Patterico's Pontifications

10/30/2006

What John Kerry Really Thinks Of Our Troops In Iraq

Filed under: 2004 Election,Buffoons,Current Events,General,Politics,War — Justin Levine @ 10:40 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

Senator John Kerry made this eyebrow-raising statement while giving a speech to a group of students at Pasadena City College. [Listen to the actual MP3 audio and decide how to interpret it for yourself.]

[Hat-tip: The John Ziegler Show on KFI.

Disclosure - I am a KFI employee on a different show.]

[posted by Justin Levine]

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: The ever-cautious Allah has more here.

I’ll play Devil’s Advocate: Kerry is talking about Bush and not the troops.

At least that’s what his spokesman will say tomorrow.

UPDATE x2 BY PATTERICO: But then, how will Kerry’s spokesman keep a straight face while making that explanation, in light of the fact that Bush got better grades than Kerry?

UPDATE x3 BY PATTERICO: Tony Snow has called on Kerry to apologize to the troops, as well as the families of those killed in Iraq.

This is going to hurt him.

166 Comments

  1. I have to wonder how well that particular line would be received at Annapolis or West Point.

    The man truly was “reporting for doody.”

    Comment by JD (044292) — 10/30/2006 @ 10:57 pm

  2. Please remember that we can’t question whether John Kerry supports the troops.

    Comment by DRJ (1be297) — 10/30/2006 @ 11:01 pm

  3. JFK shows that even idiots can sometimes succeed as a gigolot.

    Comment by Not a Yank (43f70c) — 10/30/2006 @ 11:21 pm

  4. Wow, how desperate the right is to find something to distract from Bush’s failed plan for Iraq.

    It is believed that as much as 30% of the money being provided for Iraq’s reconstruction is going into the insurgents’ pockets and that significant amounts of the weaponry being provided to Iraqi security forces are ending up with Al Qaeda.

    Now those are life and death issues for our troops, but not such a good fact for Bush politically. So what’s a righty to do? Oh yeah … ignore that in favor of trying to find something Kerry said and argue it means something it doesn’t.

    Comment by Macswain (5b310d) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:10 am

  5. Now those are life and death issues for our troops, but not such a good fact for Bush politically. So what’s a righty to do? Oh yeah … ignore that in favor of trying to find something Kerry said and argue it means something it doesn’t.

    Good point Macswain. Now if you could just finish up by telling us what Kerry did mean when he said that.

    Don’t leave us hangin’.

    Comment by EFG (aa5d0a) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:37 am

  6. As I commented at HotAir, there is no way Kerry is aiming this at Bush.

    Seeing as how the President actually did graduate from two different schools with real degrees, the phrases “if you study hard and do your homework” and “make an effort to be smart”, would have to be beyond nuanced to not be directed towards young people.

    I’ll not be surprised, but I’ll be curious what the alternative (spin-doctored) interpretation is to the obvious one: “Work hard and get smart, or else enlist.”

    While not willing to use the word failed, MacSwain, I’ll grant that Iraq is going slower than hoped. I won’t waste Pat’s space be opening up a different can here. But let’s key on the word plan as you apply it. It’s always better to have a plan, even a flawed one, than having nothing. Oh wait, Democrat Ben Cardin has a plan, which is “to demand a plan”.

    Comment by Freelancer (f99e36) — 10/31/2006 @ 1:30 am

  7. Massachusetts native here (God help me). Our senators are such pieces of filth, it is hard to admit they were elected from this state. But the longer I live in this state, the more I realize the people in this state hate the USA and I can’t reconcile this with the wonderful patriots that helped start my country, that hailed from MA. I do not understand what happened here. Kerry and Kennedy, every day, express their contempt for my country, and, unfortunately, really do represent the attitudes of the natives of this state!

    Comment by Judith (789d47) — 10/31/2006 @ 4:19 am

  8. Are y’all questioning Kerry’s patriotism???

    :-)

    Comment by RHB (0b223e) — 10/31/2006 @ 5:19 am

  9. John Kerry Calls Military A Bunch Of Lazy And Uneducated Idiots….

    Just when you thought the leaders in the Democratic Party couldn’t sink any lower… John Kerry October 30, 2006 “You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you……

    Trackback by RightWinged.com (b35c49) — 10/31/2006 @ 5:40 am

  10. No-one thinks we’re stuck in iraq because the troops are dumb and lazy. But plenty know that bush and education and work don’t mix.

    Comment by actus (10527e) — 10/31/2006 @ 5:44 am

  11. Thanks for clearing it up for me, actus.

    Comment by RCT (12091c) — 10/31/2006 @ 5:48 am

  12. Even if we accept our esteemed host’s most charitable suggestion, that the Distinguished¹ Gentleman from Massachusetts was referring to the President and not the troops, what would such a statement mean concerning a senator who voted to authorize the war in the first place?
    __________
    ¹- What the gentleman is distinguished for is subject to interpretation.

    Comment by Dana (3e4784) — 10/31/2006 @ 5:48 am

  13. Actus wrote:

    No-one thinks we’re stuck in iraq because the troops are dumb and lazy. But plenty know that bush and education and work don’t mix.

    One wonders how, if our liberal friends believe that President Bush is so dumb and uneducated and lazy, they explain the fact that he has outworked and outsmarted them so often.

    Comment by Dana (3e4784) — 10/31/2006 @ 5:58 am

  14. EFG:

    Now if you could just finish up by telling us what Kerry did mean when he said that.

    The rest of the speech might provide some clue. But in case you havent figured it out, some people think that dubya was a wastrel well into his 40′s, and that this affects his thinking abilities. Thus this leads him to ‘get stuck’ in iraq.

    Comment by actus (10527e) — 10/31/2006 @ 6:00 am

  15. Yo, actus, get a new hymn book, wouldja? “Bush is dumb” really doesn’t resonate anymore, particularly when the topic of the posting was an ignorant utterance from a career mental lightweight whose released transcripts indicate an intellect level below that of Bush’s.

    Speaking of which, “No-one” is not a word, Brainiac.

    Comment by Daveg (a721ef) — 10/31/2006 @ 6:05 am

  16. “Bush is dumb” really doesn’t resonate anymore, particularly when the topic of the posting was an ignorant utterance from a career mental lightweight whose released transcripts indicate an intellect level below that of Bush’s.

    Oh. I’d say if you step out of the echo chamber, and into the land where dubya’s disapproval rating is coming from, you’ll find resonance.

    But if you really want to get pedantic, you’d have to step into kerry’s mind to figure out what he meant: does he think bush is a dumb, obstinate wastrel? I’d say so.

    Speaking of which, “No-one” is not a word, Brainiac.

    Making up words is… presidential.

    Comment by actus (10527e) — 10/31/2006 @ 6:08 am

  17. He is, after all, addressing his base – “grown ups” who “care” about the children. Wanna see something really sKerry? WuzzaDem Look at the Little Propaganda Tools! Aren’t They Cute

    This enemy is listening, Kerry, you treacherous bastard.

    “Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.” – President Abraham Lincoln
    -

    / beyond snippy

    Comment by how many pieces of silver did that earn you, jf'nk? (058a9e) — 10/31/2006 @ 6:37 am

  18. Dear “Mr.” Kerry,

    I’ve sereved for 24 years in the Navy, with an AS and a BS degree – what does that make me?

    Farking Idijit…

    Comment by fmfnavydoc (78befa) — 10/31/2006 @ 6:53 am

  19. [...] By: Sister Toldjah in: Outrageous, Congress, Buffoonery, Clueless Wonders | EMail This Post | Print This Post |    Trackback URI for this post:http://sistertoldjah.com/archives/2006/10/31/and-this-man-could-have-been-president-part-2-how-john-kerry-supports-the-troops/trackback/ » [...]

    Pingback by Sister Toldjah » And this man could have been president, part 2: How John Kerry “supports the troops” (1466f5) — 10/31/2006 @ 6:58 am

  20. Kerry’s View Of The Military…

    Which fits right in with the left’s mindset that the military is made up of individuals who are there against their will. You know, their childish view that they support the troops but not the war. And does Kerry really think he’s smarter than the …

    Trackback by Sensible Mom (72c8fd) — 10/31/2006 @ 7:08 am

  21. “One wonders how, if our liberal friends believe that President Bush is so dumb and uneducated and lazy, they explain the fact that he has outworked and outsmarted them so often.”

    -Dana

    Yeah, he’s a genuine Machiavellian mastermind. I can just imagine him in a smoky room, plotting his evil plots to really put the Dems in their place.

    Please. He’s got a majority in both houses of Congress (not counting all the sellout Dems like Zell Miller). He doesn’t have to do shit to get things done; all he has to do is avoid scandal, and Rove gives him a biscuit at the end of the day.

    Which explains why he spends so much time at Crawford. Pretty hard to spark a scandal in the middle of nowhere, right (brushfires are a different matter)?

    Comment by Leviticus (d6f2b1) — 10/31/2006 @ 7:49 am

  22. Actus wrote:

    But if you really want to get pedantic, you’d have to step into kerry’s mind to figure out what he meant: does he think bush is a dumb, obstinate wastrel? I’d say so.

    Well, he probably does. Wasn’t Mr Kerry reported to have said, “I can’t believe I’m losing to this idiot?”

    Well, Mr Kerry did lose to the man he thinks is an idiot. That’s quite a slogan: John Kerry — outsmarted by an idiot.

    Comment by Dana (3e4784) — 10/31/2006 @ 7:59 am

  23. Leviticus, when you tell us about all of the sellout Democrats in Congress like Zell Miller, it might not be wise to think of other people negatively. :)

    Senator Miller retired; he is not in Congress.

    Comment by Dana (3e4784) — 10/31/2006 @ 8:02 am

  24. Hey Dana,

    How’s this sound: “John Kerry-This time it’s personal”

    or maybe: “John Kerry-Fool Me Twice…”

    Hmmm. This could be an interesting thread.
    Think about it: a bunch of sarcastic lawyers writing humorous campaign slogans for every possible ’08 candidate. Sweet…

    Comment by Leviticus (43095b) — 10/31/2006 @ 8:07 am

  25. Oops. Well, you knew what I mean. After all, the difference between ignorance and stupidity is admitting when you’re wrong.

    Miller was still a sellout, Bush is still an idiot, and I’m still a genius.

    Hw do ya’ like that?

    Comment by Leviticus (43095b) — 10/31/2006 @ 8:10 am

  26. Levi, for Mr Kerry to use the slogan, “John Kerry-This time it’s personal,” wouldn’t he have to have like, you know, a personality?

    Comment by Dana (3e4784) — 10/31/2006 @ 8:12 am

  27. 0 for 3, Levi! :)

    Comment by Dana (3e4784) — 10/31/2006 @ 8:13 am

  28. John Kerry: Get An Education or Get Stuck in Iraq…

    John Kerry, the erstwhile Commander in Chief of our Armed Forces:
    You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck i…

    Trackback by Outside The Beltway | OTB (30d6b6) — 10/31/2006 @ 8:14 am

  29. A serious question for our liberal friends. We have actus and Levi here, trying to tell us that President Bush is an idiot. That was the Democratic flog in 2000 — and it didn’t work. The Democrats tried it again in 2004, and it still didn’t work.

    Now the Republicans are down in the polls, and it’s because the public now disapprove of the policy in Iraq.

    So, two major tries at running down President Bush by personal attacks didn’t work, but a public disaffected by his Iraq policy does seem to be depressing his approval ratings.

    Do you suppose, just suppose, that the public prefer Democrats to run on issues rather than name-calling?

