Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Kerry's Dumb Remark and Republican Dirty Politics

OK, Senator Kerry said something dumb -- again. This time his statement about the failure of college students to study hard leading to to their being stuck in Iraq coveyed something he did not intend, mean, or believe. It was an error, a mistake in statement. His explanation that his gaffe was a "botched joke" about President Bush is entirely credible. The Senator says dumb things sometimes, but he is not stupid. He is not an idiot. To have deliberately meant what his words said -- and what the Republicans sinfully pretend to take him to have meant -- would have been political suicide. Everybody knows that. The Republicans damn well know that, of course they do.

But Kerry gave them a beautiful opportunity to play dirty, and they are exploiting it, although they know quite well that Kerry made an error in speaking and did not intend an insult to people in the military. They know his explanation was credible; heck, they know it is true. But why should mere truth be a barrier to an opportunity to exploit Kerry's dumb statement to divert attention from their sorry record and the debacle of Iraq? The brazen dishonesty of it all is evident to all whose brains are functioning at 30% capacity or more.

The TV news channels hopped on it and will play it out repeatedly because it is the sort of thing they love -- dramatic, emotional, a fight. It is all a sad commentary on the state of politics and American culture.

Unfortunately, Kerry brings a lot of baggage from 2004, and his gaffe plays right into the perception that he is an aristocratic elitist who does not relate easily to the common folks -- skiing in Aspen, windsurfing off Cape Cod, and the like. The only good thing to come out of this is that it reduces his chances of getting the presidential nomination again to somewhere below zero.

I think everybody should take James Carville's advice for 2006: "If you don't like Senator Kerry, don't vote for him."

Just for the record, courtesy of George W. Bush:

"It's in our country's interests to find those who would do harm to us and get them out of harm's way." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., April 28, 2005.

"But Iraq has -- have got people there that are willing to kill, and they're hard-nosed killers. And we will work with the Iraqis to secure their future." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., April 28, 2005

"I was not pleased that Hamas has refused to announce its desire to destroy Israel."—Washington, D.C., President Bush, May 4, 2006.

"Who could have possibly envisioned an erection -- an election in Iraq at this point in history?" --George W. Bush, at the White House, Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2005.

"I stand by all the misstatements that I've made."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr. to Sam Donaldson, 8/17/93

(Taken from the S.F. Chronicle, 5/10/88)

George Bush made one of the all-time misstatements Friday night at the
College of Southern Idaho. Describing his close relationship with President Reagan, Bush said: "For 7 1/2 years I've worked alongside him, and I'm proud to be his partner. We've had triumphs, we've made mistakes, we've had sex."

"Setbacks," he quickly corrected. "We've had setbacks."

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