November 01, 2006

Kerry's Gaffe

NYT:

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

Mr. Kerry said that he botched a joke that his aides said had been prepared as follows: “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.”

Mr. Bush, speaking to a cheering crowd at a campaign rally late Tuesday afternoon in a half-empty arena at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, said that Mr. Kerry had insulted the intelligence of Americans troops.

“The senator’s suggestion that the men and women of our military are somehow uneducated is insulting and it is shameful,” he said. “The members of the United States military are plenty smart and they are plenty brave, and the senator from Massachusetts owes them an apology.”

Kerry then raised the temperature with this statement:

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."

Putting aside what Kerry meant or didn't mean--does anyone think his gaffe could impact the Democrat's momentum going into November 7th? Tilt any close races (say Virginia)? Or is this a 24-48 hour story that will blow over? And should he keep firing back, or quickly apologize (even if he believes there is no reason to) and disappear for a week?

Posted by Gregory at November 1, 2006 03:07 AM
Comments

It's tough to say, if anything he could say he's sorry to any of the troops that intrepret his words as pointing at them, it wasn't pointed at them. At the same time, why does he need to apologize if he corrected his misstatement, if he's corrected what he meant, then there should be no problem anymore, anyone that is offended wishes to remain offended, it obviously doesn't matter what Kerry meant.

I think this can tip the election if the news media keeps harping on this until Friday, it's truly sad if they do considering the level of death in chaos in Iraq and the president being unwilling to do anything before the election.

Posted by: TroubleMan at November 1, 2006 03:37 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Give me a break. Kerry can do whatever he wants. The real headline here is "GOP parses Dem utterances for the vaguest semblance of ANYTHING that will change the subject." That's the entirety of the story. The Dems should stand strong, laugh it off, and keep attacking the GOP for their abysmal record. Period.

Posted by: Martin at November 1, 2006 03:56 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

This is nonsense. And I think the way the Republican outrage machine has jumped all over it speaks more of desperation than anything else.

That said, having thrown some flames back, Kerry should do what's necessary to kill it in the next news cycle. A calm statement that obviously his statement was miscontrued, it was directed at the Prez, not the troops, and he apologizes to anyone who took it otherwise.

There's nothing here. It'll die quickly.

Posted by: lewp at November 1, 2006 04:01 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Are we talking about John Kerry yet again? Some politicians have no sense of when they are irrelevant, and certainly no sense of their negative impact on the public. The story will die, of course, but not the poor impression of Kerry in voter's minds.

Posted by: Mannning at November 1, 2006 04:07 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I think Kerry's comments provide a good springboard for the press to talk about how the Bush Administration has been forced to lower its military intelligence standards and accept more applicants with emotional instability, racist tattoos, etc. to feed the Iraq meat-grinder. Now that the stupidity and immorality of this war have become evident, it's the more and more the misfits -- not the patriots -- who continue to be enlist to die for W's ego.

I liked Kerry's response. He should keep swinging. Let's DO keep the focus on Iraq.

Posted by: Barry at November 1, 2006 04:12 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

For some reason, I still manage to be shocked at how so many members of the conservative movement manage to lie through their teeth in unison. The politicians know they're lying, of course, but the I'm afraid that bloggers (Powerline aside, they always say anything to help the cause) might actually believe that Kerry meant to denigrate the troops. They just may be that deluded and that prone to what I'll lovingly call "Kerry Derangement Syndrome." It's really incredible how quickly the Republican message machine makes them fall into line-- and it might say more about the kind of people they are than about the machine itself.

But they're grasping at straws. This story will be dead by Thursday, if not tomorrow. No one will change their vote because of it.

Posted by: AP at November 1, 2006 04:29 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Anyone who lets this absolute non-issue influence their vote is an imbecile.

There are real issues on the line. Real, actual lives and liberties at stake.

And the GOP goes off on a single phrase, taken carefully out of context, so they can launch their well-oiled Manufactured Outrage machine?

Morons.

Posted by: CaseyL at November 1, 2006 04:31 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Two-day story. Maybe three, if Kerry turns up the volume of his rhetoric as far as he, or his speechwriters, can. But this will not be a slow news week, and the media are mostly bored with Kerry.

