TCS Daily

Kerry's Contempt

By Ralph Kinney Bennett - October 12, 2004 12:00 AM

He seemed for dignity composed and high exploit: But all was false and hollow.

-- John Milton, Paradise Lost

Somehow I thought better of John Kerry.

I mean, he has the breeding, the education. Isn't there at least the chance for some honor in there somewhere?

After all, he has Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McCauliffe creeping around out there with soap in a sock. And since he apparently relishes the low political lifestyle, why not let him continue to engage in floating whoppers of the kind Shakespeare called "gross as a mountain, open, palpable."

Yet there the good Senator was this past Sunday, at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, in Miami, trolling shamelessly for black votes and spouting one of the vilest falsehoods of this sorry campaign.

Kerry, with an American flag in his well-tailored lapel, solemnly promised that, "Never again will a million African-Americans be denied the right to exercise their vote in the United States of America."

What was that?

When was that?

The Associated Press reporter covering this edifying worship service knew exactly what this stupefying remark meant and dutifully noted that Kerry was "referring to the disputed Florida recount in the 2000 Presidential race."

We won't waste time here going into that. That has all been raked over time and again. The facts are indisputable. Suffice it to say, there was no denial of anyone's right to vote in that election.

But Democrats reportedly have been growing concerned that many black Christians might have reservations about voting for Kerry because he supports same-sex civil marriages and abortion rights. This gives particular heartburn to Jesse Jackson who, although long since relegated by the general public to clown status, depends for his livelihood on being perceived as a "black leader" on the DNC plantation.

So Jesse was there with Kerry, as was Al Sharpton. They were eager to show Kerry that they can still "deliver." And they were particularly eager to ensure that churchgoing blacks will not be somehow misled.

Jackson said he was very concerned by what he called "disturbing signs" that some of "our" churches might be falling for Republican political pitches on moral issues.

He and Sharpton hastened to tell the assembled faithful that they needed to forget the moral issues and vote the old Democratic line for their own good. "The power is in your hands," Jackson said, "hands that once picked cotton."

No survey of the congregation was taken to determine how many of the hands (many waving cardboard fans emblazoned with Kerry's campaign slogan, "Hope is on the way") had indeed "picked cotton."

Kerry sat behind the pulpit in one of those ornate, throne-like high-backed chairs through all this. He was reportedly at ease except when trying to catch the rhythm of some of the Gospel songs. "Religion has been a huge part of my life," the Catholic former altar boy assured the congregation.

But the major part of his speech was campaign boiler plate highlighted by the "Never again" promise and Kerry's oft-repeated boast that he has a crack legal team waiting in the wings to swoop down and investigate any charges of "disenfranchisement."

Kerry knows that no million blacks were denied their right to vote. He knows that his legal reserve squad of voter vigilantes is a type of tawdry theater aimed at a particular audience. And he knows that no informed and sensible person believes this hoary charge

And yet, with a straight face, he continues to make this charge around the country.

Will anyone at the next debate ask him to produce documentable facts concerning the "million African-Americans?" And in light of this, can anyone even begin to gauge the sublime contempt in which Kerry (and the Democratic Party) must hold American blacks?



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