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Defending John Kerry

This is going to be painful. I'm going to have to actually stick up for John Kerry here.

But first, I think I'll have to say something snarky, just to keep myself in check.

Kerry denigrated the intelligence and education of those who enlist in the armed services, saying that if they didn't study and do their homework, they'd end up getting sent off to fight in a war. He's speaking from experience. During their college careers, George W. Bush scored both higher grades and a higher IQ. Kerry went off to fight in the war; Bush stayed in the US. (The irony is that Bush volunteered to go to Viet Nam, but was denied; Kerry volunteered for duty that wasn't involved in combat, but then was assigned to front-line duty -- and chose to end his tour early.)

OK, that's out of the way. Let's get to the meat of the issue -- what exactly Kerry said, and what he meant.

Kerry's exact words were this:

"You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

On the surface, a rather flagrant and condescending attack on our troops currently serving. Utterly despicable words, especially from a sitting United States Senator and who nearly became president two years ago. Toss in that they are demonstrably false, as the current educational levels of our forces surpasses the national average, and it's a real bone-headed move.

But I don't believe that Kerry meant to say that.

He and his staff say he meant to say "you get US stuck in Iraq" -- it was an oblique cheap shot at President Bush, but Kerry omitted the "us." I find that plausible. While Kerry has a rather extensive history of bad-mouthing our troops, dating back to his testimony before Congress in 1971 and extending as recently as last week, when he denigrated the US forces brought in to help cut down the fighting in Baghdad, this is not quite his style. He tends to go after the troops directly, accusing them of incompetence and atrocities. He doesn't tend to just randomly slam them and mock them -- that he reserves for his political foes.

Part of my (shudder) sympathy for Kerry is that I did something very similar almost exactly a year ago. I was writing about the 60's and their legacy, and in one paragraph I omitted a simple eight-word clause that utterly perverted the meaning of an entire paragraph, and I unintentionally insulted and slandered a whole group of people that I was trying to praise.

Several readers -- some actual Viet Nam veterans, the group I had maligned -- caught it, and called it to my attention. Sadly, some of them didn't immediately realize my actions were accidental, and it bothered them. I was horrified and appalled.

The very next day, I published an apology. It was the only thing I could do. I had been careless and rushed, and something that should never have been published had been shown the light of day. Luckily, the readers who had spotted and complained about the original version saw the apology and correction, adn accepted it. I was damned lucky they did; they would have been justified in quitting reading the blog entirely.

My one regret I still have is that one of them apologized to me in return. I wish I had refused their apologies. He did nothing wrong, and had nothing to apologize for. They were absolutely in the right, they did me a great service by calling me on it, and by not refusing his apologies I tacitly said that they had done wrong as well. Robert, epador, Allen Yackey, old soldier, once again my thanks. And Allen Yackey -- it's pretty late, but I refuse to accept your apology. Save it for when you've actually done something wrong.

But that's where John Kerry failed. He didn't apologize. He didn't give a "mea culpa," didn't announce "I fucked up," didn't even offer a "my bad." Instead, he defiantly announced that "I apologize to no one" and instead denounced those who had called him on his words.

Senator, Karl Rove didn't make you drop that word. No right-wing blogger hacked your TelePrompter and cut it out of your speech. You weren't startled by a shotgun-wielding Dick Cheney. You made an all-too-human error. It's no big deal. The intended target of your barb is famous for it. He does it on an almost daily basis. (One significant difference, though, is that Bush accepts it about himself, and doesn't get outraged when it's reported. Another is that when Bush mangles his sentences, it's often hilarious.)

Man up, Senator. Act like you got a pair. Own what you said. Apologize and explain that it was an accident. Hell, blame it on not getting enough sleep -- that's how Bill Clinton tried to weasel out of a tax cut pledge. If you'd done that immediately, it would have been worth a day or three of laughs at your expense. And then it would be OVER.

But by stonewalling and blustering and lashing out, you've changed a discussion to your foibles into your serious character flaws, and caused great harm to your party's chances next week -- as well as your own future aspirations for higher office.

Once again, we see just what we were so fortunate to avoid almost two years ago. And once again, I am relieved that I didn't vote for John Kerry for president.

Own your words, Senator. Or they will surely own you.

Update: This says it so perfectly.


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Comments (77)

I'm sorry, I've heard this ... (Below threshold)

I'm sorry, I've heard this explanation, including a link to National Journal bloggers who say they've heard Kerry say the line before. If it is part of his "stock" speech disparaging Bush, why haven't they flooded the internet with video of him delivering the line the right way?

Even so, all he had to do was apologize quickly and acknowledge his error. Instead, he took a pompous, arrogant, and aggressive stance - as if he were reliving 2004, and changing the way he dealt with the Swiftboat guys.

IF the error were as innocent as is being claimed, it seems one or both of the foregoing possibilities would have come to pass. Neither did.

So, we are left to accept the word of the "Kerry people" and a few sympathetic bloggers, set against the video we have all seen.

