Kerry, in his typical way, manages to make a joke ambiguous and open to multiple interpretations, and the GOP goes all Chernobyl on him.

In his remarks in California on Monday, 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.?

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.?

C’mon, people. Why would a former soldier insult soldiers – and why would you believe people who dodged military service and repeatedly cut benefits for soldiers when they say that he intended to insult soldiers? It seems pretty clear to me that he bungled the joke.

?The senator?s suggestion that the men and women of our military are somehow uneducated is insulting, and it is shameful,? [Bush] 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.?

Mention of Senator Kerry?s name drew boos, which were amplified after Mr. Bush quoted his remarks.

Mr. Kerry, a Vietnam veteran, called a news conference in which he accused Mr. Bush of twisting his words for political gain. ?The White House?s attempt to distort my true statement is a remarkable testament to their abject failure in making America safe,? he said. ?It?s a stunning statement about their willingness to reduce anything in America to raw politics.?

When Bush does something like saying that obgyns are “unable to practice their love with women”, “evil malevolent liberals” laugh at him. When Kerry botches a joke and makes it unclear, “good noble conservatives” – they politicize it, vilify the left, and attempt to further polarize the country.

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  • His intentions don’t matter. That he has no reason to slam soldiers is irrelevant. That he was a decorated soldier didn’t matter in 2004, why would it now?

    What does matter is how the noise machine and independent voters, many who didn’t care for him in 2004, react. In close Senate races (MO, MT) this type of gaffe can energize the base, raising vote totals and denying a D their seat. Look at Missouri, unless I’m reading it wrong, only a few points will separate winner and loser there. Think a riled base isn’t worth a point or two?

    Decry the state of the game, fine, but until the rules change and bumbling idiots like Kerry can afford to suck on their toes, he needs to go away and shut up. He already f**ked up ’04, put him in closet so he doesn’t do the same to ’06.

  • Brian

    Sure – I agree. Kerry stuck his foot in his mouth, and the GOP is doing what they do best; feign disgust and rile up voters. Kerry would do us all a favor if he just disappeared for a while.

    That said, I’m glad he’s fighting back on this particular charge. His wussified response to the SwiftBoat attacks are why they worked in 2004.

  • The most ironic part of it all is this administration has had to lower the standards for recruitment in the military to try to meet goals. So I ask you, what is more insulting to today’s soldier? A speech gaffe or an actual policy that sends the signal that men and women of the military don’t have to be as smart?

    PS – I don’t think it is up to Kerry whether he disappear or not. He’s not the disappearer.

    I won’t even start on the “plenty smart” thing…

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