Dave Johnson of Seeing the Forest is cross-posting madly all over the web, ostensibly soliciting bloggers' opinions of John Kerry.
Why? Who is behind this? The phrasing of the question strikes me as disingenuous in the extreme. Kerry's declared primary opponent Ed O'Reilly's website shows him to be thin on resume, thin on ideas, and thin on qualifications. What is he offering the people of Massachusetts in exchange for Kerry's high profile on progressive causes, not to mention his seniority?
Kerry has admitted that his vote on the IWR was a terrible mistake. Anyone who has seen himspeak on the subject - A Right and Responsibility to Speak Out - is a good speech to start with - can hear clearly how he feels about the Iraq war. Kerry has settled back into the senate as a fiercely progressive voice against the war, writing and pushing for environmental legislation, and supporting the veterans that the republican administration has been so anxious to keep out of view.
He is a voice of reason and diplomacy. He voted against the confirmations of Condoleezza Rice and Alberto Gonzalez, and char-grilled John Bolton in committee. He opposed the confirmations of Alito and Roberts. And Thomas. He was the sole - and often lonely - investigator of BCCI and Iran-Contra, for which he had the courage to stand up to Reagan and against the interests of some powerful democrats. So you see why I haven't the remotest desire to knock John Kerry out of his senate seat. The way I see it, there is no one else in congress with his energy, his fortitude, or his courage in fighting the forces of corruption.
I'm on the email list of just about every progressive cause out there. My inbox is flooded every day with emails begging me to donate money, sign petitions, and call my senators. When I get those I just smile; I am in the enviable position of not even having to ask.
And finally, John Kerry has been engaging directly and regularly with bloggers for some time now, and in doing so has demonstrated an understanding of and appreciation for the online community that puts him way ahead of his peers.
So yes. He has my vote.