Posted by: Zathras at November 1, 2006 05:15 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

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

Funny thing is....I'd be willing to bet our miserable, understaffed troops
would agree with Kerry's statement for the most part....that better opportunities and better education would have afforded them better choices than the Army or National Guard.

Posted by: Susanne at November 1, 2006 05:24 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

i hope you're right zathras, and indeed suspect you are...

Posted by: greg djerejian at November 1, 2006 05:34 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Anyone who lets this absolute non-issue influence their vote is an imbecile.

And who else do you think they're aiming for?

Posted by: Pooh at November 1, 2006 05:54 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I think Kerry should keep hammering the issue that our Iraq disaster and our national fiscal disaster are being driven by corrupt chickenhawks.

Posted by: Paul Smith at November 1, 2006 01:11 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Hell, Kerry and the Democrats should turn up the heat, and launch a counter-offensive. I think that this line in particular has a lot of resonance....

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.

This is a direct hit on Bush and his dereliction of duty.... and the Dems are are solid ground criticizing Bush for his lack of support for veterans, his failure to supply troops with sufficient body armor and plan appropriately for the aftermath of the initial invasion, and his despicable rhetoric that accuses Democrats of supporting terrorists.....

Posted by: p.lukasiak at November 1, 2006 01:24 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I'm thinking that this will go into the "blow over" category, and not a minute too soon: the Republicans' National Outrage Machine has, I think, lost a great deal of its efficacy. Not its efficiency: it is amazing how many "pundits" can simultaneously get worked into such a frenzy over anything - but this election cycle, I think, has moved well beyond the phase of being able to be derailed by verbal gaffes from John Kerry.

The 2006 elections, unusually for midterms lately, are (finally!) being fought on solid issues of policies and performance (by the incumbent Republican regime) - issues where the GOP is having to run on its record: a record whose shortcomings (Iraq, Katrina, corruption, etc.) aren't likely to be obfuscated by Astroturf "outrage" from the Party and the rightwing punditocracy.

Yeah, Kerry's were dumb. Dumb. Idiot.

Now then: what are we going to do about the quagmire in Iraq?

Posted by: Jay C at November 1, 2006 02:38 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

There's a meta-issue here, too.

Many (including me) think that one of the Democrats' biggest faults over the past few years is that they haven't been pugnacious enough. They don't give half as good as they get. To my mind, Democrats have spent far too much time lately apologizing (both in word and by way of acquiescence in atrocious policy). And apologizing -- to the lizard-brains whose votes are critical now -- is a viewed as a sign of weakness.

So enough with the apologizing. Attack so hard that the Republicans are forced to think about whether THEY owe someone an apology. . . .l

Posted by: Barry at November 1, 2006 02:39 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

There's a meta-issue here, too.

Many (including me) think that one of the Democrats' biggest faults over the past few years is that they haven't been pugnacious enough. They don't give half as good as they get. To my mind, Democrats have spent far too much time lately apologizing (both in word and by way of acquiescence in atrocious policy). And apologizing -- to the lizard-brains whose votes are critical now -- is a viewed as a sign of weakness.

So enough with the apologizing. Attack so hard that the Republicans are forced to think about whether THEY owe someone an apology. . . .l

Posted by: Barry at November 1, 2006 02:39 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"And should he keep firing back, or quickly apologize (even if he believes there is no reason to) and disappear for a week? "

Kerry should not apologize to Bush, or anybody supporting the GOP. They don't deserve it; it'd be both dishonest and a disservice to the country to do so.

Posted by: Barry at November 1, 2006 02:47 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Apologize and disappear. Longer this stays alive, the more ammunition it gives the Republicans and more distraction from the utter catastrophic mess they have made in Iraq.

What Kerry said is a gaefe. On the surface, it is just a missatatement, but it often referes to an impolite truth as in this case. I.E. Yes, to some extent, young American soldiers, especially the regulars, are serving because they come from poor to working class backgrounds and service in the military is one of the few ways they have of improving their economic prospects. This is not suppose to be so in America, where we still believe in the concept of the "citizen-soldier". But in reality to fight our Imperial style wars, we have turned to an increasing Imperial style Professional Army consisting of those on the lower rungs of society, just as our Roman & British Empires did.

