Wednesday, November 01, 2006

When Lies Pass For Truth

There is a horrible tendency in America today that when a person is caught lying or saying something inaccurate that instead of fessing up they go on the attack.

A great example of this is Sen. John Kerry's response, to the responses made to this comment said to some California college kids:

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

The following is the text of what Kerry issued to those who called for him to apologize for not only insulting every soldier, Marine, sailor and airman now serving, but for lumping in all those who also served in Vietnam.

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.

Let's deconstruct what Kerry did. His first words said anyone who read his initial comment as an insult is crazy. Not reading the comment incorrectly, or assuming the worst, but crazy. They are mentally unstable and therefore cannot be trusted to comment on what he said.

Next he states that those angry at his words are Republican hacks who have never served in the military and even if they did they never saw a shot fired in anger. This is a direct dig at the President who was a fighter pilot in the Texas Air National Guard, but never went to Vietnam. Kerry seems to have forgotten gentlemen like Sen. John McCain, whose service in Vietnam far outsrtips what little Kerry did during his shortened tour.

Then he states that these non-servers love to attack those who have served, meaning himself being a Vietnam veteran. Now, did Kerry forget that his first act upon returning from Vietnam was to swear before a Congressional committee that the men fighting in Vietnam were committing atrocities that would make Attila the Hun blush. Kerry immediately stabbed his fellow servicemen in the back.

Kerry then goes totally on the offensive stating he should not be apologizing, but Bush should for getting us involved in Iraq. He of course forgets that he voted for the war. Then he says Bush is giving us something he calls a "Katrina" foreign policy. Huh, I can't even figure out what he is saying and I doubt Kerry understood it either.

His final paragraph has nothing to do with the issue at hand. It is just more vitriole.

The entire statement is heavily grounded in 1960s-early 70s anti-Vietnam rhetoric. Kerry simply cannot remove himself from the period.

Now, I believe Kerry did not intend to humiliate our troops. If for no other reason then it is one stupid manuever during an election week. But he certainly should have the nerve to stand up and say, "hey, I goofed." Particularly since one of the Democrats longest running arguments with the president is that he cannot admit a mistake. Kerry could have instantly turned this into a huge political plus by simply contrasting his willingness to apologize with Bush's refusal to do so.

But he didn't and that makes me glad he lost the election.


At 8:05 PM, Blogger Greg said...

I'm really surprised at how much attention this has gotten. It's an example of how pathetic the political debate in our country is that there's even more than a passing mention of it. Conservatives have seized on it because, let's face it, they certainly can't run on their record in office. Liberals are hiding from it because they know that whatever Kerry meant, they still cling to the condescending view of the military as the last refuge for the unskilled or uneducated.

Still, I believe that Kerry did indeed mean it as a joke directed against Bush. The implication was clearly that if you don't do well in school you'll end up... being President of the United States.

The joke's on us.


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