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"If you're explaining, you're losing"
November 1, 2006 1:19 AM   Subscribe

"Misunderstood" joke gets Kerry into trouble (youtube): "You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

Kerry insists that he was referring to Bush, not the troops, in Monday's speech at a Pasadena, CA university, and that he won't apologize for his remarks. Some Democrats are distancing themselves after his remarks, in fear that public backlash might affect the upcoming elections.
posted by aberrant (140 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I'm still waiting for him to apologize for 2004.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:30 AM on November 1, 2006


Was this Rove's October surprise?
posted by chillmost at 1:43 AM on November 1, 2006


You'd think as a former military man himself he would know better than to hand his political enemies ammunition like this right before the elections.
posted by stumcg at 1:53 AM on November 1, 2006


I'd distance myself from Kerry too. What better opportunity can young Americans avail themselves of then an all expenses paid, excluding body armor, trip to Iraq? It's a smart choice. Particularly if you want a short cut to a congressional chair - wheels included.

The sense I am getting is that some Republicans are rats who jump off a sinking a ship while some Democrats are rats who jump off a ship whether it is sinking or not.
posted by srboisvert at 1:53 AM on November 1, 2006


What a doofus.
posted by kjh at 1:54 AM on November 1, 2006


The written transcript released by Kerry's team included this punchline, apparently undelivered: "...just ask President Bush." Why didn't Kerry didn't complete the joke?
posted by aberrant at 1:54 AM on November 1, 2006


er, just like President Bush
posted by aberrant at 1:55 AM on November 1, 2006


What an atrocity it is to trivialize the lives of thousands of our own military personel.

Then to have Kerry make questionable joke about it!
posted by evil holiday magic at 2:18 AM on November 1, 2006


is this the best the GOP can do? they must be really worried, maybe Diebold won't be enough this time then. Drudge and InstaPundit and all their flunkies are all over this thing, but this is beyond clutching at straws.

and do the republicans really want the public (not their base that cares mostly about Roe/gays/etc, I mean the general public) do talk a lot about "stuck" and "Iraq" right before the election?
posted by matteo at 2:25 AM on November 1, 2006


It was Pasadena City College, to clarify the location of the flubbed joke.
posted by psergio at 2:28 AM on November 1, 2006


Kerry who?
posted by three blind mice at 2:31 AM on November 1, 2006


Why didn't Kerry didn't complete the joke?

Because he's a cut up and run Democrat.
posted by hal9k at 2:44 AM on November 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


Without the missing line, it sure reads wrong. And being stuck in Iraq isn't the fault of someone's failure at school, rather the fault of Democrats failure to stand firm against aggressive policy from the administration.
posted by Goofyy at 2:48 AM on November 1, 2006


we've already done this ... and john kerry is STILL an idiot ...
posted by pyramid termite at 2:49 AM on November 1, 2006


Actually I think that anything that keeps Iraq in the minds of people is going to hurt the republicans. The only people who will actually be pissed at this are already going to vote for Bush anyway.
posted by afu at 2:56 AM on November 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


or vote republican I mean
posted by afu at 2:57 AM on November 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


Something on Drudge caught my eye. A scant few days back, they rabid Right -- unable to effectively attack Michael J. Fox directly -- took to plan 'B': dismissing him as an "infallible victim" trotted out for the very reason that he can't be disagreed with without bringing emotionalism into the discussion. Yet the FIRST thing the Right does is to trot out a mother whose son died in Iraq to excoriate Kerry's imagined callousness.

They're running scared.

This won't hurt the Left, since only those predisposed to hate Kerry are paying it any heed. Even so, let's agree to bag this doofus and get him out of the '08 race. I know they're twisting what he said -- but he didn't have to make it so damn easy for them. Damn egomaniac has to inject himself into the process.
posted by RavinDave at 2:57 AM on November 1, 2006


and john kerry is STILL an idiot ...

Thanks for your professional opinion. This will probably be deleted too, but before it is, this gaffe was probably worth it just to hear a prominent Democrat say this on the 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.

The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor.

Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because they're afraid to debate real men. And this time it won't work because we're going to stay in their face with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their distortions. No Democrat will be bullied by an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a stand still and lose strategy in Iraq
posted by psmealey at 3:05 AM on November 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


The public had the entire 2004 election cycle to become familiar with Kerry's comic timing. His admission that it was a botched joke is believable, and the botch, obvious. Whoever tries to spin this mistake will end up looking as dishonest as Kerry looks foolish.
posted by klarck at 4:01 AM on November 1, 2006


The clarification comes off as too strong, and probably prepared in advance. Who is "debating strew men"? Who is afraid to "debate veterans"? I think I may have heard about that somehow.
posted by Gungho at 4:19 AM on November 1, 2006


I think this is the best line: Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because they're afraid to debate real men.

Jon Stewart had a bit on Monday night where he ran clips of at least a dozen Republicans all claiming the Democrats were for "Tax and spend", yet we've never heard a single Democrat claim that was what they wanted to do. We've heard the Republicans use the old "They support the terrorists" line as well. When was the last time they actually attacked a position of the Democrats without first inventing some position they claim the Democrats are taking on the subject.

and Kerry, if you're going to tell a joke don't screw up the punchline.
posted by inthe80s at 4:31 AM on November 1, 2006


You know, until I read the second paragraph it didn't even occur to me that he'd be referring to anyone other than Bush.
posted by owenkun at 4:32 AM on November 1, 2006


This would all blow over a lot sooner if Kerry actually had a spine.
posted by crunchland at 4:43 AM on November 1, 2006


Thanks for your professional opinion.

calling a guy uneducated when he went to the same school you did isn't the act of a genius, is it? ... as far as the rest of it goes, where the hell was he in '03?

voting FOR the iraq resolution

no sale
posted by pyramid termite at 4:44 AM on November 1, 2006


Hmmm. The problem with the joke is that there are probably thousands of young Americans who didn't make the most of their educational opportunities, didn't study hard or do their homework, and didn't try to be smart and are now dodging snipers and roadside bombs in Baghdad. Nobody wants to be reminded of that tidbit. Ambiguity that nobody wants to think about can come back and bite you on the ass... hard.

"The only war Bush ever had an exit strategy for was Vietnam" is a better joke anyway.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 4:59 AM on November 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


Bah if it was an attempt to suggest, it was too open to interpretation and that's an error, even in good faith, he should exercise a lot more before bringing his stuff on the scene. Or better, emphatize more analyze less.

Yet that doesn't make the pundits any less revolting then they already are ; they feel all outraged because some soldier was offended by Kerry's stumbling remark, but who exactly planned, strategized and ordered these soldiers to risk death in Iraq ?

