What the hell is it going to take? Richard Clarke's book. Bloodbath in Iraq. 9/11 hearings revealing incompetence and apathy. A rehearsed press conference where not one question was answered. And his poll numbers still go up!

The latest Gallup and Pew polls have Bush ahead by four and five points, respectively. Where is John Kerry during all this? Paddling along in Florida with Bob Graham and John Edwards saying that it is important to save the environment.

As a Floridian, I wholeheartedly agree. Bush's environmental (non)policy, like so many others, has been dredged in Orwellian doublespeak. However, I'll gladly pave Tampa Bay to have a regime change.

So I emailed this to the Kerry campaign:

What in the world are you guys thinking???!!!!

Bush is halfway through the worst month of his presidency, and John Kerry has been silent. As American troops are being slaughtered in Iraq and our meager coalition understandably unravels, Mr. Kerry is in Florida talking about the environment.

I agree the environment is important, but I'm seriously afraid, afraid for my family, my children and my country, that if Mr. Kerry does not wake up and start playing hardball with Karl Rove & Co., he will not stand a chance in November. If we have learned nothing since 2000, it is that the Bush/Cheney machine will steal a close election. John Kerry must win convincingly to win at all.

I was encouraged early in the campaign once Mr. Kerry became the presumptive nominee that he seemed to grasp this would be a bare-knuckles fight against the Republican spin factory. Unfortunately, he seems to have lost that edge and aggressiveness. With so much riding on this election, with the administration's arrogance, deceit and ineptitude being displayed daily, Bush/Cheney is backing toward the ropes, if not on them. Now is the time for Mr. Kerry to zero in and hammer away.

I can understand not weighing in on the pre-9/11 issues. However, as a former soldier he has no reason not to make the Iraq issue his battering ram. America needs a bold fighter to deal with the urgent issues of our times. I urge Mr. Kerry to roll up his sleeves, take off the gloves and start swinging.

Where is Howard Dean when we need him?