Posted by: David All at November 1, 2006 02:49 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Apologize for misspelling gaffe, when it is right in front of me. This is what happens when you post before 10AM, (current US Eastern Standard Time!)

Posted by: David All at November 1, 2006 02:55 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The only thing that Kerry needs to apologize for is that he didn't turn this kind of rhetoric on the Swift boat disinfo crowd. But this will blow over in a day or two anyway.

Posted by: sglover at November 1, 2006 03:05 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Tony Snow is a scumbag. He is slicker than the last guy and looks the part, but he is harder to believe. Snow is the worst kind of hack: You can tell deep down he knows what is saying is crap. Hopefully, when the gig is up ten, twelve years down the road, he will be back on the radio and not in the White House—talking about the good old days.

Kerry does not have to beg for forgiveness. If he does, I will lose respect in him. The theme of his speech was about Bush, not about the troops. Hacks like McCain and Snow, taking what Kerry said out of context and then turning it into an issue is--well--part of the big lie. English 101: Kerry's thesis was about Bush. If he added that line without the intention of it referring to Bush, that would be a classic example of digression. The sentences before and after that sentence refer directly to Bush. There is no digression here; everyone knows who Kerry was specifically referring to in his speech. He wasn’t talking about the single soldier who had no other prospects and decided to join the army. No, I repeat--no, he was specifically talking about the single president who had other prospects (and other solutions) when it came to dealing with Iraq and finding Bin Laden.

Digression: a message that departs from the main subject [syn: aside, excursus, divagation, parenthesis] 2: a turning aside (of your course or attention or concern); "a diversion from the main highway"; "a digression into irrelevant details"; "a deflection from his goal" [syn: diversion, deviation, deflection, deflexion, divagation] 3: wandering from the main path of a journey [syn: excursion]

If you think Kerry would actually make a statement that basically says "Our Soldiers should've studied harder, because now, as a result of their poor grades, they are in Iraq" you are out of your fucking mind you fucking moron.

This is about the leadership, not about the troops.

But the truth is most of the conservatives realize what Kerry’s intention was. Even when the logic that Kerry was referring to Bush, not the troops is brought up to them—they say things like this: "Americans from all backgrounds, well off and less fortunate, with high school diplomas and graduate degrees, take seriously their duty to our country, and risk their lives today to defend the rest of us in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. “ McCain, asshole, idiot, hack, do you need to listen to the logic one more time? Kerry was not referring to the troops! How much are they paying you McCain?


This is classic Three's Company. Kerry is Jack Tripper, talking to his neighbor Larry about something innocent. Bush and his crew are Mr. Roper in the other room, reading something subversive and sick into Jack’s innocent words and actions. The difference is once Mr. Roper finds out that Jack wasn’t planning on having a threesome with Chrissy and Janet --he sucks it up and apologizes to everyone, including Mrs. Roper; but Bush and his crew don’t suck it up. They instead feign innocence and avoid reality and stick with their self-righteous lie because it makes them look morally superior, which helps them keep power. Think about this: Did Bush and his crew exploit Kerry’s words? Could it be that the conservatives are using the fabricated criticism of our troops for political reasons? And if they knowingly are doing this, is that okay with you? How would you like it if someone publicly misrepresented your words and then demanded you to apologize? You wouldn’t like it, right? So don’t be so smug in your narrow-minded viewpoint.

Actually, if I had a choice I would take Mr. Roper over Bush any day. Mr. Roper at least was willing admit he misjudged Jack’s intentions.

Bush needs to apologize for the mistake of sending our soldiers into a country that never had WMDs and never had ties to Bin Laden He needs to say he is sorry for sending our troops into a country that is killing our brave men at a consistent rate, a consistent rate that won't change, that won't subside, that will be the same until we get sick and tired of it and the congress of 2014 votes to quit spending money in Iraq and pull out--just like we did at the end of the Vietnam War.

I look at those soldiers as lambs to be sacrificed. Were they dumb to join the army? No. But now they have to stay there to save our face and our reputation, which is one of the saddest things I have ever seen.