So, who are you gonna believe? Kerry, or your lyin' eyes?

ROTFL

"it was an oblique cheap sh... (Below threshold)
goddessoftheclassroom:

"it was an oblique cheap shot at President Bush..."

That's why I'm angry.

Although it's not as repugnant as meaning to insult the troops, insulting the Commander-in-Chief, the President of the United States, is still tacky.
Personally insulting him, mind you, mot criticizing polices or decisions, or better yet offering alternatives.
EVEN IF the original remarks were not directed at the troops, his "I apologize to know one" is. Even the smarmy, "I'm sorry you were offended" approach would have been better.
I want to know what Veterans Day program Sen. Kerry attends...

Jim, I think the NRO people... (Below threshold)
goddessoftheclassroom:

Jim, I think the NRO people are ASKING whether Kerry has used this joke before, not suggesting he has. My take is that they're pointing out how hollow his explanation is.

Jay Tea, with all due respe... (Below threshold)
ted:

Jay Tea, with all due respect, get real.

This was taken before the "... (Below threshold)
ironman:

This was taken before the "botched joke"....I can already hear the screams in Kos-it-stan

Nedster is down 12 in CT with 6 days left

http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x11362.xml?ReleaseID=978

And now coming to a campaig... (Below threshold)
robert:

And now coming to a campaign stop near you... Gigolo John and Hanoi Jane!

(Applause!)

John: Thank you, thank you all!
Jane: Tora, Tora, Tora!
John: That was Japan, Jane, get your wars straight.
Jane: If we go into Afghanistan, we will get beat like a drum, like the British and the Russians.
John: Good line, wrong war.
Jane: Help me out here John.
John: ...had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam...
Jane: Oh yeah! You tell it John!
John: ...war crimes on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.
Jane: But where's the joke in there John?
John: The joke is the three band-aids and out thing. AND I came back a war hero for both sides. You talk about smart.
Jane: Yeh, the soldiers I knew were smart too, clever little dudes in their tunnels.
John: And the Russians were smart too.
Jane: Senator Kennedy was in charge of helping the Russians.
John: Right, you had Vietnam and I had Cambodia, if not I'll eat my hat.
Jane: That's what happened to it!
John: Only the truth Jane.

One can't blame someone for... (Below threshold)

One can't blame someone for getting up in arms over Kerry's statement. He has a long and rich history of making outrageous statements/lies. Often they are about the military. And I agree that his pompous and indignant non-apology only made things worse. But even if he got his "joke" right, it was still a flat out wrong assessment. He and Bush both went to college and earned degrees before enlisting.

And please don't go into the "Kerry was a real hero and Bush got a cushy reserves position 'cause of his daddy and because Kerry's for real and Bush is a draft dodger" argument. It'll just get ignored.

Jay Tea, I am disappointed ... (Below threshold)
smartguy:

Jay Tea, I am disappointed and surprised. Kerry has no defense in this situation other than "I'm a Democrat - I am SUPPOSED to hate the troops".

After all, it is the US soldiers that are the terrorists, right? (in Kerry's own words)

He could NOT have meant the... (Below threshold)
nehemiah:

He could NOT have meant the statement to apply to President Bush. It makes no sense that way.

The "if you study . . . you will do well" statement is talking to the students -- almost every parent says something like this.

"if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq" -- means that if they don't study, then they get to be President (that's the only way to get us stuck in Iraq under the explanation of the Democrats -- if this truly is a statement about Bush), then they get us stuck in Iraq.

Think about that. If you don't study, you will become a President that gets us stuck in Iraq. That is what the Kerry people are claiming he is saying.

Goddess, I concur with you:... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Goddess, I concur with you: I am just so sick and tired of our President being bashed - and not just by politicians. Jay, I'm going a bit off track here, but bear with me - the election is less than a week away.

I had to attend a conference for educators last week, and was very upset by the large number of hits to President Bush that were made during workshops. One other teacher and I spoke up that we like President Bush and did not appreciate that teachers are so openly against him. Our comments were not well received, and I actually began to feel blackballed as the day wore on.

What you all may not realize is that educators get ticked off when they don't have a Democrat in the White House because a lot of unnecessary wining and dining gets cut. However, during the past several years - in fact during Bush's entire time in office - I have not seen one workshop, professional development meeting or paid luncheon cancelled. My partner in crime at the meeting and I were both amazed at how much waste there was at the convention. Buying our own lunch in lieu of having a plated full course affair might keep taxes down, we said. Perhaps we didn't all need to clock in 18+ hours of pay over the course of several days. And the SNACKS. You guys should have been there. Two entire floors of a lush hotel were made available to us for workshops. Many, many people attending had rooms paid for by their school system. Biting the hand that feeds me? Probably. Upset that your tax dollars and mine could be put to better use? Yes.

I was never impressed with Clinton, but I certainly didn't make nasty comments about him at meetings, in the classroom, at church. Our President is our President, and I want my children to learn respect for our leaders.