Pundits job is to skillfully play with your emotions and ignorance , have you distracted and outraged about the comments of an ass , so that you don't see the elephant in the room , which is the fact that you are in Iraq. All the pundits medevac is the ass of whoever sent you there, but if you still believe them is because _you_ choosed to look the other way or liked what they said.
posted by elpapacito at 5:02 AM on November 1, 2006


Kerry insists that he was referring to Bush

Of course he was. He's a decorated veteran, so this could hardly be a slip of the tongue. Anyone who reads the transcript in context and knows who is speaking would have little difficulty telling what he meant. End of story (for anyone that's not trying to smear him).
posted by VulcanMike at 5:03 AM on November 1, 2006


Without the missing line, it sure reads wrong. And being stuck in Iraq isn't the fault of someone's failure at school, rather the fault of Democrats failure to stand firm against aggressive policy from the administration.

It can't be both? I say both parties are at fault for the current administration.

And if you really want to get sticky, it's the citizens' faults as well, to some extent. The people have the government they deserve, blah blah, viva la revolution, hurrrrr.
posted by Mikey-San at 5:04 AM on November 1, 2006


(reads the transcript or views the video)
posted by VulcanMike at 5:05 AM on November 1, 2006


Dang ... just got through watching CNN headline news. Thought I was watching FOX for all the dancing and misquoting they were doing.
posted by RavinDave at 5:08 AM on November 1, 2006


Republican Strategy 2006:
  • If the voting machines fail, win the election because they gave you votes fraudulently. Wait for the media and Dems to take the results on face value and walk around saying 'I guess exit polls don't work anymore -- how strange!?'

  • If the voting machines work, fund lawsuits nationwide to overturn the election results, thus preserving the incumbent positions and providing opportunity for additional races to be decided in the courts or run again, where "redos" most certainly benefit the incumbent.

  • posted by VulcanMike at 5:16 AM on November 1, 2006


    Metafilter is proof that some Americans aren't stupid.
    posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:21 AM on November 1, 2006


    The problem is "the news" as it has been constructed by TV is no longer about conveying information; it is just a game about which party can get the most air time for their talking points. Talking points which will be completly flipped if something embaressing happens to one of their own. Since I watched the news to get information about current events, and it no longer provides that I stopped watching, I suggest you do the same. Then this BS like Kerry said, no he didn't...won't occupy your time. If we all stopped watching Fox and CNN they might go away.
    posted by humanfont at 5:22 AM on November 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


    Yes Kerry muffed the joke and he has the comic timing of a Pet Rock and the Right are deliberately taking the whole thing out of context to smear him and yes, yes, yes please let's keep talking about Iraq. Iraq Iraq Iraq IRAQ. Because that is the albatross around the GOP's neck and it doesn't matter WHY we're talking about Iraq, every time the word is mentioned they lose a vote.
    posted by localroger at 5:28 AM on November 1, 2006


    At least Kerry never said he invented the Internet. We'd never hear the end of that one.
    posted by Astro Zombie at 5:42 AM on November 1, 2006


    Democrats were for "Tax and spend"

    Or "borrow and spend" Republicans.

    Gee. What a choice.
    posted by rough ashlar at 5:47 AM on November 1, 2006


    Anybody brings this up today, the answer to any criticisim is Iraq, over and over again. Tell them this non-event is designed to distract from Iraq.

    wow, Distract from Iraq. Must be my Jesse Jackson moment.
    posted by Ironmouth at 5:57 AM on November 1, 2006


    I think Kerry's real points, washed out by a conservative mainstream media focused on cheering on Bush, bear repeating:

    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.

    The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor.

    Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because they're afraid to debate real men. And this time it won't work because we're going to stay in their face with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their distortions. No Democrat will be bullied by an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a stand still and lose strategy in Iraq

    posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:57 AM on November 1, 2006


    I agree, that was a horrible, stupid thing to say, and nobody should vote for Kerry this year.

    oh, wait, he's not running?

    What the hell are we talking about again?
    posted by empath at 5:57 AM on November 1, 2006


    I guess the biggest frustration here is that this kind of thing plays exactly into the false stereotypes about Democrats (elitist military-hating snobs) the FoxNews types are only too happy to perpetuate.

    That said, I'm glad that Kerry said what he said in his follow up. It absolutely needed to be said, regardless of the flub that necessitated it. I can only hope that enough people are listening. We've been held hostage for too long by these people that weren't brave enough to risk their own lives for this country, yet bluster about what cowards and traitors we are when we question what they do.
    posted by psmealey at 6:16 AM on November 1, 2006


    Maybe too little too late from Kerry and perhaps even botched up as a joke or whatever, but he's running cover and taking the hits for the democrats and keeping Iraq very much effectively in the public eye. To hear Tony Snow called "a stuffed shirt", number one disinformationist scumbag Rush Limbaugh "Doughy" and Bush and Cheney incompetent misleading liars (again and so unequivocally) is priceless (and a relief). These assholes can not be allowed to hide like sacred cows behind the flag and the empty cynical pablum of "our brave men and women in uniform" or above the withering criticism they so richly deserve. I say bravo for Kerry. He's stiff, whatever and easy to parody and dismiss, but I don't care. I might not vote for him in the next election (depending on who else is running and I was even thinking of voting for McCain, but not after he's joined the oh so self righteous bullshit pile on against Kerry, so screw him), but I like him, dammit and I think a lot of you who put him down just bought into the high school smear tactics of the GOP. I think Kerry is smart enough to know what the hell he's doing here. Bring on the Democrat's Nov. 7th and let's get the criminal investigations of the Bush Junta underway. Pronto.

    (I am blah bla blah and I support the preceeding message).

    Paid for by the committee to prevent vomiting every damn time you think about your f*ed up government.
    posted by Skygazer at 6:18 AM on November 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


    Context and nuance are lost arts in this country. Anybody who construes Kerry's statement as anything but a slam on the current system is an idiot. Remember a few years ago - just because "niggardly" sounds bad doesn't make it bad. Just because the listener is a bonehead doesn't make the speaker wrong.
    posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:21 AM on November 1, 2006


    I would never claim that John Kerry is not an idiot, and obviously the way the phrase sounds is bad.

    But the fact that the republicans are harping on this is just pathetic. I don't mean pathetic as in "I hate you, and you're not being fair." I mean pathetic as "They are incredibly desperate and have nothing."

    Kerry's explanation makes sense. Voters aren't going to punish people for making verbal mistakes if there is a good reason explanation.

    Plus Kerry himself volunteered.

    This kind of thing can backfire. Making a big deal out of this gives Kerry a chance to spout off on republicans on national TV, which he seems to be doing OK at.

    Look at what happened in VA when Allan brought up those 'dirty' passages from Webb's books. It made Webb's distinguished writing career front and center, and gave Webb and excuse to brag about it.

    Anyway, if anyone thinks this is going to swing the election, they're either shell-shocked dems. or desperate republicans.

    In my opinion.
    posted by delmoi at 6:24 AM on November 1, 2006


    Is there honestly a fucking point to this? Pretending you don't know what every specific pundit on television and the internet is already going to say about this is like pretending you don't know who the Washington Times is going to endorse.