Vietnam deserved review and critical introspection. Speaking against it was the right thing to do. Wrong is wrong. I urge every one of you to rent the documentary Winter Soldier; then, after you see it, rethink why John Kerry turned into an Anti-Vietnam activist. My uncle was in Vietnam for five years. He validated the claim that we were killing and maiming civilians at a high rate. He even has the ear of a civilian to prove his point. I said are you sure that was the enemy? He said, "I can't be for sure."


Iraq obviously is a different war, but it is similar to Vietnam because we got in there based on our lack of knowledge and our use of fear and hyped intelligence. It is Bush's war; he is accountable--just as a student is accountable for not studying for a test and getting a big fat zero. Wake the fuck up!

Posted by: Jonathan Hartung at November 1, 2006 04:31 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

By the way, can someone explain to me what a "stuffed suit" White House spokesman is?

I think I know what a stuffed shirt is; it's a term I' never expect to hear John Kerry use, for the same reason I don't go around calling people "four eyes." The meaning of "empty suit" is generally understood also. But what is a "stuffed suit"?

Now, this may just have been a botched insult. But I suppose it's possible that Sen. Kerry was accusing Tony Snow of being overweight, or even of wearing old suits that fit him fifteen years ago but don't anymore. I'd hate to think that our election campaigns have sunk to that level, and that the next escalation of rhetoric in, ah, in our sinking campaigns could well be Snow accusing Sen. Kerry of having "'80s hair." Will this politics of personal destruction, this national nightmare, never end?

Posted by: Zathras at November 1, 2006 04:41 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Kerry, like most politicians, should just stick to prepared notes, though I think that "joke" should have been deleted from the first draft; it's not funny in the least and was virtually guaranteed to be turned against him, so there was nothing to gain by saying it.

But now that it's out, I think he has nothing to lose and much to gain (and the Democrats too, by association) by pointing out (as he has above) what a bunch of know-nothing chickenhawks much of the Rebublican "leadership" is. Too bad he didn't do it during the election, we could have been spared another 4 Bush years. I'm not a Democrat, but even I am frequently dismayed by the ineffectualness of Democratic PR. If they can't make significant gains this year and in 2008, they deserve to lose. They're constantly letting the Republicans "frame the debate", you'd think they'd at least be sick of always doing the call-and-response BS with people like Rove and Bush and Limbaugh. I'm certainly sick of hearing it. At least Kerry seems to have a pair and is not afraid to kick some back. Probably because he's not running for office. Anybody who is sick of Republicans is not gonna vote Republican now because of something Kerry said. If they do, they're idiots.

Kerry just said (badly) what a lot of people already know but think they're too polite to say: a lot of front-line troops are people just barely out of high school who couldn't get into college or don't have the money to pay for it because they didn't make good enough grades in HS to get some sort of scholarship.
A lot of the armed forces themselves will say that. They're just marking time until they can get discharged, go to school (or leverage whatever training they got in the armed forces) and get a job that pays more than minimum wage.

Posted by: LL at November 1, 2006 05:02 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The comment will be presented as a primary reason for the GOP's surprising success in the election. Obviously some reason will be needed to explain how they managed to win in several races where the polls showed expected losses. There are sure to be a few more reasons manufactured in comming days for the late swing to the GOP. If Osama releases a new tape that would be good. It's important but not vital for the talking heads and the punditry to start floating the idea of a GOP swing in these last days so when the surprise comes on election day it won't seem so surprising.

Posted by: rapier at November 1, 2006 05:52 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

In order to vote for what the republican party has become one must be convinced that the democratic party is a marxist, baby killing, terrorist loving and TROOP HATING group. As gerrymandered as most districts are, the Republicans only need to convince 45% of the voters to maintain control of ALL the levers of power. Fox must reach close to that amount...so the hurdle is very low. HL Mencken was correct "One will never go broke betting against the intellect of the american public"

How can anyone have any faith in anything the electorate does if large group of people still beleif saddam was behind 911 and the awol cheerleader and 5deferment dick are "heroic wartime leaders" and the hockey playing decorated vet is a "effeminted frenchmen who hates the troops"!

Someone give me some reason for hope!

hl

Posted by: centrist at November 1, 2006 06:21 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Rapier -- I see absolutely zero evidence of a "Republican swing". The best the GOP can hope for now is that they'll pull off some excrutiatingly narrow wins in some Senate races, and keep that house split at about 50-50. I distrust and loathe the Cheney administration as much as anyone, but I find these conspiracies hard to swallow. It seems to me that they give Rove and the machine vastly more credit than is due.

I don't think Andy Sullivan's all that insightful, but he did give what may be the shrewdest assessment yet of Rove's inflated reputation. He points out that in the 2000-2004 period, Rove managed to take a popular vote count that was marginally less than 50%, and after four years of applying all the resources of the Republican Party and "wartime" incumbency and the federal government, he managed to reap a tally fractionally more than 51%. Sure, sure, Rove allegedly only wants 50% + 1 so he doesn't have to barter too many favors. Riiiigggghhhhht.

Four years ago Rove was boasting about being the reincarnation of Mark Hannah, building the "permanent majority" and so forth. I don't think you craft permanent majorities by playing so close to the bone; I think it's senseless to talk about a permanent majority unless you've got such a big coalition that you can afford a defection now and then. Anyway, the permanent majority talk is moot. If anything, it seems quite possible that Rove may be more responsible than most for discrediting right-wing ideology for a generation.

Posted by: Samuel Glover at November 1, 2006 06:39 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

In Short, John Kerry stepped in it big time. In spite of his 3 month of combat service, he has no affinity or identification with US service men and women what so ever.

President Bush rightly pointed that out and Senator Kerry promptly stuck his foot in his mouth again.

What can he do to reverse the damage to he demarcates chances on Election Day?

He could apologize which would be bigger and manlier then most people think he can be. But the best the demarcates can probably hope for is that Kerry will run and hide in his yacht for a few days and keep his mouth shut.

Posted by: Twoeyes at November 1, 2006 07:48 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

What can he do to reverse the damage to he demarcates chances on Election Day?

That damage is all in your mind. This Republican hysteria reeks of desparation, and I'd be astonished if it gets them a single vote that they didn't already have coming.

About the only thing this mini-Swift boat op does for the GOP is push aside other stories that they really need pushed aside -- Nevada Republicans pawing cocktail waitresses, George Allen lackeys strong-arming impertinent questioners, an American soldier taken hostage in Baghdad.... Yeah, if I were a Republican, I'd be howling about Kerry, too.

Posted by: sglover at November 1, 2006 08:19 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The other good news is that it--hopefully--takes Kerry out of the 08 presidential candidate mix.

Posted by: Tom S at November 1, 2006 09:37 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Zathras, Kerry must've forgotten that Scott McClellan has stepped down.

Other than that I'd say he's on the right track: more mixed/hybrid/botched (which is it?) metaphors, that'll confuse 'em!

The wingnuttery on this one has reached such a high level of self-parody that the only response is to laugh. I'm with Zathras there. The highlight has to be over at the Corner, where not only is it "all Kerry all the time", but Derbyshire is getting shouted-down for bursting their little bubble with the obvious: that he meant Bush, not the troops.

And to think I used to go there for the "respectable" conservative viewpoint.

Posted by: lewp at November 1, 2006 11:32 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Of course he should apologize.

Forget the politics, it's just normal polite behavior.

Sure the wingnuts are manufacturing some of the outrage, but at first reading, without the subsequent explanation, I misinterpreted the remark as well and found it offensive. And I voted for the guy.

If you tell a joke incorrectly and end up offending your listeners, you explain yourself, then apologize, and move on with your life. That's what any decent person does. If they continue to harp on it you just shrug wearily and refer them to your earlier explanation and apology.

Posted by: EJ at November 2, 2006 01:02 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Also, it's just plain dumb on his part, even if he had told the joke correctly. After all the grief he got for "I was before the war, before I was against it" he should have learned what the Repub spin machine can do with an out-of-context remark.

Posted by: EJ at November 2, 2006 01:04 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Kerry's "joke" was a gaffe, though I don't think it will have major repercussions.