    Comment by Dana (3e4784) — 10/31/2006 @ 8:23 am

  30. [...] Patterico’s Pontifications, anticipates the post-gaff spin: I’ll play Devil’s Advocate: Kerry is talking about Bush and not the troops. [...]

    Pingback by The Unalienable Right » John Kerry: US troops in Iraq not smart, uneducated (7644ea) — 10/31/2006 @ 8:41 am

  31. Them soldiers are really dumb. Among US institutions of learning West Point is 4th in terms of the number of Rhodes Scholarship recipients.

    Comment by Not a Yank (43f70c) — 10/31/2006 @ 8:57 am

  32. Supporting Our Troops Again…

    For someone who went to an Ivy League school, that’s not only an incredibly dumb thing to say, but it demeans all the troops serving our country with honor and dignity….

    Trackback by A Blog For All (59ce3a) — 10/31/2006 @ 9:05 am

  33. Dana, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t remember too many Democratic campaign commercials saying “Bush is an idiot. Vote Kerry, Vote Smart” or anything like that.

    I personally think that the majority of elected officials are, in all probability, idiots, just like they were when they were running for student body president in their respective high schools.

    Yes, Bush is an idiot. Maybe not relative to Kerry, but relative to you, or me, or most anyone else on this blog (except kagu).

    With that said…

    “John Kerry – Strike Two in ’08″

    Comment by Leviticus (43095b) — 10/31/2006 @ 9:17 am

  34. At least no one will be able to say that Kerry has flip flopped on the quality of those serving in our military. It seems he has been consistent in these views from Vietnam on…. Hard to see him as C-in-C though! Or, at least, I would find it hard — as one of those ignorant, uneducated military folks — following his lead. Loyalty requires respect, and respect is a two-way street!

    Comment by RAZ (71415b) — 10/31/2006 @ 9:45 am

  35. [...] Patterico’s Pontifications » What John Kerry Really Thinks Of Our Troops In Iraq [...]

    Pingback by FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » John Kerry Watch: Kerry WARNS Students - Educate Yourselves or You’ll Get Stuck in Iraq (baa0b4) — 10/31/2006 @ 10:10 am

  36. go ahead and bash kerry all you want. if the democrats nominate this out-of-touch, wooden, horsefaced east coast elitist again, they deserve to lose again.

    Comment by assistant devil's advocate (ee0417) — 10/31/2006 @ 10:15 am

  37. Good News From Iraq Part #7–What CNN Doesn’t Sho…

    98% of the children in Iraq are not vaccinated against polio, 4,500 schools have been built or refurbished and over 8,000,000 textbooks have been handed out by coalition forces, 19,000 Iraqi have been trained to protect their citizens and 18,000 bord…..

    Trackback by Wake up America (59ce3a) — 10/31/2006 @ 10:16 am

  38. Kerry’s comments were absolutely LAME.

    Please consider joining me in THANKING, not criticizing, our brave U.S. servicemen and women who are deployed in Iraq and other places all over the world. I volunteer with OPERATION GRATITUDE, a non-profit 501c3 organization that relies completely on volunteers and donations to send awesome care packages to our troops — in the past three years they’ve sent over 150,000, and this Fall hope to send another 50,000.

    You can see what OpGrat does by watching this 4 1/2 minute video that was posted this past weekend on You Tube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02tcb7b34do

    Comment by Ann (aba2fb) — 10/31/2006 @ 10:21 am

  39. [...] UPDATE: Others: Political Pit Bull, Riehl World View, Michelle Malkin, Gateway Pundit, Rightwinged, Sister Toldjah, Patterico, The Astute Bloggers, Just One Minute, American Thinker, Villainous Company, USS Neverdock, Cold Fury, Tigerhawk, Old War Dogs, The Anchoress, Texas Rainmaker, Iowa Voice, Confederate Yankee, TRUA, A Blog For All, FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog, Chez Diva, OTB, Sensible Mom, [...]

    Pingback by Blue Crab Boulevard » Blog Archive » Credibility Problem (a177fd) — 10/31/2006 @ 10:32 am

  40. Keeping in Lefthink, thank you Karl Rove, thank you.

    Anyways, not counting the Cold War, what’s this the second war Kerry wanted America to lose?

    Comment by Paul (ce194d) — 10/31/2006 @ 10:42 am

  41. And he was soooo close to being elected president in 2008 too! Shucks!

    Comment by Seixon (a99b03) — 10/31/2006 @ 10:49 am

  42. What do you expect from someone who annuls a marriage of eighteen years which has produced two children? As I understand it, he was required to attest to the Church that his marriage was a sham — that there was never a true intent to marry. Kerry is a person of no worth or honor. As for his military record, I have been reluctant to comment given my extraordinary good fortune in not been drafted to Vietnam, but I see him as a Captain Stranski from “Cross of Iron”. Just a medal scavenger who went there to build up a resume and got out the first minute he could.

    Comment by nk (2ab789) — 10/31/2006 @ 10:57 am

  43. Yeah, there’s nothing like the refreshing honesty of Dick “Five Deferments” Cheney when it comes to military service.

    Comment by Leviticus (43095b) — 10/31/2006 @ 10:59 am

  44. And you can call me n “God bless the Watergate scandal” k. I was making a different point. Kerry is a worthless human being who sullied and continues to sully the uniform he wore.

    Comment by nk (2ab789) — 10/31/2006 @ 11:05 am

  45. Just as he sullied his marriage and the legacy of his daughters. What is the logical implication of an annulled marriage on the status of the children?

    Comment by nk (2ab789) — 10/31/2006 @ 11:08 am

  46. So, as expected, Kerry says he was talking about Bush, not troops: “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 sounds like spin, of course, but why only ten seconds piece? Even though it sounds like he was speaking about troops, this is really just such a crazy thing of him to say, that you can’t leave the possibility of this being Bush-bashing out. And if this is the case, Tony Snow owes Kerry an apology.

    Comment by Nikolay (939eb6) — 10/31/2006 @ 11:10 am

  47. So is Kerry telling us that he didn’t “make an effort to be smart” and that’s why he got sent to Vietnam? Ridiculous.

    This is the same guy who returned from his brief tour to describe those who served alongside him as “monsters”.

    How John Kerry ever managed to be elected to any office will forever remain a mystery to me.

    Comment by Ann (aba2fb) — 10/31/2006 @ 11:12 am

  48. John Kerry articulated the position most of the left has regarding our military and their devotion to service to our country. He and they are a bunch of coddled fools.

    Comment by ric ottaiano (57df0b) — 10/31/2006 @ 11:15 am

  49. Nikolay,

    Ann nails it. Kerry has a 35-year history of disrespect for the military.

    Comment by nk (2ab789) — 10/31/2006 @ 11:16 am

  50. He deserves to be hurt by that remark. It’s an incredibly inappropriate thing for a United States Senator to be saying.

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 10/31/2006 @ 11:19 am

  51. nk, I’m not debating Kerry’s merits (if there are any); I’m debating your apparently skewed concept of relativity.

    If you tell me that the majority of politicians on both sides of the aisle are slime then I’ll debate you no more (on this subject).

    Comment by Leviticus (43095b) — 10/31/2006 @ 11:33 am

  52. Leviticus,

    I think that a very small minority of politicians are slime. Most are honorable, decent human beings doing a job which needs to be done. We need a government. I have very good friends who are politicians and are impeccable in their lives and in their jobs (and are liberal to moderate Democrats in their philosophy). Elected office, like any other civil service job, attracts time-servers and scoundrels. Some slip through but mostly we, the electorate, do a pretty good job of weeding them out.

    Comment by nk (2ab789) — 10/31/2006 @ 11:39 am

  53. nk: re #45, there was an enormous debate about that in England once: were either Mary or Elizabeth illegitimate?

    [That said, I'm not convinced that the concept of illigitemate birth reflects a stain on a child's character in this era, and that's a good thing.]

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 10/31/2006 @ 11:41 am

  54. Ann nails it. Kerry has a 35-year history of disrespect for the military.

    That could be the case, but it’s still too crazy for him to go so un-PC about that. The fact the he’s disrespectful to the military doesn’t prove that this is indeed the insult you want it to be.

    Comment by Nikolay (939eb6) — 10/31/2006 @ 11:47 am

  55. Dana: I would prefer Democrats to run on issues. But it’s not clear that the public prefers its politicians to run on issues — and if it does, the market in politicians is horribly broken, because very few of them, in either major party, do.

    But neither actus nor leviticus are politicians, as far as I know. :)

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 10/31/2006 @ 11:51 am

  56. Aphrael, #53: We agree.

    Nikolay, #54: His prior conduct deprives him of the benefit of the doubt in my opinion.

    Comment by nk (35ba30) — 10/31/2006 @ 11:55 am

  57. NK asks:

    Just as he sullied his marriage and the legacy of his daughters. What is the logical implication of an annulled marriage on the status of the children?

    Well, technically, under Catholic doctrine, the fact that the marriage was annulled does not make the children bastards. Whether it makes Mr Kerry a bastard is another question entirely.

    Mr Kerry and his lovely wife Theresa are parishioners at a rather curious Catholic Church in Boston, the Paulist Center if memory serves, not a typical diocesian parish, but one formed to care for divorced Catholics. Catholics in the United States normally give a majority of their votes to Democrats, and John Kennedy, a Catholic, won 77% of the Catholic vote in 1960. We Catholics, who are quite able to spot a fake Catholic in our midst (a CINO, shall we say) gave a majority (52%) of our votes to George Bush, a Methodist, rather than the CINO.

    Comment by Dana (3e4784) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:00 pm

  58. The Third Book of Moses wrote:

    Dana, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t remember too many Democratic campaign commercials saying “Bush is an idiot. Vote Kerry, Vote Smart” or anything like that.

    No, you wouldn’t remember such commercials, because even our Democratic friends weren’t that crass. But unless you are too young to remember the 2000 election, you surely heard the innuendo and gossip and rumors spread by the Gore partisans.

    Comment by Dana (3e4784) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:03 pm

  59. in re:#52,

    Let me clarify a little. When I say “the majority of politicians on both sides of the aisle” I’m referring to politicians on the national level, particularly in Congress. Once the stakes go down, I think corporate grip on politicians is greatly reduced, allowing honest men and women to serve their communities as true repesentatives. I think that there are honest politicians outside the national arena, where things are more open to experimentation and change on a broad scale.

    However, I would, at this point in my life, stand by the statement that, at the national level, the majority of politicians on both sides of the aisle are slime.

    Comment by Leviticus (43095b) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:07 pm

  60. Nikolay, #54: His prior conduct deprives him of the benefit of the doubt in my opinion.

    So why would those guys release 10 sec. piece, not a 1 min. one? There would not be any questions then. I know you guys think that Kerry is dumb, but I don’t believe that he’s that dumb. This thing is not about him being insensitive, but about being stupid.

    This thing works so well because you believe that this is what Kerry could mean, but it could still be a manipulation. Things taken out of context can, indeed, sound very different from the original meaning.

    Comment by Nikolay (939eb6) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:09 pm

  61. I was about 10 years old during the 2000 elections, and can safely say that I wasn’t exactly politically aware (were you when you were ten?)

    What you say is fair enough, and I can’t argue with it because I was a little tyke at the time. I certainly wouldn’t put it past the Dems. Enlighten me, though.

    By the way, I like my new pet name.

    Comment by Leviticus (43095b) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:10 pm

  62. If Sen. Kerry did not mean that people too dumb and lazy to succeed at an education end up “getting stuck (in the military and) in Iraq”, what did he mean?

