Tuesday, October 31, 2006

GOP Muck Makers Seize On Kerry's Comments, Again


Did Sen. John Kerry insult the president's intelligence or did he belittle the education of U.S soldiers in Iraq? The question should be why is Kerry in the headlines when he's not even on the ballot next week?

The truth is Kerry did not demean the soldier but tossed a poorly formed joke at the President's perceived lack of education. Once the context of the quote is revealed all the hubbub is a non-story. Unfortunately, Republican voters and cable news networks don't pay attention to the whole truth and the GOP knows this.

The turning of the truth regarding Kerry's comments Monday in Southern California is just another reminder that the GOP is unbelievably adept at scouring the cutting room floor for controversy when none is there. All the credit goes to the Republican muck machine for again Swift Boating the swift boat captain. There is little Kerry can do now, although his press conference this afternoon was unwavering and stern and very much a lesson learned from 2004 when he let the false rumors of his duty in Vietnam slowly fester.

What this latest controversy does is hit a deep nerve within rural Republicans who believe the entire Democratic party is quietly making fun of their collective intelligence. In places like Missouri, Virginia and much of the South, the voters imagine the Democrats snickering that they're backward and uneducated. They're too dumb to know that the Republicans are conning them with their slick, smarty pants vocabulary. There's even an entire book about the bamboozling under the Republicans noses called, "What's the Matter with Kansas?"

The notion rings true with this liberal Democrat. I generally believe that anybody that joins the military has very few other options. They're the kids that didn't do well in class or you sensed had a great future and desire to shoot things or kill people. This, of course, is false in our high-tech military, but if the stigma resides in Democrats, how explosive could the fabrication of Kerry's comments by the administration be for Republicans steaming mad to retain control of Congress.

I wrote back in early 2004 that John Kerry's campaign style was too offensive and not enough defensive. Like Bush's foray into Iraq, Kerry tends to overextend himself, leaving himself wide open for broadsides like the one he inadvertently left open for some overly creative GOP operative.

At the end of the day, the real loser will be Kerry's possible run for president in 2008. The party cannot continue to have such a liability on the campaign trail when gaining the White House is first and foremost.

No comments: