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01 November 2006

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Sagredoh!

I heard his comments before the rightwing blew them up. I have to say I understood the joke. He clearly wasn't talking about the troops, he was talking about Bush. Even the people in attendance understood it was a joke about Bush as evidenced by their laughter...

Later I watched the media (the SCLM) take his comment and render the "offensive" completely bereft of context in a wholly disembodied textual format. They did this I suppose to inject a measure of controversiality to it where none previously existed. I mean why should they show the chaos and bloodied dead of Iraq when they can stir up a domestic snit?

Too bad really, but it wasn't Kerry's fault...

AND it was a pretty good joke...

The worst thing Kerry can do at this point is to emulate Durbin when the good senator apologized for his comments about G'tmo. It made him look both stupid and weak. If Kerry is going down it is far better for him to come out swinging and land a few hard punches on the way down...

People respect a fighter...

And people will remember the fight long after the preliminary verbiage has disappeared down the memory hole...

jayinbmore

I voted for the guy in 2004 (first time my decision was made because "at least he's not as bad as the other guy") even though it was clear to me that he is only half as clever as he thinks he is. It's painful to listen to him speak because he telegraphs his gaffes; you can tell he's going to "botch a joke" five sentences before he goes and does it.

Larry Mitchell

I agree that his statement probably betrayed his feelings. His aloof attitude came through as he spoke during his own campaign, and I think it helped him lose the election. A lot of people couldn't get comfortable with him. He's liable to cost some other people's elections if he can't keep his mouth shut. If the Winter Soldier testimony is the yardstick for truth, he's in trouble. Even at that, he's better than Bush. That means we're in trouble.

Fred

Kerry poison for our chances, yes. He had the opportunity to lead and failed to rise to the task. He (and too many democrats) are too focused on the youthful energy of the party and upon 'nuance'. He caters too much to 'advisors' rather than standing for his principles - which your characterization highlights clearly. The democratic leadership has consistently failed to develop mature leaders at all levels - the time is past due for the senior elected officials to put together a true leadership development program that is not geared to political science students, groupies and the next campaign, but true leadership development and adherence to the founding principles of our constitutional government. (I'll let you know in '07 just how serious the MI delegation is in doing just that.)

SusanUnPC

I'm already angry with Kerry because he had given a paltry sum (something like $25,000) to the Senate committee for this year's races, and he bristled when bloggers went after him to donate more (he has a HUGE war chest for his '08 run, sigh). After a week of excuses, he finally ponied up $500,000.

One of his excuses for not donating is that he's raised so much money by campaigning for this year's candidates. Well, he needs to get real here -- his primary motive in showing up around the country is to give HIMSELF face time.

And, I don't think he offers a very positive message in photographs and video with this year's candidates. He's the symbol of the 2004 loss. He's the symbol of failing, in 2004, to stand up to Bush and to 'fess up that his vote for the war was a mistake.

I cannot believe the Democrats would be so stupid to nominate him again. But one never knows. His money is a factor. And, even though he was NOT popular in the grassroots in '04, he manipulated his way to the nomination.

Jon Stopa

In the Viet Nam War it was possible to get 5 deferments and never serve at all. Kerry could have been talking about the men who are making decisions now, who did not serve then. But maybe not. He still has yet to repeat his deadly sentence about being the last man to die for a mistake. It seems to me that Bush is in that position. How many men is Bush asking to die for a mistake?

MarcLord

Sagredoh! @10:25AM:

(Pat, I'll understand if you pull this comment.)

People love a fighter? If you're referring to Kerry, you're kidding, right? He's not exactly noted for landing a few hard punches on the way down. More for his pillow talk while he heals up at public expense, and for sucking wealth out of older women.

Yes, the bad joke WAS Kerry's fault, because even if you're rich and don't give a good goddamn it's still your personal responsibility to maintain situational awareness of what planet you live on, and to at least look out for your side.

And maybe he is. Not being a member of the Skull and Bones fraternity the Bush family founded, I wouldn't know. If Kerry's not an outright Republican Secret Weapon, then he is surely a conniving, quibbling c*********. Can't you even see a fake when it wears a warning label?

