Man Without Qualities

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Pathetic ... And Bound To Lose XIV: Hostages

Senator Kerry says that the US troops he voted to send to Iraq should not necessarilly have body armor unless the federal income tax rates are as he wants them to be.

From the Los Angeles Times:

The Bush ad [now running in West Virginia] ... struck back at Kerry on the issue of body armor. Kerry has been critical of the lack of personal body armor provided for troops in Iraq, and has called for the government to reimburse those who had to purchase their own.

When reporters have asked Kerry recently how he could criticize the administration for not providing adequate protection for soldiers when he didn't support the president's $87.5-billion funding request, Kerry said that he would support spending the money, but only if Bush rolled back tax cuts for the wealthy.

"I said very clearly that I would not abandon the troops and that I was prepared to put whatever funding in the troops needed," Kerry told reporters last week in Mississippi. "I did vote to fund the $87 billion. Let's look at the record clearly. But I voted to fund it by taking a percentage of the tax cut from the wealthiest Americans in order to fund it."

He continued: "George Bush and the Republicans said no, we're not going to do that. We're not going to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay for body armor. We're going to ask the average families in the country to shoulder the burden. And that's exactly what they're doing."

Amazingly, the Bush ad didn't accuse Senator Kerry of treating American soldiers as a variety of hostage to the Senator's tax agenda. Senator Kerry's "explanation" did that. Here, as has been the case so often with Senator Kerry recently, his "explanations" leave him in a much worse position than he began - and with a much worse self-definition.

Ah, yes. We must tax as Senator Kerry desires or as far as he is concerned servicemen in Iraq can take bullets for want of body armor. Sure Senator, sure. Whatever you say. This is all nuance!

UPDATE: The New York Times provides the sterling nuance line that the Los Angeles Times omits:

Mr. Kerry added, "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it," referring to an amendment he supported that would have rescinded some tax cuts to finance the war.

Link from Maguire.


The Washington Post reports:

Kerry said at the time that he was opposed to "throwing $87 billion at George Bush's failed policies" and wanted to "force" the president to develop a better plan for postwar Iraq.

But, apparently, the Senator would have had no problem with "throwing $87 billion at George Bush's failed policies" if the tax rates had been changed?

Senator Kerry just keeps getting in deeper every time he opens him mouth.

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