Here's what he was supposed to say:
A Kerry spokeswoman, Amy Brundage, said Kerry's prepared text had called for him to say: "Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush."
Makes perfect sense.
Here's what he said (same link as above):
He then said: "You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, 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."
Did he bungle it? Hell, yes. The first time I heard it I had a flashback to the '60s: Stay in school and keep your 2S deferment or you're goin' to Vietnam. I didn't believe he said it, but then I heard it a bunch more times, and realized what he said wasn't exactly what he meant. It just came out of his mouth all wrong, terribly ambiguous.
Bush and his Repugs were all over it in a heartbeat. The media and the gasbags were too.
It might turn out to be a blessing in disguise that Kerry couldn't tell a joke if his life depended on it.
The wingnut network has worked themselves into a lather over Kerry's remark. Again, they're trying to claim the mantle of being the true spokespeople for the troops. Make no mistake - they've glommed onto this like a pit bull. It's good to see Kerry not rolling over (even though he called it a "botched joke" - it was indeed a rap on Bush's policies, not the military). Someone must have grabbed him by the collar, slapped him silly and told him to stop being a pussy. Fortunately, he listened this time.
The bottom line: Most of America would absolutely agree with Kerry's observation. What the noise machine would like to do is to blur that fact by questioning a combat veteran's loyalty to the troops (SwiftBoating Part II, if you will). Coming to Kerry's defense is the other warhorse with a little experience in the matter, Max Cleland:
"John Kerry is a patriot who has fought tooth and nail for veterans ever since he came home from Vietnam. He has stood with his brothers in arms unlike this administration, which exploits our troops to make a political point and divide America," Cleland said in a statment.
The biggest saboteurs are right here in our own party, not having the guts to give their names:
"He has already cost us one election. The guy just needs to keep his mouth shut until after the election," a top Democratic strategist said Tuesday.
How about the geniuses on our side keep THEIR mouths shut if they can't muster up enough balls to agree with most of America on Iraq? Dear God, if the so-called strategists in our party are going to let the crackheads in the White House define what our people say and run with it as gospel truth, then hand in your goddamn voter registration cards and hit the bricks. We have no use for you.
Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld sent the troops in there without proper armor, with contaminated water, with expired food, with endless redeployments, and INITIALLY, sending them face-first into what was thought to be a pit of gasses, nukes and other WMDs - and they have the brass nutsacks to say KERRY don't support the troops?
Let's talk about THAT, Mr. Bush and Mr. Snow. Let's start saying THAT, Democratic "strategists." You useless dismal pricks.
UPDATE: Go here. See the transcript of today's press conference held by Kerry. You'll see EVERYTHING that the media will resolutely ignore in favor of Bush's prissy fake outrage.
If anyone thinks that a veteran, someone like me, who's been fighting my entire career to provide for veterans, to fight for their benefits, to help honor what their service is, if anybody thinks that a veteran would somehow criticize more than 140,000 troops serving in Iraq and not the president and his people who put them there, they're crazy.
It's just wrong. This is a classic GOP textbook Republican campaign tactic.
I'm sick and tired of a bunch of despicable Republicans who will not debate real policy, who won't take responsibility for their own mistakes, standing up and trying to make other people the butt of those mistakes.
I'm sick and tired of a whole bunch of Republican attacks, most of which come from people who never wore the uniform and never had the courage to stand up and go to war themselves.
Enough is enough. We're not going to stand for this. This policy is broken. And this president and his administration didn't do their homework. They didn't study what would happen in Iraq. They didn't study and listen to the people who were the experts and would have told them.
And they know that's what I was talking about yesterday. I'm not going to be lectured by a White House or by the likes of Rush Limbaugh who's taking a day off from mimicking and attacking Michael J. Fox, who's now going to try to attack me and lie about me and distort me.
No way. It disgusts me that a bunch of these Republican hacks who've never worn the uniform of our country are willing to lie about those who did.
Powerful stuff. Too bad no one will have the balls to run it in their "liberal" newscasts.
I'm with Kerry on this one. He fucked up - just a little, nothing even really substantive - but when the Repugs got on him, he didn't play nice like they probably figured he would and show himself, and thus all Dems, as weak. They'da loved that. He did what he should have done two years ago. He hit back. Clinton showed us the way with Cwissy Wallace and now Kerry has done the same to Bush and his whole goddam bunch. It's about fuckin' time somebody did.
Get some, John! Ya done good. Maybe it'll help stiffen some Democratic spines that really need it.
It's even helpin' me! I feel like I'm almost ready to come out of my shell with an opinion once in a while.