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November 03, 2006

Fallen Soldier's Father: Apology Not Accepted

Absolute moral authority, I'm sure Maureen Dowd will declare:

I missed the joke. You must forgive me, for there just is not a lot of room in my life for even good jokes--and there is absolutely no room for "botched jokes"--when the subject of the joke is my son who was killed in Iraq. I know exactly what came out of Sen. John Kerry's mouth, and in those words there is no interpretation required. His attempt to convince us--and, I believe, to convince himself that that there was really a botched joke buried deep within his insult is in fact a reaffirmation of his ever-present condescending nature. He actually believes that we are stupid enough to agree with him and start laughing simply because he said it was a joke. Mr. Kerry said exactly what he meant and meant exactly what he said. In those words Mr. Kerry did in fact wash completely away the facade of his support of our magnificent troops and revealed for all to see his true colors.

All one had to do is look into the face of Mr. Kerry as the last word came out of his mouth, and it was painfully obvious that he knew that he had just disparaged the entire military. As the firestorm grew, the calls for an apology filled me with unease. It is not up to him to determine if an apology is in order. That decision most certainly rests with the millions of individuals he offended, and then they would decide if they were going to accept one or not.


It is in my mind the height of irony that John Kerry, a Yale graduate, would make two other Yale graduates the butt of his supposed joke. One we all knew as President Bush; the other is known mostly to those who have proudly served with and under him. On the day Kyle died, this gallant warrior was to take command of Kyle's parent unit, the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion. Kyle was on his way to the ceremony when he and his buddies were killed. Here is a man who is the epitome of intellect, character and gallantry--an individual that Mr. Kerry does not believe exists.

Worth reading in full.

Via Sticky Notes, if you'd prefer to read it there.>

Even the Boston Globe -- which of course is spinning like a top for Kerry -- has difficulty understanding the nuances of Kerry's purportedly intended joke:

According to a text provided by his office, Kerry intended to skewer Bush as someone who is not "smart," who is "intellectually lazy," and who, as a result, "end[ed] up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq." Even if delivered properly, the jab put Kerry in murky water. When Kerry and Bush were at Yale, neither excelled academically. Also, in 2002, Kerry voted for the Iraq use-of-force resolution while possessing nearly as much information as Bush. And when they competed for the presidency in 2004, Kerry was the clear winner of the debates, but Bush ran a far smarter campaign. So who is Kerry to be lampooning Bush's brainpower?

Hey, here's an easier reason to disbelieve Kerry's claims of intent: His joke, as he claims he meant to say it, relies upon threatening young people that if they don't "make themselves smart" and "get educated" they'll get stuck in a dead-end civil service job like the Presidency of the United States of America.

This makes sense to people? Chris Rock had a joke about this, in reverse. Referring to Marion Barry, he joked that if you tell kids not to take drugs or they won't end up being anything, they can say, "I can be Mayor." But note that Rock's joke is aimed at how absurd it is to make such a threat -- don't do drugs -- when there's an example of someone getting hooked on crack and yet being Mayor.

John Kerry wants you to believe his joke actually played upon the situation Chris Rock found so preposterous -- threaten kids to buckle down and study, or else they just might wind up leaders of the free world.

I submit it makes much more sense to use "or else you'll wind up as a soldier in Iraq" as a consequence of not studying that being elected president.

Military people don't buy this interpretation, it seems. One soldier writes:


Allah misses the bigger point. I think he is not worked up because he doesn’t have a dog in the hunt. The important thing is I and my brothers are offended, nay outraged...

Cary had a target audience he was playing to and Service Members were the butt of his joke, simple as that. Or maybe I just to stupid to peel layers.

Deliberate misspelling and emphasis his.

It's not that Allah doesn't have a dog in this hunt so much as he just buys, as some people do, Kerry's unlikely explanation.

As Charles Johnson said, "Occam's Razor." The simplest explanation? He said what he said because he intended to say it. Insult the troops? No, I don't think he went up there planning to deliver to insult the troops, as I said, but he didn't think through the implication of his statement (study hard and you won't wind up in the armed forces) and thereby revealed what he really thinks.

Plainly the guy does not like the sort of people who serve in the military. They voted four to one against him; they "Swift-Boated" him, etc. And he thought so little of them that he actually, sincerely believed they were capable of war crimes on a massive scale in Vietnam.

Think about that. How the hell can you believe that someone is committing the most unspeakable crimes imaginable -- mass murders, mass rapes, mass maimings, etc. -- and simultaneously believe they're enlightened individuals?

Has anyone ever said, "I know he's got a bad rep, but Jack the Ripper is actually a really good guy" ?

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posted by Ace at 02:19 PM

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