    Did he really mean that if you are lazy and too dumb to succeed you end up stuck in Iraq like President Bush, even though President Bush did better than Sen. Kerry at Yale and scored higher than Sen. Kerry on the officer candidates test in the military? If so, then he’s more messed up than if he simply has no respect for the military.

    I would suggest that if you look at Sen. Kerry’s life overall, his dismail view of the US military which he displaced after returning from Vietnam is the norm, and the statement is consistent.

    Prager (maybe not original to him) states that “the left thinks conservatives are evil, I just think the left is wrong”. Today he is beside himself because he is finding, as we are in this blog, that “non-conservatives” cannot simply say, Sen. Kerry said a really dumb thing”. Conservative folk often talk of how they disagree with President Bush. If Sen. Kerry has so many good qualities that make him a good public servant please appeal to those and acknowledge he has faults and ask him to be evaluated in his totality.

    If we don’t hear a reasonable discussion of what “he really meant” then it would raise the question whether or not the Sen. Kerry apologists think all of the rest of us are stupid too to accept their lame and dishonest excuses. Perhaps, in fact, we’re so stupid we couldn’t even get into the military to get stuck in Iraq…

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:11 pm

  63. Aphrael wrote:

    I would prefer Democrats to run on issues. But it’s not clear that the public prefers its politicians to run on issues — and if it does, the market in politicians is horribly broken, because very few of them, in either major party, do.

    Actually, I’d say that the recent presidential races demonstrate very clearly that the public prefer that politicians run on issues. From 1980 forward, we have had seven presidential elections, and every single one of them had one side attacking the character of the other, and in every single instance, the candidate whose main issue was the character or intelligence or quality of the other person lost. In 2000, we had the unfortunate circumstance of both candidates running against the character of his opponent, and look what a mess that resulted in!

    Comment by Dana (3e4784) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:12 pm

  64. Someone much younger than the Third Book of Moses wrote:

    I was about 10 years old during the 2000 elections, and can safely say that I wasn’t exactly politically aware (were you when you were ten?)

    You’re only 16? Why aren’t you in school today?!

    Actually, I was when I was ten; that was 1963, and we had the Cuban Missile Crisis. Drills where the teachers have you hiding under your desks and heading for the fallout shelters will do that to you.

    Comment by Dana (3e4784) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:17 pm

  65. If so, then he’s more messed up than if he simply has no respect for the military.

    Do you really believe that having no respect for Bush is greater offense than no respect for military? And that having no respect for Bush deserves such a snowball response?

    Comment by Nikolay (939eb6) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:20 pm

  66. Leviticus-

    If you were 10 during the 2000 elections, that makes you 10+6=16 (I studied in college). Better than remembering where I was when I was 10, I still remember where I was when I was 22 and voted for Jimmy Carter. Your eagerness to be aware and discuss is to be applauded. But you have a few things to learn betweeen now and when you look back and realize you weren’t as smart as you thought you were. Happens to just about all of us- only exception is those who never learn anything to realize what they didn’t know before.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:21 pm

  67. If so, then he’s more messed up than if he simply has no respect for the military.

    Do you really believe that having no respect for Bush is greater offense than no respect for military? And that having no respect for Bush deserves such a snowball response?

    Comment by Nikolay — 10/31/2006 @ 12:20 pm

    No, I mean someone who attacks an opponent on terms where the opponent is his better, one either lacks basic logic or is trying to do a comic skit based on absurdity.

    He can disrespect President Bush all he wants, and if he expresses good reasons maybe I will disrespect him too. But it needs to be in a manner that will “get a passing grade from my high school speech teacher”.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:26 pm

  68. Not surprisingly, the left-leaning commenters make zero effort to defend our military men & women from Kerry’s slur on their intelligence & education.
    Instead, commenters such as Leviticus and actus are making ad hominem attacks on the President’s intelligence.

    Of course, a formal education is not necessarily a barometer of intelligence or widsom.
    There are innumerous people with little or no formal education, yet who exude intelligence and success.
    By the same token, there are plenty of people with graduate degrees who lack wisdom and common sense.

    But I’m interested to find out how much education our two blogosphere all-stars (Leviticus, actus) have.

    Leviticus; haven’t you admitted to being a high school drop-out ?
    Every citizen has the right to comment online about whatever he wants, but at the tender age of 17, I would think you’re equally qualified to provide hindsight widsom into a conversation about the path of one’s education/career as you are to recommend the best cocktail lounge in town.

    Myself, I’m in my mid-’20s, and I fully admit that I’m young and stupid.

    actus, my good man, will you kindly enlighten us with your education background, and tell us what your line of work is ? It sounds like you’ve attended law school—but have you passed the bar ?

    Thank you.

    Comment by Desert Rat (ee9fe2) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:31 pm

  69. I might have been able to give John Kerry some credit if he’d simply owned his comments and admitted he was wrong to say “You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

    As it is, he is just digging a deeper and deeper hole for himself by lashing out at “assorted right wing nut-jobs” and others. He is showing himself to be unhinged and desperate, IMO.

    What’s so sad is, I haven’t heard anyone on the left come out and condemn his remarks.

    Comment by Ann (aba2fb) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:33 pm

  70. Kerry on TV now. Says WH is distorting his statement. He’s not making any apologies, says it’s all a GOP dirty attack, twisting his words out of context. Kerry says “Republican hacks” are afraid to debate “real men.”

    Comment by Black Jack (539ee5) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:41 pm

  71. I might have been able to give John Kerry some credit if he’d simply owned his comments and admitted he was wrong

    Why would he have to apologize for the insult to the troops when he in fact made none? If he was taken out of context to make him look insulting the troops, I don’t see why he wouldn’t be angry.
    Anyway, the troops will come out in the matter of hours.

    Comment by Nikolay (939eb6) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:44 pm

  72. Desert Rat: re #68, please see my comment #50. I’m a left-leaning commenter whose first comment was a denunciation of Kerry’s remarks.

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:44 pm

  73. >Anyway, the troops will come out in the matter of hours.
    I meant “the truth will come out”, of course. :) )

    Comment by Nikolay (939eb6) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:45 pm

  74. Nikolay, Kerry’s comments were not taken out of context. People are upset with him because he came right out and said “If you don’tmake the most of it (your education), if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smartyou get stuck in Iraq.” (all emphasis mine)

    Yeah, I switched around his words to keep them in context, referring back to his earlier statement.

    Face it, there’s no way to “pretty” this one up. It was a stupid, even cruel, thing to say. Kerry knows it.

    Comment by Ann (aba2fb) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:53 pm

  75. If you don’t — make the most of it (your education), if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart — you get stuck in Iraq.” (all emphasis mine)

    Well, what you’re saying is total nonsense, because it would read like “Kerry says that only the most smart go to Iraq”. :)

    Anyway, if that 10 sec. piece would be followed with “just as Bush made us do”, there would be no offense to troops in this statement. I’m not saying that this is the case, I say that you can’t be sure this is not the case.

    Comment by Nikolay (939eb6) — 10/31/2006 @ 12:59 pm

  76. Amazing that you are seizing upon this, when Dick Cheney just commented that “dunking” is a “no-brainer” and then denied that he was refering to water-boarding.

    You do have to be somewhat of a chump, albeit a courageous, selfless, sacrificing patriot, to end up in Iraq, a sitting target for the enemies of our misguided policy there.

    The all-volunteer armed forces is a wonderful salvation for the educated, accomplished children of Vietnam who, like me, were too young to be drafted. So the administration wastes them to settle an Oedipal conflict without the numbers, equipment, or strategy to avoid a longterm occupation and the inevitable insurgency.

    FACT — There were no weapons of mass destruction.

    FACT — Saddam posed a minor, ineffectual threat.

    FACT — The invasion has increased rather than decreased Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.

    FACT — The situation is worsening.

    You are entitled to your own opinions, not your own facts.

    Comment by nosh (ee9fe2) — 10/31/2006 @ 1:02 pm

  77. [...] Patterico called Kerry’s response last night, good call: I’ll play Devil’s Advocate: Kerry is talking about Bush and not the troops. [...]

    Pingback by Flopping Aces » Blog Archive » The True John Kerry (986d71) — 10/31/2006 @ 1:14 pm

  78. Ann said, “Face it, there’s no way to “pretty” this one up. It was a stupid, even cruel, thing to say. Kerry knows it.”

    Yes he does know it, but he’s not man enough to admit it.

    Kerry should have apologized to the troops and said that he wasn’t making them out to be too stupid or too lazy to make it in junior college, that all he really wanted to to was to encourage students in the audience to work hard and stay in school.

    Then he should have taken responsibility for the misunderstanding. Say it is his fault because of his poor choice of an example. Say that Iraq is often on his mind, but that he should have used a different example of what can happen to college drop outs.

    But, John Kerry isn’t man enough to do the right thing, the honorable thing: admit a mistake.

    Comment by Black Jack (539ee5) — 10/31/2006 @ 1:15 pm

  79. [...] OTHERS: Michelle Malkin | The Liberty Lounge Political Forums | The Stout Republican | Say Anything | Patterico’ Pontifications | EDUCATE THE PEOPLE | Corsair | Captain’s Quarters | Red State American | RightWinged.com | Hyscience | Blue Crab Boulevard | Right Voices | Iowa Voice | Wizbang | snapped shot | Slublog | Ex-Donkey Blog | Murdoc Online | Sister Toldjah | The Redhawk Review | Neophyte Pundit | Toadpond | The Political Pit Bull | She Who Will Be Obeyed! | The Right State | Viva La Blog | Outside The Beltway | OTB | Cold Fury | Y.A.C.R.W.B – Yet Another Conservative, Right Wing Blog | HoodaThunk? | Strangely Silent | The LLama Butchers | BLACKFIVE | Stop The ACLU | Bill’s Bites | The Real Ugly American | chez Diva | MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy | Growing Old Disgracefully | Old War Dogs | A Blog For All | MND | Hyscience | Webloggin | The Autopsy | Stuck On Stupid | Confederate Yankee | Darth Apathy | Ace of Spades HQ | FullosseousFlap | Wake up America | politicalpartypoop.com | Opinionmill Author | def Sparse(Matrix) | Pajamas Media | StuntShack.com | Leaning Straight Up | IMAO | Don’t Go Into The Light | Alarming News | Texas Hold ‘Em Blogger | Inoperable Terran | Seeing the Forest | Bally Blog | Bizzyblog | bRight & Early | NoisyRoom.net | What Liberals really feel | Irishspy 10 Comments » [...]

    Pingback by Texas Rainmaker » John Kerry Calls American Military Dumb and Lazy (ab26d8) — 10/31/2006 @ 1:18 pm

  80. Re: #75 — OK, so I didn’t spell out it clearly enough, so I’ll try again…”If you don’t make the most of it (your education), if you (don’t) study hard and you (do not) do your homework, and you (don’t) make an effort to be smart — you get stuck in Iraq.” (all emphasis mine)

    What Kerry might have meant to say is, “If you don’t do well in school you will limit your options in life…” but he didn’t say that. He said that kids who don’t do well in school get stuck in Iraq.

    That’s an insult to every single serviceman and woman who put aside other opportunities and volunteered, knowing full well their time in the military might include multiple tours in Iraq. I know several young men who fall into this category, and none of them were failures in school. To characterize them as being “stuck” in Iraq was wrong — and just plain stupid.

    Kerry’s words have motivated me — I’m going to turn this negative into a positive and write a few letters to some of our brave troops who are serving our country at this very moment. It’s not much, but it’s the least I can do to try to counteract Kerry’s lame comments, and to let these men and women know he doesn’t speak for many of us in this country.