Any way you want to color i... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

Any way you want to color it, Kerry is an arrogant pompous dick head who thinks he is better and smarter than everyone, yet has accomplished nothing in life other than marrying rich widows.

He meant what he said and and said what he meant and now mr. cocky won't apologize for it.

The troops know exactly where mr. three fraudulent purple hearts stands and it's behind them with a gun.

He's a pathetic excuse for a senator, and almost as bad as Teddy the Swimmer Kennedy.

Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

Sorry, as a veteran - Kerry... (Below threshold)
JAT:

Sorry, as a veteran - Kerry screwed the pooch! And there are no words in the world that can erase what he said. The man is just an ASS. Unfit to be a US senator. I don't see how this man can ever be fit to be a dog catcher.

Yea, that's it. "You get US... (Below threshold)
JG:

Yea, that's it. "You get US stuck in Iraq." Geez, I knew there had to be a logical explanation for his blatant belittling of our troops. "You get US stuck in Iraq." That's it. Bush IS an idiot.

Get real.

I'm not buying the e... (Below threshold)
Bill Cook:


I'm not buying the explanation.

You mean to tell me that John Kerry meant to say that if you work hard and study and get a good education things will work out OK, but if you don't, you'll end up in that dead-end hamburger-flipping job of President of the United States? That's about the least believable explanation I have ever heard.

And let's face it, it's not as if it's the first time he has gone out of his way to say disparaging things about the men and women of the US military. His recent comments where he insinuated that they were going into homes, terrorizing women and children, as well as his original comments about the vietnam war (jen-jis khan) were insult enough to make this fit the pattern.

"He and his staff say he me... (Below threshold)
Jay wills:

"He and his staff say he meant to say "you get US stuck in Iraq" -- it was an oblique cheap shot at President Bush, but Kerry omitted the "us." I find that plausible."

I think you're hallucinating.

Candy is absolutely right. ... (Below threshold)

Candy is absolutely right. She may think perhaps she is biting the hand that feeds her (and I don't believe that to be true), but the others are certainly doing just that.

The fact is, no matter what setting one finds one's self in, a dinner, a meeting, anywhere, if there's a Bush basher in the crowd they set the tone for the whole gathering bringing everyone down to a level of back-biting, sniping and bitterness. I have actually walked out of a gathering once for that exact reason. I wasn't going to sit there and argue with a couple of bitter and hateful people whose intention was to disseminate rumor, false information and vitriol. Frankly, others were pretty mad too. There's a time and a place for that sort of thing but these people seem to permeate their every surrounding with it.

If someoone has the reasona... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

If someoone has the reasonable intention of being helpful, supportive, kind with words and it just doesn't come out as eloquent as is wished, I think it is responsible to see the deeper good intention in a poorly phrased statement. John Kerry had every intention of being vindictive. He remaiins a bitter man. Because of his intentions, whether he was "misunderstood" or what, he blew it. You don't need to rationalize anything for him. He does not deserve it because of his intentions. Teresa will make sure he has enough pocket money so he can buy lunch and gas for work today. I hear she still waits with him at the bus stop. There, that's my John Kerry imitation.

How can you defend a dirtba... (Below threshold)

How can you defend a dirtbag who has made his career lying about his fellow soldiers and denigrates the men and women who currently serve just to serve his weaselly political machinations?

This isn't the first time he's done this sort of thing and he's not apologizing. And now he wants to turn around and say it was some "joke"?

He's just an overgrown ass.

Jay:I'm going to p... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Jay:

I'm going to pile on on this one. You missed the boat and everyone above sees it. How does Kerry manage to keep popping up in the news? Can the Republicans possibly be that lucky? Maybe Carl Rove has a mole on his staff?

BTW: Candy I love you. (Please don't tell my wife)

The point isn't whether Ker... (Below threshold)
sanssoucy:

The point isn't whether Kerry fucked up his grimly unfunny little "joke," but that no Republican on this planet would be given the benefit of the doubt by the media in similar circumstances.

The old joke is that, "in Washington a gaffe is when someone accidentally says what he really believes." The reason Kerry is hooked thru-the-bag over his dumbass statement is that virtually everyone suspects that "our soldiers are just dumb redneck cracker losers" is exactly what Lurch believes.

SS

This was posted at chester:... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

This was posted at chester:

I don't take much notice of political scandals because they're almost always blown out of all proportion, if not outright manufactured or contrived. They're an example of opportunism at its worst where one person of dubious moral character impugns someone else of dubious moral character.

In this case the scandal isn't what Kerry said, but that anyone has the nerve to act surprised. Bears shit in the woods and loony-left nutjobs despise the military. In other news water is wet and the sky is blue.

Asking Kerry for an apology is an insult to anyone with a triple digit IQ. How does it help the country to ask John Kerry to lie about what he feels and believes? He's a dyed in the wool anti-american leftist. Asking him to apologize the men and women in our nation's military is like asking Hezbollah to apologize for killing Israelis.

