My opinion is that Kerry meant to say what he said, but he didn't think about what it meant. As I explained in a previous post, many liberals in the democrat party complain about "rich republicans" not sending their kids to war, while poor people who are uneducated have no choice but to send their children to war because they can't get good jobs.
But Even if you believe Kerry didn't mean to insult the troops, that leaves us with two absolute truths:
- He claims he wanted to take a cheap, false shot at the President during a war, simply to rally a political crowd for an election. His claim is that he messed up a "joke" that Bush was an idiot who got us "stuck" in Iraq. Does Kerry think its FUNNY that our troops are being killed in Iraq?
- His WORDS, what he actually SAID, were definitely offensive and insulting to our troops. Even if he didn't MEAN to say it, he DID say it. He should apologize for what he SAID, because what he SAID was that stupid people end up fighting in Iraq. When you mis-speak, and are called out for it, the RIGHT thing to do is to thank your accusers for pointing out your error, and apologize and explan the error. Instead, Kerry, having MISSPOKEN and insulted the troops, then chooses to make cheap personal attacks against those who took his words at FACE VALUE.
The Republicans didn't make up a SINGLE WORD of what Kerry said. Kerry claims he mis-spoke, which admits that the words he spoke were bad. Any decent person would apologize.
If I wanted to call you a great american, and instead I said you were unamerican, I would apologize if you yelled at me, not call you "doughy" or a "stuffed suit".
When Kerry realised that he had called the troops stupid, the right thing to do was to apologize for misspeaking. If he was honorable, he would also apologize for trying to make fun of the President in a time of war using our troops as foils (which is what his claimed "joke" did).
Instead, Kerry refuses to apologizes for the words he actually said, and instead has called McCain a liar, called the President's press secretary a "stuffed suit", called Rush Limbaugh "doughy" (Rush hasn't been fat for years), and declared the entire republican party dispicable.
Which would normally get you laughed off the stage.
You webbies have a special reason to call for Kerry to apologize or resign. When George Allen misspoke a single word, the claim was that he hurt one person, and you and the media were all over him to apologize personally, and many said it made him unfit.
Kerry, as the tape clearly shoes, said words that insulted EVERY military member in Iraq. Whether he meant to or not, that's what he SAID, and you should be calling for him to apologize.
And Webb, who allowed his campaign staffer to make the claims, allowed his official campaign film to be used to attack his opponent for his simple misspoken word, should now stand up for the troops and call on Kerry to apologize for the WORDS HE ACTUALLY SAID.
But Webb probably won't do this. After all, when republicans point out what Democrats have ACTUALLY SAID, Democrats always claim that is a personal negative attack.
That's what Kerry just did -- said that while he SAID the words, he didn't MEAN to, and therefore the REPUBLICANS are wrong to point out what he SAID. Just as the Webb campaign claimed it was WRONG for republicans to quote from Webb's books, or to quote what Webb said about women 30 years ago.
Update: I've given up expecting a non-partisan, objective viewpoint from ANY news source in america until after the election. But here's what a reporter for the BBC in England had to say:
George Bush and Dick Cheney have been working overtime (and racking up air miles) to rally conservative stalwarts in the final days before the elections, and on Monday they got a gift from an unexpected source: John Kerry.
As the president was telling the good people of Texas that the Democrats did not want to win in Iraq, his former rival was in California insulting the troops.
Or so Mr Bush and his spokesman would have us believe. And when you review Mr Kerry’s comment, it’s hard to argue:
"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," he said, eliciting chuckles from the students.
The president demanded an apology, and some furious military bloggers also pounced, calling Mr Kerry a disgrace.
Senator Kerry came out swinging in response, saying he had botched a joke aimed at the president - and that he would apologise to no-one for his criticism. But his tough talk reminded me of an old political maxim: If you're explaining, you're losing.
John Kerry clearly thinks he is going to run for president again in 2008. If he doesn’t have jokes funnier than this, he's going to lose again. And in the meantime, he's not doing his party any favours this year.
It is also revealing that, when Kerry made his "botched joke" insult to the troops, the democrat students there to hear his speech laughed, even though they would have no idea Kerry was making a joke about the president getting troops killed in Iraq. They laughed has is "mis-spoken" words. Which is why it's easy to believe a democrat would have meant what Kerry said.
Update 2: Well, it seems some democrats understand that Kerry insulted the troops and should have apologized. Now they are cancelling appearances with Kerry, and calling on him to apologize. For example, Kerry was supposed to appear for a candidate in Iowa later this week:
Iowa candidate asks Kerry to cancel campaign visit
DES MOINES, Iowa A Democratic Congressional candidate from Iowa is canceling a campaign event later this week with Senator John Kerry.
Brucy Braley says Kerry's recent comments about the Iraq war were inappropriate.
Braley is running against Republican Mike Whalen in Iowa's First District congressional race. It's a contest considered to be one of the most competitive House races in the country.
Braley's decision to distance himself from Kerry came as a furor grew from comments Kerry made about the Iraq War during a campaign stop in California on Monday.
Meanwhile, Kerry has cancelled ALL of his campaign appearances for TOMORROW, he was supposed to be campaigning for Bob Casey in Pennsylvania.
But Webb is still sticking by his new-found friend. If Webb wasn't such a flip-flopper, he wouldn't have ever befriended the flip-flopper-in-chief, Kerry, and now he wouldn't have to worry about his Hobson's choice: Correctly denounce Kerry's actual words, and call for an apology (which would hurt Webb with the DailyKos netroots people who are his lifeblood) or stand by Kerry's words, which clearly insulted people like Webb's son, and risk alienating every military voter in Virginia.