Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Senator Schmucko

First came the comment. As I said this morning, I find it unreal. Well, as the day wound on it got even more unreal.

As people began digesting the Senator's comments, criticism began working it's way into the ether almost immediately, prompting the good Senator to respond not just about his comments but his response to the comments:

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.

With no due respect Senator, what you said was wrong, it was insulting and flatly untrue and those calling for an apology are right to do so.

Recently the Senator has made it known that he will not get caught being soft on critics ever again; further Swift-boatings are not in the cards. However, not only is this response not appropriate, it's 2 years too late. That horse is long since out of the barn.

I might remind the Senator as well that it was not fat-doughy-Chickenhawk-Republican-hacks who accused US troops of war-crimes in Vietnam, it was you. It was not fat-doughy-Chickenhawk-Republican-hacks who accused US troops last year of terrorizing Iraqi citizens in the dead of night, it was you.

The comments yesterday are yet another example of the anti-military, elitist attitude we all came to know and loathe during the 2004 campaign. It's a disgusting slur on men and women--each and every one a volunteer--who've chosen to serve their country by picking up a rifle and it deserves all the criticism the remarks have generated.

Senator Kerry announced a bit later in the day that the remarks were a botched joke aimed at President Bush. This just doesn't pass the sniff test. If in fact that were true, that statement would have come before the "No more Swift-boating" statement and his news presser afterward.

If it were true, there would in fact be no defensive statement because there'd be no reason for it. One quick explanation that the comment was meant as a joke that didn't go over throws things right back in the faces of conservatives who'd already begun to criticize.

As to the comment itself, read anecdotal evidence of it's wrong-headedness here, here, here, here and here. A number of the myriad calls for apology can be read here, here, here, here and here. Lastly, look here for hard data as to just how wrong the characterization is.

The Senator has picked a fine time to grow a spine, making this string of remarks just one week out from the elections. He's now in the course of just one day since making the initial statement defended the remarks before he deflected them as just a bad joke.

Rather than make an all out effort to defend or deflect, he's half-heartedly attempted both to much ridicule, all of it deserved and with more undoubtedly to come. I expect the Senator's stubborness to damage further his own reputation and standing, not to mention what it might cost the Democrats in next week's election.

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