Tuesday, October 31, 2006

In case you missed it

“If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they're crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

"I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq. It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.

"The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor.

"Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because they’re afraid to debate real men. And this time it won’t work because we’re going to stay in their face with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their distortions. No Democrat will be bullied by an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a stand still and lose strategy in Iraq.”

-- John Kerry


Rob Wynne said...

Y'know, if he'd been willing to talk like that 2 years ago, he'd probably be president today.

Mike said...

Sigh. Yes. See Tom Toles in this weeks Drawing Conclusions. (Linked above)

ronnie said...

Damn. What Rob said.

Mike said...

The latest news, alas, is that my senator is criticizing him for what he didn't say. Looks like another year where I go into the booth, hold my nose, and vote for Hilary. But she's in no real danger of losing, and I really hate the fact that she's kicking the chair out from under him instead of standing beside him and saying, "Look at what he meant and stop listening to the lies." Maybe I'll let her win by one fewer votes ...

BrianFies said...

To tell the truth, my first and lingering impression is that Kerry said exactly what he meant and suffers from a patrician blind spot that rendered him unable to imagine how it would sound to others. Kerry's template is Vietnam, when the college-educated found ways to stay home while the high school drop-outs got drafted. Obviously it's only my opinion and impression of the man from afar, but I think that's the default tape playing in his head: if you're in the Army it's probably because you weren't smart enough to have another alternative.

Of course I may've misread Kerry, but even if he had the best intentions I think he mismanaged the follow-up. By sounding at first defiant and now apologetic, he looked like a man shopping for a response that'd get him out of trouble. I'd respect him more if he'd either said, "Hell yes, I said it and I meant it," or "I misspoke and I'm sorry," and stuck with it.

By now his intentions are nearly irrelevant. The most devastating response is the photo on Drudge of eight soldiers in Iraq holding up a banner that reads, "Halp Us Jon Carry--We R Stuck Hear N Irak." He can't top that. Whether he meant what he said or not, the fact that a lot of folks wouldn't consider it wildly out of character is pretty damning.

Having said that, the shameless piling on by Sens. Clinton and McCain and others is pretty distasteful pandering.