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The New Soldier
August 26, 2004 8:55 PM   Subscribe

John Kerry gets caught mocking the famous Iowa Jima flag raising photograph on the cover of his book. Someone decides to put the entire book online. This is probably very bad news for Kerry.
posted by aznblader (175 comments total)

 
What was George W. Bush doing in the 70s?
posted by goethean at 9:02 PM on August 26, 2004


Iowa Jima? The hell were we doing fighting there?
posted by punishinglemur at 9:03 PM on August 26, 2004


I'm sure they're hoping it'll be bad news for him, but the only people likely to hork up some more of that delicious spleen over it were nevever going to vote for him anyway. And anyway, how do you "get caught" having published a book several decades ago.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:03 PM on August 26, 2004


I don't get it.
posted by jaronson at 9:09 PM on August 26, 2004


This sounds like a no-brainer lawsuit waiting to happen, if the copyrights are still in effect.

Clearly, the cover was intended to be shocking; apparently, it's effective. You'd have to be wilfully obtuse to call that "mocking" the famous Iwo Jima image, though -- is the text "The New Soldier" too small, or something?

(... And yeah, since when is Iowa an island?)
posted by mote at 9:10 PM on August 26, 2004


well it's one, two, three what are we fighting for?
don't ask me i don't give a damn,
my next stop is viet nam!
and it's five, six, seven open up the pearly gates,
well we ain't got time to wonder why,
whoopee! we're all gonna die!
posted by quonsar at 9:11 PM on August 26, 2004


I had a long post written out but on preview I agree with jaronson. Could we get some logical steps that go from John Kerry to mocking the dead at Iowa Jima?
posted by smackfu at 9:12 PM on August 26, 2004


Also, the original photo has been spoofed so many times and this "spoof" is so unlike the original that I would never have made the leap. If indeed it's a spoof, it's a terrible job.
posted by dobbs at 9:13 PM on August 26, 2004


Iowa Jima? The hell were we doing fighting there?

Well, obviously we took a wrong turn at Albuquerque.

And, yeah, where would the "get caught" business come in here, again?

I am indeed surprised that the Republican Defenders of Copyright think it's okay for someone to reproduce an entire book on the Internet.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:13 PM on August 26, 2004


Cover of the book:



Iwo Jima:


posted by sequential at 9:13 PM on August 26, 2004


IANAR (I am not a Republican), but it seems pretty reasonable to me to accuse that photo of mocking Iwo Jima. Now I'm not saying that that was the INTENTION, but a good case can be made to that effect.

The upside down American flag for one. The three guys holding the flag pole for two.

This isn't bulletproof, but I'm saying it doesn't need to be to have a possibly devestating effect of the election, should the media choose to run with the interpretation that it is a mockery.
posted by aznblader at 9:15 PM on August 26, 2004


John Kerry gets caught with his name on a book published several decades ago. Someone decides to put the book in a public library where any damn person can check it out. This is probably very bad news for Kerry.
posted by punishinglemur at 9:16 PM on August 26, 2004


How can this man, John Kerry, expect us to believe he's fit to be President of the United States, when he can't even spoof a photo unshittily 35 years ago? Has his record on photo spoofing improved? I think not.

(Issues? We need a whole subscription!)
posted by techgnollogic at 9:17 PM on August 26, 2004


Between 2 to 4 million Vietnamese civilians were killed courtesy of the US government, every single taxpayer, and the "support the troops" armchair warriors. Kerry realized that killing millions of civilians was wrong and tried to do everything he could to stop the war. He is a hero in my eyes not for going to Vietnam, but for coming back and speaking against the war. All Americans should be proud to have him serve as president.
posted by miguelbar at 9:19 PM on August 26, 2004


My guess (not having read the book myself) is that the photo was not taken by Kerry, "styled" by Kerry, or chosen by Kerry. Nor does he himself appear to be depicted in the photo.

A second guess (again, not having read the book myself) is that Mr. Kerry did not have cover approval.

Is it possible that somebody in the Art Department of the publishing house saw this as a "parody" of the Iwo Jima photo? Possible, though if he/she saw the connection at all, my guess is that he/she would have described it as a "take on" the classic image.

If this is all Karl Rove has in his bag of tricks, I'm disappointed.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:23 PM on August 26, 2004


What a lame FPP. Can I put up a two sentence FPP tomorrow with two identical links to my shitty blog?
posted by crazy finger at 9:25 PM on August 26, 2004


And, Aznblader, I'm interested as to how this got from "John Kerry's friends were mocking the Iwo Jima photo" (which is what it says on the semi-literate blog you linked us to) to "John Kerry was mocking the Iowa Jima photo" (which is what your FPP says).

They can't both be typos, after all.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:26 PM on August 26, 2004


Karl Rove published Kerry's book?
posted by dhoyt at 9:27 PM on August 26, 2004


"In our opinion, and in our experience, there is nothing happening in South Vietnam that could realistically threaten the United States of America. And to attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia, or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom, which those misfits (protesters) suppossedly abuse, is to us the height of criminal hyprocrisy."

I wish he were more like the book now. As far as the Iwo Jima thing goes - the only similarity I see is some soldiers holding a flag. Gimme a break.
posted by xammerboy at 9:27 PM on August 26, 2004


I swear I'm living in the bizarro world: we're talking about how much of John Kerry's blood was left in Vietnam and whether he was a traitor for protesting a war most rational people agree was a mistake. The war hero is suddenly a coward, and the coward a hero.
posted by blefr at 9:30 PM on August 26, 2004


Yes. Unfortunately, it was shipped directly to Iowa Jima by way of Albuquerque.

I thought the cover was meant to be more reminiscent of the "Spirit of '76", anyway.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:30 PM on August 26, 2004


The upside down American flag for one.

Which is, as a military symbol, not an insult of the flag, but is used as a distress signal. Vietnam Vets for Peace as former military personel would have clearly understood that as well and would have been using it in that context.

Nice try, though.
posted by echolalia67 at 9:32 PM on August 26, 2004


And, Aznblader, I'm interested as to how this got from "John Kerry's friends were mocking the Iwo Jima photo" (which is what it says on the semi-literate blog you linked us to) to "John Kerry was mocking the Iowa Jima photo" (which is what your FPP says).

I apologize. I thought the guy on the left in the photo was John Kerry. I'm obviously mistaken. Which makes this entire thread pretty much irrelevant. Sorry.
posted by aznblader at 9:37 PM on August 26, 2004



posted by quonsar at 9:40 PM on August 26, 2004


punishinglemur wins.

Christ, what a shit post.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:41 PM on August 26, 2004


Which is, as a military symbol, not an insult of the flag, but is used as a distress signal. Vietnam Vets for Peace as former military personel would have clearly understood that as well and would have been using it in that context.

Which is also a factoid most people who did not serve in the military would not pick up on. I'm just saying it could go either way - what going to matter to the Kerry campaign is how the public perceives the photo. A photo that he apparently isn't even in.
posted by aznblader at 9:41 PM on August 26, 2004


OMG Bush caught walking like an Egyptian. In other important political news, Bush, cabinet members caught reenacting that scene from Resevoir Dogs, and Kerry doing that scene from Close Encounters. Politics is easy, they should have elections every year.
posted by eatitlive at 9:44 PM on August 26, 2004


I can't imagine the rational public getting upset about a photo that somebody who was not John Kerry put on the cover of a book that John Kerry contributed to 30 years ago.