I think it is good that attention is being called to this because it is a demonstration of his character, but please don't insult me with faux surprise and imaginary outrage. Anyone who is truly surprised has been living in a cave for the past few years, and anyone who is truly outraged has anger management issues.

We should be thanking Kerry for demonstrating once again what a leftist elitist asshat he is, lest someone forget.

Posted by: Lee at October 31, 2006 11:04

Could this possibly be our "Lee"?

"I botched the joke." <br /... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

"I botched the joke."
His defiance at the press conference, along with his statements that he never or would never criticize our troops just opened up more fertile ground for the opposition to keep him in the news. Remember the statements in 1971 he made about his fellow troops in Viet Nam. In 2005 he accused our troops of terrorizing Iraqi citizens in the middle of the night.
If you find it plausible that he could have botched the joke, how do you find it plausible he could take a stand for always supporting the military?

Always check the record (es... (Below threshold)
Judith:

Always check the record (especially with flipper). He is not only on public record with his words, check his voting record. Voted against money for body-armor? Massachusetts is noted (now) for its politicians (and citizens) who DO NOT love the USA. This state trashes the military every chance it gets. Talk to the people at Hanscom, talk to the people who have had the "support our troops" stickers stolen and their cars keyed. The koolaid drinkers live and breath in MA.

It is hard to believe Kerry... (Below threshold)
Diane:

It is hard to believe Kerry meant to say "us". He has negated any benefit of the doubt by...

1)Showing no hesitation to use bold, negative words about US soldiers during Vietnam War to a Congressional Committee.

2)Using negative words about soldiers & their procedures in Iraq to the press.

3) By overly criticizing publically a sitting US President during war/conflict/agression (you pick!)

4) Not immediately apologizing and explaining his words...this was certainly a time to FLIP-FLOP quickly.

Where are the calls for his resignation?Isn't that the Democrat battle cry?

Given Kerry's history of ma... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Given Kerry's history of maligning the men and women in uniform, I can't help but wonder if the statement wasn't intended as spoken.

Regardless, Kerry's insistence that he "apologizes to no one" re: his comment show what an elitist ass he really is. If he was 'swinging' for the President and 'accidentally' hit the troops, he made a mistake. He did malign the troops whether or not that was his intention. For that, he owes the troops an apology.

Wow. HALF the people in C... (Below threshold)
steak111111:

Wow. HALF the people in Conneticutt must support the war and support Sen. Joe Lieberman. Could it be that the Iraq war polls are ALL WRONG???

That sounds pat, Jay, but m... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

That sounds pat, Jay, but makes no sense.

John Kerry was making a speech about the virtues of education. The records show that Bush was a better scholar the John Kerry. So how can this be a swipe at Bush?

Still another post that mak... (Below threshold)
Pretzel_Logic:

Still another post that makes me stay away from this place more and more--I just need to scroll by any and all JT posts.

I have to agree with the bu... (Below threshold)
OCSteve:

I have to agree with the bulk of the commentariate here Jay. He meant what he said. As a veteran, I was personally and deeply offended.

I did the bulk of the work for my BS degree while on active duty. Let me give you some idea of what that means.

5:00AM - PT
7:00AM - First formation.
7:15AM - 5:30/6:00PM (on a good day) - Work day.
6:00PM - One hour drive to another base where the class was held.
7:00PM-10:00PM - Class.
10:00PM - One hour drive home.
11:00PM - Iron uniform and shine boots for next day. Household chores that can't wait.
1:00AM - Bed. Hopefully.

Repeat. 5 days a week.

Sat/Sun - Seminars, labs, do all homework and studying for the week, write papers, catch up all the household chores.

That's a good smooth running week. Then throw in guard duty, Charge of Quarters (work all night), and field exercises that take you away from 1-4 weeks. Redouble above effort to catch up class work, tests, and papers.

Ditto for my wife. She wasn't active duty, but you don't live on an E-4's salary (at least not in the early 80s) so she had to hold down a full time job while pursuing her degree. But she was dumb enough to marry a soldier so all is fair.

My experience was not unique. Many of the enlisted I knew were taking classes. The officers of course already had degrees, but many were working on graduate degrees. Take any random sample of military folks and compare them to civilian counterparts - you will find the military better educated in every single case.

With today's technology, remote-learning etc., I have no doubt that there are soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan who come off combat patrol and hit the books.

Screw you Kerry. Elitist scum.

Hogwash, Jay. Kerry's rema... (Below threshold)
jack:

Hogwash, Jay. Kerry's remark is typical of the contempt that the majority of the left and some of the right have for the military. The excuse that it was a botched joke is almost as offensive as the original remark. Unfortunately, we're going to see this defense repeated endlessly now.

I am sure that Kerry meant ... (Below threshold)
KG:

I am sure that Kerry meant what he said. Not as a slam to Bush as he tries to spin, not as a put down to the troops, but to the students to say they had better get an education or else they could end up like the poor soldier whom he thinks has no real options. Lets not forget that his better half said that "he's so smart that he has trouble communicating with the common people". He is also speaking from experience. He, himself was a below average student and if you didn't know it already "he was a soldier in Vietnam".

