Since we’ve been discussing him, I may as well throw in my 2 cents (again).
I never liked Kerry.
See my comment to this post. Sowell’s example, which I cite there, is not the only instance of Kerry’s arrogance and dishonest partisan bullying that I am aware of. I remember particularly his hostility toward gun owners during Congressional hearings in the 1990s. His reflexive deference to abusive federal police agencies, during (IIRC) hearings on the Waco and Ruby Ridge fiascoes, strongly impressed me as an indication that when it comes to government vs. the little guy Kerry will usually take the government’s side.
Kerry’s current tactic is to cite his Vietnam service as a way to deflect attention from his weak position on national defense. In much the same way, during those long-ago hearings, Kerry repeatedly invoked his supposed authority as an ex-prosecutor to shout down principled arguments against gun-control laws and for greater accountability for the FBI and BATF. He impressed me then, as he does now, as someone who prefers to browbeat opponents rather than reason with them.
The core of Kerry’s arguments usually seems to come down to an assertion, “I know better than you do,” followed by a non-sequitur, “and this is what I will do.” But, of course, he doesn’t know better. Who could? His attitude might be appropriate for a trial lawyer with a weak case or a parent talking to small children, but not for the chief executive of a democratic republic. It really is an un-American attitude. To paraphrase Adam Smith, any candidate who is so arrogant and foolish as to believe that he knows better than his fellow citizens is unsuited to holding the national office he thinks he deserves.
Yeah, this is only my impression, but it’s a strong impression that I’ve had for years. It comes from watching a lot of hearings on C-SPAN, back in the day, and from reading what Kerry’s saying now. You can learn a lot about pols by watching how they behave in televised hearings. Some elected officials, when they interact with witnesses with whom they disagree, come across as basically decent. Kerry came across as an arrogant jerk who said whatever he had to say to get his party’s talking points across. He wasn’t a bold leader but a cautious party hack. I don’t think he’s changed since then.