Oh boy. It's frenzy time, and like in 2004, John Kerry has managed to give the rabid right something to blow up into a huge tempest. And of course, the media is giving it all breathless attention.... "Could this hurt Democratic chances at the polls??????!!!! they ask in dramatic tones, as if they sincerely hope so.
I'll assume nearly all readers have already heard the remarks that Kerry made. They're being played every 10 seconds, so it would be hard to miss.
Kerry said, "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."
Kerry says he had merely "botched" a joke, and that he simply omitted the words, "just ask Bush", at the end of the sentence. His campaign released his prepared remarks which indeed read, "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. Just ask President Bush."
He strongly condemend any suggestion that he was insulting service men and women.
The right says it's a horrible, horrible insult to our troops (from a wounded and decorated war vet himself)
Kerry, unlike 2004, was out fighting back within hours, responding to demands tha the appologize, "The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and (Vice President) Dick Cheney who misled America into war," Kerry said, "I'm not going to be lectured by a stuffed-suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium [Tony Snow] or doughy (talk-show host) Rush Limbaugh. 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."
At first hearing, I took his remarks to the students as alluding to the fact that the army depends on those with little education and primarily those from low income environments. As a matter of fact, it's a little reported fact that the military has been steadily LOWERING their standards for enlistment, accepting people with drug arrests and other blots on their records that they previously hadn't.
They're pretty hard up for bodies and will take what they can get.
But clearly it was, as Kerry said, a messed up joke. And for Bush to actually get on the stump and condemn Kerry for screwing up prepared remarks... well, that's the ultimate pot calling the kettle black. If ANYONE shouldn't criticize someone for mangling remarks, it's Bush.
Either way, Kerry has just handed the Repubs something they can run with which will knock the attention and coverage away from Dem momentum and Republican failures, and instead makes sure that a failed candidate from last time around is dominating the news. Not good. Not good at all.
What do you think about the dust up?
In a related bit of verbal fisticuffs, Dick "Dick" Cheney accused Charlie Rangle of not understanding how the economy works and wanting to raise everyone's taxes, and Charlie, bless his heart, called Dick Cheney a "a son of a bitch",
"He's such a real son of a bitch, he just enjoys a confrontation," Rangel fumed, describing himself as "warm and personable." Rangel said Cheney may need to go to "rehab" for "whatever personality deficit he may have suffered."
"When you have those sorts of problems, you're supposed to seek help," Rangel advised. "He ac- knowledged that he has problems with communication."
Asked whether he was resurrecting over-the-top charges he made last year that he believes Cheney is mentally ill, Rangel cracked, "I don't think he's shot anyone in the face lately, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt."
When asked about the remarks later, Rangel said,
"He is a son of a bitch, but I shouldn't have said it."How great is that?
"I thought that he should be flattered, there's certainly no animosity in it," said Rangel, saying that he had been making an observation about Cheney. "Some people just have that as part of their personality."
And when Wolf Blitzer or others tries to suggest he should be ashamed, Rangle just gets a Mona Lisa grin on his face and says in his gravelly voice that after all, it was Cheney himself who, "invited Sen. Leahy to have sex with himself on the floor of the Senate." Boy... the next week should be interesting.