From Andrew Sullivan's latest Sunday Times column is Sullivan's analysis of why the Kerry campaign is doing so poorly. One of the points is how Kerry voted for giving the president the authority to go into Iraq and then voted against the funding apporpriation.
One of the points some friends of mine make for their vote against Bush (not for Kerry) is how badly Bush has failed in Iraq post-hostilities. Granted, things could have gone very much better with much better planning. However, what plan the Bush administration did have would have been rendered virtually impossible if that appropriation had failed. Kerry loses a great deal of moral authority when he claims that Bush has failed when he cast his vote in a manner that would have guaranteed failure had his side prevailed.
It would have been far better for Senator Kerry if he had reversed his votes: Against the force authorization, For the reconstruction funds. That would flow seamlessly into a position of, "We should not have gone into Iraq in the first place, but we will do whatever it takes to win the peace." As it is, his voting record seems like a miniature of the apparent administration attitude of "Do what we want, damn the consequences."