    Comment by Ann (aba2fb) — 10/31/2006 @ 1:28 pm

  81. Black Jack — That is pretty hilarious. You are criticizing an opponent of the administration for refusing to admit a mistake!

    Comment by nosh (ee9fe2) — 10/31/2006 @ 1:32 pm

  82. actus:

    No-one thinks
    we’re

    stuck in iraq because the troops are dumb and lazy. But plenty know that bush and education and work don’t mix.

    emphasis added

    No the nation isn’t, but it sure sounds like Kerry said the troops
    are because of their, you know…lack of education.

    actus:

    The rest of the speech might provide some clue.

    OK, can you provide the rest of that speech? Is Kerry providing the rest of that speech which exonerates him? Yeah, I know he says he was refering to Bush, after the controversy errupts.

    But a transcript of his words before and after the quote in question remains suspiciously…absent.

    I wonder why.

    Comment by EFG (aa5d0a) — 10/31/2006 @ 1:33 pm

  83. Correction to the formatting of comment # 82

    actus: “No-one thinks we’re stuck in iraq because the troops are dumb and lazy. But plenty know that bush and education and work don’t mix.”

    emphasis added

    Comment by EFG (aa5d0a) — 10/31/2006 @ 1:36 pm

  84. Testing (before I rant and find out that I’ve been spam filtered…)

    Comment by Leviticus (68eff1) — 10/31/2006 @ 1:49 pm

  85. Ok…I’ve been in the Army 16 years…and am a PhD candidate with three masters degrees and a BA, and I am an uneducated idiot for going into the box twice? Remind me again who the ignorant person is?

    Comment by WarriorScholar (78e439) — 10/31/2006 @ 1:53 pm

  86. OK, so I didn’t spell out it clearly enough, so I’ll try again…
    I’ve seen the video, so I don’t see the point of repeating it. :)

    What Kerry might have meant to say is, “If you don’t do well in school you will limit your options in life…” but he didn’t say that. He said that kids who don’t do well in school get stuck in Iraq.
    If this would be what he wanted to say, it would be just as insulting. His point is that it was not about “having limited options”, but about “doing crazy things like Bush”. I’m afraid this explanation doesn’t quite work, though. :( It’s a pity he’s such a moron.

    Comment by Nikolay (939eb6) — 10/31/2006 @ 1:58 pm

  87. Nosh, where would you fight al Qaeda if anywhere?

    Comment by Capitalist Infidel (2f6027) — 10/31/2006 @ 2:07 pm

  88. Ok.

    “You’re only 16? Why aren’t you in school today?!

    Actually, I was when I was ten; that was 1963, and we had the Cuban Missile Crisis. Drills where the teachers have you hiding under your desks and heading for the fallout shelters will do that to you.”

    -Dana (whom I respect)

    I am in school, Dana. I’m in the honors program at the University of New Mexico, with a large break in between classes. Check out the profile I put on P’s recent post asking for bios.

    With all due respect, remembering that the Cuban Missile Crisis happened in 1963 doesn’t count as being politically aware. If you didn’ remember the Cuban Missile Crisis I would be fairly skeptical as to your soundness of mind. You ask me for specific campaign ads from when I was ten (which I can’t remember). I ask you for the same thing, and I would assume it’s fairly safe to say that you don’t remember either.

    “you have a few things to learn betweeen now and when you look back and realize you weren’t as smart as you thought you were. Happens to just about all of us- only exception is those who never learn anything to realize what they didn’t know before.”

    -MD in Philly

    Don’t patronize me, bud. I definitely have things to learn, but I think it’s pretty funny that all you doctors and lawyers in the audience justify compromising the ideals you cherished then for the money you cherish now by saying that your ideals were the product of the foolishness of youth. Excuse me if I haven’t resigned myself to the rat race just yet.

    “Leviticus; haven’t you admitted to being a high school drop-out ?
    Every citizen has the right to comment online about whatever he wants, but at the tender age of 17, I would think you’re equally qualified to provide hindsight widsom into a conversation about the path of one’s education/career as you are to recommend the best cocktail lounge in town.”

    -Desert Rat

    Desert Rat, I scored a 2140 on my SATs (which included a perfect score in critical reading) with three (3) semesters of high school under my belt.
    How’d you do with eight (8) semesters?

    I wrote for an ABQ newspaper. I won statewide medals for short fiction. What’d you do?

    I’m willing to admit that I have a lot to learn, but I’m also willing to state that BUSH IS AN IDIOT. Listen to his speeches for heaven’s sake…
    he sounds like he’s had a fucking stroke. And it’s not like his foreign policy has elevated us to hero status in the world.

    Go ahead and dismiss me as a child if you want, guys. In one year I’ll be as much an adult as any of you, and I’ll still be singing the same damn song.

    Comment by Leviticus (68eff1) — 10/31/2006 @ 2:10 pm

  89. This should be no surprise especialy if you read the book UNFIT FOR COMMAND and besides i dont think he can get over how the SWIFTBOAT vets exposed this lying faker

    Comment by krazy kagu (aef0eb) — 10/31/2006 @ 2:11 pm

  90. Yeah, that was totally honest and not controversial in any way, shape, or form…

    Comment by Leviticus (68eff1) — 10/31/2006 @ 2:21 pm

  91. Leviticus: I’ll freely admit that I don’t remember much about politics until I was about 12; I have scattered memories before that, but the Iran-Contra hearings were about the first political event which made an impression on my consciousness, and my continuous memory of political history begins there. I think that’s fairly normal, and I agree that it’s unfair to expect you to remember the 2000 election particularly well. That said, I think it’s also incumbent on you to realize that understanding the 2000 election is important to understand the politics of today, and to make an effort to understand it. :)

    I don’t know that people here have been justiying compromising the ideals of their youth for money; perhaps they have, but I haven’t seen it. I would submit that it’s possible that *not* compromising is harder than it seems to you now; certainly the temptation to compromise my ideals is something I have to struggle with often, and it’s much ahrder than I would have expected even a decade ago.

    I also think you missed Desert Rat’s point. I took him as saying that the value of education is something that you only really understand, in the core of your being, when you have seen both how your education serves you in life and how other peoples’ lack of education misserves them. SAT scores are not comparable from your time to mine (the maximum score possible when I took the test was a 1600), but I scored a 1450, which was a high score at the time; and I don’t think I understood the value of education at the time the way I do now. Then, I saw education as a badge of honor; now I see it as a tool without which I could not survive.

    Comment by aphrael (12fba5) — 10/31/2006 @ 2:27 pm

  92. Tick … Tock … Tick … Tock

    So Kerry has responded and called the rightwing nutjobs to task for this vicious smear.

    When will his side be posted … or is your host to embarrassed to have swallowed so hard on this nonsense?

    Comment by Macswain (76d8da) — 10/31/2006 @ 2:33 pm

  93. Nosh, where would you fight al Qaeda if anywhere?

    Mind you, could you explain this talking point? I’ve seen it so many times and yet can’t understand. What does it mean, “fighting Al Qaeda here or fighting it there”?
    What kind of offense do you expect from Al Quaeda? If it is some kind of terrorism, then how in the world fight in Iraq can help? Terrorism doesn’t require a lot of people, it was just 19 on 9/11. Having made a battlefield of Iraq (why not Antarctica?), and making Al Quaeda come there because it hates US, doesn’t mean that they won’t have 20 people to spare to do acts of terror in US.
    Terrorism is a security problem, and that invasion was destructive for intelligence work on terror.

    If you expect some kind of “armed invasion” from Al Quaeda, then you’re officially nuts.

    If you’re afraid of the nuke fired by “crazy Islamists”, then you must admit that turning a secular country into Iran’s client state with Islamic constitution, which was in effect done in Iraq, was not a great idea.

    People tend to forget that among the “things that make US great” there’s such a trivial thing as geography. You’re protected by the oceans, and all those fears about “having to fight Al Quaeda here” just sound crazy.

    Comment by Nikolay (939eb6) — 10/31/2006 @ 2:39 pm

  94. Pardon for this strange misspelling of Al Qaeda.

    Comment by Nikolay (939eb6) — 10/31/2006 @ 2:41 pm

  95. Levi:

    I do remember more, much more, in politics from age ten and immediately thereafter. There were a few things pretty much seared into people’s consciences: the missile crisis, the Kennedy assassination, the civil rights movement (I grew up in the South), the mounting protests against the war in Vietnam, just a whole host of things. I was one of the kids who actually read the newspaper (because I delivered newspapers for five years).

    My congratulations to you on your SAT scores and early admission to college. Without trying to sound patronizing, I’d simply point out that people’s political opinions usually change as they grow older; your’s may as well. Some of it is education, a path on which you have advanced rather quickly, but some of it is life experience, which cannot be accelerated.

    An example: when I was in college, while I didn’t use drugs (the couple of times I tried pot, I just plain didn’t like it) with any frequency, I would certainly have supported legalization, seeing them as no worse than liquor, and none of the government’s business.

    Now I’m 53, and have been married to a pediatric nurse for 27 years, five months and twelve days, and after hearing the horror stories from the hospital, and my darling bride telling me that she has never seen a case of child neglect or abuse that didn’t involve alcohol or drugs in some way, my position on legalization has changed, completely. That change isn’t something I could reasonably have picked up in college, but comes from years of being married, and from being a parent.

    I won’t belittle your youth, because we were all young once; you don’t get to be an old geezer like me without having been younger!

    Comment by Dana (3e4784) — 10/31/2006 @ 2:44 pm

  96. Oh, by the way, I made one misgoof; the Cuban Missile Crisis was in 1962.

    Comment by Dana (3e4784) — 10/31/2006 @ 2:45 pm

  97. Macswain:When will his side be posted … [?]

    Well, I expect that Kerry will provide us with video footage of his remarks before and after the ones we are discussing. And I’m sure they will put everything into context, and make it clear that Kerry really was talking about Bush, and not the U.S. military.

    Yup. Any minute now…

    Say, you don’t have a copy of the footage, do you? If you do, please post it. I would love to see the true nuance of Kerrys remarks.

    Comment by EFG (aa5d0a) — 10/31/2006 @ 3:01 pm

  98. “some of it is life experience, which cannot be accelerated.”

    -Dana

    Understood completely. I understand that I have much to learn, that scores mean little in the big picture, and that things change in all of our myriad situations. However, my point was that things don’t always change for the better (by which I mean no offense), and that, considering my objective accomplishments, my points shouldn’t be discounted on the grounds that “they’ll probably change”. One way or another, I have them now.

    aphrael,

    I understand the IMPLICATIONS of the 2000 election very well. All I said was that I wasn’t old enough to remember specific campaign commercials attacking either candidate on the grounds of their intelligence.

    Also, I think I understood Desert Rat’s comment as it was intended to be: dismissive.

    Comment by Leviticus (68eff1) — 10/31/2006 @ 3:02 pm

  99. Jeez Louise are you guys ever desperate!

    Flopsweat flying everywhere.

    That’s Entertainment.

    Comment by David Ehrenstein (b3c5fe) — 10/31/2006 @ 3:33 pm

  100. Jeez Louise are you guys ever desperate!

    Desperate about what? What Kerry said? It seems pretty clear to me. Kerry thinks the dropouts who can’t hang with the smart kids have to join the military.

    What do you think he said? And what do you base that on?

    Comment by EFG (aa5d0a) — 10/31/2006 @ 3:43 pm

  101. Leviticus,

    It doesn’t matter what your SAT scores were (especially since, as Aphrael pointed out, the scores have been inflated since some of us geezers took it). It doesn’t matter if you got into college early and can write a 5-paragraph essay well. It doesn’t even matter that you can discuss philosophy but can’t drink a beer (unlike when I went to college).