Am I missing something?
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:46 PM on August 26, 2004


Aren't we overlooking something?

John Kerry wrote a book, and he probably actually did at least some of the writing himself.

George Bush? Has he even read a book? Has he ever touched one except to squash bugs or be sworn into office?

/bizarro
posted by loquacious at 9:46 PM on August 26, 2004


Actually, that Reservoir Dogs photo is hilarious. Somebody needs to do a little animation on that one.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:47 PM on August 26, 2004


Am I missing something?

No, you're not. This thread was an unfortunate abortion of idiocy.
posted by aznblader at 9:47 PM on August 26, 2004


This is probably very bad news for aznblader.
posted by soyjoy at 9:48 PM on August 26, 2004


I want to plead with Matt to leave this FPP up because I find this thread incredibly funny. Or maybe that's just because it's 12:49 AM EST.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:48 PM on August 26, 2004


George Bush? Has he even read a book?

My Pet Goat. It's well-documented.
posted by eatitlive at 9:48 PM on August 26, 2004


Was that picture from the protest by veterans at the '72 Republican Convention, the only documented incidence of veterans being spit upon?
posted by dglynn at 9:51 PM on August 26, 2004


Metafilter: 1. Me: 0. Let's move on.
posted by aznblader at 9:51 PM on August 26, 2004


MSG FROM (root): THREADLOCK IN 3, 2, 1...

this post brought to you by the fine makers of loctite(tm) brand adhesive products for all your threadlocking and industrial adhesive applications.
posted by loquacious at 9:51 PM on August 26, 2004


I dunno, I appreciate the post, as I probably would not be reading the book otherwise. Some of it seems rather familiar.

One of our guys yelled over, "What's happening?" "Oh," they said, "we're interrogating. Want to watch?"

We said, "Fine! Yeah! That'll be really good." We'd never seen this before and we thought we'd see some really supersophisticated [sic] information-getting. We were pretty gungho [sic], all of us. We were over there fighting Communists and saving America.

So the MP's started pushing him around a little bit, asking him questions and everything when they hobbled him at the knees and put a blindfold on and drug him around the sand. He started stumbling and they thought it was funny. After a while they got angry. He wasn't saying anything one of the MP's go a can of lighter fluid out of his back pocket and poured it over the man's little wispy beard, and lit up the beard. Then the laughing stopped.

After that year, and I'd come home, I didn't want to be reminded of anything I'd seen or done in Vietnam.

John Birch

posted by lasm at 9:53 PM on August 26, 2004


eatitlive: I heard he was being cued through an earpiece and radio.

No, I kid. That was just a zombie android George. The real one was safe in a bunker in Colorado. Y'know, for safety.
posted by loquacious at 9:54 PM on August 26, 2004


Bravo, techgnollogic and eatitlive, that was actually funny.

The pictures and html version of the book are being hosted by these folks.

The PDFs of the book are being hosted by this blog. He has this to say about the copyright question:
While I am freely distributing a work to which Kerry holds a copyright, I am neither benefitting financially, nor am I causing him financial harm. The book is not being sold at retail, Kerry has seen to that, so the copies I am giving away are not depriving him of royalties. The only harm Kerry could claim is that by distributing the text of his book, I am negatively impacting his chances of wining the presidential election. I somehow suspect that is an argument they don't want to make.
posted by sequential at 9:56 PM on August 26, 2004


If there were actually strong similarities between the two photos, the same people who would find this significant and offensive are going to be the same people who can't comprehend the possibility there might be a net positive sentiment about American ideals behind the symbolism of flag burning.

I always thought people burnt flags to save them from ignomy and disrespect -- and that burning preemptive to actual staining was a sign that the burner thought that our country had done something to make the USA unworthy of its ideals, and hence burning is disposal of the flag before it's sullied by association. I am aware, however, that some people see the act of burning itself as disrespect to the flag... and maybe some people do burn flags as a sign of disrespect. But given that flag burning is an acceptable/respectable method of disposal, you really have to take some pains to ask yourself what a burner is trying to say with a burning.

Holding a flag upside down, done in the above cover, can also be misinterpreted by people. It's actually a distress signal, but of course, some people mistook it for an insult.

I think the same thing applies to this book cover. It doesn't look much like the Iwo Jima raising to me, but what is the intent of the cover? To mock America in general, hold tawdry its lofty ideals? Or to say that our policy w/ respect to Vietname was a mockery of Americas ideals, made a mockery of its soldiers? Is the meaning of the upside down flag to disrespect it, or to say our veterans or our country needs help?

On preview I think pretty much everybody gets it
posted by weston at 9:58 PM on August 26, 2004


This isn't as bad as a presidential candidate having a DUI conviction on his record in the same decade. I mean, really. Oh wait, that truly is red blooded american. Sorry.
posted by Keyser Soze at 10:00 PM on August 26, 2004


FYI, that famous Iowa Jima photo is of a restaged version, not the actual first flag raising. (I believe it was redone with a bigger flag for photographers.)
posted by jca at 10:00 PM on August 26, 2004


My Pet Goat.

Altogether now: It's The Pet Goat. Let's not be inaccurate in our critiques just because others have established something as a meme. Thank you.
posted by soyjoy at 10:01 PM on August 26, 2004


I don't see it. I see a look at the unruly "New Soldier" phenomenon of the '70s, as made fun of in MAD magazine at the time.
posted by inksyndicate at 10:06 PM on August 26, 2004


from the first page of that blog:
I don't want to say anything more, because I only feel disgust for these guys and I got tears in my eyes.

That made me laugh pretty hard, so the post had some redeeming value.

Also, noteworthy, 6,825 American boys died to plant that flag. I guess that's what we get for sending boys to do men's work.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 10:08 PM on August 26, 2004


Also, since this seems to be the whole raison d'etre of the linked, um, site...This seems to be relevant: President Bush said on Thursday that he did not believe Senator John Kerry lied about his war record, which, if you'll stay with me here, can only mean that President Bush believes those who said Kerry lied were themselves lying. It's that simple. You can't have it both ways, George. So could you bring yourself to, you know, condemn the slanderous lies instead of blathering on with Rove's script about "all of the 527s"?
posted by soyjoy at 10:09 PM on August 26, 2004


I actually appreciate the link as well, aznblader. Great link, bad copy. You'll survive, though it's getting a little warm in here.

*takes off pants, runs around to get a nice, cool breeze going on the nether-regions*
posted by loquacious at 10:10 PM on August 26, 2004


OMG Bush caught walking like an Egyptian.

This is probably very bad news for Bush.
posted by punishinglemur at 10:12 PM on August 26, 2004


Welcome to the party, loquacious.
posted by punishinglemur at 10:12 PM on August 26, 2004


"Kerry has seen to that"?

Right, because thirty-year-old books that are collections of testimony are generally still in print and easily available in bookstores.

Hell, I live in Cambridge, Massachusetts and I couldn't find a copy of Madame Bovary in English earlier this month.

Why on earth does this numbskull think that if a non-bestseller isn't available 30 years after its publication date, it must be because of a SKARY SEEKRIT KONSPIRACY?
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:15 PM on August 26, 2004


So we're burning vets now? I don't get it.
posted by wfrgms at 10:16 PM on August 26, 2004


I actually appreciate the link as well, aznblader. Great link, bad copy. You'll survive, though it's getting a little warm in here.