    It's the purple heart band-aids, 2006 edition. No one, save the crazy people Kerry specifically pointed out, actually thinks he hates the troops. They're still going to feign outrage anyway, just as they feigned outrage at Clinton's penis, feigned outrage at Chandra Levy, feigned outrage at Webb's novel, and so on. The Limbaughs and Malkins of this world, and all their little online wannabes, have a sociopathic desire to make politics a game in which the object is actually hurt people. Victory is an icing, but I don't think they're as proud of Bush being re-elected as they are about the idea that they made Kerry, or his supporters, or some left-wing blogger, suffer. These are unhealthy people and as such I don't take their words as sage, rational insight.

    Forgive me for being so partisan, but as far as candidate "gaffes" I still tend to think the cover-up of attempted boy-fucking, spousal (and mistress) abuse, and having your staffers beat someone up is a bit more pressing than what a guy who's not even running for anything this election said.
    posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:28 AM on November 1, 2006


    Democrats were for "Tax and spend"

    Or "borrow and spend" Republicans.

    Gee. What a choice.


    Since we don't have to pay interest on directly taxed income, the choice is clear. Even if they are "tax-and-spenders" the Democrats are now provably more fiscally conservative than the Republicans.
    posted by sonofsamiam at 6:38 AM on November 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


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

    How is this not true? Even if it's a bit insulting to the troops, isn't it patently obvious to everybody that the lower classes fight our wars for us? Maybe instead of making a joke about Bush being dumb, Kerry should be asking, among many other questions, why it is that we send our poor and uneducated to Iraq.
    posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:41 AM on November 1, 2006


    In 2004, half the country thought Kerry went to Vietnam just to pad his resume.

    Would they believe this? It's just that possible. That kind of scares me.
    posted by fungible at 6:44 AM on November 1, 2006


    It's simple, really. Republicans and neoCons (who don't seem so neo anymore) are focusing on Kerry out of nostalgia. Jumping up and down on Kerry (who needs a note to self: "I am not a comedian") lets the right fantasize 2006 is 2004.

    By dragging Kerry around by his heels the GOP is trying to miraculously conjur a 2004 Republican squeaker.

    <Daney Carvey-doing-Bush-Sr. voice>

       Nah go'n happen!

    </Carvey>
    posted by mistersquid at 6:48 AM on November 1, 2006


    I meant <Dana . . .

    :'(
    posted by mistersquid at 6:49 AM on November 1, 2006


    It wasn't a misunderstood joke - we all knew exactly what he meant.

    And for all the political grandstanding on both sides, it's a sentiment that many, many people feel.
    posted by jazzkat11 at 7:17 AM on November 1, 2006


    A Pasadena, California university?

    Not quite.
    posted by notyou at 7:22 AM on November 1, 2006


    Everyone knew what he meant. Tony Snow (flack - R) was on CNBC this morning, and he said something to the effect of "Kerry was attacking our Commander in Chief in a time of war" and that that was the real issue.

    The spin here is that an attack on the President (or ridicule of the President) equals an attack on the military because he is commander in chief of the military.

    It's insane. I hope the democrats get a majority in the House at least so they can hold some hearings, and get some people talking under oath.
    posted by Pastabagel at 7:31 AM on November 1, 2006


    Well, what makes it funny is that Kerry's statement is TRUE.

    Sorry, One-Weekend-A-Month-My-Assers.
    posted by mooncrow at 7:31 AM on November 1, 2006


    Actually, I think this was not a slipup on Kerry's part. No, really. Think about it.
    The GOP was trying to distance themselves from Iraq before the election. Nothing about Iraq would help their chances at the polls, so the order came down to shut up about Iraq.
    Kerry -- and this is so simple as to be brilliant -- knows how easy it is to bait the Repubs. So he makes a dumb, bungled joke, which the White House jumps all over.
    Doh! Tony Snow! You idiot, sez Karl. Why'd you have to bring up Iraq again?! Leave it, we said.
    I'm just sayin'
    posted by mooncrow at 7:38 AM on November 1, 2006


    Smokescreen, cough cough cough, smokescreen.

    Why not discuss Snow's blatant lies about Bush never saying "Stay the course" in Iraq. Or Cheney's waterboarding "No brainer" and then hasty retraction and denial?

    Oh yeah, because its the Republicans who are grasping at bullshit and trying to make hay out of it.
    posted by fenriq at 7:43 AM on November 1, 2006


    I don't think Kerry and the Dems aren't really even in the same fight as the GOP. The Dems keep acting like issues matter, when the GOP seems to have gotten over that idea three or four election cycles ago. In the GOP world, issues matter only as a medium for some sort of emotional appeal. The issue gets them in the door and then they close the deal with scorched earther rhetoric. National security is only valuable as an issue insofar as it allows them to slag the Dems as terrorist sympathizers. Gay marriage is a way to demonize gays and Dems as sympathizers of pedophiles. I can't think of any of these red meat GOP issues in which they've made a responsible attempt to enact their rhetoric into stable legislation. Its all show boating and base energizing. If they actually prevailed on any of these issues, they'd lose one of the tools that have become so useful in managing their core supporters. Losing is winning, I guess.

    Rove et al are the Hannibal Lecters of politics. The media gets all swoony about what a genius he is, but it seems pretty clear to me that he simply has a much clearer grasp of where Americas hot buttons are, and fewer (make that "no") scruples about hitting them in the pursuit of electoral victory. Its my understanding that he was fired from W's Dad's '88 campaign because he got too dirty. The way things have gone since then, whatever it was that caused them to show him the door must be pretty tame by today's standards.
    posted by hwestiii at 7:45 AM on November 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


    feigned outrage at Webb's novel, and so on...
    posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:28 AM EST on November 1


    This point is slightly different than the rest. The people who are still backing Allen are hoestly and earnestly outraged at those publicized excerts from his novels. Because they don't read. It's that tired old evangelical trope - violence is okay as long as it is righteous, but sex is not, because it's dirty and evil and sinful.

    These are "conservatives" who think art and artists are gay, that the deptiction of gays, single parenthood, drug use, and interracial marriage in the media somehow spread those "evil" things to children.

    These people burn Harry Potter books as spreading witchcraft, etc. This is what you're dealing with.
    posted by Pastabagel at 7:47 AM on November 1, 2006


    Stupid joke, bungled, reinforces his general loser aura. And yes, the bungled joke actually speaks a strange truth absent in the original.
    However, I am glad to see him finally using some pretty strong, unequivocal language on Bushco. Now is the time to be talking about Iraq, and epecially, to finally dump a mountain of vitriol on Bush for being a draftdodger who even went AWOL from his cushy national guard gig. That is going to have real impact now if it is said forcefully enough, as a contrast to the kids dying every day over there. Americans are clearly shifting against the war and a very loud, very aggressive reminder of Bush's chickenhawk status can only do good. And it might make Kerry feel better too. Hopefully he has dropped his dainty little gloves.
    posted by Rumple at 8:00 AM on November 1, 2006


    Let's be realistic: there aren't too many Nobel Laureates in Iraq.
    posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 8:12 AM on November 1, 2006


    XQUZYPHYR :I don't think they' [The Limbaughs and Malkins of this world] 're as proud of Bush being re-elected as they are about the idea that they made Kerry, or his supporters, or some left-wing blogger, suffer. These are unhealthy people...