    Testing well doesn’t replace maturity or experience. Dana made a great point of it. When I was your age, I was a bleeding heart liberal and thought Ronald Reagan was a senile old fool. I despised Republicans and thought Democrats were unfairly lambasted as soft on defense. But as I grew up (yes, GREW UP), got married, had kids, bought a house, etc., I came to change my mind about those misguided ideals of youth. It isn’t that we “sold out.” It’s that we grew up.

    I’m surprised that neither Dana nor Aphrael (who’s a bit younger than me) brought up the single most important factor in the lives of any person born before 1989: the Soviet Union. It was completely naive for Democrats to argue for detente and getting rid of nukes during a time when the Soviets were our biggest enemy. Every person who went through a duck & cover drill, watched a film on the Berlin Wall being built, saw Dr. Strangelove or witnessed anti-nuke protests in France in the 1980s can attest to the fact that we didn’t necessarily have to remember specific ads to know what presidential elections were about, but we sure knew what the issues were.

    Comment by sharon (dfeb10) — 10/31/2006 @ 3:50 pm

  102. BECAUSE KERRY’S GRADES AT YALE WERE NOT AS GOOD AS BUSH’S, KERRY GOT STUCK IN VIET NAM AND BUSH DIDN’T.

    Comment by THE COUNT (0b36ff) — 10/31/2006 @ 3:56 pm

  103. Sharon: my primary memory of the Soviet Union is of the great joy the people of eastern Europe took in its death. I’m not old enough to remember the 1980 election, or the 1984 election really, and by 1988 the world had changed.

    One of the striking things for me about the period 1987-1989 is how the writing was clearly on the wall: glasnost and perestroika were clearly attempts at reform, the system was changing, and the conservative anti-communists in public life in America couldn’t see it. That has permanently colored my opinion of the anti-communist movement, and not in a good way: the true believers, from what I could see, were so caught up in the image they’d formed of the Soviet Union decades before hand that they couldn’t perceive either its attempts to reform itself or the fact that it was dying before our eyes.

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 10/31/2006 @ 3:58 pm

  104. Leviticus: i’m not convinced that understanding the implications is enough; I think it’s also important to understand the reasons, and — without knowing anything about you — i’m skeptical that you do.

    Understand that this is not an indictment of you; i’m skeptical that any person your age does. Largely because of my experience in school; I came of age in the mid- to late- eighties, and my school provided me absolutely zero information about the politics of the 1970s. I absorbed some of it from reading, of course, but most of what I read had partisan biases which I was not equipped to analyze; and much of it left out significant parts of the picture.

    Absent contrary evidence, I would assume that today’s schools are just as bad about information regarding the 1990s as mine were about information regarding the 1970s.

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 10/31/2006 @ 4:02 pm

  105. It was completely naive for Democrats to argue for detente and getting rid of nukes

    Unilaterally getting rid of nukes was naive, I agree.

    I don’t agree that detente was. Detente was the official US policy from the early 1970s through the end of the Soviet Union, and was largely endorsed by policy makers of both parties — largely because it had become obvious by that point that direct confrontation was a game neither side could win, and the only way forward was a limited, negotiated, arrangement.

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 10/31/2006 @ 4:22 pm

  106. Making up words is… presidential.

    Depends on what your definition of “is” is.

    Comment by Jim Treacher (c4006e) — 10/31/2006 @ 4:45 pm

  107. Does it hurt the hands hving to clap louder to avoid reality? The GOP knew they could spin this as something it clearly wasn’t and the lemmings would follow along blindly. Read the transcript, watch the video, he’s CLEARLY talking about the President not the troops.

    Ohhh, so then there’s the arguement that it’s ridiculous because Bush went to Yale and has a Havard MBA. Well let’s go straight to George W Bush to handle this one:

    “And I said, great, just so long as we don’t have to compare transcripts. She’s the Ph.D., I’m the President.”

    “he’s the PhD, and I’m the C student, but notice who is the advisor and who is the President.”

    “By the way, this guy — PhD. See, I was a C student. He’s a PhD, so he’s probably got a little more credibility. I do think it’s interesting and should be heartening for all C students out there, notice who’s the President and who’s the advisor. ”

    And no it’s not the same quote, if there’s something our President loves more than letting people know what an average guy he is, it’s using that one every time he shares the stage with anyone having impressive credentials.

    Of course a lot of the people on right these days to his years at Yale — seeing as he was a cheerleader. It makes Rove’s job so easy, just twist some words or misstate a position, the megaphones come out and and the pom poms will start shaking.

    Just sad that Republicans would rather attack political opponents than the enemies of America.

    Comment by DwightKSchrute (c072db) — 10/31/2006 @ 4:56 pm

  108. Now he says he was telling a joke. This guy is about as funny as a fart in church. He is the last guy in America who should try to tell a joke.
    He is smart enough to know it…therefore, I figure he is lying now…and that his remarks are truly indicative of his attitude toward the military. Everything else he has said and done for the past 30 years lends credibility to that premise.

    Comment by j woo (c949f7) — 10/31/2006 @ 5:02 pm

  109. Read the transcript, watch the video
    Could you give us this transcript and this video, because so far it really doesn’t seem it’s clear he was talking about Bush.

    Comment by Nikolay (939eb6) — 10/31/2006 @ 5:04 pm

  110. Kerry thinks the dropouts who can’t hang with the smart kids have to join the military.

    why would a veteran think that? And isn’t the leftist line that people join the military in order to get educations? Ie, to work hard and be smart?

    Comment by actus (10527e) — 10/31/2006 @ 5:11 pm

  111. October Surprise…

    Meglio di un piano diabolico architettato da Karl Rove. Meglio di un endorsement per i Democratici pronunciato da Osama bin Laden. Meglio di dieci sondaggi favorevoli in Virginia. Meglio del job-approval di Bush che schizza, senza motivo, all’80%. Le….

    Trackback by The Right Nation (59ce3a) — 10/31/2006 @ 5:14 pm

  112. actus: “why would a veteran think that?”

    Probably because of what Kerry said.

    You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

    But actus, if you can provide the video immediately before and after this statement, perhaps we could find something that would indicate that this is really a statement about Bush.

    Comment by EFG (aa5d0a) — 10/31/2006 @ 5:39 pm

  113. But actus, if you can provide the video immediately before and after this statement, perhaps we could find something that would indicate that this is really a statement about Bush.

    Thats a real good question. You should ask the people who are hosting this little bit of video and audio that. You’d think they would have the rest. I was looking during today. All I found was a news report that Kerry was joking about bush at the beggining of the speech:

    had opened his speech at Pasadena City College with several one-liners, joking at one point that Bush had lived in Texas but now “lives in a state of denial.”

    Then he 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.”

    So that answers your question. Do you have other indications of the context? That would be helpful, I agree.

    But on the statement itself, its quite clear he’s referencing dubya. Why would anyone imagine that soldiers don’t do their homework? don’t make efforts to be smart? We all know that our military is working hard over there. Thats part of the anti-war line: that the armed forces are overworked. On the other hand, we all know dubya eschews intellectual exercise.

    Comment by actus (10527e) — 10/31/2006 @ 5:47 pm

  114. Ohhh, so then there’s the arguement that it’s ridiculous because Bush went to Yale and has a Havard MBA.

    Yes, that’s one “arguement.” Say, Kerry went to Yale too, didn’t he? His grades must have been better than dumb ol’ George’s!

    Comment by Jim Treacher (c4006e) — 10/31/2006 @ 5:58 pm

  115. -MD in Philly
    Don’t patronize me, bud. I definitely have things to learn, but I think it’s pretty funny that all you doctors and lawyers in the audience justify compromising the ideals you cherished then for the money you cherish now by saying that your ideals were the product of the foolishness of youth. Excuse me if I haven’t resigned myself to the rat race just yet.

    I can understand your feeling patronized, but I was trying to give some perspective in a friendly sort of way. If I had said, “You’re only 16, you have a lot to learn”, you would have thought that was “dismissive”.

    While you have evidence, no doubt, for your whole-scale dissing of attorneys and doctors, I would make a few points:
    1. This blog is hosted by someone who works as an assistant DA who no-doubtedly could make much more money elsewhere.
    2. In my almost 20 yrs of medical practice I have never made near the average income as a physician in my specialty. You don’t get rich doing home visits on patients with AIDS and other chronic conditions who are mostly on medical assistance. You do get to dodge cockroaches and go into houses with condemned signs on them, though. Please feel free to criticize MD’s again after you have spent years working at times for 36 hours straight, literally trying to save lives and getting criticized for not doing it better.
    The foolishness of youth was why I thought being nice would mean everybody would be nice to us, not why I went into medicine. At 17 my calculus professor asked me (a high school student taking the class at the liberal arts college in town) to take over class impromptly when there was an emergency. That didn’t mean, however, that I had the wisdom to know Walter Cronkite had been willfully manipulating the public opinion of the Vietnam War for years.

    So, as expected, Kerry says he was talking about Bush, not troops: “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.”
    Comment by Nikolay — 10/31/2006 @ 11:10 am

    It makes sense…except he already did it. If you haven’t heard his testimony before Congress in 1971 you need to. The Vietnam vet testified that it was THE NORM for US soldiers to rape, kill needlessly, mutilate, and carry on like the hordes of “Genghis Khan”. Such “pride” in the US military caused him to (stage?) throwing his medals over the White House fence. That is why the “Swift Boat Vets” and others attacked him. They remember being spat upon because their comrade in arms told the US that this was the typical behavior of the US soldier. The “reporting for duty” John Kerry in 2002 and 2003 was the aberration; his comment yesterday was in keeping with his public views fore the majority of his adult life.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 10/31/2006 @ 6:20 pm

  116. Yes, that’s one “arguement.” Say, Kerry went to Yale too, didn’t he? His grades must have been better than dumb ol’ George’s!

    But who’s the one that plays the “average guy” card? Who’s the one that over and over again talks about being a C student?

    If Bush is smart or not is really beside the point. As seen by the quotes I used he plays to it, his mangling of english is notorious, and the media exploits it (SNL, Daily Show, etc.). So to take the stance some have that Kerry surely couldn’t have meant Bush (because of Yale and Harvard) seems asinine.

    It’d be like someone making a joke about infidelity directed at, and when talking about, Clinton but not implicitly saying his name in the same sentence. Only a fool would try and argue that it couldn’t be aimed at him seeing as he’s been married for years and never been divorced.

    Trying to twist this into a “Kerry hates the troops” controversy just shows how desperate people on the right have become. The same people that talk about BDS are crowing from the rooftops something that is clearly out of context. So that means that they either a. are intellectually lazy and haven’t taken the time to look at the entire picture or b. know what Kerry was trying to say but think that spinning it makes them feel better and could maybe help keep from a huge defeat in November. Who’s got the Derangement Syndrome now?

    Comment by DwightKSchrute (c072db) — 10/31/2006 @ 6:23 pm

  117. It makes sense…except he already did it. If you haven’t heard his testimony before Congress in 1971 you need to. The Vietnam vet testified that it was THE NORM for US soldiers to rape, kill needlessly, mutilate, and carry on like the hordes of “Genghis Khan”.

    Thats an interesting point. Look at the context. Quite serious testimony about abuses. vs. Joking with an audience. That helps the case that this is a joke about “dumbya” not a serious charge against our soldiers.

    Comment by actus (10527e) — 10/31/2006 @ 6:33 pm

  118. Call me intellectually lazy all night long if you want.

    An old Ivy League Saying:
    If it looks like a duck, flies like a duck, sounds like a duck, and walks like a duck, it is probably a duck.

