Patterico's Pontifications

10/31/2006

Blowback from Kerry Remarks, or, Patterico Is Karnak Again

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:07 pm

Last night, I said:

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.

Today John Kerry issued the following press release, which I am not making up:

Senator John Kerry issued the following statement in response to White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, assorted right wing nut-jobs, and right wing talk show hosts desperately distorting Kerry’s comments about President Bush to divert attention from their disastrous record:

“If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they’re crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq. It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.

Doughy stuffed suit John McCain, a Republican hack who has never worn the uniform of our country, had this sharp response:

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

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

In response to Kerry’s defense, that he was criticizing Bush and not the troops, McCain said this:

You can’t make this up. His statement, basically, was so demeaning to the men and women who are serving in the military that you will be even more grateful than you are at this moment that George Bush is president of the United States…

You can’t make this up. His statement was that if you get an education and you do well, then you don’t have to go to Iraq, and if you don’t have an education, then you have to go to Iraq. Do you know how demeaning that is to the men and women who are serving so magnificently in the cause of freedom and are fighting and dying in Iraq today? As I said, you can’t make it up.

Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for context for Kerry’s remarks. Let me know if you find a transcript or more video or audio.

44 Responses to “Blowback from Kerry Remarks, or, Patterico Is Karnak Again”

  1. I think you should give yourself a serious pat on the back for figuring out what kerry was joking about. It seems like some others can’t.

    actus (10527e)

  2. Kerry just misspoke. What he meant to say was “You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and do your homework, and make an effort to be smart, uh, you can do well. If you don’t, you get (to be President).”

    Jim (27cef6)

  3. I think what he meant was he was one of those dumb troops stuck in Vietnam.

    Kerry is a F’n disgrace.

    bill (26027c)

  4. John Kerry said what he said. Now, he wants to say otherwise, but read his words and judge for yourself.

    It wasn’t about George Bush, it wasn’t a joke, it wasn’t a slip of the tongue, and it hasn’t been taken out of context. Kerry said what he meant, and he meant what he said.

    It was a slur on the men and women serving in our armed forces, Kerry said it, out loud, plain as day, but now wants to duck the consequences, blame GWB, and pretend it was a joke gone sour.

    But, this sort of thing is nothing new for Kerry, he’s been doing it for the last 35 years. Same guy, same slurs, same lame excuses.

    Black Jack (539ee5)

  5. The Bullshit Express shills for Bush. He’s become an absolute whore. Cut the crap. Defend the way this fucking war has been run, from start to finish. Try, and the rest of us will laugh. A disgrace?

    This administration is a fucking disgrace. Tell me one thing they haven’t fucked up. Are we safer now?
    Kerry is a putz. He’s a putz went volunteered to go fight a stupid war an came back to call it stupid. Cheney had “other priorities.”
    Bush was blowing coke. How about the assholes at the GOP convention wearing purple heart ‘stickers.’ Is that mocking the soldiers?

    What the fuck fo you believe in Pat? Democracy? The Republic?
    The rule of fucking LAW?

    [The Angry Left, ladies and gentlemen. — P]

    Alois Fahyling (6aa211)

  6. “Kerry is a putz. He’s a putz went volunteered to go fight a stupid war an came back to call it stupid.”

    Wow, its a good thing you done got that education or you would be putz stuck in war stupid Iraq too.

    Sean P (0fbd33)

  7. The choice is yours-do you believe the gentle gigelo from Mass or do you believe your lying ears.

    richard the lion hearted (3f5e91)

  8. The choice is yours-do you believe the gentle gigelo from Mass or do you believe your lying ears.

    richard the lion hearted (3f5e91)

  9. A good one
    “Yesterday John McCain did an event with GOP House candidate Peter Roskam, who’s running against Dem Iraq vet Tammy Duckworth. McCain spoke at length about wounded soldiers at the event. In a reference to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, McCain said: “I go out to Walter Reed quite often and see these brave young [soldiers] who have served and sacrificed so much. Many of them have lost limbs, as you know.”