    Honestly, I sorta kinda want Bush supporters and right wing bloggers to suffer a little bit. I mean, not too much, maybe just a little mild ("non-tortureous") waterboarding.

    Does that make me such a bad person (or just a cheeky bugger)?

    *Hangs head in shame. Looks innocent.*
    posted by Skygazer at 8:16 AM on November 1, 2006


    It was obviously a botched joke, but in my office, where I am alone in being liberal, the buzz this morning is that John Kerry called our soldiers idiots. This is from people whom I would consider to be otherwise intelligent and thoughtful. The reason the right is making a fuss about this is because it works. Based on the reports on Morning Edition and on the conversation around the water cooler this morning, this single botched joke could divert the spotlight from six years of Republican scandal. I try never to underestimate the Democrats' ability to lose.

    On the Daily Show just one day before this story broke, John Oliver said that the Democrats' victory would be sealed when they played their final card... "doing nothing." That's all they have to do, and they're blowing it.
    posted by jay.jansheski at 8:26 AM on November 1, 2006


    Look how Fox News is behaving... 48 hours of wall-2-wall coverage. John McCain got himself booked on every show. They are bringing on Ann Coulter as a expert.

    Watching E.D. Hill wondering why John Kerry hates the troops makes my head hurt. She is a grown women for Christ sake... It was clearly a botched joke. It would be political suicide if he actually meant what he said.

    Instead of talking about the gaffe, the neocon pundits are playing this like John Kerry has been exposed.... WHAT WE KNEW ABOUT HIM ALL ALONG!
    posted by DougieZero1982 at 8:27 AM on November 1, 2006


    Skygazer, since they themselves and their supporters over and over say it's not torture and no worse than a frat party, they deserve no less according to their own lies about that stuff.

    They're the bad people--it's human to want them punished for their crimes.
    posted by amberglow at 8:27 AM on November 1, 2006


    JOHN KERRY IS BIGGER THAN JESUS.
    posted by psmealey at 8:34 AM on November 1, 2006


    John Kerry botched a joke about the neocon Iraq mess, so let’s make Bush king!
    posted by BillyElmore at 8:34 AM on November 1, 2006


    it really shows how desperate they are to rally their base, who is very unhappy with them. Kerry's not running for anything tho, so it's not really fresh red meat at all, but some rancid scraps they're pulling out from 04--Rove's sucking at being an evil genius this time, obviously.
    posted by amberglow at 8:51 AM on November 1, 2006


    I was feeling a bit down ... until I saw this in the local paper this morning:

    Bush coming to Nebraska to campaign for Smith

    Do you know how unthinkable it was a scant few weeks back that a Democrat would take this Congressional seat in Western Nebraska?

    I smell fear.

    .
    posted by RavinDave at 8:53 AM on November 1, 2006


    Isn't it true, though, that in most civilized societies, those with the littlest education and opportunity are forced, occasionally by draft, but usually for financial reasons, to fight the wars organized by the rich and powerful? It seems like this has been one of those things that everyone knows but no one is allowed to talk about since Roman times. Maybe I'm wrong.

    I say this from the perspective of someone who is neither rich nor powerful, but educated enough that I would never, ever put my life at risk for anything but those I personally care for. And certainly not for goofball "wars on terra." But I've known a few people who have gone into the army, and every one of them did it for the money.

    Not a rabid Kerry fan, personally, but I think he's pretty much right. Botched or not.
    posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 8:56 AM on November 1, 2006


    Democrats should stop apologizing to Repubkicans for what they say until Republicans apologize to this country for what they've done.

    And that apparently ain't happening.
    posted by birdhaus at 8:58 AM on November 1, 2006


    I heard a tape of Kerry's response to the flack he's getting--a tape of the press conference on Oct 31, and he was great--angry, clear and directly attacking the chickenhawk spin machine. It made me wonder where this version of him was in 2004. Does anybody have a link to it? Kerry with a functioning spine is a beautiful thing.
    posted by tula at 9:03 AM on November 1, 2006


    M.C. Lo-Carb!, you're totally right--and everyone knows it but they don't talk about it (because of our supposedly "classless" society? because it comes off as elitist? ...)

    The people i know who went in did it for college money--that's it--their families didn't have money, and they didn't feel they had other options. Of course, that was before this president.
    posted by amberglow at 9:11 AM on November 1, 2006


    I think the proper term for this is "grasping at straws," Mr. President.
    posted by crunchland at 9:14 AM on November 1, 2006


    until Republicans apologize to this country for what they've done.

    Apologize?! They won't even admit error!
    posted by sonofsamiam at 9:19 AM on November 1, 2006


    If Kerry had real balls, he'd call out Smirky McChimpface and challenge him to "discuss" the issue one-on-one on any unmoderated News outlet of his choice.

    Bush would backpeddle so fast he'd invent a new Olympic event.

    .
    posted by RavinDave at 9:23 AM on November 1, 2006


    It seems like this has been one of those things that everyone knows but no one is allowed to talk about since Roman times. Maybe I'm wrong.

    I think you're right. If I remember my history correctly, one of the major signs of the Roman empires slow (I think it took a few centuries) but steady decline, as well as that of other empires, was the increased use of slaves and hired mercenaries to fight wars.

    Kerry is 100% right. All you have to do is watch the steady parade of dead soldiers whose names, hometowns and photos come up (as they're made official) at the end of the Jim Lehrer Newshour on PBS. Most of those guys seem to be poor whites from small towns in the south and midwest, inner city blacks and latinos. Lot's of Latino's seeking citizenship, I believe. If I had a week to spare from work (I'm an IA) I would put together a map of the U.S. showing the concentrations of where most of the dead and wounded soldiers are from, in relation to what the median income is in the town or neighborhood they came from, as well as education level before entering the armed services.

    Has anyone come upon anything like that? (Google shows nothing). Anyone in the newsmedia out there wants to do this please please do so....
    posted by Skygazer at 9:23 AM on November 1, 2006


    U.S. Obeys Order to Abandon Checkpoints
    posted by homunculus at 9:45 AM on November 1, 2006


    States:

    http://www.icasualties.org/oif/USMap.aspx

    City

    http://www.icasualties.org/oif/US_CITY.aspx


    But no median income or education level...
    posted by Skygazer at 9:46 AM on November 1, 2006


    Has anyone come upon anything like that? (Google shows nothing). Anyone in the newsmedia out there wants to do this please please do so....

