Sunday, May 02, 2004

The post on Real Clear Politics that first alerted me to the Kerry Cayman Islands tax scheme (I need to come up with something shorter and catchier. Caymangate? Ugh.) mentioned Kerry's "Benedict Arnold" theme and it's possible relevance. If you look at what Kerry and his campaign have said, it is clear that Kerry is, by his own definition, a "Benedict Arnold", or a traitor to America.

He first started with a rather broad standard, and a mini-scandal arose about the fact that by Kerry's statement many of his close supporters could be considered "Benedict Arnolds" (let me hasten to add that as far as I'm aware, they are all legitimate businesses with legitimate oversea operations). The definition was therefore 'clarified' to be more restrictive. As reported by MSNBC:

When asked for the definition of a "Benedict Arnold" company or CEO, Stephanie Cutter, Kerry's spokeswoman, said: "Companies that take advantage of tax loopholes to set up bank accounts or move jobs abroad simply to avoid taxes."

So, to reiterate - Kerry and his campaign have stated that those who "take advantage of tax loopholes to set up bank accounts ... abroad simply to avoid taxes" are "Benedict Arnolds", or traitors.

Now let's consider what he told the Boston Globe just last year. When asked about why he got into his Cayman Island fiasco, he told them:

Kerry said he wanted to protect some of the money at tax time, and, on advice of some of his fund-raisers, jumped into the commodities investment.

"I thought it was a way to try to minimize tax consequences," he said.

So Kerry set up business(es) and (presumably) bank accounts overseas simply in an effort to avoid taxes. A traitor, by his own definition.

It sort of gives the phrase "the politics of personal destruction" a whole new meaning, doesn't it? While he has been fatuously accusing Bush, Cheney and a "right wing smear campaign" of questioning his patriotism, the only person who has truly questioned Kerry's patriotism is Kerry himself.