Loquacious, I got tears in my eyes.
posted by aznblader at 10:17 PM on August 26, 2004


What I really wanna know is if quonsar is going to eat that fine looking knitted Chilean space-waffle on a stick all by himself or if he's going to share it with the rest of us.

I worry about the armed guards taunting us with it, though. Methinks not. What a cruftmeister.
posted by loquacious at 10:17 PM on August 26, 2004


I'm also doubting very strongly that Kerry holds the copyright to that book.

The general practice in publishing is that all the contributors to these group thingies assign all rights to the publisher, because otherwise the business of granting permissions to academic institutions, anthologies, etc., becomes unbelievably cumbersome.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:18 PM on August 26, 2004


I live in Cambridge, Massachusetts and I couldn't find a copy of Madame Bovary in English earlier this month.

You should read it in French, Sidhedevil. I'm sure Kerry could lend you his copy.
posted by soyjoy at 10:20 PM on August 26, 2004


In fact, the copyright is probably held by Palgrave MacMillan Publishing of the United Kingdom.

GOD DAMN IT! THAT BLOGGER IS TAKING MONEY OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF OUR NOBLE ALLIES IN THE WAR AGAINST TERROR!
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:21 PM on August 26, 2004


Flag Etiquette and the Flag Code
posted by weston at 10:23 PM on August 26, 2004


I can't imagine the rational public getting upset about a photo that somebody who was not John Kerry put on the cover of a book that John Kerry contributed to 30 years ago.

Am I missing something?


Yes. It's not the "rational public" that is going to decide this election.
posted by rushmc at 10:37 PM on August 26, 2004


I think my soul is inverting.
posted by solistrato at 10:38 PM on August 26, 2004


Rushmc, I think the "irrational public" has already made their choice.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:50 PM on August 26, 2004


From weston's link:
My flag touched the ground. Do I need to destroy it?

No. You should, of course, try to avoid having the flag touch the ground. But if it does, you should correct the situation immediately. If the flag has been dirtied, you should clean it by hand with a mild soap solution and dry it well before returning it to use.


I wonder if the rules are different here in Canada, but my dad (25+ years in the military) taught me that if the flag touches the ground, you have to burn it. Suppose I could google it, but, you know, the entitlement culture. I guess I'll have to wait for American knowhow.
posted by alex_reno at 10:56 PM on August 26, 2004


Thank you, eatitlive. You've inspired me to finally make a contribution to a political post with:posted by taz at 10:57 PM on August 26, 2004


Taz, that last one is especially apt considering the caption.

Re: "flag touching ground must be burnt!": It isn't true for any national flag, not even the Leaf.

Alex's dad and all the other kajillions of people who pass on that particular chestnut are confusing two things--a) flags should not touch the ground, because that shows disrespect, and b) flags that are too worn to use should be disposed of by burning because that is more respectful than, say, tossing them into a landfill.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:08 PM on August 26, 2004


Another non-story. Last time I checked, Kerry didn't send hundreds of Americans to their deaths for profit or use his position in some absurd attempt to orchestrate the second coming of his savior.
posted by fleener at 11:12 PM on August 26, 2004


I think it's amazing that after 3.5 years of record deficits, having gone some 2 million jobs in the red, having started a needless, illegal war which has caused a thousand Americans their lives -- not to even mention how many thousand Iraqis -- while relying on dubious, politically-motivated intel, George W. Bush and the committee to re-elect the president still manage to make John Kerry the issue in this election.

Oh well, Americans get the governments they deserve.
posted by clevershark at 11:14 PM on August 26, 2004


That photo looks NOTHING like the Iwo Jima photo. Not even close. Anyone who thinks it was an intentional parody is way more than two pancakes short of a stack.
posted by litlnemo at 11:19 PM on August 26, 2004


In case it hasn't been specifically said:

Who cares?
posted by Dok Millennium at 11:21 PM on August 26, 2004


If a President defaces the flag does it have to be burnt?
posted by clevershark at 11:23 PM on August 26, 2004


american poltics kinda rocks
posted by mr.marx at 11:33 PM on August 26, 2004


Worst. Post. EVER.
posted by geekhorde at 11:36 PM on August 26, 2004


I love the outrage - they can complain about how disgusted they are by a parody while attacking a veteran while the complaint is beyond belief.
posted by xammerboy at 11:43 PM on August 26, 2004


Did someone say pancakes?
posted by loquacious at 11:47 PM on August 26, 2004


I smell freepers ...
posted by aeschenkarnos at 11:50 PM on August 26, 2004


This certainly isn't a post that I think is good, but it's not any worse than a lot of inane posts (particularly political posts/op-ed links) I've seen on MeFi before. So don't sweat it.
posted by deanc at 11:53 PM on August 26, 2004


  • impersonating john travolta on the mechanical bull

  • posted by quonsar at 12:07 AM on August 27, 2004


    clevershark: I found that photo too, but didn't link to it, figuring that it's not really clear that is in fact Bush.
    posted by weston at 12:08 AM on August 27, 2004


    "Metafilter: 1. Me: 0. Let's move on."
    posted by aznblader at 11:51 PM CST on August 26

    Now that's an honest concession. I can respect that.

    But I still can't believe I didn't get a Paris rise on that "only confirmed spitting on Vietnam vets was by attendees at the Miami '72 Republican convention".
    posted by dglynn at 1:04 AM on August 27, 2004


    Meanwhile, Bush was mocking the Battle of the Bulge on a mirrored surface in a roadhouse restroom.
    posted by condour75 at 1:25 AM on August 27, 2004


    Stop bogarting that space-waffle, quonsar.
    posted by loquacious at 1:35 AM on August 27, 2004



    posted by chrid at 2:19 AM on August 27, 2004


    fark-toons is TEH FUNNAY!
    posted by mr.marx at 3:07 AM on August 27, 2004


    OMG!!! Mockery!


    posted by moonbiter at 3:11 AM on August 27, 2004


    Towelly!
    posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:49 AM on August 27, 2004


    jca that famous Iowa Jima photo is of a restaged version

    I don't think that's the general consensus these days. See, for instance, this Associated Press account.

    As to the original question: as a non-American, I don't see the Kerry book photo as mocking Iwo Jima, but as mocking the iconography. Iwo Jima is a classic image used to express the nobility of America at war; the book's argument is that America at war has been extremely ignoble, and subverts the Iwo Jima icon to express that theme.
    posted by raygirvan at 4:09 AM on August 27, 2004


    Another great day for political discourse in the World's Greatest Democracy.
    posted by biffa at 4:13 AM on August 27, 2004


    Mocking Iwo Jima? If anything, it's a poor attempt at contrasting two wars by contrasting two images. One war, they probably felt, was worth fighting, the other, not worth it... Or am I dense?
    posted by juiceCake at 4:15 AM on August 27, 2004


    [golf claps] good show, seriously.

    This thread isn't a total waste, i mean look at all the anger we got to release here, and all the photoshop skills we got to display.

    And really, i had been wondering if Kerry was all bark and no tactic... this shows that he really had a fire inside, at least at one time.