    Here is a .kmz file for google earth showing casualties in Iraq/Afghanistan from their home cities.
    posted by SBMike at 9:55 AM on November 1, 2006


    that bush jumped all over this is surprising to me, considering that were we to take literally his constant bumbling, he'd be in even worse shape than he is...too bad liberals can't get away with the 'willful misunderstanding' pose that forms a pillar of right-wing radio stupidity...

    ...what the press won't deconstruct, of course, is that bush's comments would indicate that he takes the military as ignorant, in that he baits them into buying his supposed misinterpretation, which only an idiot would go along with...but that's bush's fallback: when reality fails, play to those who read only the headlines...
    posted by troybob at 9:59 AM on November 1, 2006


    When being bullied, the only thing worse than doing nothing (2004 Dems) is to fight back ineffectively (2006 Dems).

    Either go Ender Wiggins on their asses or blow it off and get back on message.
    posted by Skwirl at 10:18 AM on November 1, 2006


    It's not a "joke", it's the truth, if you're down and out with no options, you could likely end up some poor sucker in Iraq. What's false about that? Fuck all this moralizing about and immoral war.

    He shouldn't apaologize to anyone. Once again, the GOP sleazebags distract people from the whole point of the statement.
    Why doesn't the person who started the unnecassary war apologize ?????
    This is insanity, like a ridiculous movie script.
    posted by Liquidwolf at 10:26 AM on November 1, 2006


    John Boehner, Republican House Majority Leader: "We're going to beat him to death."

    Botched joke, indeed.
    posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:47 AM on November 1, 2006


    Abandoning An American Soldier

    On Iraqi Orders, Bush Abandons American Soldier To Al-Sadr’s Militia
    posted by homunculus at 10:50 AM on November 1, 2006


    At this point, I'm wondering if the Dems will continue to run away from this, or if they'll actually try to take advantage of this craven overreaction by the White House, the GOP and their media puppets. I think this one can easily be spun to the benefit of the Dems if they get the timing and the message right.
    posted by psmealey at 10:54 AM on November 1, 2006


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

    “How is this not true? Even if it's a bit insulting to the troops, isn't it patently obvious to everybody that the lower classes fight our wars for us?”

    I don’t think it’s a bungled joke. I think it’s his mindset. He’s stuck in the “savior of the people” great white hope/help the poor unfortunates (as long as it’s my name in lights) schtick. And it’s the Vietnam era rhetoric. Oh sure, we can infer that it’s any number of other things - that it’s incisive commentary on the social order, or the education system or Bush’s policies, but the fact of the matter is, there is no draft. The military is not your only option if your’re poor. Not that it’s isn’t an attractive one.
    And I concede the arguments here relevent to those issues - the truth of those things is not what I’m countering - I’m saying that isn’t what HE’s saying. Whether he knows it or not.
    Remember his background. This man went to Yale. He studied hard, he was “smart,” he certainly did well - why then was he “stuck” in Vietnam?

    So it’s morally forthright and patriotic when a well educated man serves his country, but when someone who did not have the same opportunities he had serves, well, that’s because they’re forced to and Bush is making them.
    Well, let’s see - I was well educated. I worked hard. And I served. And in Iraq even.
    Soooo...?

    Maybe I didn’t do well enough to go to Yale?
    Maybe Chesty Puller didn’t make enough of an effort early on because he was an enlisted man first? (He became a Lt. General btw)

    That’s the insult. Not that the poor or underachievers enlist. Not that they’re not hard workers or stupid. None of the facile statements strewn about by the politicians is what is pissing people off.
    It’s the context. Who’s saying it.
    Kerry was/is wealthy. He was well educated. He went to war. He is good and noble and patriotic and can wear his service on his sleeve.
    (Sure, I do - but I’m not Hollywood, I mean who the hell is “smedleyman”? )
    You: Jarhead, Squid, Grunt, Zoomie, joined because Bush made you. You joined because you are trapped by circumstances. Your dick is short and limp and you are impotent in the face of the mighty Republican policy. Kerry is there to protect you from all that. He toughed it out with you even though he didn’t have to. Your service is a testament to your bondage.
    (Lotsa hyperbole there, for folks scoring at home, but I’m some guy sounding off on the internet, not the fundraising mouthpiece of the Democratic party)

    Now I grant that isn’t the only way of looking at the statement and of looking at Kerry and perhaps I’m off base, but I don’t think I’m entirely wrong.
    Why are we hearing from him now f’rinstance when the Dems could have otherwise tap danced to victory?

    Why dish out rhetoric like: “Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country” - when you know the first person that comes to mind is McCain. I think it’s his ego and his stuck in the 60’s glory days mindset.
    I’m not talking accuracy here, I know damned well there are plenty more veteran Democrats right now than Republicans. I completely understand and in fact agree with what he MEANS I’m just taking issue with what he SAID. And when and why he said it.

    It sounds elitist to me. It sounds like all the reasons I’m not a Democrat. The whole Rosie O’Donnell - you can’t have a gun but my bodyguard can - out of touch with, but martyring oneself for, the “masses.”
    But all that’s just criticsm of appearances. I know what he meant. How it came out was unfortunate, but I think it’s a window into his head. And it doesn’t invalidate his criticism of administration policy and Bushco’s suckerfish.
    I don’t have the vitriol for him some conservatives do. He seems like a well-meaning sort unlike say Limbaugh who is manifestly devoid of even the bizzare principles he espouses for personal gain.
    I can disagree with Kerry (and indeed, not like him) and still feel we’re at least mutually interested in bettering the country.

    (And throughout history it’s mostly been professionals making war. Oh, sure peasants/slaves/mercs were involved, but for the most part the only way to get/keep a chunk of land was through mastery of arms. Unskilled masses as your main force is relatively new due to weapon, logistics and storage improvements (e.g. Napoleon and canned food). Lots more to say on that, but I cut it short - gone on too long already)
    posted by Smedleyman at 11:07 AM on November 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


    If I had a week to spare from work (I'm an IA) I would put together a map of the U.S. showing the concentrations of where most of the dead and wounded soldiers are from, in relation to what the median income is in the town or neighborhood they came from, as well as education level before entering the armed services.

    Has anyone come upon anything like that? (Google shows nothing). Anyone in the newsmedia out there wants to do this please please do so....


    The Heritage Foundation: full report and summary.

    Some quotes:

    According to a comprehensive study of all enlistees for the years 1998-99 and 2003 that The Heritage Foundation just released, the typical recruit in the all-volunteer force is wealthier, more educated and more rural than the average 18- to 24-year-old citizen is. Indeed, for every two recruits coming from the poorest neighborhoods, there are three recruits coming from the richest neighborhoods.

    If, for example, we consider the education of every recruit, 98% joined with high-school diplomas or better. By comparison, 75% of the general population meets that standard. Among all three-digit ZIP code areas in the USA in 2003 (one can study larger areas by isolating just the first three digits of ZIP codes), not one had a higher graduation rate among civilians than among its recruits.