Jay Tea - I cannot and will... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea - I cannot and will not ever defend John F. Kerry. I am a Vietnam widow and he defamed my Charlie in front of the U.S. Congress in 1971. Further, while still a member of the U.S. Navy, he took himself to Paris and met with the North Vietnamese - a violation of U.S. law that SHOULD HAVE gotten him a dishonorable discharge (and since he STILL hasn't released his full military records, might actually be the case) and a trial and jail time.

He has always been no friend of the military and looks down his nose at anyone he thinks doesn't have his so-called breeding. Well if being upper-class means you think and act like John F. Kerry - then I'm glad I came from the middle class!

He should be forced to resign his Senate seat IMMEDIATELY - but that can only happen if the people of Taxachusetts insist on it and the likelihood of THAT happening is almost nonexistent! Could the rest of the Senate employ a Quaker technique and shun the s.o.b.? Not enough - but something!

Jay, I agree with your asse... (Below threshold)
NCgal:

Jay, I agree with your assessment. He really meant to go after Bush with that comment but his delivery clearly failed. To me, this incident just shows that Kerry's staff is pathetic and continues to counsel him miserably in trying to make a "joke." He was reading this crap and it clearly came out as an insult to the troops.

What makes this incident even worse is his response/explanation. A real man would have just said "You know what? I misspoke and if anyone in the Armed Services was insulted by my botched joke, then I am truly sorry. My intention was never to impugn the intelligence of our fighting men and women." And say it like he was truly sorry.

The story would have ended yesterday. Instead he goes on Imus and continues to show me why I could never vote for him or his kind.

I think the totally unhinge... (Below threshold)
Tim in PA:

I think the totally unhinged statement he put up as a response to this will change the dynamics of the election next week.

I know I am changing the su... (Below threshold)
NCgal:

I know I am changing the subject here but is there anyone else out there that is concerned that American forces were told by PM Maliki to get out of Sadr City yesterday?

What about the US soldier that was kidnapped there? We just going to leave him so Maliki can save face with the thugs of al-Sadr?

Who is running the military show over there?

Kerry is a elitist son of a... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Kerry is a elitist son of a bitch who thinks everyone in the world needs to understand HIM all the time.

How many times has he demanded Bush admit "mistakes" and yet now when he's offered up a whopper he refuses to apologize and admit a mistake?

He can shove it up his ass. I hope the GOp rides this horse into the ground.

This is just what Dr. Rove needed.

Shorter Kerry:Bush... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Shorter Kerry:

Bush is a moron, and those that support him show even more stupidity.

If he'd said that there would be no controversy (not even the FAKE controversy we have now), and no one with an ounce of brains could argue against those facts.

Mr. Tea,I understa... (Below threshold)
JohnMc:

Mr. Tea,

I understand the purpose of your post, but I must point out something that a much more experienced person than myself said:

"You are the Master of your words before they are uttered, but their Slave forever after. Choose wisely."

That applies to lowly Senators as well. Any person who knows that they are in the limelight pretty much ought to have it figured out that what they say and do has audience whether they like it or not. And they should act accordingly.

Kerry has shown sufficiently over the years that he lacks the gravitas to be holding the office. His electorate should kick him out at their earliest opportunity.

RobertKerry slande... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Robert

Kerry slandered his fellow soldiers in 1971, he slandered US troops in 2004 and again this year, calling them a "failure" in Baghdad.

Kerry is an elitist asshat.

Had Bush uttered anything close to as contemptuous as has Kerry, it would frontpage above the fold in all of the left wing media.

I can tell you for a fact that just about everyone who has anyone in the military is highly offended.

Nay, outraged.

If he'd said that there wou... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

If he'd said that there would be no controversy (not even the FAKE controversy we have now), and no one with an ounce of brains could argue against those facts.
---------------------------------------------------
Good point. No one with an ounce of brains would have supported Kerry for president and no one with an ounce of decency would support a sewage Dem party.

Robert: Save your spirited... (Below threshold)

Robert: Save your spirited defense for someone who deserves it. Reserve your gratuitous insults for someone who deserves them.

The President of the United States is not dumb, not inept and not a traitor to his country. The same cannot be said for Senator John F.Kerry (D-Teresa's Bank Account)!

I have paid close attention to this cretin for over 30 years, since his defamation of our Vietnam soldiers in front of the U.S. Congress. He deserves nothing but my contempt and that of anyone else who gives even a 1% damn about this country.

Two problems with your poin... (Below threshold)
NOTR:

Two problems with your point of view. First, those are volunteers serving in Iraq. Men & Women who chose to serve in their military of their free will. While Charlie Rangel and John Kerry consider them "dead enders" and "flotsam & jetsam" of society, they are exactly the opposite.

Secondly Kerry is scary and has been since his "Winter Soldier" sojourn. He doesn't give a damn about soldiers now any more than he did now. What he said was to get a laugh out of his audience, but it represents fully how he continues to view those in the military.