    BIG UPS TO TEH ANTIWAR MASSIF.
    posted by phylum sinter at 4:24 AM on August 27, 2004


    Who gives a fuck what he put on his book cover. But whoopidydoo, now people can talk about how Kerry is a doodyhead for another week!
    posted by darukaru at 6:07 AM on August 27, 2004


    Chrid: Good stuff. Love that pic
    posted by a3matrix at 6:08 AM on August 27, 2004


    Propaganda is always part of the political process, and I don't want to idealize American democracy and naively expect purity of discourse. But the skill and ruthlessness that I have see from the increasingly authoritarian right in the past fifteen years has gone beyond annoying or scary, because it has worked so well to convince many people to support policies that are completely to their decrement.

    Clinton was impeached for lying about a blowjob. Bush is likely to be reelected after taking the country to war under erroneous pretences. I hope in future decades people look back at our age and scratch their heads, just as they will as they marvel at the compromises that kept slavery in place for so long.

    And what clevershark said.
    posted by tranquileye at 6:18 AM on August 27, 2004


    Lack of a profit motive is not a valid defense for copyright infringement. If it were, I'd love to take the old Netrunner CCG and put it online for free.

    I am not trying to make money, honest!

    Sheesh.
    posted by andreaazure at 6:22 AM on August 27, 2004


    I wanna go to Iowa Jima.
    posted by adampsyche at 6:37 AM on August 27, 2004


    raygirvan is on the mark, here. The Iwo (not Iowa, damn it, that's where I live) Jima photo has a lot of symbolical significance as success in overwhelming odds by a group of honorable truths. Contrast that with Kerry's "New Soldier" who was moved around Vietnam with no clear directive and sometimes less than honorable orders.

    I can understand some veterans being troubled by the negative portrayal of American soldiers in Vietnam, but it's ridiculous when they act as if it somehow makes all soldiers look bad when it's pointed out. It's the actions, stupid. What's the difference between a country pointing out something bad going on and invading and one man noting misconduct and asking for intervention?
    posted by mikeh at 6:49 AM on August 27, 2004


    The above"honorable truths" should be "honorable troops." The preview function doesn't help when I'm not awake.
    posted by mikeh at 7:07 AM on August 27, 2004


    The flag they raised.

    What a great thread. Thanks, aznblader!
    posted by languagehat at 7:11 AM on August 27, 2004


    *sticks dick in the mashed potatoes*
    posted by mkultra at 7:42 AM on August 27, 2004


    Perhaps a bilt of background in humanitiews studies would be helpful in this instance. To use the parody that refers to WWII to belittle what Viet Nam was about is to show the difference between the two wars. A decorated Green Beret many years ago said it best on TV when he noted that when a war is just, you don't have a whole batch of young guys fleeing the country to avoid serving. TS Eliot and James Joynce each used classical literature as background in order to show how the contemporary age had degenerated. Kerry served. He was a hero. He turned against the war--so too by the way, General Grant opposed the American war in mexico!--many soldiers turned against the war in Viet Nam...That war was a huge mistake. To oppose a condtion you once supporrted is hardly being "unAmerican." noter too the staging of the stature torn down by our military of Saddam in Baghdad--that was a fake but got nice response...and now the aftermath?

    It is fair and right to be opposed to this or that candidatge but there is no need to use such silly things as this when in fact our porverty rates skyrocket; our chances at decent jobs are vanishing; our health and education are seriously eroding etc--and one is to get caught uyp in a dumb photo?
    posted by Postroad at 7:43 AM on August 27, 2004


    But the skill and ruthlessness that I have see from the increasingly authoritarian right in the past fifteen years has gone beyond annoying or scary, because it has worked so well to convince many people to support policies that are completely to their decrement.

    I always thought that was Rush Limbaugh's greatest accomplishment, solidifying support for policies that specifically undercut the interests of a large portion of his audience. It's all in how you frame it, and the right indeed have been masters at framing their agenda in a manner that appeals to people's sense of nationalism, patriotism, family, fear- and perhaps the most important one of all, resentment.

    There's a great resentment at the core of the right's appeal, and I think it's pretty easily tapped and directed. We see it now with the Kerry thing; among a certain portion of the electorate, the resentment still festers over the fact that the left ultimately "won" the debate over Vietnam (in that we did pull out and there followed a general acknoledgement that it was a tremendous waste, pointless perhaps from the beginning).

    See the line from the linked site: HELP THESE OLD WARRIORS SAVE OUR COUNTRY ONE MORE TIME.

    What, precisely, did they "save" us from in Vietnam? But part of the electorate resents you even asking the question; the answer's supposed to be self-evident, anyone who doesn't see it is a fool - and resented.

    Resentment is a powerful emotion, far more powerful than logic, the left's weapon of choice.
    posted by kgasmart at 8:03 AM on August 27, 2004


    > far more powerful than logic, the left's weapon of choice.



    AIDS protesters in NYC at this moment
    posted by dand at 8:55 AM on August 27, 2004


    I think that no political stance has a lock on logic. Or idiocy.

    And, dand, the man third from the left in that photo has a truly astonishing butt. He really owes it to the world to be naked a lot more often.
    posted by Sidhedevil at 9:00 AM on August 27, 2004


    Kerry, of course, was right about the Vietnam war, which was a disaster and an episode of shame for the United States from the beginning.

    And...what? No howls of self-righteous outrage from the self-appointed, self-important, self-described-as-nonpartisan-but-lying Metafilter front page police about this post? No MetaTalk tantrum?

    I'm shocked. Shocked.

    ~wink~
    posted by fold_and_mutilate at 9:39 AM on August 27, 2004


    Kerry is screwed. It's not even gonna be close.

    He peaked before the Democratic convention, got virtually no boost whatsoever from it, and it's been downhill since. Bush has jumped ahead -- no matter that it was through reprehensible smear tactics -- "ahead" is still "ahead". And I'll bet most anything that Bush will surge even further after the Republican convention; wrapped in the flag, playing Sousa music, clutching a bullhorn and standing on the bones of the 9/11 victims. It'll go even worse if the leftwing protesters vent their (understandable) frustration in ... shall we say: non-productive manners.

    Kerry has some of the sharpest creative minds in the country behind him -- and the best he could come up with is sending Max Cleland down to Texas for a publicity stunt?

    All I can say is don't even try, this time around, blaming Nader supporters, Kucinich fans, Clarkites or Deaniacs for Kerry's pending swandive into obscurity. Please, address your gratitude to the entrenched elites at the DNC, who put him on the ballot long before the first primary vote was cast.
    posted by RavinDave at 9:40 AM on August 27, 2004


    RavinDave, you seem to read different polls than I do. Bush hasn't "jumped ahead". It's a tight race, and my prediction is that the debates are going to be a deciding factor.

    We'll see what happens in November. I actually think that Karl Rove is the one who's peaking too early--the Swift Boat backlash is getting a lot of momentum now. He should have saved it for October.
    posted by Sidhedevil at 9:45 AM on August 27, 2004


    dglynn, a "Paris rise"? Is that refering to me? I'll have to take a closer look, but on first impression, this doesn't seem like a big deal. It doesn't involve deceit/untruth, which is Kerry's problem.

    Still, nice to see a thread not so overwelmed by Bush bashers.

    As I've said, the more nudity, violence and offensiveness, the less of a chance Kerry will win, so go wild!
    posted by ParisParamus at 9:52 AM on August 27, 2004


    (that would apply to comments, here in Metafilter as well, except no one really cares about Metafilter in the real political world.)
    posted by ParisParamus at 9:55 AM on August 27, 2004


    Sidhedevil ... I'll confess, I haven't factored in the debates. Good point.
    posted by RavinDave at 9:55 AM on August 27, 2004


    This just goes to prove that anti-american anti-patriotic people like John Kerry and Ron Kovic don't deserve the freedom they take for granted.