    In fact, since the 9/11 attacks, more volunteers have emerged from the middle and upper classes and fewer from the lowest-income groups. In 1999, both the highest fifth of the nation in income and the lowest fifth were slightly underrepresented among military volunteers. Since 2001, enlistments have increased in the top two-fifths of income levels but have decreased among the lowest fifth.

    Allegations that recruiters are disproportionately targeting blacks also don't hold water. First, whites make up 77.4% of the nation's population and 75.8% of its military volunteers, according to our analysis of Department of Defense data.

    -----
    See also.
    posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:23 AM on November 1, 2006


    Where's an IED when you need one???
    posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 11:50 AM on November 1, 2006


    Oh, that's tasteful.
    posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 12:20 PM on November 1, 2006


    Murtha: Kerry Flap ‘Just Distracting From The Real Issue, The War On The Ground’
    posted by homunculus at 12:26 PM on November 1, 2006


    Den Beste, just because someone is "high class" doesn't make them smart. Duh. If these army dudes had an ounce of political awareness, they wouldn't be joining the army and colluding with an illegal invasion.

    Truth is John Kerry's gaffe is causing an uproar because it's true - want to feel like a real dumbass? Join the army, go and fight Iraq "because of 9/11" and one day wake up and realize you're the aggressor, you're responsible for 500,000 deaths, and what you're actually fighting for is to line Cheney's pockets because "he tried to kill Dubya's dad".

    After this debacle is over, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld should be tried like Miloslevic.
    posted by dydecker at 12:32 PM on November 1, 2006


    I'll take a stab at fixing John Kerry's quote:

    [i]You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck as a third-rate president mired in a foreign war with no end.[/i]
    posted by JJ86 at 12:38 PM on November 1, 2006


    Oops;

    You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck as a third-rate president mired in a foreign war with no end.

    Yeah, the joke isn't about the soldiers, it is about the president, except Kerry screwed it up to make it seem he was talking about the soldiers being "stuck in Iraq".
    posted by JJ86 at 12:42 PM on November 1, 2006


    Truth is John Kerry's gaffe is causing an uproar because it's true - want to feel like a real dumbass? Join the army, go and fight Iraq "because of 9/11" and one day wake up and realize you're the aggressor, you're responsible for 500,000 deaths, and what you're actually fighting for is to line Cheney's pockets because "he tried to kill Dubya's dad".

    Actually there is an intermediate step between joining and realizing: waking up in a hospital bed with one leg and your face blown off.

    .
    posted by Rumple at 12:45 PM on November 1, 2006


    Admittedly I merely skimmed the summary and may have fallen for an obvious case of confirmation bias so correct me if I am wrong. It is my observation, however, that what the Heritage Foundation report linked to by Steven C. Den Beste fails to do is break down the racial / income background of recruits by MOS.

    The smart kids with a support network that facilitates a longer lead time will tend toward MOS's that lead to REMF-like postings. The kids who are more concerned with shipping quickly or who have scored poorly on the ASVAB end up as the bravos—11B, 13B, etc—in other words, the grunts.

    During my posting, it was my observation that even those kids with decent backgrounds who did end up in a grunt role tended to get assigned to S2 or some other cushy job in the battery/company. As a 13F who more or less maxed his ASVAB, I was offered several opportunities to take cushy jobs starting as far back as basic training, but always opted to run with the grunts. It's what I signed up to do and was one helluva lot more fun that polishing someone's seat with my nose. Again: unscientific, anecdotal, sample-size, confirmation bias, etc.
    posted by Fezboy! at 1:01 PM on November 1, 2006


    Heritage Foundation is not a reliable source for anything objective, especially statistics.

    and this is not true at all: Indeed, for every two recruits coming from the poorest neighborhoods, there are three recruits coming from the richest neighborhoods.

    If you get the 100 richest zip codes in the country (or even the 1000 richest) you will not at all find more recruits coming from those zipcodes than from the poorest.
    posted by amberglow at 1:19 PM on November 1, 2006


    If these army dudes had an ounce of political awareness, they wouldn't be joining the army and colluding with an illegal invasion.

    in other words, as far as you're concerned if someone isn't "politically aware" then they're stupid

    this is why the most politically aware people in the country, our politicians, are all nobel prize level geniuses ....

    *falls off chair laughing*

    but really, when it comes to applied intelligence, the ex-military people i've met tend to do rather well at that ... if they were stupid when they got in, they got smart by the time they got out and stayed smart

    i wonder how that could be ...
    posted by pyramid termite at 1:36 PM on November 1, 2006


    in other words, as far as you're concerned if someone isn't "politically aware" then they're stupid

    No, but if you join the army surely the onus is on you to check out your job description, which if you join the American army, is likely to include going over to foriegn countries to kill people for the political interests of a bunch of lobbyists and Washington belt insiders. So it behooves you to find out what you're going to be getting yourself into, just as it would any civilian checking out the company they are about to join.
    posted by dydecker at 1:44 PM on November 1, 2006


    Kerry is proof that the military is bad for your political career. He joined, and his service was used against him by so-called patriots, some claiming to be comrades. They jealously smeared him in support of a drafted deserter instead. They did the same to John McCain in a whisper campaign. It wasn't considered a national disgrace to smear them, in part because we lost that war and weren't proud of it, but also because most conservatives define patriotism as obedience to authority, not as loyalty to the whole.
    posted by Brian B. at 2:16 PM on November 1, 2006


    Steve: Since 2001, enlistments have increased in the top two-fifths of income levels but have decreased among the lowest fifth.

    How about if you make it the lowest two-fifths vs. the highest two-fifths? Or lwhat about et's say the highest three-sixteenths vs the lowest one tenth or the mid-high 38th percentile vs. the low-mid sixth to the 3rd power of the square root of the Heritage Foundation kissing my ass...
    posted by Skygazer at 2:28 PM on November 1, 2006


    Heritage Foundation? Please. I don't pull quotations from Michael Moore documentaries, so try to keep up SCDB.

    Lost in all this, possibly? If we are a nation at war, why the hell is the POTUS spending time on the road campaigning for anyone, anywhere? Shouldn't he be, ya know, trying to win this war?
    posted by bardic at 2:29 PM on November 1, 2006


    And yes, I already know the answer to my own question (politics matter more to Bush than actually winning this war does), but as a rhetorical it's worth framing and throwing out there.
    posted by bardic at 2:35 PM on November 1, 2006


    If this so-called war is so friggin important, why isn't there a draft?
    posted by jaronson at 2:43 PM on November 1, 2006


    No draft. No national call for conserving material like metal and rubber. Tax decreases instead of increases (during WWII the highest bracket was over 90%).