John

I would say his 'joke' is some inadvertant truthtelling about class and military service in the US. If you don't get a good education (equals upper class), you leave yourself vulnerable to being used and abused by those in charge. Those whose parents can't buy an expensive education or who can't get a scholarship can get one thru the military. That means going to Iraq.
Bush and Rumsfeld have been playing with our military like they are GI Joe toys. Anyone who had any real military experience would not be so cavalier and hence stupid about their use. However, since the current brass are mostly careerists and booklickers who are sucking up to their civilian masters, you do get a few in uniform who believe the fantasy. BTW. Kerry is an inept politician with primarily selfserving impulses and I wish he would just retire and manage the wife's fortune.
Veteran 1969-1971

jonst

Whatever Kerry meant (and personally I suspect he just slipped and went into a generational time warp where it CERTAINLY was the truth when he was in the service… at least the truth for the vast, vast, vast, majority of draftees)he was darn near breaking a taboo this time. In fact a couple of them. First of all he was implicitly taking a swipe at the American solider. That is verboten among most classes in America. Period. You want to go down in flames, professionally, politically, or in society, try it in public. Even though there is much, much, to criticize. Second…..he was an elite speaking a second truth about who is on the fast track to rule the nation….and who is on a fast track to Iraq et al.

I won’t go into the Winter Solider group except to say that its been my experience that both the ‘Winter Solider’s’ versions of events (some members of the group, anyway) and PL’s version of events (or what I suspect is PL’s version of events is since I don’t know for sure) are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

In any event suffice to say that Kerry has always been a terrible messenger for interesting, controversial, and provocative messages. But if I were him I would spit in the eye of those calling for me to apologize.

Many (not all, but many) of the ones criticizing him now are the very ones that owe the most profound apologies to the armed forces personal and their families. And the nation as well. And there are other people who owe apologies. And we can start at the top of the military with the generals who remained, and remain, silent even though knew better…..and work our way down to the last swinging D at Abu Ghraib. Oh, and one more can apologize. The solider, on duty, in civilian clothes who took the pictures of the grandmothers protesting outside the Brunswick Naval Station in Maine as they peacefully protested the Iraq Debacle. Oh…and the soldiers, on duty, who may have intercepted her mail. Both snail and email.

Dan

Calling Bush an idiot is all well and good with me, but in this we have to consider the source telling the joke. Does anyone else remember that Kerry got worse grades at Yale than Bush -- allthough both were gunning for a C average. I held my nose and voted for Kerry in 2004. But I cannot believe the ego of this gas bag! I don't think I am alone in wishing that JK would just get out of they way...

No Nym

Anyone who didn't know Kerry was a dimwit after he botched the "Is God on our side?" question needs some serious clue infusions. Why anyone is listenting to him any more is also a mystery.

zanzibar

I've never liked Kerry and the elitism that he represents.

But as I look at this keruffle and how it is playing out in corporate media land I have an observation and question -

The Decider while campaigning yesterday stated to paraphrase "If the Democrats get elected the terrorists win". This drew yawns from the corporate media and no one was out screaming their lungs for an apology. So it seems that it is expected that the Repubs can be out of line in their public statements and there is no knucle knocking.

On the other hand a gaffe by Kerry intentional or unintentional means its the end of the world and the Democrats are troop haters.

The question that arises is who hates our troops more - the Kerryites that slight our troops or the Deciderites that mislead the country into a war of choice that kills and maims thousands of our troops and stiffs them when the return?

jonst

Yeah Dan...and his three wounds in combat were only slightly more serious than a certain person's coke addiction. And the latter did not even get a medal that he could throw away if he wanted to.

What the hell do grades back in the 60s have to do with it?

I'm curious to hear what you think he got wrong in the specific statement in question

taters

I wonder if Jim Webb is going to retract his handshake?
Yes, I voted for him in '04 - by default. I simply chose a former hockey player over a former cheerleader. I believe he has the proverbial snowball's chance in hell for the future. Kinda like choosing between a late night drive with Ted Kennedy or a hunting trip with dick Cheney. I saw no candidates that I was really interested in for POTUS back in '04 which is why I became part of the Draft Clark movement.

Geoff

Won't be a problem for the Dems in '06, maybe Kerry in '08 (I hope), but if the Repubs are talking about Iraq in these next 6 days then they are losing.

jonst

Now I retract what I wrote. NOW Kerry has allowed himself to be buffaloed, by, in many cases, hypocrites, criminals and phonies into issuing a completely unnecessary apology.... NOW the Senator has something to apologize about. And now, because of the apology, not because of the initial statement, the Dems just upped their chances of losing the election. How friggin ironic. Those soldiers will be posting REAL signs about being REALLY stuck in Iraq in the future I fear. As will the entire friggin nation. What a sickening day this is. Tonight I crack a vintage bottle…Rove has pulled it off again thanks to the gutlessness of his opponents.

Brent Wiggans

Whatever Kerry's sins are with regard his post-Vietnam testimony, he is the guy who pulled a man out of the water under fire and saved that man's life. He is the guy who was wounded defending his country even when he believed his country was wrong. Which guy would you want in the foxhole with you, the inarticulate, preppy, rich boy who put his life on the line or the inarticulate, preppy rich boy who thought the war was just fine and yet took a pass and still doesn't have the courage to own up to it? They would both be colossal bores in a confined space, but I think it is apparent who would be more likely to have your back.

