappy one-liners?

Bush does well at marketing himself, which is how he’s stayed afloat even though his record as president absolutely stinks.

I keep hearing you guys say that Kerry supporters don’t actually like Kerry. That’s bullshit. A lot of us do like Kerry. So far I like Kerry as much as I like any other president we’ve had. That is, some things about Kerry I like a whole lot, and some things I don’t like as much or even disagree with. I certainly like Kerry better than Bush by a country mile. Only a damned fool likes absolutely everything about George Bush or probably any other president for that matter.

[quote]dude-dilly squat wrote:
What is the issue is Kerry’s rhetorical skills.[/quote]

You may think this is the only issue, but I was drawing attention to how poorly his campaign has been run as a whole.

[quote]“You’re either with us or against us”
is a false dillema fallacy.[/quote]

Not neccessarily. You can either vote for Bush or against him and vote for Kerry. Unless you want to abstain as a form of protest.

Yes, that’s exactly it. And since, as you said, it takes more than just rhetorical skills to be a leader, we can certainly look at how he has run his campaign, and make some assumptions as to how he might run his government. As you should know, an analogy does not have to be parrallel all the way down the line in order for it to be valid. Besides, it is just about the only thing we have to look at of Kerry’s leadership/management/strategy skills at this point.

[quote]Hitler had great rhetorical skills, especially his pathos–he knew his audince–far superior to
Kerry. But would than mean he would be a better choice to run America?[/quote]

Now this is really some poor analogy here. Comparing 1930’s Germany to 2000+ USA just won’t go. Ten points off.

Hang in there Dude, you’ll get it.

[quote]Lumpy wrote:

Kerry is a big brain who has decades of experience and has a good grasp on the issues… you will see that during the debates. What he’s not good at is “bumper sticker politics”.

Do you want a president who has a big brain and decades of experience, or a president who can come up with snappy one-liners?[/quote]

Knowing when to talk long and when to talk short is a smart skill. To bad Kerry doesn’t have this one either. Bush knows the requirements of campaigning; he’s a smart guy. The game is played fast and rough, whether you like it or not. It isn’t any different out on the international stage where the US president must succeed. Ditto for domestic politics. Kerry doesn’t have what it takes.

Smart guy Bush.
http://homepage.mac.com/njenson/movies/sovereignty.mov

[quote]Operaman wrote:
(yes I know the dems have their own 527s, but I’ve yet to see them throw outright lies in the arena, at least not yet).[/quote]

Really? Are you sure? “Forged Documents” ring a bell? How about Michael Moore’s twisted editorial that ended up constituting nothing more than fiction? OK, I know Moore is not affiliated with any 527’s, nor is CBS, but you have to admit that half-truths are floating about quite freely from both sides.

How about taking a somewhat balanced look at the http://www.factcheck.org. While they make mistakes themselves, they seem to do everything they can to be balanced and tell the truth of the matter.

JUstTheFacts,

Yeh, that video clip is kinda bad. I feel embarrassed for him.

It is obvious what happened- He felt he had a handle on the question, and intended to jump right into it. Then, as he began to answer, he found that wasn’t quite the case. It would have been better for him to back up and start over, but that sounds kinda bad too.

For someone like Bush who is frequently asked complicated questions on all sorts of topics, this type of flubbed answer is bound to happen on occasion. Unless you have extensive experience at speaking extemporaneously, you wouldn’t know. It happens to the smartest. I don’t think it reflects that much overall on the President.

More to the point, here is a critique(http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110005667) on Kerry’s comments concerning Mr. Allawi’s recent speech-

Mr. Kerry, for one, must not have been listening too carefully to those remarks, given his ungracious reaction to Mr. Allawi’s speech. The Senator accused the Prime Minister of “contradicting his own statement[s]” and of putting the “best face” on the situation.

While Mr. Kerry has every right to criticize U.S. conduct of the war, one would think he’d be wiser than to attack Mr. Allawi for saying it will be possible to hold the same elections that Mr. Kerry said just this Monday were his own exit strategy from Iraq. Or to accuse Iraq’s Prime Minister of painting an unrealistic picture about a country the Senator has never visited. Having described the U.S. allies who liberated Iraq as a “coalition of the bribed,” Mr. Kerry now insults the Iraqis he’d be working with if he becomes President.

Kerry’s was a prepared speech, unlike the question and answer session you have of Bush. It is an example of real lack of intelligence.