I served in the ARMY then w... (Below threshold)
solorunner:

I served in the ARMY then went to college. My brother served in the Marines THEN he went to college. My 2 sons are encouraged to follow suit. I have come to this site every day for over a year. your defense of a scumbag, snot nose, gigalo like j f kerry is unacceptable consider yourself off my daily favorites. You have to draw the line, this maggot crossed it. Good day to you.

Jay...you're WRONG this tim... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Jay...you're WRONG this time.

The SETTING and AUDIENCE is key here.

He was talking to STUDENTS at a COLLEGE.

His message was crystal clear:
"YOU students are the 'chosen ones'...those less smart than yourselves are the type that wind up in the military, and thus may get STUCK in Iraq"

He is denigrating the military.

He is TOTALLY denigrating the mission of those serving in Iraq (calling them "stuck").

He is WORTHLESS.

And you Jay are WRONG in this instance!

Simple. Hanoi John did not ... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Simple. Hanoi John did not say what he wanted to say. He said what he really thinks.

Well, everybody's got their... (Below threshold)
John:

Well, everybody's got their panties in a bunch about this, but the fact is Kerry was not insulting the troops. Nothing to that story.

Now if their had been, I could see why everyone would take offense.

I would too, IF it happened.

IF...

But it didn't happen.

If you read the printed copy of the speech he was delivering, he's clearly insulting President Bush.

"Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush."

Feel free to be offended about that, but at least understand why you're mad, not the distorted story that floating around...

This article is a great example of how the story is getting spun and distorted. Jay Tea makes the point that John Kerry should apologize, and that it's an outrage when he said "I apologize to no one". It's one of the central points of this entire article. It's intended to show how arrogant and wrong headed Kerry is.

Except it didn't happen.

It's a distortion, and your emotions are being manipulated in the continuing spin and distortion on this story.

Kerry did not say "I apologize to no one."

What Kerry said was "I apologize to no one for my criticism of the president and of his broken policy."

It's a totaly different meaning. If he had been quoted correctly, there would have been no point in even writing this article. But it's fun to build a straw man, then knock him down.

And do the victory dance.

John

Kerry and the dems could ha... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Kerry and the dems could have said that the troops deserve respect for not warming the college benches and then finding a good job for themselves. These young people VOLUNTEERed to serve/protect their country and in the process liberating 50 million people from the worst kind of dictators.

All their instinct has been to impugn and slander the military whenever they have a chance (eg. Durbin, Patty, Kerry etc...). This is not an isolated incident. The dem party is anti-military and they deserve the spanking they get. Kerry slandered the military in 1973 and lied about his records. The dems are despicable for their continuing defense of this despicable character. If he wanted to attack Bush, went ahead. Bush had higher GPA than Kerry when he was in college.

I stand by the conclusion that the Dem party is fundamentally dishonest and corrupt.

John...you provided THIS as... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

John...you provided THIS as "evidence" of Kerry's intent: "Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush."

Of course, the DELAY in getting this 'printed copy' out was due to having to WAIT FOR THE INK TO DRY

VERY creative on the part of the Dims. Only took TWO FULL DAYS for them to "discover" this 'printed copy'.

John...are you always this gullible?? Really??

What Kerry said was "I a... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

What Kerry said was "I apologize to no one for my criticism of the president and of his broken policy." It's a totaly different meaning. If he had been quoted correctly, there would have been no point in even writing this article. But it's fun to build a straw man, then knock him down.

John: You know, now that I have been given John Kerry's exact quote, I can now say this - He botched a joke - even admitted to doing it later in his response. Why doesn't he just speak to that and make amends for that one thing. But he doesn't! He adds fuel to the fire by claiming he is the one who is in the right here and it is all of those incompetents in the White House who should be doing the apologizing. And for that he shows himself to be exactly what he is - A PIECE OF SHIT!

And the impact of his words are being reflected by the rest of the Democratic Party. Name for me, if you will, the Democrats who have publicly asked for him to recall his words or apologize. Ford of Tennessee is one (not that I would vote for Ford but he has still earned my respect).

And you will not see me doing any victory dance over the comments of such a man. From me you will only see outright disgust that such a man can continue to hold office representing any state. Even a state such as the Peoples Republic of Massachussettes. Americans deserve better than this - even Democrats.

How can Kerry think of Geor... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

How can Kerry think of George Bush as "stupid" and "uneducated" when Bush went to Yale and Harvard? Bush had a higher GPA than Kerry.

So Kerry is either ignorant, stupid (for believing the lies from the left), or dishonest. So as Robert mentioned, no one with an ounce of brains should have voted for this guy to be the president.

Anyone who supports the Ker... (Below threshold)
tom c:

Anyone who supports the Kerry spin on this non-gaffe is ignorant or a willing dupe. He meant exactly what he said to that audience of glassy-eyed students.

From on high, he spit on our troops.

There was no gaffe, and there was no joke. He really meant it because he hates America and he hates the military.

He is $hit.

