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Saturday, April 05, 2003

Judge A Man By The Company He Keeps

We are puzzling anew over Senator Kerry's comment that "What we need now is not just a regime change in Saddam Hussein and Iraq, but we need a regime change in the United States."

Andrew Sullivan opines. The Bear wonders about Kerry's judgement. Josh Marshall, in a "Go, Big Fella" post, urges Democrats to stop making sense and just scream louder against those mean Republican bullies. Kerry seems to be intent on pretending that attacks on his judgement are really attacks on his patriotism, which means the Marshall Plan is on track.

And I am merrily trying to judge Kerry by the company he keeps, namely, who else is comfortable with this "regime change in America" metaphor, and its echoes of our war with Saddam?

I am finding lots of company for Kerry on the left. Googling on "regime change here in America" produces just a few hits, including the well known Yong-bin Yuk, a fire-breathing speaker at a San Francisco Peace Demonstration, and Student Voices for a Democratic Society.

However, we are both swamped and intrigued by the Google for "regime change in America". 345 hits, and no doubt rising!

Some manage to be unsurprising, yet amusing. Jimmy Carter has a son named James Chip Carter? And he wants regime change now? Where was he in 1980?

We also find TomPaine, X-Chicago, some eager joiner at a Democratic National Committee website, war protestors, and others we presume to be equally worthy.

However, in a bit of a flicker for Kerry, we also see some earnest righties employ the phrase. An angry anti-tax chap tells us, "If you consider a regime change not having Monica Lewinski on the television at night, you are probably perfectly happy! As for me, I'm still waiting on the establishment candidates to get beat!" C'mon, that was what restoring honor and dignity was all about, wasn't it?

But the big surprise is here - a genuine admirer of Bush who works on the theme that the January 2003 State of the Union was a call for regime change in America. Not to worry, this won't interfere with my big finish.

Which I now deliver. With Kerry's recent arrival, the association of "regime change" with America seems to be favored primarily by kooks, cranks, and Kerry. Welcome to the club.

UPDATE: Fair's fair. The SullyWatchers have their own thoughts on the widespread use of this phrase, and conclude that if it is good enough for Media Whores Online and Bart Simpson, it is good enough for Presidential candidates in wartime. I stand corrected - make that "kooks, cranks, comics, and Kerry". Scroll around, please, the blogger links are not working.

UPDATE 2: Drudge is on top of this like a cheap fedora:

At a fund-raising concert for House Democrats last October, ActressSingerMotherDirectorCitizenWifeProducer Barbra Streisand called for a "regime change" in Washington and said, "I find bringing the country to the brink of war unilaterally five weeks before an election questionable -- and very, very frightening."

Rev. Jesse Jackson: "We need a regime change in this country." [October 27, 2002]

Louis Farrakhan: "I am crying out to the American people to rise up because your president is the world's threat to peace. When you talk about a regime change in Iraq if this man continues like this there must be a regime change in America. Our president is drunk with the power of the United States of America." [October 9, 2002]

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI): "We need a regime change in the United States." [March 16, 2003]

Former LBJ Attorney General Ramsey Clark: "Regime change! George Bush has to go and we have the power to do it. The officials of the government shall be removed from office for crimes and misdemeanor; their crime against peace, and for use of torture in Iraq." [March 31, 2003]

Michael Moore: "The regime change ought to begin at home." [Nov. 10, 2002]

Actress Susan Sarandon: "I'd like a regime change in the United States, but I would really resent Iraq coming in, throwing out Bush and then telling us who to have." [Jan. 3, 2003] END

OK, its a Democratic Cocktail Party Quip. But, retreating to my next line of defense, none of these folks make the explicit linkage of Bush and Sadddam, and (excepting Ramsey Clark, who should know a war criminal when he sees one) there was no war on.

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