The Tempest Online™

~ Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc. ~

John Kerry said it…

Posted by Daniel on November 1, 2006

With less than one week before the November 7 mid-term elections, things will expectedly get meaner and nastier. Half-truths and inuendo from either candidate most certainly turn to outright lies and slander.

But who cares, right? It’s just politics as usual. Candidates are expected to go for the jugular when it’s this close to election day and races are as tight as they appear to be. Even when a candidate tries to remain on the high road and run as positive a campaign as is humanly possible, invariably the gloves must be taken off, if for nothing else, defense.

It’s interesting to see, however, just how many candidates that run on “moral values” and proclaim, and defend, their christian faith, tend to completely lose sight of an important tenent of their supposed faith,

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Holy Bible – Deuteronomy 5:6 – 5:21

Most people with common sense know that in politics, nothing is sacred…and anything goes. It’s also widely known that anything resembling even a verbal mis-step is fair game. Politicians are masters of taking a grain of sand and trying to sell it as an entire beach. What’s amazing and, in no small way, frightening, is the number of potential voters actually buy into it.

And why not? There are enough pundits throughout the mass media that are all too happy to pour gasoline on a political match if it means their candidate will look better.

Tuesday’s mass coverage of a small political gaffe is proof of that. For those of you what are too stoopid an unedumacated, I’ll hip you to what I refer.

Mass. Senator, John Kerry made a series of one-liners at a speech at a college this past Monday.

The senator, who was campaigning for the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Phil Angelides, opened with several one-liners, joking at one point that President Bush had lived in Texas but now “lives in a state of denial.”

Then, Mr. 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.”

President Bush, campaigning this afternoon in Georgia for a Republican House candidate, condemned Mr. Kerry’s remarks as “insulting and shameful.”

“The men and women who serve in our all-volunteer armed forces are plenty smart and are serving because they are patriots — and Senator Kerry owes them an apology,” Mr. Bush said, according to the White House.

Earlier today, Mr. Kerry’s remarks were denounced by Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona and, like Mr. Kerry, a veteran of the Vietnam conflict, as well as by a group of House Republicans.

“Senator Kerry owes an apology to the many thousands of Americans serving in Iraq, who answered their country’s call because they are patriots and not because of any deficiencies in their education,” Mr. McCain said.

Mr. McCain said any suggestion that only the poorly educated would agree to serve in Iraq is “an insult to every soldier serving in combat.”

Representative Jack Kingston of Georgia, vice chairman of the House Republican Conference, wrote a letter to Mr. Kerry in which he called for “a clear and simple apology, without caveat or explanation.” The letter was signed by 18 other House Republicans.

And the White House spokesman, Tony Snow, asserted that Mr. Kerry’s speech “sort of fits a pattern” of criticizing American troops in Iraq. “This is an absolute insult, and I’m a little astonished that he didn’t figure it out already,” Mr. Snow said. “If I say something stupid, I apologize as quickly as possible.”

In response, Kerry replied:

“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 .”

The Whitehouse and the GOP have rallied behind this as an issue to be raked through the electorate’s mind. It is their hope to keep this issue front and center from now through election day. Reading Kerry’s entire speech in it’s entirety, it’s obvious to anyone with common sense and yes, a proper education, that his statement was intended as a shot at the President. But that isn’t how it’s going to be rammend down our throats by the GOP.

While it may be easy for the Democrats to view this as the penny that derailed the victory train, my advice to them would be to not give in to that fear. Kerry, in his response Tuesday, did what we as Democrats should do…fight back. Stop smiling and shaking Republican lies off as “falsehoods”. They are lying. They have been doing that very well and very obviously for the past six years and we have been meekly taking it. It’s time to fight back.

We will most assuredly throw or support behind Kerry and any other politician who has the balls to stand up to the liars and bullies. Whether they be Republican or Democrat, in Washington or in the media.

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