Jonah Goldberg put it best:... (Below threshold)

Jonah Goldberg put it best: After all, Kerry is an awful politician, a human toothache with the charisma of a 19th-century Oxford Latin tutor. One can't rule out the possibility that he simply botched a joke.

But yes, Jonah, in spite of you, I DO rule out that possibility.

If whiny little johnny won'... (Below threshold)
moseby:

If whiny little johnny won't apologize like a man then he's baby!! Yeah a baby!! He should stick his head in gravy, and wash it off with bubble gum and send it through the navy!!

The Republicans are trying ... (Below threshold)
truthseeker2:

The Republicans are trying to twist what John Kerry said hoping this will win the election for them. We know that it was a blotched joke aimed straight at Bush. The fact remains about Iraq. It is nothing more than a trick to get the American people from focusing on the problems in Iraq.

The Republicans will try anything in a time of desperation, especially when the polls are scaring the living daylights out of them.

truthseeker2: "We know t... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

truthseeker2: "We know that it was a blotched joke aimed straight at Bush."

Really...HOW? Because Kerry SAYS so??

and then you say: "The Republicans are trying to twist what John Kerry said

TWIST WHAT KERRY SAID?? TWIST??

His words, and the video of him saying them are being replayed VERBATIM.

The Republicans are RESISTING letting KERRY twist them!!

The irony is that Bush v... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

The irony is that Bush volunteered to go to Viet Nam, but was denied; Jay, you should inform Dubya for on NBC Meet the Press Feb 8, 2004 when asked by Russert: "Were you favor of the war in Vietnam?
President Bush: I supported my government. I did. And would have gone had my unit been called up, by the way.
Russert: But you didn't volunteer or enlist to go.
President Bush: No, I didn't. You're right."
That is perhaps neither here nor there, but the irony is that most everyone on this site breathlessy supports our troops and veterans, except for the only 3 senators: Hagel(REP) McCain (REP)and Kerry(DEM) who have actually had combat experience( in Vietnam) for which, on the contrary, a special venom seems directed at them, for their views , shaped by their war experience. Shouldn't if we unconditionally support our vets, be giving closer attention to these men; or at least show them the same respect we give for the 'could haves, should haves', who been always been extremely careful about their own public sacrifice.

There remains a continuing ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

There remains a continuing problem and insult despite your observations, Jay.

He's cracking a joke about Iraq. He's implicitly criticizing U.S. efforts there, he's giving comfort to the enemy again.

To take a cheap shot about Bush's intellect is one thing; to take the shot in demeaning our effort in Iraq is another. He just needs to STFU.

And another thing.... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

And another thing.

The fact that Kerry's speech was illogical, and internally inconsistent, is par for the course with him. It is proof positive he is not very smart.

In this case, he was mixing metaphors in a sense. The preceding elements of the speech were really aimed at Bush, although I don't think Bush's name was mentioned. The latter half of the offending portion of the speech was a poor transition to a focus on the President's decision-making, and not the students' ending up in Iraq.

It would be extremely illogical, even for Kerry, to say that poor students will likely end up in the military. They'll end up on welfare, something Kerry is more comfortable supporting, obviously.

Jay Tea, I agree with you o... (Below threshold)
busrider:

Jay Tea, I agree with you on this one. When I read what John Kerry said, it was immediately clear to me what he meant: that if you are poorly educated and don't study, you will make poor policy decisions.

The use of the word "stuck" has been associated with the decision to remain in Iraq, hence his statement is a jab at the administration's decision.

If he had said "sent", it would have been clear that he meant the troops. But he didn't.

That begs the question, though, why does everything have to be somehow linked back to "Bush Lied, People Died"?

bus rider.. faulty intellig... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

bus rider.. faulty intelligence his, or what he carefully shaped in his State of the Union address, 2003 .Three and half years later in what Rusmfeld said would be a most 6 months, American forces, are still in Iraq.

You can never accuse me of:... (Below threshold)
Robert:

You can never accuse me of:
1) Being against the Iraq War
2) Not supporting our troops
3) Giving aid to our enemy

No sir. I'm going to clap louder than all of you!!!

As Robert said, noone with ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

As Robert said, noone with an ounce of intelligence would support such an ignorant, stupid, or dishonest person like Kerry to be president.

I wonder why liberals still defend this guy and support the dishonest liberal left and dem party.

BTW, all of you (who cry li... (Below threshold)
Robert:

BTW, all of you (who cry like babies over someone's words, but think YOU are going to win a war against terrorists--hilarious).

Show Kerry what you really think of him. Vote against him next Tuesday.
Who's he running against anyway?

Robert, no need to be so di... (Below threshold)

Robert, no need to be so disingenuous. Kerry will be running in 2008. If not for president, then for re-election for the Senate.

In 2002, Massachusetts Republicans couldn't find ANYONE to run against him. I don't think that'll happen again.

J.

Robert: "Vote against hi... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Robert: "Vote against him [Kerry] next Tuesday."

ABSOLUTELY!!