    Tammy Duckworth lost both her legs in Iraq. You Motherfuckers going to swift boat her too? How about Reagan’s Secretary of the fucking Navy? Do you assholes think everyone’s as blindly, cynically partisan as you are? You treat this like it’s a fucking football game. But it’s not. And the liberals you revile are mostly Eisenhower Republicans. That’s the Joke!
    It’s not about politics or political parties, it’s about the safety of the country. I’m voting the Eisenhower ticket, and I’m a communist!

    Fucking idiots. Self absorbed guilt ridden narcissists.
    You blew it. Win or lose, you fucking blew it.

     [Again, with the Angry Left. Note the utter lack of self-knowledge in accusing the GOP of playing political football, while it isn’t he party that has gone out of its way to recruit, trumpet, and exploit veterans as candidates for political office. – TAC]

    Alois Fahyling (6aa211)

  10. Hey Alois , nice comment, if anyone had a clue what you were trying to say, which we don’t . Seems you hate McCain and various motherfuckers. Which ones? Why? Who knows, answer sucked into the black hole of your massive intellect.

    Like Fussel said, Fuck, the fucking fucker’s fucked. A useful and flexible word.

    BlacquesJacquesShellacques (83acf5)

  11. Once again the political debate has degenerated into cursing and a debate over the meaning of words. The Democratic Party, as represented by Alois Fahyling and John Kerry, isn’t mature enough to govern a junior high school student council.

    DRJ (1be297)

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

    He’s addressing college students, the message couldn’t be clearer.

    And when was the last time Lurch told a joke?

    PC14 (98b75e)

  13. David Frum hits it on the head:

    Suppose [Kerry] did not intend to insult every American soldier or civilian who has served or is serving or will serve in Iraq. Suppose he really did intend only a jibe at George W. Bush’s intellect – and unfortunately botched it.

    If true, that would mean that while even the Dixie Chicks can deliver an anti-Bush jeer without tripping over their own tongues, Senator Genius cannot even manage to unburden himself of the single most trite observation in the whole Democratic handbook without stumbling into the single most self-destructive gaffe of campaign 2006. Maybe he should be more cautious about disparaging the intelligence of others …

    NYC 2L (4c4727)

  14. I believe The Hotline is a fairly credible source, and they say: “We believe that Kerry was referring to Bush because he’s used a similar formulation in our presence before and quite clearly meant to call Bush a dummy.”

    In addition, the same BushBots that are pushing this as a slap against the troops have a history of intentionally misunderstanding something that was said, quoting figures and leaving off or adding a zero or two, etc. etc.

    I’m recommending voting against most Dems, but at the same time I also like being intellectually honest unlike the aforementioned BushBots.

    Submit ToughQuestions For Politicians, I dare you (900d1e)

  15. SubmitToughQuestions – that’s ridiculous – If it were a joke, you are suggesting, as is Kerry, that Kerry was playing the punchline “You get (us) stuck in Iraq” for laughs. Think about that for a second. Quite the kneeslapper no? Read the full quote:

    “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.”

    Is it really even imaginable that Kerry was saying to these kids that … If you don’t make the most of education, you will become president and get the nation involved in a protracted war?

    We are left to conclude that Kerry thinks very little of the education of John F. Kennedy, who “got us stuck” in Vietnam (hahaha). Wonder what the senior senator of Massachusetts thinks of Kerry’s laugh line?

    fishstickhead (d90052)

  16. I do believe that Alois Fahyling hankers to spend some time in the military. I haven’t heard such mindless and repetitive use of variations on the F word since my old days of listening to a drill sergeant in 1969 patiently but loudly do his best to instruct what he described as an ignorant bunch of short necked peckerwood farmers from Alabama (and other states)in what they needed to know to serve a full 12 months tour in Viet Nam as an 11-Bravo infantryman and come home alive. He was generally successful in that effort. Of course his descriptions and invective usually came from a distance of about 12 inches from your ear, and tended to leave a lasting impression upon the poor trainee who had caught his attention.