    When will we hear from the great patriots who were kinda sorta in the same area of Vietnam that Ron Kovic was so we can learn all about how his paralysis was faked?

    I wonder what Bob Dole has to say about these pinko commies.
    posted by terrapin at 9:58 AM on August 27, 2004


    The debates will be a deciding factor? Like they were with Ann Richards in Texas? Like with Al Gore? Here's a generalization: the Left-of-center crowd has never developed, or has lost its ability to value emotional intelligence. Bush has it, Kerry doesn't. Bush will probably "win" and debates because people like and trust him more.

    (they also like the fact that there's been no terrorism on our shores)
    posted by ParisParamus at 9:59 AM on August 27, 2004


    He should have saved it for October.

    Except then it would have gotten in the way of what he has saved for October.
    posted by soyjoy at 10:11 AM on August 27, 2004


    Kids liked and trusted John Wayne Gacy. Emotional intelligence is the secret weapon of sociopaths.

    (Since we're slinging generalizations.)
    posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:13 AM on August 27, 2004


    I have to think that any debate format where Bush might be cornered into answering a direct and substantive question is going to be 86'd by RoveCo, so Paris probably has a valid point. Moreover, it's becoming increasingly apparent that Kerry is ill-equiped to and/or unwilling to get in Bush's face. Playing it safe and taking the "high-road" is nice rhetoric, but people have the right to wonder: if he can't stand up for himself, how can he stand up for us?
    posted by RavinDave at 10:29 AM on August 27, 2004


    The picture, freedom. Only question you could debate on this - why Kerry will not allow this book to be put back into print? As I understand it, you can order the book from the ones making the fuss. I don’t see Kerry having to answerer but some would say; he is running for President so we need to know.
    posted by thomcatspike at 10:35 AM on August 27, 2004


    Emotional intelligence is the secret weapon of sociopaths.

    Not really pertaining to the election per se (but related to some of my feelings about the candidates), this is the reason that I actively distrust the socially polished or those who otherwise come across as having a keen sense of "emotional intelligence." It's a sign that someone is covering up something lacking in themselves and relying on their personal magnetism to carry them through.
    posted by deanc at 10:41 AM on August 27, 2004


    Kerry, of course, was right about the Vietnam war, which was a disaster and an episode of shame for the United States from the beginning.

    Same meaning when replacing "Kerry" with "Bush's absence."
    posted by thomcatspike at 10:47 AM on August 27, 2004


    I'm not arguing for the exclusion of analytic intelligence (or whatever the opposite of emotional is), but it's possible to have both, and when you're lacking, or seemingly lacking in one of the two, you're going to have problems winning the confidence of a lot of people.

    Why is it that, apart from Clinton, the last few Democratic candidates have been such robots?
    posted by ParisParamus at 10:48 AM on August 27, 2004


    From the book:

    John Birch
    B Company
    3rd Shore Party
    11th Marine Regiment
    May ’65-Feb. ’66

    After training we went to Hawaii with the first Marine Brigade and got orders. They said: "Well you’re going back to invade California. Thirty days leave. A mock invasion. Get to see your parents and all that stuff... go anywhere on the mainland!" Off we sailed. Three mornings later after the sun had been rising three times over the stern of our transport we figured we weren’t heading for California... We lived in the sand for three months and ate Crations and put in an expeditionary landing field...

    One morning we’d gone down--kind of borrowing a truck--to take a swim call on the beach. Red Beach, where the original landing was. And when we’d got there, the MP’s had a little cage built of beach matting...the steel you throw down on sand so heavy trucks won’t sink in. It was about ten foot square. No shelter from the sun. They had an old Vietnamese man in there. They took him out just as we drove up. We stopped pretty close by. One of our guys yelled over, "What’s happening?" "Oh," they said, "we’re interrogating. Want to watch?"

    We said, "Fine! Yeah! That’ll be really good." We’d never seen this before and we thought we’d see some really supersophisticated [sic] information-getting. We were pretty gungho [sic], all of us. We were over there fighting Communists and saving America.

    So the MP’s starting pushing him around a little bit, asking him questions and everything then they hobbled him at the knees and put a blindfold on and drug him around the sand. He started stumbling and they thought it was funny. After a while they got angry. He wasn’t saying anything one of the MP’s go a can of lighter fluid out of his back pocket and poured it over the man’s little wispy beard, and lit up the bread. Then the laughing stopped.
    posted by tranquileye at 10:53 AM on August 27, 2004


    I wonder if spotlighting Kerry's Vietnam experience as the right is doing is about Kerry or Iraq. Both, I suppose.
    posted by tranquileye at 10:54 AM on August 27, 2004


    people have the right to wonder: if he can't stand up for himself, how can he stand up for us?

    Ding ding ding! Congratulations on parroting (unwittingly, I assume) the GOP Talking Point of the week - part of what Josh Marshall called the Bitch-Slap theory of electoral politics. For once the name of Josh's blog really applies.
    posted by soyjoy at 10:55 AM on August 27, 2004


    Clinton was impeached for lying about a blowjob?
    No - for those keeping score in Canada.

    the last few Democratic candidates have been such robots?
    They have been US Senators instead of State Governors who’s position is at a State than Federal level maybe.
    posted by thomcatspike at 10:57 AM on August 27, 2004


    Rushmc, I think the "irrational public" has already made their choice.

    i'd disagree. the "irrational" public, if they vote, make up their mind the day of the election, or the night before. seriously.
    posted by mrgrimm at 11:05 AM on August 27, 2004


    I wonder if spotlighting Kerry's Vietnam experience as the right is doing is about Kerry or Iraq. Both, I suppose.
    Maybe Kerry is spotlighting his stance by backing his past for what he wants in the future. He has stated he opposed invading Iraq and it could be him backing it with his stance to the Vietnam War. Iraq - he voted for the invasion then when no WMD found, opposed it. Vietnam - he severed his country which included actual fighting. Then after witnessing wrongs, opposed it. The idea is panacaked if Kerry increases the troop size in Iraq as he has claimed he may do if elected.
    posted by thomcatspike at 11:11 AM on August 27, 2004


    soyjoy ...

    The question was actually floated on "The Note" before that first article appeared (though Josh Martin might have beat'em by a day or two). Nonetheless, whether it is an official "talking point" or not does nothing to neuter the validity of the question. People are frustrated that Kerry hasn't responded forcefully. If this has been a GOP trap all along and Kerry fell into by being too passive -- that doesn't discredit the question -- it actually punctuates it.
    posted by RavinDave at 11:14 AM on August 27, 2004


    Why is it that, apart from Clinton, the last few Democratic candidates have been such robots?

    Because such candidates are rare among Republicans and Democrats. FDR, Kennedy, Reagan, and Clinton were larger-than-life presidents (regardless of what one thinks of them and their policies). Nixonian and Carteresque mediocrity is the norm (once again, regardless of what one thinkgs of them, personally). I place Bush in the latter category. We're not going to see anyother presidential luminary for at least another 15 years or so.
    posted by deanc at 11:17 AM on August 27, 2004


    Clinton was impeached for lying about a blowjob.

    Really? I wasn't paying attention was I?
    posted by dmt at 11:17 AM on August 27, 2004


    I really don't understand why making this election about Vietnam has Kerry the loser. Oh wait, Karl Rove.