Kerry, and ALL the Dimocrats in the House and Senate are running for choice chairmanships in both houses!!

Vote AGAINST Kerry by voting FOR Republicans!!!

How many feet can John Kerr... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

How many feet can John Kerry fit in that mouth of his? Here he is on "Imus in the Morning" today:

Kerry: These guys have failed America. The people who owe an apology are people like Donald Rumsfeld, who didn't send enough troops, who didn't listen to the generals, who has made every mistake in the book. . . .

Imus: . . . Senator John McCain, he seems to think--he seems to agree with the Bush administration about your comments. And you know him, obviously, better than I do, but I know him pretty well. And he probably knows what you meant, too.

Kerry: I'm sorry that John McCain has said what he said. John McCain's been a friend for a long time. But I have to tell you, I think John McCain is wrong about this.

John McCain has been a cheerleader for a policy that is incorrect. John McCain says we ought to send another 100,000 troops over there. First of all, we don't have another 100,000 troops. Secondly, if you send them over there, it's going to do exactly what's already happened, which is attract more terrorists and more jihadists. Our own generals are telling us that it's the numbers of troops that are the problem.

So the administration didn't send enough troops and it sent too many troops? If only we had such a decisive, principled leader as president!

Exerpt and comments from WSJ website.

Two Roberts on this thread,... (Below threshold)
robert the first:

Two Roberts on this thread, I own the first comment and no others.

I just want you to know I a... (Below threshold)
Allan Yackey:

I just want you to know I am still a regular observer here. Thanks for your continued thoughts and consideration of Viet Nam Veterans and the military generally.

And thanks for thinking of me in particular. You have my support and respect.

Allan Yackey

Robert is a perfect example... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Robert is a perfect example of the liberal dishonesty: what is the big deal smearing our military with words and praising the terrorists as freedom fighters. What 's the big deal? At the same time we should cut and run before the terrorists. We haven't heard a beep from the liberal left about the Australian Islamic multi justifying the raping of women without proper Islamic clothing.

The liberal left is so dishonest. I wonder why people can still support them.

Yee-hah!!!... (Below threshold)
Kathleen:

Yee-hah!!!

Robert is a perfect exam... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Robert is a perfect example of the liberal dishonesty: what is the big deal smearing our military with words and praising the terrorists as freedom fighters.

And who was it Reagan called "freedom fighters"? Right: Osama bin Yo Mama and his merry band of pragmatic desert Republicans.

And who was it Reagan calle... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

And who was it Reagan called "freedom fighters"? Right: Osama bin Yo Mama and his merry band of pragmatic desert Republicans.
------------------------------------------------
I didn't know Osama was fighting the communists at that time. FOr liberals, fighting the invading communists is not freedom fighter. But blowing up Iraqui women and children is considered "freedom fighter".

Thanks for another example of the dishonesty of the liberal left. AGain, the liberal left is so dishonest that I wonder why some people still support them.

BTW, this is such a cheap standard liberal spin. Are liberals condemning FDR for aligning with Stalin in fighting Hitler?

THe liberal left cannot be honest. They have to spin for the communists and now the terrroists. What a despicable movement! I cannot see how people with an ounce of brains can support the liberal left.

dr john,As for you... (Below threshold)
Robert:

dr john,

As for your (Classic) MSM swipe:
If it was 1/100th as liberal as you think, Bush would have been out of a job over his deeply serious, grown-up, soldier supporting "Bring it on line".

Bush: Moron or troop-hater?

Jay Tea,I'm not a ... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Jay Tea,

I'm not a supporter of Kerry (of course, I did vote for him in 2004, but i'd have voted for a door jamb against Goofus Kahn).
They couldn't find anyone to run against him in the early 90s either. So he ran against Mitt Romney.

Talk about your dearth of representation.
I wrote myself in for that one.

Robert, IF you thin... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Robert,
IF you think Bush is a moron, then you must conclude that the liberal left is in the sewage (ie. way beyond being a moron). In other words, the liberal is really stupid for spinning for the terrorists, who will cut-off their heads if they have the chance. Also the liberal left is dishonest and despicable for supporting the communists and now the terrorists.

If you are honest you would spend much time disparaging Bush dishonestly as you have done while you have turned a blind eyes towards the moronic and despicable left. Again, if you have an ounce of brains you wouldn't have done that in any case. Not even talk about an ounce of decency.

BTW Roberts, thanks for adm... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

BTW Roberts, thanks for admitting that people who supported Kerry wouldn't have an ounce of brains. That speaks volume of the liberals' intelligence. I think they know that they are far more stupid than the moron Bush. That 's why they have to project their stupidity on Bush.

If Bush is stupid, then the liberals 's intelligence is in the sewage if we are honest.

Well how could he have been... (Below threshold)
marshall:

Well how could he have been talking about Bush, because when they released his academic transcripts Kerry actually did worse at Yale than Bush did! Wouldn't make much sense to insult somebody for being stupid or uneducated when they did better than you at the same school, right?




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