The Kerry Smear and Why Republicans Win

The latest right win smears on John Kerry provide a good example of why, with the likely exception of next Tuesday, Republicans have been so successful politically. They stick together and they stay on message, even when their message is a pack of lies.

As everyone knows by now, John Kerry, in the midst of other attacks on George Bush, intended to say, “I can’t overstress the importance of a great education. 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.” He went off script enough to leave some ambiguity prior to the explanation as to whether he was speaking of Bush or the troops being stuck in Iraq.

The right wing noise machine saw an opportunity to distort Kerry’s meaning and spread false claims that Kerry was attacking the troops. The news media made this easy by reporting the claims, regardless of how absurd.

While some conservatives showed some integrity and acknowledged they realized Kerry was speaking of Bush and not the troops, most repeated their assigned talking points, not caring that this was a lie. Democrats did not show such unity. Every Democrat should have responded in unison that the claims were untrue, that John Kerry was speaking of Bush and not the troops being stuck in Iraq, and that this was yet another despicable smear from the right wing.

Some Democrats defended Kerry. Others tried to distance themselves from the controversy, failing to realize that this strategy only allows the right wing noise machine to pick off the Democrats one by one. Especially disappointing was the reaction of Hillary Clinton. She should understand better than anyone after standing up to the “vast right wing conspiracy” which went after her and her husband. Does she think that she and Bill are its only targets?

When it is time to chose someone to lead the party in 2008, Democrats should remember that when other Democrats were being Swift Boated, such as recently with Patrick Murphy, John Kerry was out defending them. When it was time for her to stand up for principle, as well as the party, Hillary Clinton ran and hid.

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  1. 1
    oncall says:

    That Hillary Clinton will try to run as the Democratic nominee for President disgusts me.

  2. 2
    Kerry Liar says:


    WASHINGTON (AP) – During a Vietnam-era run for Congress three decades ago, John Kerry said he opposed a volunteer Army because it would be dominated by the underprivileged, be less accountable and be more prone to “the perpetuation of war crimes.”

    Kerry, a decorated Vietnam veteran who turned against the war, made the observations in answers to a 1972 candidate questionnaire from a Massachusetts peace group.

    After Kerry caused a firestorm this week with what he termed a botched campaign joke that Republicans said insulted current soldiers, The Associated Press was alerted to the historical comments by a former law enforcement official who monitored 1970s anti-war activities

    Kerry apologized Wednesday for the 2006 campaign trail gaffe that some took as suggesting U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq were undereducated. He contended the remark was aimed at Bush, not the soldiers.

    In 1972, as he ran for the House, he was less apologetic in his comments about the merits of a volunteer army. He declared in the questionnaire that he opposed the draft but considered a volunteer army “a greater anathema.”

    “I am convinced a volunteer army would be an army of the poor and the black and the brown,” Kerry wrote. “We must not repeat the travesty of the inequities present during Vietnam. I also fear having a professional army that views the perpetuation of war crimes as simply ‘doing its job.’

    “Equally as important, a volunteer army with our present constitutional crisis takes accountability away from the president and put the people further from control over military activities,” he wrote.

    Kerry’s spokesman, David Wade, said Wednesday the historical document needed to be viewed in the era in which it was written but that it nonetheless raised a “bedrock question in a time of war when sacrifice should be shared by all Americans.”

    “These are the words 34 years ago of a 28-year-old veteran home from a war gone wrong, wondering who in America will bear the cost of battle and shoulder the responsibility of military service,” Wade said.

    Kerry filled out the candidate questionnaire at the request of Massachusetts Political Action for Peace, an anti-war group that decades later turned over its historical documents to university researchers.

    AP obtained the document from someone who gathered it from archives during Kerry’s unsuccessful 2004 presidential campaign against President Bush. Republicans in that election relentlessly assailed Kerry’s role in the anti-war movement decades earlier.

    Kerry and Bush renewed their rivalry again this week, with the president accusing Kerry of offending troops. Kerry said he botched the text of a joke and didn’t mean to insult troops.

    On Wednesday, Kerry canceled campaign appearance on behalf of Democratic congressional candidates and issued an apology.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    This is sure a sign of despiration after being proven wrong. The written text, as well as the context, make it clear Kerry wss talking about Bush getting us stick in Iraq and was making no comments about the troops.

    When you have to twist something from as far back as 1972 to try to claim that your misinterpretation of Kerry’s statements are what he meant that is an incredible stretch.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    New Rule:

    You cannot post under a name with “truth” in it when you are spreading clear falsehoods. Those who do will have the name edited.

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