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John Kerry is back in the Senate, making clear that his presidential aspirations remain intact. Rather than give Condi Rice a pass, he joined Barbara Boxer in making an ideological show out of the secretary of state’s confirmation hearings. His Democratic Party colleagues got to watch as the duo did their number on the first African-American woman to be nominated for secretary of state – quite a display of insensitivity for a party that prides itself as the champion of America’s minorities.

But that wasn’t the point. The point was to be once again in President Bush’s face. Unwilling to admit that the torch had been passed to a new generation of conservatives, a key point of the president’s inaugural address, Kerry and Boxer continued the litany of complaints about wrong war, wrong time, wrong place, with the added chorus of wrong advice.

Against this backdrop, Howard Dean continued his quest to become the new head of the Democratic National Party, completely ignoring Hillary Clinton’s attempted move to the center. What? Hillary, the champion of “It Takes a Village,” is now worried that we have too many abortions in the United States? It’s beginning to look like the best way to defeat the Democratic Party is to give them all microphones and TV time. Pretty soon, only the most extreme left wingers (or the most devoted Hillary-lovers) are going to be able to make sense out of what is going on.

Could John Kerry really think that he might be nominated in ’08 for a second try for the White House? My guess is that he does. Kerry does not appear to accept the loss of the election as any kind of a rebuke. The Swift Boat controversy? As far as Kerry is concerned the problem was not that the American public rejected his ersatz war-hero routine or his radical anti-war protesting activity. No. The problem was that his campaign staff did not respond quickly enough to the Swift Boat attack.

Having been on the receiving end, the Kerry response appeared fast enough at the time. Doesn’t anyone in the mainstream media remember the band of lawyers Kerry dispatched to ask Regnery to withdraw “Unfit for Command” from the bookstores? How about the legal challenges delivered to any TV station bold enough to entertain running the Swift Boat TV commercials. Then there was Max Cleland showing up in Crawford, Texas, with a letter asking President Bush to condemn the Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth. Looked like a pretty quick response at the time.

Why didn’t Kerry just answer the charges in “Unfit for Command”? Simple. He didn’t have any answers.

How about Christmas in Cambodia? Or his 1971 testimony to the Fulbright Committee where he called the 2.5 million Americans who fought honorably in Vietnam baby killers and war criminals? How about the meetings in Paris with Madame Binh, the Viet Cong’s chief negotiator to the Paris Peace Conference while he was yet in the Naval Reserves? No answer. Nor was Standard Form 180 ever signed. Kerry’s military records are still his private secret. Yet according to Kerry and Boxer, Condi Rice was the liar.

Pretty soon, even Hillary Clinton is going to find herself in a Democratic Party that has no center. A Democratic Party without a viable center will never be able to elect a president. The way the Democratic Party is moving to the left, the United States may be on the verge of having our first European-style national socialist party.

I do plan to move to Massachusetts to run for the Senate against John Kerry in ’08. Yes, I want to keep the challenge of “Unfit for Command” alive, just in case Kerry is serious about another run for the presidency.

But, even more important, I think John Kerry will be vulnerable in Massachusetts. The Bay State may well be ripe for a strong conservative challenge. The Democratic Party should not count the current Blue States as a secure enclave. Get out the map of Massachusetts and look at how much red there is. Take Boston out of the equation and the state has real possibilities even now for inclusion in the Red State category.

During the Democratic National Convention, I was at the Red Sox game where John Kerry threw out the first pitch (bouncing the ball to home plate in a pretty pathetic throw for a guy who prides himself at looking good in expensive athletic settings). There was a lot of booing at Fenway Park that summer day.

Maybe the crowd at Harvard Square is ready for the extreme socialist direction the Democratic Party is steering in, but the Boston Red Sox fans are not likely to be entertained for long by bad-pitching politicians who hold up the start of an important baseball game with the Yankees for irrelevant political grandstanding.

John Kerry thought the Red Sox winning the Pennant in 2004 was a good omen for him. It wasn’t. .I’ve been going to Red Sox games at Fenway Park since the 1950s. The crowd is decidedly Red State – they don’t call them the “Red” Sox for nothing.

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