    I love it that the post for this page is so clearly a "mystery RNC blogger".

    It actually looks good for Bush losing. Unless something "tricky" happens with the vote again. (I'm pretty sure Mrs. Kerry won't tolerate that...) Bush barely has the popular vote and he's got no shot at the electoral college. Worse still, McCain is getting his revenge by making Bush run a straight election. Justice is served.

    The debates will be a beaut. Edwards v/s Cheney. Front row seats, baby!
    posted by ewkpates at 11:32 AM on August 27, 2004


    Only question you could debate on this - why Kerry will not allow this book to be put back into print?

    Where have people gotten the idea that Kerry isn't letting this book go back to press? The earliest record I was able to find about this, and the "mocking Iwo Jima" idea is from the first time it was posted on eBay for sale. We all know we can completely trust eBay sellers not to hype their products to get hundreds of dollars for them right? Now, the ideas of Iwo Jima and Kerry not "allowing" this book to be reprinted are being printed all over the 'net. I shudder to think that eBay is now the epitomy of all truth in advertising.

    The first time I saw the book cover, Iwo Jima didn't even come to mind, even after someone TOLD me it was "mocking Iwo Jima". If it's meant to mock it, it missed by miles (many miles). And as far as keeping it from being put back into print ... it's an anthology style book with several authors (or rather a group), and in my experience 33 year old books written by groups of people tend to not be reprinted for a variety of reasons. Most notably, if some of the people have died, getting the rights to reprint can be tricky. Also, the book was pretty much a dud, a non-seller, not NYT Best Seller material. Why the hell would we expect it to still be in print?
    posted by Orb at 11:34 AM on August 27, 2004


    Yuck.
    What a bad post.

    Two links to the same blogspot page. A conclusory (and wrong) statement that the picture was supposed to reference Iwo Jima. A baseless political opinion about this hurting Kerry.

    While, the site might be interesting vis-a-vis letting us see a book that we can't find anywhere, you took it too far. Surely it is "the best of the web" that you could find such a book here and no where else. But the disgusting partisan slant of it all makes the value of this post suffocate.
    posted by Seth at 11:38 AM on August 27, 2004


    Seems to me that dissent is not acceptable on this website, and the amount of disrespect for others is incredible. I'm outta here.
    posted by Timebot at 11:54 AM on August 27, 2004


    Yuck.
    What a bad post.


    Seth has spoken. Nothing to see here. Move along.
    posted by terrapin at 12:04 PM on August 27, 2004


    Good riddance Timebot. Can't dissent be dissented against? Without critical evaluation, we have the kind of baseless opinion that made the Dark Ages such a treasure.
    posted by ewkpates at 12:11 PM on August 27, 2004


    Better here than Meta-Talk...with multi sided reasons.

    Orb, if Kerry has sole rights to the book being re-printed. Do you feel it should be made public as he is running for President. See now I was trolled by the poster suggestions (not aznblader , found the link on another site).
    posted by thomcatspike at 12:17 PM on August 27, 2004


    the "mocking Iwo Jima" idea is from the first time it was posted on eBay for sale. We all know we can completely trust eBay sellers not to hype their products to get hundreds of dollars for them right?

    Read these chapters and buy the book. There is much more damning info in it about John F. Kerry. Buying the book will also give the writers a platform as bestselling authors to spread their message in the media. John O'Neill has said his royalties will go to a foundation, which helps the families of soldiers, who died serving this great country of ours.

    Agree yesterday afternoon when reading the site's above quote - *ding-a-ling* hello: peci-blu(sic)
    posted by thomcatspike at 12:23 PM on August 27, 2004


    Bush will probably "win" and debates because people like and trust him more. (they also like the fact that there's been no terrorism on our shores)

    Well, except for that one time.
    posted by ZippityBuddha at 12:42 PM on August 27, 2004


    If this has been a GOP trap all along and Kerry fell into by being too passive -- that doesn't discredit the question -- it actually punctuates it.

    I disagree. It raises an entirely different question, one about dealing with expressly political traps, which may or may not be as valid as the "stand up for yourself" question.

    The point is that a trap like this is designed to be a double bind. If you don't walk the tightrope perfectly you will fall into it either way - by being too passive or "losing your cool." And sometimes, when they have someone of Rove's caliber on their team, you can lose both ways at the same time.

    But Jesus, RavinDave, really now... "If"???

    TCS, love ya as always, but please don't use "(sic)" - it just makes it all the more difficult for us, you know.
    posted by soyjoy at 12:46 PM on August 27, 2004


    Well, let's see ... the Preface was written by the editors followed by a section of Kerry's statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, April 22, 1971 (and is freely available), the main contents are all quotes from other people and aside from one Kerry quote beside a photo, and the page and half epilogue written by Kerry that just does what most epilogues do ... wrap up again what the book was supposed to be about and some statistical survey about the men who are quoted in the book. I just don't see how it matters one way or another whether it's republished or not. It just doesn't seem all that relevant that Kerry's wrote a preface and an epilogue for a book filled with other people's words (and for a group he was in). I don't really see how he'd have full rights to it either. It's a collection of images and statements made by other people. I'm betting the organization owned the rights to it (if not the publisher). People seem to be acting like he write every single word it in, which leaves me wondering if anyone has bothered reading it yet.

    And it's not like it isn't freely available right now anyway (can we say copyright infringement anyone). You can download it or read it on line at any number of locations, and if that's not good enough for you ... you can always buy it on CD at eBay (at least until the publishers complain about that).

    So when do we get to stop talking about what the candidates did 35 years ago and start talking about what they are doing in the hear and now?
    posted by Orb at 12:58 PM on August 27, 2004


    This post was kind of hit or miss for me. The reading I did brought me a few things...

    1) It actually gave me a little more respect for Kerry's position. Upon reading his testimony it became a bit clearer his position was against the conduct of that war (Viet Nam) and not the concept of force in total.

    2) It cost respect for Kerry upon reading that he used a regulation allowing early termination of a tour to get out of his service after 4 months instead of the full term.

    I might even respect Kerry's views on the war as he saw it (I don't agree with his characterization of the conflict as a whole) - but finding out he took advantage of the rulings to bail early after 3 admittedly minor, trivial wounds (one probably inflicted by his own fire) makes me worry about his fortitude.

    "A normal tour of duty in Vietnam was at least one year for all personnel. Many sailors, like Tom Wright (who would later object to operating with Kerry in Vietnam) and Steven Gardner (the gunner’s mate who sat behind and above Kerry for most of his Vietnam stay and came to regard him as incompetent and dishonest), stayed for longer periods either because of the special needs of the Navy or because they had volunteered to do so. With very few exceptions in the history of Swift Boats in Vietnam, everyone served a one year tour unless he was seriously wounded. One exception was John Kerry, who requested to leave Vietnam after four months, citing an obscure regulation that permitted release of personnel with three Purple Hearts. John Kerry is also the only known Swiftee who received the Purple Heart for a self-inflicted wound. " - quote in context
    posted by soulhuntre at 1:08 PM on August 27, 2004


    Seems to me that dissent is not acceptable on this website

    100+ posts would seem to indicate that dissent is part and parcel of this website. :)

    soulhuntre, it is my understanding that the call for an early tour termination automatically gets someone reassigned, unless he otherwise requests to stay. Since Kerry didn't request to stay longer, he let the military procedures that the time take their course. There was nothing "obscure" about that rule at all.
    posted by deanc at 1:30 PM on August 27, 2004


    Orb, thank you for your thoughts.
    posted by thomcatspike at 1:34 PM on August 27, 2004


    2) It cost respect for Kerry upon reading that he used a regulation allowing early termination of a tour to get out of his service after 4 months instead of the full term.

