Monday, September 20, 2004

Rather isn't the only one with an authenticity problem

But at least Dan and CBS have admitted the forgery today. (That's the AP, who we don't usually trust, so you can read other articles here and here if you want, as well as the full CBS statement)
[Free registration required for NY times article. Or you can use mine: UserID:abigailb Password:newyork]

Meanwhile, Hugh Hewitt commented this weekend extensively onThe Meta-Meme: The Forgery is John Kerry, and John Kerry is the Forgery.

I'll save you some time and reprint some hi-lights:
The forged docs have hurt Rather and CBS because he and it ought to have seen through them. They shouldn't have been fooled because the docs were so obviously inauthentic.

Which brings us to John Kerry, the candidate who is defined by his inauthenticity.

Kerry is one of the most liberal members of the United States Senate --the most liberal member if you believe The National Journal-- but Kerry has tried to portray himself as a centrist.

At heart an opponent of the war in Iraq --openly in 1991, after the fact in 2003/4-- Kerry has tried repeatedly to protest his resolve in the war on terror and to avoid condemning his own vote to authorize the war while condeming the war that has actually been waged.
Kerry has said he believes life begins at conception, but he is an ardent supporter even of late-term abortions, also called partial birth abortions.
The memories that were "seared, seared" into him of his Christmas Eve in Cambodia in 1968 were made up, and many suspect his tale of a magic hat from a CIA man he ferried into Cambodia, and of running guns into Cambodia, are also fables. Whether or not you believe the Swift Boat Vets entire indictment, they have been targeting Kerry's truthfulness from the first day of their campaign.

The aroma of opportunism is all around Kerry's antiwar activism, and all around his maneuvering these days when he discusses his statements from that era thirty years ago. Did he or did he not believe the things he said then? Has he or has he not released his entire military record? Will he or will he not attack the president's national guard service? Does he or does he not keep company with Michael Moore and the fever swamp Democrats?

Is there anything real about this guy at all? Or is it just John Kerry 5.0?
And then [Kerry]he drops from site of reporters asking questions, ... It has been [50] days since the cameras rolled with John Kerry taking a series of questions from a Russert or a Wallace or a Hume? Dr. Phil? You can throw in a Dr. Phil, but you can't substitute Dr. Phil for Brokaw or Jennings or one of the heavies. Not, at least, if you are a real presidential candidate, an authentic candidate.

Authenticity is the precursor to trust, a necessary though certainly not sufficient condition to trust.
The first Bush was authentically a public servant of the old East, and his son a Texan tough guy with faith and charm. But Kerry...he's a lot of things, and none of them appear to be authentic. Like Gore. Like the Rathergate docs. Manufactured, not created.
You can't run for president as someone you are not, at least not anymore, and especially not in the wake of a forgery scandal. Daschle's got the same problem in South Dakota, and Boxer and Murray may have the same problem in their states as well. You can't pretend to be a centrist, or smart, when you are the spokesman for a party in the left ditch, or when you win, place or show in the dumb contest in the Washingtonian.