Senator John Kerry's remarks at Brown University today, again leaves many Democrats wondering, "Where was this kind of speech and passion that went with it a year ago?
Former Vice President Al Gore delivered the same, raucous and pointedly angry speech to the delight of many only after he lost the contentious election to George W. Bush in 2000.
Is this what happens when polls and special consultants are jettisoned in favor of the real candidate's heart?
Kerry offered many well thought out observations and links between the administration's folly in Iraq and the letdown of the federal government's aid to the Gulf Coast.
Here's are some of the soundbytes (Read the entire speech here):
This is about the broader pattern of incompetence and negligence that Katrina exposed, and beyond that, a truly systemic effort to distort and disable the people's government, and devote it to the interests of the privileged and the powerful. It is about the betrayal of trust and abuse of power.
Kerry also touched upon the growing feeling amongst Democrats that Republicans intend to use the aftermath of Katrina to allow certain conservatives values to rise in the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast.
And the rush now to camouflage their misjudgments and inaction with money doesn’t mean they are suddenly listening. It's still politics as usual. The plan they’re designing for the Gulf Coast turns the region into a vast laboratory for right wing ideological experiments. They’re already talking about private school vouchers, abandonment of environmental regulations, abolition of wage standards, subsidies for big industries - and believe it or not yet another big round of tax cuts for the wealthiest among us!
In what was the basic aim of this speech today, Kerry sought to cast in stone the huge failure of the White House's response to the suffering of New Orleans and Mississippi. The Democrats intend to run with Hurricane Katrina all the way to the midterm elections a year from now with a syllogism very similar to the one Kerry offered today.
Katrina is a symbol of all this administration does and doesn't do. Michael Brown -- or Brownie as the President so famously thanked him for doing a heck of a job - Brownie is to Katrina what Paul Bremer is to peace in Iraq; what George Tenet is to slam dunk intelligence; what Paul Wolfowitz is to parades paved with flowers in Baghdad; what Dick Cheney is to visionary energy policy; what Donald Rumsfeld is to basic war planning; what Tom Delay is to ethics; and what George Bush is to “Mission Accomplished” and "Wanted Dead or Alive." The bottom line is simple: The "we'll do whatever it takes" administration doesn't have what it takes to get the job done.
In simpler words, he said, "This is the Katrina administration."