John Kerry, of the Milton-and-Elizabeth-Island Forbes and the catholicized Kohns of Vienna, joins Barack Obama as one of the two Lincoln pretenders now in the government. Each of them fondly believes that he possesses something more than the longhshanks of Lincoln, something to do with a deep thoughtfulness and humanity and melancholy wisdom, that should put others in mind of Lincoln. And each man further believes, just as fondly, that Posterity will recognize the likeness and give him his due. It will be fun to see how, with the thoughts they'll both be thinkin' thinkin' -- thinkin' I'm another Lincoln -- that the as-yet-unacknowledged rivalry to the title of Honest Abe's Ablest Avatar-- will work itself out.
What is already clear is that John Kerry, who still likes to spend an evening listening to jazz at the Hotel Carlyle (a friend of mine saw him there recently) instead of staying home and reading up on Islam -- even two or three of Bat Ye'or's books would have done wonders for his understanding -- lakes, despite his gravelly voice that he loves to listen to, the mental gravitas to do the work, to study up, as he should have been all of the past few years, or even the past ten years.
So it is not surprising that he would still believe that the little business in West Asia about Israel and the "Palestinians" is somehjow a "problem" that can be "solved" -- Kerry shows the same naive can-do attitude of George Bush who was going to fix Iraq, and fix Afghanistan, because he knew that once the "extremists" were put in their place, and lots of American money lavished on the locals, and "ordinary moms and dads" in Muslim lands in the Middle East had their wishes fulfilled, everything would be okay.
It would be fascinating to know if John Kerry could properly define "Jihad" and "dhimmi" and "Jizyah," could define the Hadith and Sira, could explain what it means for Musliims to call Muhammad "uswa hasana" and "al-insan al-kamil," and if he could give any further indication of having studied, and made that study his own, the ideology of Islam, and the history of the Muslim conquest of many different non-Muslim lands and peoples.
I don't think he has. I think he's been enjoying himself altogether too much, with his seven houses, including that multi-year renovation of that Brahmin Xanadu in Louisburg Square, and his taste for evenings out, and all the rest of his life of great, and unmerited, privilege.