    The difference between those days and today is that there was a certain musical rhythm and imaginative use of profanity on the part of the drill sergeant–and he had something useful to say; in Alois’s case, his use of the F word and variations thereon is simply the act of a foul mouthed little boy who talks dirty to get attention, but who is bereft of substantive ideas.

    Alois an 11-Bravo MOS (military occupational specialty) in 1969 meant that you learned more than you wanted to know about handling and using rifles, grenade launchers, and M-60 machine guns. Now for a fine young man like you, or like John Kerry, one might assume that these tools, like a baseball catcher’s mask, pad, shin guards and glove are the “tools of ignorance”. But if you were ignorant about how to use them, you were headed for a world of hurt.

    If and when little Alois cleans up his act, it’s probably permissible to let him talk with adults again.

    Mike Myers (8f37e5)

  17. Was listening to John Ziegler tonight, transplanted from talkradio in Louisville to KFI AM here in LA 2 years ago after letting slip that is local newscaster date was sans panties on their date and was sued. But I digress. Ziegler and KFI were basically singlehandedly responsible for the Kerry clip dominating the newscycle like it has. As relayed by Ziegler tonight, KFI, alone of the local newstations, actually recognized Kerry’s words for the news they were, he spent the better part of 3 hours last night talking about it, posting it to the KFI site, and bombarding Drudge with the clip. Michelle Malkin linked, and, though it was well past Matt’s usual bedtime, the video was linked by Drudge in time for this morning’s shows. Kerry of course, then poured gasoline on the fire and the thing is burning like that Esperanza fire with 50 mph Santa Anas pushing it along. Gotta love the newmedia.

    FYI, I’ve pulled up the video, and as K-Lo says at Natl Review, its actually worse listening to it than reading the transcript. I do think Kerry’s reference to the slackers/dummies getting stuck in Iraq may have been impromptu. But there is no way in hell he meant anything other than what was said.

    Lloyd (ca5075)

  18. Is there a link to the video with surrounding context?

    Patterico (de0616)

  19. Oh, the unmitigated gall of John Kerry calling anyone else in this world a “stuffed suit.” Tin-ear? He’s the Tin Man.

    Linus (c376df)

  20. We have two interpretations available for the true subject of Kerry’s comments.

    1. If you fail to get properly educated, you are fit only for military service, including going to war where you might die.

    2. If you grow up to be an idiot like our current President, your life will be a quagmire like our circumstances in Iraq.

    Have any of the local liberals a disagreement with those representations? I give extreme benefit of the doubt in the second interpretation to minimize such.

    If his real intent, while speaking to students at Pasadena College about education reform, was the former, the remarks are disgusting, insulting, and demeaning to all military members, and this military retiree calls for his immediate censure before the Senate.

    If his real intent was the latter, I have a few questions for the learned senator:

    1. How is it that this man you infer to be an idiot beat you in 2004?

    2. How is it that this man you infer to be an idiot completed his education with more impressive results than your highly educated self?

    3. How is it that this man you infer to be an idiot succeeded in business, ran Ann Richards out of the Austin statehouse, and helped turn around the Texas Rangers baseball team?

    4. How is it that this man’s economic policies are presiding over a booming, robust economy?

    That’s one lucky cowboy. And you’re one stupid moron. A “real man”? A real man earns his money, he doesn’t marry it. Twice.

    Freelancer (f99e36)

  21. This is a great piece by which to judge the intellectual honesty of the righties. Pat ain’t no Karnak as he arrogantly claims (what is this constant need for self-agrandizement; didn’t get enough of the teat when you were lil). It was just easy for anyone who knows Kerry to understand who he was referring to and know he would never say what the Right wants to pretend he meant.

    Usually this kind of stuff is left to the swiftboaters and the whackjobs like Malkin and Powerline. The fact that Bush and McCain are jumping in shows how desperate the right is to get the focus off of the true life and death issue of American troops in Iraq.