    I think Sen. Kerry’s comment passes the “duck” test for plainly saying what it sounded like, “if you don’t study hard and make good with your education, you will get stuck in Iraq, (like all of those other young people stuck in Iraq.)”

    If anyone with a PhD in linguistics can argue against this understanding of the phrase, please speak up.

    two other points-
    I remember my resident watching a reagan speech and saying, “He’s having a stroke”. I thought that was a bit much, but I also wasn’t much of a reagan fan.
    One thing I did not know at the time, like most of the public, is that the USSR was collapsing under it’s own weight trying to keep up with the US on things like “Star Wars”.
    By the way, the Afghanis and many Moslems think they are responsible for the fall of the USSR, because it was after the USSR failure in Afghanistan that they fell.
    If Gorbachev was such a hero for leading the USSR out of communism, why was he not given any continuing role in Russian government? I have respect for Mr. Gorbachav because he did not do what previous leaders of the USSR would have done- kill millions of his own people to quiet the opposition.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 10/31/2006 @ 6:43 pm

  119. Quite serious testimony about abuses. vs. Joking with an audience.

    That wasn’t ‘serious testimony about abuses’ it was hyperbolic slander directed at an entire institution. But your right, viewed in context both episodes show a related pattern. John F. Kerry’s deep willingness to denigrate the military for his own political ends.

    Comment by ThomasD (21cdd1) — 10/31/2006 @ 6:43 pm

  120. Actus-

    I find it hard to believe you really mean what you say. You can like Kerry and hate Bush all you want, that’s your right and privilege, but it doesn’t mean that your conclusion/interpretation of the facts follows. I concur with ThomasD

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 10/31/2006 @ 6:46 pm

  121. MD — because under Gorbachev’s rule (a) the economy collapsed and then (b) the empire collapsed.

    Rare indeed is the empire in which the core citizens cheer the collapse, or in which the subjects laud the person who presided over it.

    Comment by aphrael (73ebe9) — 10/31/2006 @ 6:48 pm

  122. I think Sen. Kerry’s comment passes the “duck” test for plainly saying what it sounded like, “if you don’t study hard and make good with your education, you will get stuck in Iraq, (like all of those other young people stuck in Iraq.)”

    But it also passes the duck the test for (like george bush got us stuck in Iraq). And then when you add in that before, he was joking about bush living in a “state of denial,” the duck is starting to quack one tune: jokes about dubya.

    ou can like Kerry and hate Bush all you want, that’s your right and privilege, but it doesn’t mean that your conclusion/interpretation of the facts follows

    Oh. I don’t like Kerry. Arent you, like me and EFG, curious about the context of the remarks? How does kerry telling other bush jokes before this one change your ‘duck’ line?

    Comment by actus (10527e) — 10/31/2006 @ 6:52 pm

  123. [...] Last night, I said: I’ll play Devil’s Advocate: Kerry is talking about Bush and not the troops. [...]

    Pingback by Patterico’s Pontifications » Blowback from Kerry Remarks, or, Patterico Is Karnak Again (421107) — 10/31/2006 @ 7:07 pm

  124. Leviticus,

    You missed my point—but the fact that you DID misunderstand my point, precisely re-affirms my angle, that, at your age, by definition you lack the life experience which enables one to look back in the rear view mirror and see where one’s education/career path has served one well, or not served one well.
    Likewise, I wouldn’t expect you to provide a recommendation about the best cocktail lounge in town—your age does not permit it.

    To a degree, I’m speaking to George Bernard Shaw’s line about “youth being wasted on the young”—which essentially means, that it’s not until one is older before one appreciates the opportunities of youth.
    I’m not a whole lot older than you, Leviticus, but I realize I know a lot more now than I did at your age.
    By the same token, I recognize I posess much less life experience than many of the older commenters on this board.

    People who are much older than you and I have decades of life experience in the workforce, in the classroom, etc., from which to draw upon.

    Kerry set a predicate for ‘being stuck in Iraq.’
    Kerry said that if you do your homework and get an education, you won’t get stuck there.

    But how can that predicate apply to President Bush’s policy ? After all, Bush DID get his education; he is the only President to ever have an MBA.

    So, by Kerry’s argument, one can get his MBA from Harvard, and STILL have the ‘wrong policy’ about Iraq.

    Truth is, Kerry was speaking directly to students at a 2 year community college about their futures.
    As a man in his early 60s, Kerry certainly does posess the life experience to speak to young people about the consequences of one’s path in life.

    Kerry believes President Bush is an idiot.
    Leviticus and actus agree.

    But now the man who was almost elected President in 2004 has revealed he believes the men & women in the armed forces fighting in Iraq are idiots, too.

    Comment by Desert Rat (ee9fe2) — 10/31/2006 @ 7:13 pm

  125. After all, Bush DID get his education; he is the only President to ever have an MBA.

    The quote was about working hard at being educated and smart, not just getting a degree. We know bush got a degree. We know he got middling though better than Kerry grades. We also know he didn’t get into UT Law.

    So, by Kerry’s argument, one can get his MBA from Harvard, and STILL have the ‘wrong policy’ about Iraq.

    Like one can get an MBA, be the “smartest guys in the room” and still lead your Houston based Energy-trading company into bankruptcy? Makes sense. Reality doens’t really correspond to jokes. Our Iraq policy isn’t just bush’s fault, but the result of alot of decisions.

    Comment by actus (10527e) — 10/31/2006 @ 7:18 pm

  126. I saw the article you referenced, actus. However, it has been edited and compressed quite a bit by the reporter.

    Seeing as this was a statment made by John Kerry that has caused him problems, I think the responsibility is on him to prove that there is a context surrounding his remarks that justifies them.

    At this time, his comments appear to be an insult to military men. If he can prove that they weren’t, good. But the responsibility is his, not mine to prove this. I have listened to his statement several times, and read his words. At this point, they seem to indicate a derogatory statement towards the military.

    The fact that Kerry hasn’t provided any footage to bolster his claims after the fact that this was a joke appears to indicate that this footage does not exists.

    It would behove Kerry to provide this footage, rather than just claim that his words mean something other than what they appear to mean from a careful read.

    Comment by EFG (aa5d0a) — 10/31/2006 @ 7:58 pm

  127. However, it has been edited and compressed quite a bit by the reporter.

    How do you know that? have you seen the footage? You’re going to make that claim and you haven’t seen the footage?

    Seeing as this was a statment made by John Kerry that has caused him problems, I think the responsibility is on him to prove that there is a context surrounding his remarks that justifies them.

    Whats amazing is that the people who are hosting this aren’t giving us the rest of what they have. Why not?

    The fact that Kerry hasn’t provided any footage to bolster his claims after the fact that this was a joke appears to indicate that this footage does not exists.

    Why not ask for the footage from the people who are providing it now, who you know have it? Did they really only record those 2 sentences?

    Comment by actus (10527e) — 10/31/2006 @ 8:03 pm

  128. Actus, you’re trying to put lipstick on a pig. Among Kerry’s other problems is that he, very recently, accused out troops in Iraq of terrorizing women and children. Maybe propensity and prior bad acts are not admissible in a criminal case but they are in common sense. He really does not deserve the benefit of the doubt.

    Comment by nk (35ba30) — 10/31/2006 @ 8:20 pm

  129. Leviticus:

    I’m willing to admit that I have a lot to learn, but I’m also willing to state that BUSH IS AN IDIOT. Listen to his speeches for heaven’s sake… he sounds like he’s had a fucking stroke.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but you’re just one more ignorant 16-year old who thinks he knows it all. If Al Gore Sr. had taken the initiative in creating the Internets a generation earlier, I could and would have posted the same ignorant crap you’re posting now, verbatim, except that the name “Reagan” would have appeared instead of “Bush.” It’s OK, I outgrew it, and if your SAT scores really are what you say they are, you probably will, too.

    And it’s not like his foreign policy has elevated us to hero status in the world.

    Yup, I’d have written that back then, too. Back in the day, those all-knowing Euroweenies just luuurrrved Reagan. And Nixon. And every other President in recent memory who stood up for America’s interests – even when those interests also happened to be the interests of the entire free world.

    Go ahead and dismiss me as a child if you want, guys. In one year I’ll be as much an adult as any of you, and I’ll still be singing the same damn song.

    Like hell you will be, and of course you will be. Most know-all teens don’t truly become politically aware until their late 20s, at the earliest. Too many years in the ivory tower may delay your growth even further. We’ll see what song you’re singing when you’re five years out of college, or three years out of grad school, whichever is longer.

    Comment by Xrlq (7afef3) — 10/31/2006 @ 8:29 pm

  130. Among Kerry’s other problems is that he, very recently, accused out troops in Iraq of terrorizing women and children

    Could that be because sometimes they do? I would be terrorized if I was on the receiving ends of some of the operations i’ve seen on TV.

    Comment by actus (10527e) — 10/31/2006 @ 8:40 pm

  131. “Could that be because sometimes they do? I would be terrorized if I was on the receiving ends of some of the operations i’ve seen on TV.”

    Even so the question is whether he was referring to the troops or to Bush this time.

    Comment by nk (f58916) — 10/31/2006 @ 8:46 pm

  132. Even so the question is whether he was referring to the troops or to Bush this time.

    So at least its a question. Good for you.

    Comment by actus (10527e) — 10/31/2006 @ 9:49 pm

  133. actus,

    It’s important to analyze what Kerry actually said on recorded videotape, as opposed to what you wish he had said, or what you think Kerry wished he had said.

    Kerry was speaking at a Phil Angelides for Governor rally to a bunch of college kids at a 2 year community college whose education/career paths are uncertain.

    He was addressing their futures—not Bush’s Iraq policy.

    Kerry’s predicate establishes that if you DON’T do the things he mentioned, you WILL get ‘stuck in Iraq.”
    That also holds that if you DO the things he mentioned (as Bush has), you WON’T get ‘stuck in Iraq.’

    Kerry was suggesting the military is a safety net for kids who don’t do their homework or get their education.

    By the way, actus, I readily admit I’m young and stupid.

    But it sounds like you’ve attended law school.
    Have you passed the bar ? If so, in which state ?
    And if not, what line of work are you in ?

    Comment by Desert Rat (ee9fe2) — 10/31/2006 @ 9:56 pm

  134. He was addressing their futures—not Bush’s Iraq policy.

    Then why did he say that bush was living in a “state of denial”?

    Kerry’s predicate establishes that if you DON’T do the things he mentioned, you WILL get ’stuck in Iraq.”
    That also holds that if you DO the things he mentioned (as Bush has), you WON’T get ’stuck in Iraq.’

    Did your education teach you that If A then B then that implies If Not A, then Not B? Because thats not right. Go back and re-work your answer. Check the “important note”.

    Have you passed the bar ? If so, in which state ?

    I don’t know if I’ve passed the bar. In the future when examining the general intellectualness of lawyers, don’t go by bar passage. It’s a pretty silly exam that tests your ability to waste a summer practicing for an exam and memorizing law you won’t really ever use.

    Why are you curious what kind of work I’m in? Thats not really going to change much once I get my bar results.

    Comment by actus (10527e) — 10/31/2006 @ 10:09 pm

  135. actus,

    The purpose of John Kerry’s appearance at PCC was that he was campaigning on behalf of Phil Angelides.
    Also near the podium was Antonio Villaragosa, the mayor of LA who recently announced the name of the new superintendent of LA unified school district.
    Kerry was addressing the futures of young college kids at a public community college.
    The Democrats in California have really been pushing ‘public education’ this election cycle—(well, not that they don’t every other time.)

    actus, I admire your attempt to discredit my logic.

