He slandered the military, of course, and the white hot anger is the result. (See this e-mail from a Navy officer. I have received scores of similar e-mails and calls)
But Kerry also reminded and clarified.
Kerry reminded people that the war against the war has been underway since mid-2003, and that the Democrats have never taken the many opportunities to try and rally around the effort to reconstruct a free Iraq but at every turn have demanded an exit on some sort of rushed and arbitrary timetable. They disparaged the effort to push elections forward, then the effort to form a government, and now that government’s effort to rule and unite. The enemy has been watching, and has calculated that they only way they can win is by waiting out America —just as the North Vietnamese did.
Today Kerry also reminded all Americans of the deep, anti-military bias that has infected the left since Vietnam, and through the left, the MSM. In a flash all the anti-military rhetoric that began in the late ’60s and built through 9/11 was back on the front shelf. (Donna Shalala’s on Vietnam veterans: “not our best and brightest.” Clinton Assistant Secretary of the Army Sara Lister: “”The Marines are extremists. Wherever you have extremists, you’ve got some risks of total disconnection with society. And that’s a little dangerous.” Michael Moore’s portrait of the recruits in his bit of agitprop.)
The coverage of the Kerry slander is also reminding Americans of the MSM’s deep-seated left-leaning bias, a reminder that will grow more pronounced as viewers recall the pursuit of Trent Lott and more recently George Allen over gaffes. Kerry’s slander is much, much worse than a gaffe, but the MSM was already in “he was misunderstood” mode tonight, as my interview with ABC News’ Mark Halperin today made clear:
HH: Mark Halperin, how did ABC handle the John Kerry story today? How ought it handle it tomorrow in the morning show, and in the evening news?
MH: We led with it, as did the other networks. It’s an interesting story. Sometimes in politics, interesting trumps everything else. But it’s also a complicated story, because you’ve got to decide what standards do you use to decide what matters about John Kerry says, something we don’t normally care about much in the evening news these days, and also about whether or not what he said is being mischaracterized, how it’s being used by you and other conservatives. So we did lead with it. I suspect it’ll play very big on the news tomorrow. I’m not sure about after that, how much shelf life it will have, or should have.
HH: Do you believe he was making a joke?
MH: I do believe he was making a joke.
HH: And now, I have had…and have you talked to any military active duty about that conclusion?
MH: Not active duty, but retired. But I don’t know that…but that was almost a fluke. I don’t know that someone in the military would have more insight into what John Kerry’s brand of humor is like than someone not in the military.
HH: Does it matter at all how they, to your reporting, how the military is reacting to this statement by Kerry, and his explanation?
HH: And given that I’ve done an hour of radio tonight, I probably had fifteen calls from veterans and active duty, including one non-com just got back from a second tour there, a medic, a combat medic, seething with outrage. They’re not buying the apology. They believe it was premeditated. Should their point of view find a prominent place in your news coverage?
MH: The point of view should find a prominent…or a place in all news coverage. But again, as important and valuable as the troops are, as much as all Americans, and we respect them, that’s not always…they’re not necessarily the best arbiters of Senator Kerry’s sense of humor.
HH: And so, how are you going to figure that out? Because obviously, it’s convenient for him, Mark Halperin, to say he was making a joke. I find it astonishing. I can’t imagine anyone making that joke, or trying to make that joke to college students facing a choice of careers, talking about stuck in Iraq where there are hundreds of thousands of their fellow aged Americans are, or have passed through. I just can’t imagine it as a joke. But you think it was.
MH: Well, Hugh, you’ve got greater faith in John Kerry’s sense of humor than I do, I guess.
HH: I don’t understand.
MH: Well, I mean, you can’t believe he’d be making a joke about President Bush’s intelligence? He’s done it in the past.
HH: But he always has been willing to use President Bush’s name. And if he wanted to make that joke, if you don’t study and do your homework, you’ll end up as President of the United States, and you’ll get us stuck in a war? As opposed to indulging a stereotype that he once testified to about…in 1971, the Genghis Khan testimony, that he might really have severe and significant contempt for America’s fighting men…
The MSM is going to try and cover for Kerry and his party, and will refuse to press other Democrats for responses to the obvious questions: What do you think about Kerry’s remarks? Do you believe he was making a joke about President Bush? Should Senator Kerry apologize? (There are others, but I’d settle for those three.)
Having reminded the public of all this, Kerry’s slander will also clarify things for many, many Americans.
The Democrats remain the party of Michael Moore, Ned Lamont, Kosputin, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Dan Rather and Howard Dean.
Any vote for any Democrat is a vote for every one of those folks, and many more besides.
Kerry sent up a flare over the whole Democratic Party. Other Dems and the MSM are trying mightily to put it out. I don’t think they will succeed. The silence about Kerry from Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and every high profile Democrat is the loudest noise in American politics tonight.
What cowards not to state the obvious, rebuke Kerry and join the American Legion and countless others in demanding an apology. And what a disaster for the United States if this party achieves a majority in either the House or the Senate.
Any vote for any Democrat is a vote against victory and a vote for vulnerability. It is also a vote against the military.