    Macswain (5b310d)

  22. None of us really know what he meant without the context.

    Tongue in cheek, Macswain. Tongue in cheek. If you see me talking about Karnak, there’s a touch of light humor there that you missed. Due to your partisan lens, through which you view everything.

    Patterico (de0616)

  23. Didn’t George W. Bush get higher marks at Yale than John F. (for “but he got higher marks in French!”) Kerry?

    Oh, and the George W. Bush who is the first president to hold a Masters in Business Administration?

    Anyway, this is off topic. Kerry is just an unbelievable moron and has a history of insulting U.S. troops, throwing away their medals (or not depending on which of his statements you choose to believe), accusing them of war crimes both in Cambodia Vietnam when he was not there, etc.

    The real issue is that Democrats thought this man was fit to be their presidential nominee… but his main challenger for that position was the insanity-challenged Dr. Dean so who blames them? Their real problem is that their party has drifted so far left that sane Democrats are driven from their ranks like Joe Lieberman — who, lest anyone forget, was their 2000 (just six years ago!) vice presidential nominee and is now persona non grata.

    Whereas Kerry is or was a serious 2008 presidential contender.

    The Democratic party went nuts: John Kennedy, FDR, patriots like these… couldn’t even get nominated in the party any more. They’d be lucky to even keep their Democratic credentials without being kicked out.

    But these men were sane… it’s entirely possible they would join the Republican party, with reservations perhaps, but join nonetheless because their own party is now the party of security leaks, appeasement, military insults and unseriousness, and general moonbattery.

    Christoph (9824e6)

  24. I forgot to add that he accused U.S. troops of acting as terrorists in Iraq of course. Whether he really believes this (or anything) is an interesting question, but he has a history of saying the most awful things.

    Let’s “go to the White House and kill the ‘Real Bird’ Kerry” indeed!

    Christoph (9824e6)

  25. MUST see this Kerry video. This is the funniest John F. Kerry video ever (and there have been plenty). On YouTube.

    Christoph (9824e6)

  26. I hope Kerry runs again so someone can ask him, based on this press release alone, “Mr. Kerry, as president, isn’t it your responsibility to represent all Americans, not just those who voted for you? But how can you be expected to fairly represent people that you have called “right wing nut-jobs”? And how can you fairly represent fat people when you have so little regard for them that you would use a man’s weight problem as a gratuitious insult in a written press release? And how can you fairly represent non-veterans when you keep suggesting that non-veterans aren’t even worthy to criticize veterans such as yourself?

    Doc Rampage (4a07eb)

  27. It’s interesting to watch John Kerry defending himself: “RESPONDING TO REPUBLICAN DISTORTIONS” (video) that he’s now leading with on his own website.

    The press interviewing him are respectful, but it’s obvious they never buy it, not once, throughout his entire 10 minute “riding to his own defense” press conference. He walks off with them still shouthing questions at him because of the inadequacy of his response and the offensiveness/stupidity (take your pick) of his insult.

    And this is the video Kerry posted on his website. It makes him look bad, but there isn’t a whole lot he could do about it unless he edited out the reporters’ voices.

    I think holding a press conference where he comes off like the reporters are stupid for thinking Kerry meant what they say doesn’t go over well. Reporters generally want him (well, maybe not him personally any more, but the Democratic Party) to win, but treating them like they are idiots must rub them the wrong way.

    Christoph (9824e6)

  28. If the video of his intitial remarks “puts his statement in context”, why can’t I find it on the johnkerry website that has the video of his response to the “accusations of the right wing nut-jobs”.

    Has President Bush ever said things of persoanl attack against Sen. Kerry as he has received??

    Pat, it seems that the Kerry staff is now watching your influential blog to get pointers- bill them…

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  29. helped turn around the Texas Rangers baseball team?