    So do you respect a man who used his daddy's influence to get out of the war and not only that didn't bother to show up? Or does your interest in folks who do not want to be killed in war only go so far as those who actually volunteered to serve?
    posted by terrapin at 1:34 PM on August 27, 2004


    Let's not forget that we're talking about a man who tried to get in bed with the the Satanist vote!
    posted by shotsy at 1:49 PM on August 27, 2004


    Where have people gotten the idea that Kerry isn't letting this book go back to press?

    "When Kerry ran for election to the U.S. House of Representative in 1972, “he found it necessary to suppress reproduction of the cover picture appearing on his own book, The New Soldier. His political opponent pointed out that it depicted several unkempt youths crudely handling an American flag to mock the famous photo of the U.S. Marines at Iwo Jima,” according to Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry."

    "It was mentioned in a Free Republic post today that John Kerry had attempted to purchase ALL copies of his treasonous NEW SOLDIER book during his 1972 Senate re-election campaign."

    "Why is it he has bid up all the copies, making this book cost a fortune, to try to keep Americans from reading what he thinks about Americans in general and Vets and Active Duty Military in Particular... Maybe Teresa is still buying these up, looks like she is."

    "Rumors abound of political operatives scrambling to locate and suppress stray copies during Kerry's House campaign in 1972."

    "Try to buy a copy of Kerry's book The New Soldier - YOU CANT - because the Kerry's (I mean the Heinz's) used their personal fortunes to buy them all and buy the publishing rights back so no one else can buy them."
    posted by quonsar at 2:04 PM on August 27, 2004


    (they also like the fact that there's been no terrorism on our shores)

    Paris, that's because al Qaeda sympathizers don't want to rock the boat. They want Bush to win. Bush has made the United States weaker, strengthened this nation's foes, and alienated its allies.

    Bin Laden would be a Bush voter if he had the right to vote. He wants four more years of Bush. It's in bin Laden's best interests.

    Why attack the United States if Bush is within striking distance of winning the election? An attack now would have unpredictable consequences. No, it's better for al Qaeda to stand by and pray five times a day for a Bush victory.
    posted by Holden at 2:20 PM on August 27, 2004


    from RavinDave's last link.

    The best Bush line: "'Five twenty-sevens — I think these ought to be outlawed. … 'I think they should have been outlawed a year ago. We have billionaires writing checks, large checks, to influence the outcome of the election.'''

    hypocrite.
    posted by mrgrimm at 3:06 PM on August 27, 2004


    Holden, would "changing of the guards" (Kerry wins) be better for Bin Laden? As it may open a vulnerable spot for him attacking us during that time.
    posted by thomcatspike at 3:07 PM on August 27, 2004


    Yeah, for that matter, we ought to amend the constitution to allow Bush as many terms as required to defeat the boogyman.
    posted by sonofsamiam at 3:12 PM on August 27, 2004


    (off topic)
    2) It cost respect for Kerry upon reading that he used a regulation allowing early termination of a tour to get out of his service after 4 months instead of the full term.

    So do you respect a man who used his daddy's influence to get out of the war and not only that didn't bother to show up? Or does your interest in folks who do not want to be killed in war only go so far as those who actually volunteered to serve?


    Back in the 70's how would this have been viewed with those that called the returning soldiers "Baby Killers", add that may have been blown out of proportion. Or even a draft dodger because the draft dodger would not kill.
    posted by thomcatspike at 3:18 PM on August 27, 2004


    The likelihood that Kerry owns the copyright to this book seems small to me, for the reasons I stated above.

    Does anyone have any actual information about this, or are we just repeating stuff we heard that people said on FreeRepublic?

    And, Paris, the debates actually were a big factor last time--they turned a lot of people off Gore, because Gore acted like the snotty student council president who knew everything. And he still kind of won.

    Bush is not going to come off better than Kerry in the debates. Last time, he seemed fun and likable next to Gore's stiffness. This time, he's going to seem like a whining fratboy next to Kerry's Ward Cleaver.

    And the Edwards v. Cheney debates are going to be a riot.

    Thomcatspike, the vast majority of federal employees are career civil servants. It's not like there's some interregnum during which the Capitol is deserted--most of the same people are there throughout (cf. Clarke).

    And, Paris, you mean "there's been no more terrorism on our shores". Bush and his team let a big old grand slam go out of the park already, didn't they?
    posted by Sidhedevil at 3:34 PM on August 27, 2004


    Sidhedevil, good point.
    posted by thomcatspike at 4:15 PM on August 27, 2004


    Trouble is, Sidhe, that the watercooler conversation next day will be entirely moulded by the breakfast show pundits and their guests.

    And they ain't neutral. You've seen that before, right?
    posted by dash_slot- at 5:01 PM on August 27, 2004


    Nah. The people who watch Rush and O'Reilly and Hannity are already voting for Bush. The people who listen to NPR are already voting for Kerry.

    The "swing" here is the Independent vote, and they don't listen to or watch either, because they're sick of the endless Republicrat/Democan blather.

    I think it's all going to come down to who looks less ridiculous and annoying to the apathetic unaffiliated voter. Could go either way, of course.
    posted by Sidhedevil at 5:14 PM on August 27, 2004


    Click here to read, print or download The New Soldier by John Kerry.
    posted by hama7 at 5:19 PM on August 27, 2004


    Realistically, what is he going to do about total violations of his copyright? If I were a judge, I would rule that given he's running for the Presidency, there's a compelling interest that his writings be available; and given that they are not in publication, photocopy/PDF-away!
    posted by ParisParamus at 5:50 PM on August 27, 2004


    yes, Sidhedevil, 9/11 is Bush's fault. Please go down that road if you want Bush to win.
    posted by ParisParamus at 5:52 PM on August 27, 2004


    For God's sake, it's not Kerry's copyright! It's Palgrave MacMillan's. And he didn't write the whole book, anyway--just the introduction.

    And, Paris, there's no "compelling interest" provision in US copyright law.
    posted by Sidhedevil at 5:53 PM on August 27, 2004


    he failed to prevent it, or keep us safe--which is his job.
    posted by amberglow at 5:54 PM on August 27, 2004


    Paris, 9/11 wasn't Bush's fault; on the other hand, the lack of terrorist activities in the US since then isn't Bush's accomplishment, either.

    You can't have it both ways, buddy.

    I'm voting for Kerry because I find him slightly more palatable than Bush. Mostly, though, as one of those apathetic unaffiliated voters I was talking about, I'm sick of the whole "us v. them" load of bullshit.

    I would be delighted to vote for a candidate who actually had something to say about the issues, instead of all this endless "Go Donkeys! Boo Elephants!" "Go Elephants! Boo Donkeys!" nonsense.
    posted by Sidhedevil at 5:55 PM on August 27, 2004


    " Paris, 9/11 wasn't Bush's fault; on the other hand, the lack of terrorist activities in the US since then isn't Bush's accomplishment, either."