You can take offense at Kerry's remark if you want to, but I would choose the Winter Soldier over the Sunshine Patriot to look after my interests anyday.

Joe Lurker

Thanks for that Pat. Very good and interesting points. One thing though.

This is the same man who bought medals in a war surplus store so that he could take part in a "street theater" scene involving throwing away military medals while he carefully kept his own.

I'm not sure what to make of this Pat. I was under the impression that he threw his ribbons over the fence at the Capitol and never professed to having thrown his medals, as recalled by Thomas Oliphant at The Boston Globe - who was there.

It's just that I have little patience for third-hand accounts and hearsay.

BadTux

I'm supposed to care about what some dude named "John Kerry" says? Why? Why is anybody paying any attention to this LOSER anyhow??? He promised to fight for the Presidency, then broke his promise. Frankly, I don't have the time of day for chickenshits like that.

Robert in SB

I'm sure he(66) and George B.(68) will someday have a hearty laugh over this whilst sipping sherry's at their next Skull & Bones reunion.
Remember who these people are.

JT Davis

The scary thing is that we would still be better off with Hockey player as president than a cheerleader. The poorer members of our society tend to end up in Iraq. It has nothing to with intelligence. Kerry has plenty of money and he sure as hell isn't that bright.

mlaw230

I don’t care much for John Kerry. He seems to be a bit too opportunistic for my taste, although that same taste greatly reduces the field of eligible politicians to like. He is also so wooden that some brit publication described him as both looking and sounding “like a haunted tree.” He almost always botches the joke because, as far as I can tell, he has no genuine sense of humor. In addition, of the many war heroes I have had the honor to meet, he is among the very few to try to capitalize on that hero status, most can barely discuss their experiences and then only among those also in the club. The moment he saluted the convention upon his nomination I knew that the Dems were in very serious trouble.

Having said all of that, I just do not get the objection regarding his Vietnam era Congressional testimony. The speech itself appears to be the high point of his personal eloquence and the last known example of genuine Kerry passion. His point then seemed quite obvious to me, that the war was itself a kind of poison, a brutalizing experience leading Americans out of character and away from traditional values. I really did not take it then, nor do I take it now, to have been a general indictment of American soldiers in Vietnam. It was to me a very stirring indictment of those who sent them there and put them in that position which inevitably leads to atrocity and ultimately the dehumanization of our own troops.

The point worthy of remembering, and repeating, is that occupation is a very dirty business and frankly Americans are not now, nor will we ever, be good at that. History has shown us that although the vast majority of Americans acted honorably in Vietnam, as they are acting honorably in Iraq, but one Tiger Force, one Abu Ghraib, or one Melai, will inevitably undo that good work.

The primary reason to avoid occupation is the same as the reason to avoid becoming torturers, the ultimate victim will be us. The Kerry of the Vietnam era seemed to understand that.

Chris Bray

On one side of the scale: What John Kerry said, botched Bush joke or whatever. On the other side of the scale: That CENTCOM slide showing the direction Iraq is headed, or the insurgent video discussing the importance of the American line of supply from Kuwait.

Kerry is beneath notice. The shit and the fan are in close proximity.

Fred

Maybe it's my Vietnam era experience showing, but I found the joke funny even in the Republican version. I and a great many other people I knew got to do the expense paid tour of the Mekong delta after dropping out of college. I can relate to what he actually said. I might have said it myself. Times may have changed, but I can assure you that in 1968 entering the military was not for most people a result of hard work and successful effort. The strange part is that Kerry himself was not one of those people. He did fine and then went in for much better reasons than mine.

Michael D. Adams

Meanwhile - As rhetorical the shoe shifts to the other foot.
Mike Adams
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://americablog.blogspot.com/2006/11/republican-house-leader-blames-troops.html
Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Republican House leader blames troops for Iraq mess
by John in DC - 11/01/2006 04:37:00 PM
>>According to the #2 Republican in the US House, Congressman John Boehner, the Iraq mess is all the fault of the US troops on the ground in Iraq. Boehner only moments ago had the following to say about who is to blame for Iraq:

GOP HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER JOHN BOEHNER: Let's not blame what's happening in Iraq on Rumsfeld.

WOLF BLITZER: But he's in charge of the military.

BOEHNER: But the fact is, the generals on the ground are in charge, and he works closely with them and the president.

>>So US generals aren't as patriotic as other US service members in Iraq? They haven't made the same sacrifice? They aren't risking their lives? They're not just as much heroes as everyone else, doing the best they can in an impossible situation?

>>Do Republican candidates around the country agree that the Iraq mess is the fault of US troops in Iraq?

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