    However, in this case A & B (in #133) are the SAME thing.
    I’m taking Senator Kerry at his word that an ‘education’ will enable the PCC college kids to avoid going to Iraq—just as he asserts.

    Is it theoretically possible that a guy could get a college education, then, one day be on a flight to Madagascar which stops over in Baghdad where he de-planes and foolishly purchases illegal narcotics from an airport vendor, then gets arrested, and thereby becomes “stuck in Iraq” like the main character got ‘stuck in Turkey,’ in the 1978 film, “Midnight Express” ??
    Yes, actus, in that sense, it’s possible.

    Or, could a couple of successful, college educated Americans one day be innocently honeymooning in Morocco, where they’re kidnapped by members of Al-Qaeda, then transported to Iraq, where they would serendipitously be “stuck in Iraq”—despite attaining a wonderful college education, as recommended to them by Senator John F. Kerry, that one day in October 2006 at Pasadena City College ?
    Absolutely, actus !
    But that’s not what Kerry is talking about and you know it.

    My argument is that it’s like if a parent tells a child, “if you don’t go pick up your toys, you won’t get dessert.”
    It is implied that the parent is also saying, “if you DO pick up your toys, you WILL get dessert.”
    That is, unless you believe the parent is playing a game of semantics with the child !

    Do you believe John Kerry is trying to TRICK the PCC college students with his semantics about an education and getting ‘stuck in Iraq’ ?
    I’m ‘pretty sure’ Kerry is saying that an education will save you from getting ‘stuck in Iraq,’ and that is reflected in both A & B in my earlier comments in #133.

    But actus, don’t get down on yourself over the process of the bar exam.
    I think even JFK Jr. failed the bar twice, and Harold Ford still hasn’t passed it.

    Heck, even Michael Jordan got cut from the basketball team early on in high school.

    If you were young and stupid like I am, then you’d have cause for alarm.
    But you’re neither young nor stupid, so don’t worry—you’ll do fine.

    You posess a remarkable intellect, and I’m sure that you will always be successful in whatever you do, and in whichever state it is that you choose to do it in.

    Comment by Desert Rat (ee9fe2) — 11/1/2006 @ 1:28 am

  136. Kerry’s predicate establishes that if you DON’T do the things he mentioned, you WILL get ’stuck in Iraq.”
    That also holds that if you DO the things he mentioned (as Bush has), you WON’T get ’stuck in Iraq.’

    1) How would college kids get stuck in Iraq if they don’t educate themselves? There’s no draft. What would force drop-outs to get stuck in Iraq?

    2) That’s well-known that Bush was not so well-educated about Iraq before he went there. Some say he didn’t expect sectarians clashes because he didn’t know there were sect in Islam.

    Comment by Nikolay (939eb6) — 11/1/2006 @ 2:25 am

  137. Why is actus trying so hard to defend what Kerry said? And why couldn’t Kerry just say, “Obviously, that joke fell flat and I didn’t put it the best way possible. I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful of our military personnel. My remarks were about George Bush?” I guess because it would be admitting that he was wrong and as we all know by this point, Kerry can’t do that.

    Comment by sharon (dfeb10) — 11/1/2006 @ 6:04 am

  138. Nikolay, they would get stuck in Iraq, even though there is no draft, because John Kerry is simply expressing the views he has had since circa 1971, and he apparently still has that frame of reference.

    Would I rather be “terrorized” by Saddam’s thugs or US soldiers? I’ll take US soldiers.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 11/1/2006 @ 6:08 am

  139. From PowerLine I find this link, which I think is worth reading:
    http://biglizards.net/blog/archives/2006/10/kerrying_favor.html

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 11/1/2006 @ 6:17 am

  140. Kerry was addressing the futures of young college kids at a public community college.

    I know. He was also making jokes about dubya.

    However, in this case A & B (in #133) are the SAME thing.

    What?

    My argument is that it’s like if a parent tells a child, “if you don’t go pick up your toys, you won’t get dessert.”
    It is implied that the parent is also saying, “if you DO pick up your toys, you WILL get dessert.”

    That was taken care of in the ‘important note’ I linked to. It’s a feature of language, of how we speak. Not of logic. A question of meaning, not necessary implications and predicates.

    Do you believe John Kerry is trying to TRICK the PCC college students with his semantics about an education and getting ’stuck in Iraq’ ?

    I think hes telling them a bad joke.

    But actus, don’t get down on yourself over the process of the bar exam.

    Oh. Its over. Like most people who have done, I will now of course make no effort to change this silly system.

    And why couldn’t Kerry just say, “Obviously, that joke fell flat and I didn’t put it the best way possible

    He did say that.

    Comment by actus (10527e) — 11/1/2006 @ 6:19 am

  141. Nikolay, they would get stuck in Iraq, even though there is no draft, because John Kerry is simply expressing the views he has had since circa 1971, and he apparently still has that frame of reference.

    Like he didn’t notice that 25 years have passed? He’s Rip van Winkle? I don’t buy this. There’s just no logical explanation how studying bad in college would lead to kids getting stuck in Iraq. You mean he was trying to scare them: educate yourself, or they’ll “get ya”? Think about that, this just makes no sense.

    Would I rather be “terrorized” by Saddam’s thugs or US soldiers? I’ll take US soldiers.

    Do you say this in the context “are Iraqi people happy with invasion”? They are totally not, you may read their blogs. Some of them were, initially, but now they are not. It’s not about Saddam’s thugs vs. US soldiers. I don’t think that US soldiers do that much damage, I believe they are playing by the rules with few exceptions.
    But many of those Iraqis they train and provide with equipment, that they expect to “stand up”, are obviously thugs joining the death squads.
    And I think that in many ways living under the secular government in a relatively technically advanced country was way better than under Islamic constitution and with parties like Council for the Islamic Revolution as they do now.

    Comment by Nikolay (939eb6) — 11/1/2006 @ 7:26 am

  142. This was a joke, in a sense that audience laughed, which they would not if it was about scaring them into education. He was playing along standard “Bush stupid, you kids bright lines”, that’s all.

    Now, he was very bad at that, and there’s no doubt about it.

    Comment by Nikolay (939eb6) — 11/1/2006 @ 7:30 am

  143. “It doesn’t matter what your SAT scores were (especially since, as Aphrael pointed out, the scores have been inflated since some of us geezers took it)”

    -sharon

    Sure it matters. Did the wisdom of old age get you guys through law school/med school, or did hard work and intelligence?

    The difference between the SAT then and the SAT now is nothing more than the addition of a writing portion (worth 800, like the other sections). On your scale, I got a 1450 (like aphrael) with three (3) semesters of high school under my belt.

    “When I was your age, I was a bleeding heart liberal and thought Ronald Reagan was a senile old fool. I despised Republicans and thought Democrats were unfairly lambasted as soft on defense. But as I grew up (yes, GREW UP), got married, had kids, bought a house, etc., I came to change my mind about those misguided ideals of youth. It isn’t that we “sold out.” It’s that we grew up.”

    -sharon

    Ronald Reagan may not have been senile, but he sure was an old fool. He left this country 4 trillion dollars in the red and his rich buddies 1 trillion dollars in the black.

    Unlike you, I despise Republicans and Democrats alike, and don’t delude myself into thinking that either gives a shit about me or what I want for this country.

    To MD in Philly: I understand that there are plenty of honest, hardworking doctors (and lawyers) in the world, and it sounds like you (and P)are good examples of each.

    However, many of the ideals of youth are reversed when the reforms and progams we advocate now come into direct contact with our checkbooks. How many doctors and lawyers began espousing Reaganomics once they entered the top %1 that benefited so richly from it?

    “People who are much older than you and I have decades of life experience in the workforce, in the classroom, etc., from which to draw upon.”

    -Desert Rat

    This is my primary contention: Your age and my age give us different perspectives on the same problems. Why is your perspective worth more than mine? Seniority? “Because”?

    This is important: None of you guys ever mentioned my age until I told you about it. Know why? Because you couldn’t tell the difference. That’s the glory of the Internet-a level playing field. However, I choose to give my age, and my opinions (which previously were debated on their merit) are dismissed. What kind of message does that send?

    Finally (and I apologize for the length of this post),

    How many of you think that Bush is smarter than you? Roll call, yay or nay.

    Comment by Leviticus (43095b) — 11/1/2006 @ 8:50 am

  144. Leviticus: I have no idea whether or not Bush is smarter than I am. In part, that’s because I’m no longer sure that ‘smart’ can me measured on a linear scale, and in part it’s because I’ve lost whatever grasp I once had on the meaning of the word as applied to a person.

    So I can’t answer your question.

    —-

    Like you, I strongly dislike the “your views will change when you get older” argument: it’s condescending in the extreme. Moreover, in my experience, it isn’t true: I’ve gotten older, and while my views have narrowed and become more subtle, their general tenor has not changed.

    That said, I think there is something to be said for understanding gained through experience. I’m far more forgiving of failure today than I was in 1990, for example, because I understand better what it is that leads to failure; and I understand the difficulty of choices which, at that age, I thought were trivial.

    I also understand politics as the art of compromise, today, which I did not then, and that’s why I don’t think Reagan was “an old fool”; he had certain goals, most of which he achieved, and he paid a price for them by not focusing on other things and allowing those who controlled the Congress to make those decisions. That’s a normal part of the game — nobody in politics gets everything they want, ever. Reagan certainly didn’t.

    Reagan also has earned my lasting admiration for something he did before he became President. As the leading conservative politician in California, a former governor with a lot of political clout, he stood up against an intolerant ballot initiative which would have banned gay people from teaching, and helped defeat it. He’s taken a lot of flack in the gay community for the slowness of his response to AIDS, and some of that is deserved … but to buck the conservative movement on the issue and win, because he knew they were wrong and wasn’t afraid of the political cost of saying so, was heroic.

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 11/1/2006 @ 10:12 am

  145. “Like you, I strongly dislike the “your views will change when you get older” argument: it’s condescending in the extreme. Moreover, in my experience, it isn’t true: I’ve gotten older, and while my views have narrowed and become more subtle, their general tenor has not changed.”

    -aphrael

    Well said.

    I’m not saying that my ideals won’t change as I get older; I’m saying that my ideals today should be deemed not of more or less weight than my ideals tomorrow. They should be respected as the ideals of a different perspective and nothing more.

    On that note, I’ll have to roll your comments about Reagan around in my head for a while…

    Comment by Leviticus (43095b) — 11/1/2006 @ 10:19 am

  146. By the way, the Bush comment was my way of finding out how smart people really think Bush is.

    Basically, I figured that it would be easy for people to say “Bush is smart (or smarter than Kerry)”, but that it would really grate people to say “Bush is smarter than I am” unless they really believed it.

    I see your point about not being able to objectively judge a term as ambiguous as “smart”, though.

    Comment by Leviticus (43095b) — 11/1/2006 @ 10:42 am

  147. BTW, this story, if it’s true, really gives all this a good context, and could give a hint for the cause of Kerry’s outrage:

    How it really is.

    Comment by Nikolay (939eb6) — 11/1/2006 @ 11:06 am

  148. to those of you who are willing to excuse this becuase it was a “joke”, how many others wh made bad jokes got your forgiveness? For example, did you forgive the comments of Trent Lott about Strom Thurmond, which were clearly intended as a joke and not intended to offend anyone? Did you accept his apology (which, unlike Kerry, he offered), or did you demand his censure and impeachment, as you branded him a racist?
    How many other bad jokes have you been unwilling to tolerate…when uttered by Republicans? How many mispeaks of George Bush have you overlooked, becuase you undoerstood his true intended meaning?

