Kerry’s Lemonade

(Excellent news for Paul Hodes. As Jon Keller notes, we may get results from that race earlier than just about any closely-watched race in the country next Tuesday because of NH's early poll closing times, so the Hodes/Bass race may serve as something of a canary in the coal mine of the midterm elections. (How's that for a tortured metaphor?) - promoted by David)

Yeah, so John Kerry appparently botched his punchline about how being ignorant leads you to make stupid mistakes like getting into Iraq. Whatever.

But I gotta say, I disagree with David about the proper approach going forward: “Apologize and move on.” Well, it’s not that easy, is it? Sure, John can move on with a song in his heart, but do you think BushCo and their obedient hyenas will let that happen? “Right-o, old sport — take a mulligan. All in jolly good fair play and all that.” What do you think?

So Kerry’s response has been the right one: Up the ante. Everything, but everything is an opportunity. Now the media’s paying attention to him, and now he gets to talk about Iraq. And after all, his gaffe doesn’t matter in the big swing of things. 103 American deaths in Iraq this month alone — they matter. A projected total cost of between one and two trillion dollars for Iraq and Afghanistan? That matters. Weakening America’s security? That matters. Consistently lying to the public? That matters.

I mean, shouldn’t we be willing and able to go against the likes of Tony Snow? What the hell are we afraid of at this point? What does Kerry have to lose at this point? Please don’t tell me “dignity, always dignity” — on the national level, that went out years ago. Apologies are appropriate when you’re dealing with people of good faith, which the national GOP currently is not. Right now, a week before the midterms, the best defense is a good offense.

Use the attention to give ‘em both barrels, John. Keep it up.

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16 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Kerry

    Right-O indeed Charley!!!

    Where was THAT John Kerry in 2004!

    FINAL GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 1st, 2006 7:00 PM JORDAN HALL/NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORY of MUSIC BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

    Lets hope its a barn burner, and pray that good results rain all around on Tuesday!

  2. Rapid Reponse was never Kerry's strong suit...

    ...for example, I think I've heard Kerry tell the joke correctly.  I'll bet he's said it 100 times.  Will the Kerry folks find 5 versions of him saying it correctly and feed them to the networks?

  3. The story has gotten better

    since my initial post (to which you linked) went up early this afternoon.  At that point, the only thing out there was what he actually said, which I continue to think sounded pretty bad, along with whispered clarifications by unnamed aides that it was supposed to be a joke.

    Now that he himself has given the "botched joke" explanation, he's on firmer ground.  But IMHO it was a BIG mistake to issue his written statement first, before he himself said anything about a "botched joke."  That is what allowed him to look like he was flying off the handle without even acknowledging or explaining his statement.

    So, you don't want an "apology"?  Fine.  But would it have killed him to take a second to look the troops right in the eye and explain exactly what happened and what he meant before he launched into his diatribe against right-wing nut jobs?  That would've been the right way to handle it.  Seems to me they deserved at least an explanation before JK went back to slamming Republicans.

  4. bully!

    the idea that john kerry, who unlike back-nine bush actually fought and bled alongside grunts educated and otherwise, is somehow anti-troops or is dismissive of our fighting men and women is ludicrous.

    it was just nauseating to see the republican roster of draft dodgers do what they did to kerry, cleland et al. and what they've tried to do with john murtha. and what's more nauseating is that they've been allowed to get away with it.

    kerry should have called out cheney for the gutless coward that he is two years ago. and if now he figures that he's got nothing to lose, let him vent! i say give the people the truth full blast.

    apologies?!  what has done more harm to our servicemen, 35 years of john kerry or 2 weeks of don rumsfeld?

  5. Kerry botched a joke, Bush bothched a war!

    Now we have the Iraqi's ordering around our troops.  That's a great talking point to interject in the conversation...seeing how we're talking about Iraq anyway.

    • Here's what to do, Senator -- and what not to

      Deliver the line correctly, over and over.

      Don't apologize, don't explain. And for God's sake don't ad lib or extend your remarks -- this is not your strength -- just stick to the message that it's Bush who's gotten the country and our brave troops into this horrible war.

      Harken back to your "last man to die for a mistake" testimony from Vietnam. No one's dying from your mistake with your speech (don't say "joke"), but everyday our men and women are dying because of the many mistakes of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al.

      And deliver it with simple plain-spoken dignity, not projecting your voice and proclaiming as if you're handing down tablets from Mt. Sinai.

  6. In case anyone's wondering

    how this will play in tomorrow's tabloid-ish papers, here ya go:

  7. looks like the troops

    didn't get the joke.

    • Because a handful of hand-picked comments

      on National Review really do a fine job of representing "the troops".

      Barf.

  8. I agree with David

    and Charley (in spirit).

    I heard a great quote from someone talking about Reb Auerbach  the other day - I guess Red used to say "It's not what you say but what people listen to" and I don't think anyone is going to listen to the substance of what John Kerry is saying on this issue for a little while.

    The right thing to for the Party was for John Kerry to admit he screwed up the joke and have someone else come out and blast the phony Republican response and their positions on Iraq.

  9. John - Go Away

    As I heard one unnamed Democrat quoted yesterday, "Apparently it's not enough that John Kerry lost in 2004. He wants to do what he can to get Democrats to lose in 2006 too."

    Senator Kerry, do not run for President, do not pass go, do not collect $200. You need to sit down and shut up.

  10. David was right

    As I noted in my comment in another post, David was right.  The first thing Kerry should have done was to apologize for botching the joke and THEN gone on the offensive.  Instead, he strongly stated that he wouldn't apologize, even though he said something that (due to botching it) was clearly offensive to people.  So, now the media is focusing on the fact that he said something offensive and refuses to apologize, instead of on his attacks on Bush.

  11. aaaaarrrrrrgggghhhhh !!!!

    who really respects our troops?

    george bush sent young men and women into the streets of iraq not to defend america, but to test out dick cheney's political theories. without body armor.

    george bush sent young men and women into the streets of iraq not to defend america, but to test out dick cheney's political theories. without body armor.

    george bush sent young men and women into the streets of iraq not to defend america, but to test out dick cheney's political theories. without body armor.

    george bush sent young men and women into the streets of iraq not to defend america, but to test out dick cheney's political theories. without body armor.

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