    Well, we're not going to agree with the second half of the above. But the way politics works is that the incumbent gets credit for the positive things, and blamed for the bad, unless the bad are so clearly not his fault (good things are, essentially always attributed to the incumbent). So I do think the lack of terrorist attacks will go a long way to getting Bush reelected. I also think that if there is an attack between now and election day, it still won't be a strike again Bush because of the perception (whatever the reality) that the Bush Adminstration had done all it could to prevent such an attack.

    Where does that leave Spain? Not sure. It seems after two generations of being protected by the US, Europeans are in denial as to the world's dangers, and/don't really take foreign security issues seriously BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T HAD TO!
    posted by ParisParamus at 6:40 PM on August 27, 2004


    Well, there's Ralph. "Boo Donkeys! Boo Elephants!"

    Did I just say that?
    posted by weston at 6:41 PM on August 27, 2004


    Doesn't work when Ralph is taking money from the Elephants.
    posted by darukaru at 7:03 PM on August 27, 2004


    I couldn't help but feel an acute sense of true pity for Kerry when I saw this video of what he has said from here:

    Real Player
    Windows Media
    Quick Time
    posted by hama7 at 7:09 PM on August 27, 2004


    I would suggest that Ralph's campaign platform, this time, consists entirely of "Yay, Ralph!"

    And Paris, we shall see what we shall see. Baal willing, this will all be resolved in November. Until then, everyone's predictions and prognostications are worth exactly one metric fart.
    posted by Sidhedevil at 7:10 PM on August 27, 2004


    ... So I do think the lack of terrorist attacks will go a long way to getting Bush reelected...
    paris, you know what's funny about that statement? When Clinton was president, we heard about all the attacks foiled--millenium stuff, bla bla bla...Where's the proof anything has been foiled during Bush's term? Where are the arrests/prosecutions/convictions of people aiming to commit terrorist attacks? (and don't throw Gitmo at me--none of those people were plotting or about to carry out anything in the US. And Jose Padilla is a big nothing who was going to do nothing.) It's odd--you'd think they'd be shouting it from the rooftops each time they truly foiled an attack about to happen.
    posted by amberglow at 7:15 PM on August 27, 2004


    To recap: What the fuck? I give up. This country has the fucking administration it deserves if that's truly how people think about it.
    posted by psmealey at 10:42 PM on August 27, 2004


    But, if there is a terrorist attack before the election, then... USA shrugs... he did everything he could do stop it, and that's just how it goes. Not his fault again.

    No, I'm afraid it's more like: USA suspends voting rights until Annointin' Ashcroft gives the holy-moley all-clear, very soon, certainly by early next year, or so.
    posted by soyjoy at 11:07 PM on August 27, 2004


    ...USA suspends voting rights...
    Not without riots soyjoy. Not without riots. That would be a very scary time.
    posted by stevis at 11:11 PM on August 27, 2004


    hama7, your link of course, begs that irritating question: what don't people understand about Kerry's stance on war? As the link notes, the disconnect between Kerry's view and public perception is perhaps somewhat Kerry's fault — but I guess you can't expect a right-wing smear as ambitious as that one to give the benefit of the doubt.

    And it goes to show that the RNC isn't willing to take the high road the Democratic convention did — of course, short of mudslinging at Kerry, what else would the Bushies talk about for four days? Not a leg to stand on.
    posted by rafter at 11:16 PM on August 27, 2004


    Not without riots soyjoy.

    There was a time when I believed that too.

    I miss that time.
    posted by RavinDave at 12:21 AM on August 28, 2004


    I'm lost at the part where the soldiers are supposedly mocking "Iowa Jima" on the cover. Until someone *SAID* it was a mockery, I didn't see the resemblance at all.

    Aw hell, I still don't see the connection. But if that's what it takes to not vote for somebody...



    Van Halen lost my vote! My mind is made up!!!!
    posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 2:15 AM on August 28, 2004


    "So do you respect a man who used his daddy's influence to get out of the war and not only that didn't bother to show up? Or does your interest in folks who do not want to be killed in war only go so far as those who actually volunteered to serve?"

    Good question... and there are several responses in my mind... all of the more or less relevant.

    1) My feelings for Bush and Kerry are not zero sum. Disliking one for something does not equate to liking the other.

    2) Legally avoiding front line service is a bit scummy in my mind - but a lot of people do it all the time so its hard to hate them all. Abusing the regulations, collecting unearned awards and leaving ahead of the time you volunteered for is pretty damn slimy too.

    In other words, Kerry doesn't get any points for a typical Kerry have it both ways flip-flop.

    As for the attendance issue, I don't find it to be the huge issue many on the left do... nor do I find Kerry's protesting such a big issue as some on the right.

    What I do find deeply disturbing is the image of a potential president carefully making sure a tiny sliver of his own shrapnel stays in his arm for hours on end so he can tell everyone who will listen that he deserves a Purple Heart.
    It just strikes me as a bad quality.

    And that feeling has NOTHING to do with anything about Bush. Again, it's not zero-sum... I have enough disgust to go around.
    posted by soulhuntre at 8:51 AM on August 28, 2004


    John Lennon gets caught claiming the Beatles are better than Jesus... Oh wait...
    posted by juiceCake at 1:26 PM on August 28, 2004


    Apparently, there was a flag-raising on Iowa Jima, at least according to the evidence I could find on Google...
    posted by mmahaffie at 5:13 PM on August 28, 2004


    What? So, after all this time, it turns out aznblader was 100% correct. Huh. Well... G'night everybody! Drive safely!
    posted by soyjoy at 8:10 PM on August 28, 2004


    What I do find deeply disturbing is the image of a potential president carefully making sure a tiny sliver of his own shrapnel stays in his arm for hours on end so he can tell everyone who will listen that he deserves a Purple Heart.
    It just strikes me as a bad quality.


    The scratch and the star

    Saletan correctly emphasizes the importance of patriotism to West Virginians. That is why it's essential for the Democrats to make clear that Kerry walked the walk not taken by George W. Bush nor any of the top figures in his administration. Kerry got shot at in Vietnam. He displayed bravery in combat. He was brave again to oppose the war when he came back. What difference does it make what he did with his medals? He earned them. He had a right to do what he wanted with them. Bush didn't have the guts to fight in the war or against it.

    Finally, West Virginians are fair minded. Show them how the Republicans have tried to denigrate Kerry's heroism. What if he did get a Purple Heart for a scratch? There are enough veterans in West Virginia who know that a lot of Purple Hearts were for minor wounds awarded. But they also know that you don't get a Bronze Star, let alone a Silver Star, for just a scratch. And when you've gone back in under fire to rescue a comrade, you have passed their highest test.

    posted by y2karl at 9:03 PM on August 28, 2004


    Plenty of REMF troops were awarded PH awards for broken fingers and the like. I have heard of Clerk-Typists being awarded the PH for injuries in a combat zone when they never even saw combat.

    The fact that Kerry was sent home in line with the 3 wounds and you're out rule and he didn't decide to risk further life and limb on what he had obviously concluded was a "wrong" war shows more for his common sense than anything else.

    And soulhuntre - you know what shrapnel is right? I mean are you saying Kerry stuck a piece of shrapnel under his skin on purpose? Shrapnel is pretty random (what with it generally being either ricochet material or fragmentation) and I'd probably recommend a knife or firearm if you are going to deliberately wound yourself to get out of combat. Using explosive ordnance to injure yourself is a pretty severe way of bunking off work.
    posted by longbaugh at 1:28 AM on August 29, 2004


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