    Comment by j woo (c949f7) — 11/1/2006 @ 11:21 am

  149. For example, did you forgive the comments of Trent Lott about Strom Thurmond, which were clearly intended as a joke and not intended to offend anyone? Did you accept his apology (which, unlike Kerry, he offered), or did you demand his censure and impeachment, as you branded him a racist?

    The thing is, it’s not only Kerry that knew that he was making a joke, it’s people who saw the original footage as well. They intentionally cut this piece to make it insulting to the troops, which it was not in the full version, and instead of fact-checking Tony Snow and Bush went into offensive. Now, that’s a thing to apologize for, isn’t it? Note the way Snow was speaking today, sort of “cut me some slack”, wasn’t he?

    Comment by Nikolay (939eb6) — 11/1/2006 @ 11:48 am

  150. I am not following you, Nikolay. Were you as forgiving of Trent Lott or were you not?
    Does it matter who is telling the bad joke in determining whether or not an apology is owed, and whether one would be accepted?

    Comment by j woo (c949f7) — 11/1/2006 @ 12:00 pm

  151. Leviticus,

    I’m afraid you’re still missing the point, friend.
    I’m not blanketly dismissing all of your opinions, comments, insults, or polls asking how stupid the President is, etc., out of hand.

    First, I want to point out that it is a mistake to interchange ‘age’ with ‘wisdom.’
    There are older people who have age yet are unwise, and there are young people who lack age, yet impart wisdom.

    But in this explicit case, I’ve only merely said that your age (and my age) prohibits us from having enough life experience to wisely lecture people on the consequences of one’s education/career path.
    John Kerry was lecturing junior college students whose future paths are uncertain, with his wisdom about the value of an education and how it will affect one’s future.

    You and I by definition, have not reached the age where we can ‘look back’ at our roads taken, and identify the consequences of our paths.
    It’s like being in the first quarter of a football game, and characterizing how the coach’s choice of strategy has affected the outcome of the game—you’ll generally have a better idea the deeper into the game you get.

    It’s something which is revealed to one thru age and experience.
    Again, that’s why people don’t appreciate Shaw’s line about “youth being wasted on the young” until we’re older.

    Comment by Desert Rat (ee9fe2) — 11/1/2006 @ 12:03 pm

  152. Okay, Desert Rat. I see what you’re saying.

    Your point isn’t that I can understand nothing because I’m young, only that I can’t accurately assess or comprehend the value of my education until it’s complete.

    That said, I never argued that Kerry’s comment wasn’t insipid. It was (and as a politician you’d think he’d be smart enough to stay away from such open-ended statements). My only contention, originally, was that Bush is of sub-standard intelligence, regardless of how his scores compare to Kerry’s.

    Good analogy, by the way.

    Comment by Leviticus (43095b) — 11/1/2006 @ 12:15 pm

  153. Desert Rat: i’d make an even more stronger statement, I think.

    Nobody is able to look back and reflect on where the road they are currently taking has taken them. I can look back and see what the effects of my choices five years ago were; but I can’t see what the effect of my choices today are.

    I can see what I believe they are; I can guess. But I cannot know.

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 11/1/2006 @ 12:19 pm

  154. I am not following you, Nikolay. Were you as forgiving of Trent Lott or were you not?
    Does it matter who is telling the bad joke in determining whether or not an apology is owed, and whether one would be accepted?

    Well, I’m an outsider, but going after Lott was probably a bad idea.
    But his situation was still a bit different. If somebody intentionally slandered Kerry and intentionally insulted the troops, then one to apologize is not the victim (Kerry), but the insulter (editor of the piece).

    Comment by Nikolay (939eb6) — 11/1/2006 @ 12:49 pm

  155. Sharon wrote:

    I’m surprised that neither Dana nor Aphrael (who’s a bit younger than me) brought up the single most important factor in the lives of any person born before 1989: the Soviet Union. It was completely naive for Democrats to argue for detente and getting rid of nukes during a time when the Soviets were our biggest enemy. Every person who went through a duck & cover drill, watched a film on the Berlin Wall being built, saw Dr. Strangelove or witnessed anti-nuke protests in France in the 1980s can attest to the fact that we didn’t necessarily have to remember specific ads to know what presidential elections were about, but we sure knew what the issues were.

    Actually, Sharon, I have heard people, educated people, including one who was (at least by her claim) a CIA agent, say that our actions against the USSR had very little to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union, because it was such an economic contradiction it could not survive. Further, there are those who claim that there was never any realistic danger from Soviet nuclear weapons, as evidenced by the fact they were never used, and therefore arguing for détente and disarmament was certainly no harm to us. Because they were never used against us or our allies proved their benevolent intentions.

    It’s a little bit along the lines of “the dog didn’t bark” argument.

    Comment by Dana (e28615) — 11/1/2006 @ 4:39 pm

  156. I place some credit in the theory that our actions had little to do with the collapse of the USSR, and that the USSR was such an economic contradiction that it could not survive.

    My understanding of papers written by George F Kennan *in the 1940s* is that he was saying that, if Soviet expansionism were contained, the Soviet Union would eventually collapse because of economic catastrophe, and that’s basically what happened in the end.

    The thing that Reagan did which may have mattered is force them to spend more on weapons, thereby *hastening* the end … but hastening is nto the same as causing.

    Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 11/1/2006 @ 4:43 pm

  157. Aphrael wrote:

    One of the striking things for me about the period 1987-1989 is how the writing was clearly on the wall: glasnost and perestroika were clearly attempts at reform, the system was changing, and the conservative anti-communists in public life in America couldn’t see it. That has permanently colored my opinion of the anti-communist movement, and not in a good way: the true believers, from what I could see, were so caught up in the image they’d formed of the Soviet Union decades before hand that they couldn’t perceive either its attempts to reform itself or the fact that it was dying before our eyes.

    Rush Limbaugh came up with the proper term for those who saw Mikhail Gorbachev as some sort of liberalizing hero, someone who would lead the USSR to becoming a real workers’ paradise: a gorbasm.

    There has always been a debate in deterrence theory about whether you prepare for what your enemy is likely to do or what he actually could do. It was unlikely that the Soviets would launch nuclear weapons at us, because we had nuclear weapons. But there was also the fact that an irrational decision could be taken, and that we had to prepare for what they could do.

    There was a reluctance to accept the idea that the USSR was going to collapse from within, because of about 10,000 nuclear weapons pointed at the democracies; under such conditions, you don’t relax your guard. But further, no one could have anticipated the huge influence of the Pope, or that the USSR wouldn’t repeat Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968 on Poland in the mid 1980s.

    There was a strong conservative bias in these regards, but it was an appropriate and necessary one: you don’t relax in a case like the one the world faced.

    Comment by Dana (e28615) — 11/1/2006 @ 4:48 pm

  158. Actus, it appears that some of the troops thought that Mr Kerry’s statement was directed toward them. :)

    Comment by Dana (e28615) — 11/1/2006 @ 4:53 pm

  159. Desert Rat- you are wiser at your age than I was at your age.

    Leviticus-1) In the 80′s reaganomics were sometimes called “voodoo economics” because the idea of lowering taxes and expecting increased tax revenue didn’t seem to make sense, and what i heard on the news didn’t try hard to explain it (even if one disagreed). It is a bit clearer second time around, lowering taxes stimulates the economy, a stimulated economy means more cash flowing around, more cash flowing around means more tax revenue. Under what conditions it works like that is a matter for people who know their economics better than I. But there is a nice corrollary (sp?) in medicine. There are medications that reduce blood pressure in a specific way called “after-load reducers”. Often, if these medications are given in low dose to a person with heart failure the blood pressure, typically low to start with, actually goes up. This seeming paradox is explained in the following way: the medication makes it easier for the heart to do its job, the pumping action of the heart becomes more efficient, the more efficient heart muscle can more vigorously pump blood. Lowering taxes is like “reducing the after-load” to the economy, allowing the economy to gain vitality. If the economy overall is strengthened, it should help everybody. That is the line of reasoning, anyway.
    2) Regarding learning with the passage of time- Let me put it this way- There is the saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” With time I realize how many times I’ve “been fooled” and hopefully learn from the experiences.
    3) regarding the smarts of President Bush versus myself- He knows more about managing a business than I do. He knows more about being an executive than I do, more about delegating than I do. He is more self-disciplined than I am, keeping an early-morning exercise schedule in spite of the demands on his time. My aptitudes in math and science may be better than his. My ability to express myself without stumbling over words is probably on par with him ;-) .
    Something we don’t remember, he was the first governor of Texas to be elected to consecutive terms in a long time, and I don’t think the election was very close. He was known as an effective leader of bipartisan efforts in Texas. I believe he was introduced as President of the US by a Democratic leader in the Texas statehouse (I think that was the occasion).

    As for the USSR never being a serious threat, that’s news to me, and to all in the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations as well as Nixon and Reagan. The idea that the USSR would collapse economically “if it were contained” is like saying my neighbor’s Mastiffs will not tear me to pieces as long as they are on their chains. A lot depends on that “if”. Had the US and NATO not been willing to contain the USSR would they have evolved/or collapsed from within before or after they did to Western Europe and North America what they did to Eastern Europe? (We know we have problems understanding what Sen. Kerry said, are we also unsure of what Kruschev meant when he pounded the heel of his shoe on the table and exclaimed that they would “bury us”?)

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 11/1/2006 @ 9:32 pm

  160. Actus, it appears that some of the troops thought that Mr Kerry’s statement was directed toward them

    I know. They been played. Watch teh video and its clearly a joke. Sucks to be lied to huh?

    Comment by actus (10527e) — 11/1/2006 @ 9:38 pm

  161. Not that clear.

    Comment by Patterico (de0616) — 11/1/2006 @ 9:39 pm

  162. MD…

    As far as Bush goes…well, I respect your humility, but give yourself some credit

    Those are some funny words.

    in re: Reaganomics,

    If the state of the stock market can be used to measure the success of economic policy, then maybe you’re right.

    Otherwise…

    Comment by Leviticus (cd96c4) — 11/2/2006 @ 7:51 am

  163. I feel John Kerry’s attempt to excuse his troop bashing comment as really an insult being meant for President Bush is ludicrous. How does he possibly feel that any rational person would actually believe that? His comment was inexcusable and demeaning to the men and women serving our country. For someone who made the infamous statement: “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it” to question our military’s intelligence is laughable. I guess a Yale education couldn’t buy him common sense.

    Comment by Misty (34509c) — 11/2/2006 @ 1:44 pm

  164. Lost photo John Kerry’s plea for halp

    I found this photo of John Kerry pleading for halp from Vietnam

    http://www.givemetheinfo.com/blog/blogger.html

    Seems John Kerry was stuk in veeyetnam long before anybody was ever stuck in Irak.

    Comment by cbgaloot (dae6a8) — 11/4/2006 @ 8:04 pm

  165. Why Voting Republican makes one a big fat idiot……

    John Kerry’s infamous speech was absolutely brilliant. Let me tell you why……

    Trackback by Thought Leadership (59ce3a) — 11/5/2006 @ 11:27 am

  166. [...] old, tired, bad joke that all the late night comedians tell. That clarifies everything, Sen. Kerry. This joke is almost as funny as the one about how if you drop out of school, you end up in Iraq. That was a real [...]

    Pingback by Webloggin » Biden’s Gaffe: What if Sarah Had Said It? (c59c74) — 10/21/2008 @ 11:30 am

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