Did Kerry Torpedo The Democrats?

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There is a distinct possibility that John "Magic Hat" Kerry just single-handedly severely damaged the Democrats. Even if Kerry made a mistake, he completely blew it when he went on the nearly deranged sounding attack in his press release. Tom Bevan over at Real Clear Politics calls this an absolute gift to the Republicans.

Nowhere in the statement does John Kerry address the substance of what he said. I understand that Kerry has been eager to show off his tough new, "I WONT BE SWIFT-BOATED AGAIN!!!" strategy that he thinks will help convince Democrats to give him another chance at the brass ring in 2008, but to trot out this tripe to defend an insult against U.S. troops is breathtakingly arrogant – and it's an absolute gift to the GOP seven days before an election.

Kerry over the top response assures that he'll dominate the news chatter for the next 24 hours or more. And you can bet that Republicans in Congressional and Senate races around the country are prepping press releases as we speak (if they haven't already been sent out), calling on their Democratic opponents to disavow Kerry's remarks. It'll be interesting to see how that little drama plays out in the coming days.

Well, Diana Irey has already done so. Kerry is finished as a presidential contender, no matter what. But if the Dems do not win either chamber, he will be a good candidate to be run out of town on a rail – by his fellow Democrats.

This is a disaster for the Democrats. And it's still October!

(H/T Diva for pointing to the RCP post).

UPDATE: This is interesting. I've been looking at comments in a number of places and it struck me that the Left has almost no idea what damage this does. There is a lot of admiration for how hard Kerry struck back. Just as they misjudged the impact of the Foley matter because they thought they knew how people would react, they are misjudging this. They are not understanding how people will react to this one completely. Had Kerry apologized, it would have gone away. Now, I don't think it is going to.

UPDATE: The Anchoress linked with this gem:

There is an art to good politics and there is a rule, too – and it’s a really simple one, but so many politicians can’t follow it, particularly if they have delusions of genius. The Rule goes like this: If you screw up, whether because you’re an idiot, or you’re just having a bad day, or a mic was left on – whatever – and you say something deplorable (even if it just sounds deplorable but you meant it well…) you admit it, you make a joke at your own expense and you apologize – even a half-assed apology will usually do.

Anchoress expects that Kerry WILL be the scapegoat if the Dems fail to gain control. I suspect that is spot on.

UPDATE: Courtesy of an email from Diva, ABC News is reporting that at least some people in the Democratic party get it.

What's unclear is if Kerry's comments will help rally Republican voters or help their party portray Democrats as against the troops to score victories next Tuesday. A Democratic congressman told ABC News Tuesday, "I guess Kerry wasn't content blowing 2004, now he wants to blow 2006, too."

Kerry now has lots of admirers on the hard left, but he has lost the center. His career is done. The question now is how bad did he hurt the Dems in one week. I think he did a lot of damage.

UPDATE: And it keeps getting worse. Bush has been given a club and he is using it. Effectively. The American Legion has demanded an apology. This one is really going to hurt. (Video at STACLU via the link).

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19 Responses to Did Kerry Torpedo The Democrats?

  1. djheru says:

    He was referring to GWB not the soldiers.

  2. Oh, Come On says:

    It’s amazing how right-wingers that supposedly value the military continue to attack someone who served in the military and was decorated for his service, while supporting someone who failed to live up to his service commitment.

    Anyone with an IQ over 85 can understand that Kerry’s remarks were meant as a comment on Bush’s failed Iraq policy, not as a slam against those who serve in the military, since he served himself.

    Remember, his comments after his return from Vietnam were aimed at the policy makers, not the soldiers themselvess.

  3. Gaius says:

    Thanks for proving the point I just made in the update. You really do not understand what the reaction to this will be. It will not be at all what you think it will be.

  4. Anchoress says:

    “He was referring to GWB not the soldiers.”-

    Funny how he didn’t correct that or make that distinction until he had to. While the press wasn’t covering it, he never clarified himself.

    Kerry entered the Naval Reserves when his draft board would not allow him to take a student deferrment to France for a year. In joining the reserves, there was a good chance he’d never be called to Vietnam. When he was called, he volunteered for Swift Boat duty which, at the time, was not seeing any combat. When the swifts were suddenly put into harm’s way, Kerry was quickly out of there. But…yes, he did serve. He served for 16 weeks in Vietnam and then worked the rest of the time as a General’s attache. He served.

    George Bush also went into the Reserves and learned to fly a jet which was notoriously unstable. Six months before his reserve duty was scheduled to be up, the jet was decommissioned. So, the job he was trained to do no longer existed, and no one was going to train him do do something else in 6 months. He made a practical request to be excused from duty to work on a campaign. He served.

    It’s tiring to have to go over these same old stories again and again. The bottom line: Bush is tongue-tied and prone to malapropisms. Kerry is a plodding and mindless speaker who says stupid things (“I should have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and killed the bird with one stone…”). One of them gets castigated for every flub, one of them gets protected.

    That’s just the way of the world. If Kerry had a joke to make about Bush, he’d have made it, and he would have been very clear that the joke was on Bush. There is no evidence that he “used” this “joke” before. On the tape, he doesn’t look like he’s setting up a punchline…he looks like he’s being mournful and quite serious.