    It's a struggle, no doubt, but it's not a war comparable with WWI or WWII. It took America four years to defeat Hilter, Mussolini, and Tojo, and arguably, to put Stalin in place with regards to his plans for invading Western Europe. Lives were sacrificed in the millions.

    But that scary (possibly dead) Yemeni hiding in a cave?

    TIME TO LOSE YOUR SHIT AMERICA KARL ROVE SAYS SO.
    posted by bardic at 2:47 PM on November 1, 2006


    Wow, I misspelled Hitler. Do I get a gold star from Mr. Godwin or something?
    posted by bardic at 2:47 PM on November 1, 2006


    Know who else misspelled Hitler? Hitler.

    Wait, what?
    posted by lord_wolf at 3:10 PM on November 1, 2006


    Let's end this thread now. Please.
    Kill it.

    That one of the plutocrats insults the masses "intelligence", yet again, is not news nor grounds for an interesting discussion. We do it. They do it. So what?


    Frankly, we as a species are not all that bright. That fact is most people, the world over, are stupid as shit.

    Most of the rest of us only get blessed with the light of reason once every fifth or sixth thought. The poor lonely stray thoughts that crawl out between thinking of boobies, funny kitty gifs, and thinking about annotating our Star Wars fan videos. Quickly lost.

    Maybe, hiding out there somewhere, there are a few rare über-brains that think on a trancendant level. Coincidentally I'm sure they will speak up on Metafilter in 3... 2... 1...
    posted by tkchrist at 3:24 PM on November 1, 2006


    Kerry sucks, but who cares?
    posted by blacklite at 3:24 PM on November 1, 2006


    Wasting time on what Kerry (yes he DOES suck) said/or didn't say is precisely the distraction Rove wants.

    How about this as an alternate topic:

    Tony Snow issued a statement yesterday blaming Iran and Syria for "destroying" the government of Lebanon. WTF? Like Israeli bombing, blockades, invasion and occupation never happened? Let's talk about THAT.
    posted by tkchrist at 3:38 PM on November 1, 2006


    Kerry sucks, but who cares?

    The GOP, who immediately made this a gigantic news story, with the very willing help of a pathetic, bootlicking, and not--at-all independent media.
    posted by amberglow at 3:43 PM on November 1, 2006


    ...How very convenient for the administration that the press is concentrating on irrelevancies when a story like this breaks, eh?
    The Maliki government is playing Bush for the cowardly loser he is, apparently threatening him with more bad headlines, so the Americans backed off and left a soldier behind.
    But look no further, citizens. John Kerry blew a punchline and that requires a full-on media frenzy. Nothing is more fun and exciting to the kewl kidz than going after a simple meaningless anti-Democrat story that pleases the GOP establishment. Everybody wins. Except the American people, of course. Or that abandoned soldier in Iraq. ...

    posted by amberglow at 3:52 PM on November 1, 2006


    This pretty much sums up my feelings on the subject (for anyone who might still read this post):

    Who Should Apologize?

    Shamelessly stolen from Crooks and Liars.
    posted by Corky at 5:12 PM on November 1, 2006


    the. media. sucks. they are complicit in the needless deaths of thousands of american soldiers, no wonder they're also looking for a scapegoat.
    posted by cell divide at 5:15 PM on November 1, 2006


    To be clear on the Heritage Foundation (a right-wing think tank, by the way, not an independent academic research group) report, they compare enlistees to the entire population, many of whom are not eligible due to mental or physical disability, low IQ, or lack of education (they have to pass a test). The unbiased comparison is with the physically and mentally eligible. If one were not intending to minimize the difference, one would do this study, as many have (see, e.g., these academic studies ). But then the righties wouldn't have ready links to back up there false story that the right-wing money makes so convenient for them. Ah, technology.
    posted by Mental Wimp at 5:43 PM on November 1, 2006


    "Wow, I misspelled Hitler."
    Landlady: Oh I'm sorry. I didn't introduce you. This is Ron. Ron Vibbentrop.

    Johnson: Oh, not Von Ribbentrop, eh?

    Vibbentrop: Nein! Nein! Oh. Ha ha. Different other chap. I in Somerset am being born. Von Ribbentrop is born Gotterdammerstrasse 46, Dusseldorf Vest 8.....so they say!
    Remember to vote for Hilter in your North Minehead By-Election!
    posted by zoogleplex at 5:43 PM on November 1, 2006


    Ah stop fucking blame "the media". "The media" doesn't do shit it is the persons who run the story lines and control what is said and NOT said , which are the -editors- and the -owners- , who are the problem, not their instruments.

    Till now, who knew who Rupert Murdoch is ? Maybe only the ones who understood what Faux News is doing, because the guys owns Fox. And a lot media.
    posted by elpapacito at 5:49 PM on November 1, 2006


    for every two recruits coming from the poorest neighborhoods, there are three recruits coming from the richest neighborhoods.

    That doesn't mean a whole lot. I'm a teacher at a public school in the 90210 area code, and we have poor kids here too. And I can tell you without a doubt that the inner-city school at which I used to teach in Miami had a significantly larger recruiter presence than the rather famous high school in my current district does.
    posted by the_bone at 5:49 PM on November 1, 2006


    Round up some boys over there and hand 'em a stupid banner. Take some pics, asap. - Karl Rove
    posted by wsg at 6:55 PM on November 1, 2006


    Olbermann’s Special Comment : There is no line this President has not crossed — nor will not cross — to keep one political party, in power.
    posted by homunculus at 7:14 PM on November 1, 2006


    All of this is stupid, the one saying what he sayed and the other using it against him.

    Really americans can be Sooooo stupid, sorry for the pleonasm
    posted by zouhair at 7:49 PM on November 1, 2006


    that video is excellent, Corky--thanks!

    It is appalling that Bush joked about WMDs to begin with--and it grows more appalling with each extra death.

    Elpapa--the editors, producers, and owners determine what we see and read (except for in talk radio where it's the hosts themselves, and in the network nightly news where they are producers too)--they decide what is news--they are the media.
    This fool, for instance, is in charge of all political coverage at ABC.
    posted by amberglow at 8:42 PM on November 1, 2006


    and don't miss this: ... The political director of ABCNEWS and the national politics editor of the WASHINGTON POST make it official in their new insider tome on DC politics and how it's played: The four words in every newsroom and campaign headquarters are: Have you seen DRUDGE? ...
    Mark Halperin and John Harris write "Matt Drudge rules our world." They say, "With the exception of the ASSOCIATED PRESS, there is no outlet other than the DRUDGE REPORT whose dispatches instantly can command the attention and energies of the most established newspapers and television newscasts." ...

    posted by amberglow at 8:45 PM on November 1, 2006


    Now that you've seen Drudge lie, go to Olbermann for the truth.
    posted by BillyElmore at 9:55 PM on November 1, 2006


    It was self-evident what Kerry meant, it was intended to be a nasty slam at Bush. But he muffed it.