For his intended audience, the idea that anyone who would voluntarily join the military must surely be somehow lacking in one or more key character or functional traits is an article of faith...so his remarks (as we see in some of the commenters to this post) will be met with approval.

For those who were/are outraged by Kerry's betrayal of his fellow military members upon his return from Vietnam, this gaffe is simply a confirmation of the sort of man John Kerry is.

For those who fall between these positions, he's just another pol pandering to a crowd. The sun rises in the East, sets in the West, and a politician proves to be a jerk...

The best course of action for him would have been to avoid the non-apology "apology", which no one was going to buy anyway (it was simply a way to get his face and voice in the media for another day or two). He should have stuck with the "I messed up the punch line" approach, levened with some "I have the utmost respect for the honor, integrity, and capability of the men and women who agree to serve our country". He could, if he were a smarter guy, have added in, "I just wish they had civilian leadership worthy of them" and been done with it.

But Kerry is not a guy with the skills to do that. What we saw from him is the best he can do...much to the chagrin of the Democrat party.

Posted by: Jem at November 2, 2006 09:55 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Kerry's "joke" was a gaffe, though I don't think it will have major repercussions.

For his intended audience, the idea that anyone who would voluntarily join the military must surely be somehow lacking in one or more key character or functional traits is an article of faith...so his remarks (as we see in some of the commenters to this post) will be met with approval.

For those who were/are outraged by Kerry's betrayal of his fellow military members upon his return from Vietnam, this gaffe is simply a confirmation of the sort of man John Kerry is.

For those who fall between these positions, he's just another pol pandering to a crowd. The sun rises in the East, sets in the West, and a politician proves to be a jerk...

The best course of action for him would have been to avoid the non-apology "apology", which no one was going to buy anyway (it was simply a way to get his face and voice in the media for another day or two). He should have stuck with the "I messed up the punch line" approach, levened with some "I have the utmost respect for the honor, integrity, and capability of the men and women who agree to serve our country". He could, if he were a smarter guy, have added in, "I just wish they had civilian leadership worthy of them" and been done with it.

But Kerry is not a guy with the skills to do that. What we saw from him is the best he can do...much to the chagrin of the Democrat party.

Posted by: Jem at November 2, 2006 09:56 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

It's no secret that enlisting is a good route for those lacking money, education, and stunning intelligence to acquire either.

It is also no secret that the military has been accepting people with lower IQ scores, more criminal backgrounds, more Nazis, and more gang-members, to make their quotas.

It is also no secret that the enlisted are the sacrifices when someone has to be thrown from the train -- when Cheney's torture was discovered, they threw some enlisted flunkies from the train and covered up and dissembled to avoid anyone at levels of "responsibility" having to take any responsibility.

For the purposes of Cheney's lot, the dumber the enlisted guys are, the better, probably.

Posted by: h at November 3, 2006 02:13 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Is this all we've got? A Kerry, an H.Clinton and I don't know, ,anyone? Who else is out there? I'm afraid the party is over, the Dems are just spineless and yes, spinless too, continueing to bumble and fret and self destruct. without nary a care in the soon to be fried world. Today,as I was watching all the news about that evangelical,homosexual,closeted speedfreak hypocrite( and thinking about that other gay basher in florida) all I could do was laugh. So much free material and all the dums,er,i mean the dems could do is just stand there looking like idiots.Not a smart mouth in the bunch, no anger,nothing,they have absolutly no attact mode,they are just born losers.What in the hell are they afraid of,will someone please tell me.Just think of what a lenny bruce or a mort sahl could DO with this stuff. It's just like louis black said,he can't keep up ,there is a new disaster every day with the GOP,it's just overwhelming I guess.The way I see it,we got another ten years of this crap to go ,if the planet and civilisation can stand it. by then we'll have no choices,just a very strong facist theocracy with no civil rights other than work. such a pity...........

Posted by: vicco at November 4, 2006 07:12 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Vicco, the best hypothesis I can find is that the republicans have got blackmail material or assassination squads that have essentially every elected democrat scared to speak.

If it keeps going like this, in another 10 years we might have the Libertarians and the Greens fighting it out while the Democrats and Republicans are third parties.

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Posted by: Spooler_Go_2 at November 10, 2006 01:28 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

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