    Heh. Let’s not get carried away.

    jinnmabe (cc24db)

  30. Alois said:
    “Fucking idiots. Self absorbed guilt ridden narcissists.
    You blew it. Win or lose, you fucking blew it.”

    Projection isn’t just for movie theaters, dear heart.

    Chris (926a19)

  31. Kerry’s Contempt Continued….

    The GOP has issued an ad calling for Kerry’s apology, watch it here.
    Now, for man who thinks he is so damn smart, if he was, would he not understand that he could have simply made this a blurb instead of a story by APOLOGIZING to begin with? Don Sub….

    Wake up America (59ce3a)

  32. One thing I can be sure of whenever I listen to what republicans have to say these days — there’ll be plenty of outrage at what the democrats are *saying*, and not a damn word about what the republicans have to offer that’s better.

    This is a great example. One week before the election, and the talk is all about what someone who isn’t even running said.

    I want to vote republicans out just to get them to stop parsing the words and actions of the other side, and start offering policies again.

    And for the record, the thought of getting stuck in Iraq is a great motivation to get an education — whichever way you interpret Kerry’s statement. I know plenty of people who joined the armed forces because they had no other options in life (living in today’s economy does that to a person).

    I especially love the recent speech where Bush and a bunch of (non-enlisted rich folks) flat-out lie to themselves and the world about the reality of Iraq, which is that the vast majority of our soldiers are poor and undereducated with few options in life — and they’re over there dying for the rest of us.

    Phil (107e9d)

  33. Phil puked:

    “One thing I can be sure of whenever I listen to what republicans have to say these days — there’ll be plenty of outrage at what the democrats are *saying*, and not a damn word about what the republicans have to offer that’s better.”

    Gee, can’t imagine why anyone in the armed forces would be offended by Kerry’s opinion that we’re uneducated. That strawman doesn’t hold up very well considering that Democrats aren’t exactly the party of ideas these days.

    “This is a great example. One week before the election, and the talk is all about what someone who isn’t even running said.”

    Because Kerry’s attitude is indicative of what many people on the left think of those of us in the military (even those of us who are liberals): that we are either bloodthirsty Rambos or dull-witted troglodytes who can’t walk and chew gum without someone telling us how, or that we are perpetual “victims”–despite the fact we chose to serve and knew the dangers going in.

    “I want to vote republicans out just to get them to stop parsing the words and actions of the other side, and start offering policies again.”

    And what, pray tell, are the Democrats offering in return? I’d wish, just for once, that they would come out with some actual ideas on solving this ordeal–hell, even saying “We need to pull every single troop out of the Middle East, NOW”–would be a welcome change. Instead, all we get from the Democrats are a bunch of half-baked proposals designed not to address the long-term question of our involvement in the Middle East, but wishy-washy “redeployment” strategies that are completely unrealistic and unsustainable. No vision on what our place in the world should be. No vision on how to competently provide for our national defense. No vision on how to competently address the long-term health of Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid except “We’ll let the baby boomers’ kids figure out how to fix the mess we put them in.” Do you honestly expect any, ahem, “educated” person to take you seriously when you craft such an ignorant rant?

    “And for the record, the thought of getting stuck in Iraq is a great motivation to get an education — whichever way you interpret Kerry’s statement.”

    And for the record, anyone who thinks people in the military are uneducated nitwits needs to go down the drug store and buy themselves a clue.

    “I especially love the recent speech where Bush and a bunch of (non-enlisted rich folks)”

    Ah yes, it wouldn’t be an ignorant liberal rant without a variant of the “chickenhawk” meme. You guys need to start coming up with some different material.

    Chris (926a19)

  34. “The Democratic Party, as represented by Alois Fahyling and John Kerry, isn’t mature enough to govern a junior high school student council.”

    -DRJ

    I’d join a student council with that kind of language just to watch the reaction of the administration and parents.

    That shit would be fuckin’ awesome.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  35. By the way, P, who/what is “Karnak”? The Egyptian “Karnak”?