    Not a surprise, coming from a guy who could actually manage to lose against a total failure like GW's heinous presidency.
    posted by Twang at 11:51 PM on November 1, 2006


    and don't miss this: ... The political director of ABCNEWS and the national politics editor of the WASHINGTON POST make it official in their new insider tome on DC politics and how it's played: The four words in every newsroom and campaign headquarters are: Have you seen DRUDGE? ...
    Mark Halperin and John Harris write "Matt Drudge rules our world." They say, "With the exception of the ASSOCIATED PRESS, there is no outlet other than the DRUDGE REPORT whose dispatches instantly can command the attention and energies of the most established newspapers and television newscasts." ...


    I just threw up a bit in my mouth. It tasted like bananas.
    posted by The God Complex at 12:58 AM on November 2, 2006


    Kerry helped Bush to get re-elected 2 years ago, and Kerry is doing what he can to keep the GOP in control of Congress in 2006.

    One suspects that Kerry owes GW some favors from back in their fraternity days. He's one hell of a decent trojan horse.
    posted by Twang at 1:11 AM on November 2, 2006


    It's already turning Twang. A lot of the responses I've been reading indicate mixed feelings toward Kerry, but what this has done is recenter the public debate on Iraq, which is exactly what the GOP doesn't want. This was a near Rovian maneuver from Kerry.

    Btw, here's a better joke than the one that Kerry flubbed:

    Q: Why do librarians like Democrats better than Republicans?

    A: Because Democrats use bookmarks, but Republicans bend over pages.
    posted by psmealey at 3:21 AM on November 2, 2006


    The fact is that the military does not normally get our "best and brightest," but rather our patriotic types, our poor and kinda-poor types, our "my family's been in the military for 5 generations" types, and our "what the hell am I going to do with my future" types. In our military-worshiping American psyche we don't want to admit it, but the idea that most of our troops are some kind of enlightened philosopher-soldiers who chose service over a promising careers at Harvard is just stupid.

    The hullabaloo over Pat Tillman and his unfortunate death is a case in point. He was a smart guy who had a chance to make tons of money in professional sports and he chose to become a soldier and thus was considered extraordinary. Were it normal for people with lots of options to choose military service, it would not have been.

    Respect for the jobs these men and women are doing is one thing, but there is a tendency in America to go overboard with this respect. Anything said about our soldiers that is not couched in glowing "I support the troops and boy they sure are great and smart and awesome" terms comes into question because of this. It serves a useful function as an additional perk to induce people to join up (if you're a soldier you get respect), but it's all a charade.
    posted by moonbiter at 3:45 AM on November 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


    Kerry's "joke" made more sense in the VietNam draft-era than it does today.
    posted by crunchland at 3:50 AM on November 2, 2006


    "With the exception of the ASSOCIATED PRESS, there is no outlet other than the DRUDGE REPORT whose dispatches instantly can command the attention and energies of the most established newspapers and television newscasts."

    Mhhh sure why not, also the contrary maybe

    Not surprisingly, what's at the bottom of drudge ?

    And the dynamic duo get their plug. Hitting bookstores October 3.

    Which really explains the whole system. Compliments tho for giving gratification.
    posted by elpapacito at 5:11 AM on November 2, 2006


    Strolling down to the office cafeteria for a late breakfast just now, I noticed on the tv monitors that FoxNews is still banging the drum for this pathetic story. It still amazes me that one company can find so many shameless half-wits to staff out an entire network.
    posted by psmealey at 7:49 AM on November 2, 2006


    How low can they go?
    posted by caddis at 7:53 AM on November 2, 2006


    The Daily Show Looks At The Humor Of The Bush Administration
    posted by homunculus at 9:14 AM on November 2, 2006


    I had to give my head a shake when I opened up Google News this morning & saw that this was *still the top story*. I'm sorry, but that just makes no sense whatsoever. I am flabbergasted. Totally, utterly nuts.
    posted by stinkycheese at 9:15 AM on November 2, 2006


    "No, but if you join the army surely the onus is on you to check out your job description, which if you join the American army, is likely to include going over to foriegn countries to kill people for the political interests of a bunch of lobbyists and Washington belt insiders” - posted by dydecker

    That nutty attempt to stop genocide in...whatever African country that was...Kosovo...or the American revolutionary war f’rinstance - those dolts should have known they wouldn’t be paid later on, and would have their whiskey taxed for the political interests of a bunch of lobbyists Washington belt insiders.
    Plenty of 17-18 year olds who spend long hours vetting their resumes and pouring over McDonalds’ corporate reports (you know what McDonald’s does to the third world, right?).

    Kerry apologized. It should drop. But I agree with moonbiter. “Respect” for the troops is just a fetish in the U.S. Buying a vet a beer and throwing him a parade is swell, but I’d rather have, y’know, some health care. Maybe some decent therapy to recover from wounds of whatever kind. Stuff like that. Rather than this idolatry.
    posted by Smedleyman at 10:24 AM on November 2, 2006


    Meanwhile, this is why Bush says (now) we're there and have to stay forever : ... that they will be in a position to use oil as a tool to blackmail the West. People say, "What do you mean by that?" I say, "If they control oil resources, then they pull oil off the market in order to run the price up, and they will do so unless we abandon Israel, for example, or unless we abandon allies. ... (this was to Limbaugh, NBC Nightly News Managing Editor and Anchor's favorite guy)
    posted by amberglow at 11:33 AM on November 2, 2006


    caddis, that's going to happen one day for sure now--if not with this crowd, the next GOP one.
    posted by amberglow at 11:36 AM on November 2, 2006


    Kerry could learn a lot from this guy.
    posted by crunchland at 2:16 PM on November 2, 2006


    "Buying a vet a beer and throwing him a parade is swell, but I’d rather have, y’know, some health care. Maybe some decent therapy to recover from wounds of whatever kind. Stuff like that. Rather than this idolatry."

    Hear hear. I, for one, heartily vote to give you and your mates all of that and more, Smedleyman. You've got my thanks and respect, and it really pisses me off that guys like you are getting screwed over instead of functionally cared for as you deserve.

    I personally can't get you health care, but I'll gladly buy you a beer anytime you're in Los Angeles.
    posted by zoogleplex at 5:56 PM on November 2, 2006


    I'm still waiting for him to apologize for 2004.

    Me too, especially after watching this.

    Pathetic.
    posted by homunculus at 7:08 PM on November 2, 2006


    homunculus - yeah, I just saw that. F’ing weird. Mighty fishy. Makes me think ‘conspiracy.’ But then I think ‘tinfoil hat.’
    Of course, the last time I ignored that course of reasoning was at the onset of the war in Iraq.
    “Oh, c’mon. They couldn’t lie about all that - if they go in and there’s no WMDs there would be riots.” - Smed.
    Yeah....I’m not so smart as I think I am. I wish I know what the F was going on though.
    posted by Smedleyman at 10:57 AM on November 3, 2006


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