  5. Diva says:

    They have no clue. This story is upsetting democrats with family members serving. John Kerry is an elitist who does have disdain for the military and today he proved it. Whether it was a subliminal slip of the tongue or just a botched joke that the underlying truth is that Kerry hates the military.

    Oh, by the way isn’t it rich that the many on the Left continue to defend him? If they had IQs over 85 then they would know that he is committing political sucide and will bring them down with him. The best they could do is to distance themselves from the man who denigrated and insulted our military. But just like little lemmings they are following his lead off the cliff.

  6. Pingback: The Anchoress » Kerry will take the fall if the Dems fail

  7. Kerry basically said what we have heard many Democrats say: Soldiers are dumb or poor and therefore must sacrifice their lives to get a break in America’s Classist society.

    Thes sorts of comments have been swept under the rug over the last several years. But Kerry now makes them fodder.

    I wonder how Kerry’s “magic hat” will save him now?

  8. Gaius says:

    The media is reporting the words exactly as they appear in the transcript. Kerry’s career is over no matter what. He’ll go no higher. THe question is wil he bring the party down with him.

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  10. Puggsthegrey says:

    I’m new here, and wasn’t going to comment, but this tripe… if I may call you Oh……

    “It’s amazing how right-wingers that supposedly value the military continue to attack someone who served in the military and was decorated for his service, while supporting someone who failed to live up to his service commitment.”

    ‘Anyone with an IQ over 85 can understand that Kerry’s remarks were meant as a comment on Bush’s failed Iraq policy, not as a slam against those who serve in the military, since he served himself.”

    my IQ is 133, and I served in the cold war, do not dare to tell me wether I and my brothers and sisters have been insulted, we were, and we’re smart enough to smell the stench of what you’re shoveling Oh…..

    and this is an absolute lie.. I remember the summer soldier shuck and jive, try again. He accused US troops DIRECTLY.

    “Remember, his comments after his return from Vietnam were aimed at the policy makers, not the soldiers themselvess. ”

    buddy, you are either profoundly ignorant of past events, or so in the tank for the left, you believe anything one of them tells you.

    The people here are dead on right, this will murder Kerry with the troops, absolutely destroy him.

    That you can’t tell the difference between who we are, and the lefty college steriotype, tells me you’ve not only never served yourself, but don’t know any veterans.

    Consider this when you cry on election day. The rank and file veteran votes republican, is better educated than most, has a deep love of country and utter contempt for self elected elites who think they have the right to tell us how we should think. We know the facts, better than you do, and we’ve made our choice.

    don’t tell us what he said, the text is plain enough. Your defense of it is pure partisan barking.
    Or don’t they teach language skills where you were educated?

  11. Gaius says:

    Welcome, Puggs. You’re spot on, I think. The “elite” do not get it because they have not been there, done that. This is a dreadful error. I told my wife about it (she’s non-political). She said, “They’re in trouble”.

    But let them keep praising Kerry for his “tough response” it will just get worse the longer they do that.

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  14. Bleepless says:


  15. Pingback: UrbanGrounds » Blog Archive » John Kerry Calls US Troops Stupid

  16. Nell says:

    Is it even possible that this was Kerry’s wierd version of a “clever plan” to attract an attack from the right, so he could straighten his spine, deliver his non-apology/counter-attack and prove that he’s a manly man who will never be Swift-boated again? Could he have deliberately delivered a line that he could later claim to have mis-spoken, a line that he knew would provoke Republicans to question his patriotism? Wouldn’t it be like him to be so immersed in moonbattery that he would expect to be defended and lionized by the very base he plans to seek votes from in ’08? And wouldn’t it be like him to completely misjudge the ultimate impact his words would have?
    I know it’s bizarre, but could this be Kerry’s idea of being “tough and smart?” Or is he too smart to be that dumb? I guess I’ll have to wait and see if CBS is prepared with faxes and memos to back up his claim that it was Bush bashing gone wrong.

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  19. Ben says:

    “Anyone with an IQ over 85 can understand that Kerry’s remarks were meant as a comment on Bush’s failed Iraq policy, not as a slam against those who serve in the military, since he served himself. ”

    Oh come on, Oh Come On, get real. You believe that? Kerry knows full well Bush’s academic performance equals and/or surpasses his own, so this couldn’t possible have been directed at Bush! And you certainly can’t believe that someone who served in the military couldn’t ever turn against it? Oh come on!! We’ve seen it since Benedict Arnold!

    In fact, would be in character for Kerry to go that route, since he did admit, to Tim Russert, before my very eyes, that in Vietnam he smuggled weapons to the opposing forces. Now I know, I know, you’re going to think, hey, he said “Khymer Rouge” but he really meant… just a slip of the tounge!” but the reality is this: That’s about as near fetched as a WWII vet telling you how he parachuted into France to meet up with the Gestapo, and then saying, when you call him on it “Just a slip of the tongue, I meant to say French Resistance, how dare you question me!.” Some things get seared, seared I tell you, into a soldier’s brain, and one of them is the correct identity of the sides.


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