    Leviticus (43095b)

  36. DOD released figures today showing that 98% of enlisted men have a high school diploma; and that 96% of officers have a college degree; I know from personal experience and observation that many officers have graduate degrees (since many of them were in graduate school with me before
    they returned to active duty).

    “Phil” writes in 32 above: “I especially love the recent speech where Bush and a bunch of (non-enlisted rich folks) flat-out lie to themselves and the world about the reality of Iraq, which is that the vast majority of our soldiers are poor and undereducated with few options in life — and they’re over there dying for the rest of us.”

    If Phil would look things up before he opened his mouth, he’d realize that the current enlisted troops and their officers are more highly educated than the rest of the American population. Sad to say our American education system does not achieve a 98% graduation rate for its high school students.

    It is one of the continuing wonders of the United States that relatively smart people are willing to put their lives on the line so that blowhards like Phil can worry about them “being over there dying for us”. Phil’s uninformed statement is elitist crap of the worst variety.

    Mike Myers (8f37e5)

  37. Excuse me if this point has already been made. Patterico you may recognize me from talk left.

    It’s not a matter of what Kerry meant or didn’t mean to say. The audience heard the same comment we all heard and they CHEERED. They had no idea what he was supposed to say, only what he said, and what he said was clearly demeaning to our soldiers…and they cheered. WTF?

    Patrick (d928f7)

  38. By the way, P, who/what is “Karnak”? The Egyptian “Karnak”?

    Those of us old enough to remember Johnny Carson’s days on The Tonight Show can answer that one. Karnak was Carson’s character with clairvoyant powers. He would hold an envelope to his hat and make some statement, such as:

    “Catch 22″

    Then he’d open the envelope and read the question inside, which in this case was:

    “If you hit the Dodgers 100 fly balls, what would they do?”

    Steverino (d27168)

  39. Aaah, I remember. Red turban with a feather in the front.

    From what little I’ve seen of Carson, he’s hilarious. Makes current late-night talk shows look a little lame.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  40. This is a great example. One week before the election, and the talk is all about what someone who isn’t even running said.

    By all means, YES! Let’s get back to talking about something really important like say, Mark Foley. Running or not, and I contend that Kerry IS running for 2008, he was participating in a campaign when he made that speech. It’s Bush that isn’t running for anything, not Kerry and/or Angelides (who, by the way, needed a Kerry gaffe hung around his neck like a drowning man needs to be tossed an anvil).

    I know plenty of people who joined the armed forces because they had no other options in life

    And I’m sure they welcome your condescending attitude.

    Daveg (a721ef)

  41. Patterico, if you were Karnak then I was Nostradaumous as I knew the second I saw Kerry say those remarks that he had fudged what he meant to say. To think that Kerry would purposfully say remarks that would obviously be used to attack him and democrats right before an election with a camera in front of his face is just not credible. This is political theater and and it apears you have cast yourself in the role of loyal spinner.

    [How am I spinning anything? Look carefully at what I have said. I haven’t made up my mind. — P]

    Paul (250b42)

  42. Ok, you have not made up your mind yet. I guess I was more refering to the whole tone of the post and comments. One thing, I don’t think the context will help much. If this was a mis-statement from what he intended to say, as I beleive it was, then context would not much matter as the two versions of the statement would be interchangeable. I think it has been pointed out that Kerry has a history of opening with humorous lines. If this was in Kerry’s opening lines it would tend to support the claim that it was meant to be an attack on Bush that got garbled.

    Well I’m off for my first root canal, check back later if I’m able. Ouch……

    Paul (250b42)

  43. I believe Kerry did botch his joke about President Bush and his administration being dumb. But, if Bush is so dumb, Sen. Kerry, why did you lose? If Bush is an idiot, but you lost to him, what does that say about you?

    Randy (b34465)

  44. Paul, if Kerry really mis=spoke, why doesn’t he just apologize? That’s what you would demand of a Republican who mis-spoke and accidentally said something that was offensive to some Democrat-protected group.

    Doc Rampage (47be8d)


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