|Man Without Qualities|
Saturday, February 21, 2004
John Kerry seems to be the first person in history trying to win the Presidency through verbal confusion bordering on punning. In particular, he is deliberately confusing his military record (that is, his record of service in the military) with his record of Senate votes on defense programs and defense systems. Some measure of how desperate and confused John Kerry has become:
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Saturday he wouldn't stand for Republicans attacking his patriotism, accusing the president of using henchmen to challenge his military record. The Vietnam veteran, campaigning in Georgia, said President Bush used the same strategy to beat John McCain in the 2000 race for the Republican presidential nomination. [Note: The AP has now substituted the word "surrogates" for "henchmen" in this quoted passage. The original AP version was more correct. Scroll down in the AP article for the Kerry quote employing this term against Senator Chambliss.]
Well, that doesn't sound very nice on Mr. Bush's part ... or Mr. Chambliss' part. Just what was this "attack" on Senator Kerry's "patriotism" and this "challenge" to his "military record?"
Well, it seems that the "attack" had nothing whatsoever to do with Senator Kerry's patriotism or his military record. What Senator Kerry is bristling about was this:
Earlier in the day, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said Kerry has a "32-year history of voting to cut defense programs and cut defense systems." Chambliss said in a conference call arranged by the Bush campaign that Georgia voters would be looking at that record. .... "He has a long history, particularly in the last decade, of not only voting to cut intelligence spending, but introducing bills to cut intelligence spending," Chambliss said.
It seems that Senator Kerry - who, previously, appeared to equate fleeing to Canada with service in the national guard - is going to learn the very hard way that everyone is perfectly free to point out that his "32-year history of voting to cut defense programs and cut defense systems" is indeed very weak and very troubling. And pointing that out does not constitute an "attack" on Senator Kerry's "patriotism" or a "challenge" to his "military record." Here's a point to keep in mind: Senator Kerry's time in the United States Senate does not constitute part of his "military record."
And Senator Kerry owes his Senate colleague an immediate apologetic telephone call for referring to the Georgia Senator as a "henchman." Is that the way Senators speak of each other these days?
Perhaps a petition signed by a few million veterans pointing out how confused Senator Kerry has become in giving this expansive meaning to his "military record" and instructing Senator Kerry to stop dishonoring other veterans who believe his voting record (as opposed to his military record) is weak, would help concentrate his mind. But one shouldn't stop there.
Simply put: What the Senator is trying to do isn't going to work. It's embarrassing for him. It's only going to get more embarrassing for him and his supporters. Frankly, Senator Kerry is becoming something of a disgrace. A lot of veterans, especially, are going to get hopping mad at him if he keeps this up.
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