Skip to comments.Kerry's showing he just can't take the heat
Posted on 09/04/2004 5:44:17 AM PDT by visagoth
Both candidates gave speeches late on Thursday night. George W. Bush was more or less expected to. John Kerry didn't have to, but reported for duty even though nobody wanted him to. Unnerved by sagging numbers, he decided to start the post-Labor Day phase of the campaign three days before Labor Day. The way things are going, Democrats seem likely to be launching the post-election catastrophic-defeat vicious-recriminations phase of the campaign round about Sept. 12.
At any rate, less than 60 minutes after President Bush gave a sober, graceful, droll and moving address, Kerry decided to hit back. In the midnight hour, he climbed out of his political coffin, and before his thousands of aides could grab the garlic from Teresa's kitchen and start waving it at him, he found himself in front of an audience and started giving a speech. As in Vietnam, he was in no mood to take prisoners: ''I have five words for Americans,'' he thundered. ''This is your wake up call!''
Is that five words? Or is it six? Well, it's all very nuanced, according to whether you hyphenate the ''wake-up.'' Maybe he should have said, ''I have four words plus a common hyphenated expression for Americans.'' I'd suggest the rewrite to him personally, but I don't want him to stare huffily at me and drone, "How dare you attack my patriotism."
By about nine words into John Kerry's wake up call, I was sound asleep again. But this was what he told Ohio's brave band of chronic insomniacs:
''For the past week, they attacked my patriotism and my fitness to serve as commander in chief. Well, here's my answer. I'm not going to have my commitment to defend this country questioned by those who refused to serve.''
Oh, dear . . . growing drowsy again . . . losing the will to type . . . what's he saying now?
''Two tours of duty''
Ah, yes. As usual, he has four words for Americans: I served in Vietnam. Or five words if you spell it Viet Nam.
So we have one candidate running on a platform of ambitious reforms for an ''ownership society'' at home and a pledge to hunt down America's enemies abroad. And we have another candidate running on the platform that no one has the right to say anything mean about him.
And for this the senator broke the eminently civilized tradition that each candidate lets the other guy have his convention week to himself? Maybe they need to start scheduling those Kerry campaign shakeups twice a week.
There was an old joke back in the Cold War:
Proud American to Russian guy: ''In my country every one of us has the right to criticize our president.''
Russian guy: ''Same here. In my country every one of us has the right to criticize your president.''
That seems to be the way John Kerry likes it. Americans should be free to call Bush a moron, a liar, a fraud, a deserter, an agent of the House of Saud, a mass murderer, a mass rapist (according to the speaker at a National Organization for Women rally last week) and the new Hitler (according to just about everyone). But how dare anyone be so impertinent as to insult John Kerry! No one has the right to insult Kerry, except possibly Teresa, and only on the day she gives him his allowance.
Several distinguished analysts have suggested that the best rationale for a Kerry presidency is that it would be a ''return to normalcy'' -- a quiet life after the epic pages of history George W. Bush has been writing these last three years. Even if a ''return to normalcy'' were an option, I doubt whether John Kerry would qualify. As we saw in those two Thursday speeches, Bush takes the war seriously but he doesn't take himself seriously -- self-deprecating jokes are obligatory these days, but try to imagine Kerry doing the equivalent of Bush's gags about mangled English and swaggering. The president is comfortable in his own skin, which is why he shrugs off the Hitler stuff. By contrast, Kerry doesn't take the war seriously because he's so busy taking himself seriously. If ''return to normalcy'' means four years of a grimly humorless, touchy, self-regarding Kerry presidency, I'll take the war.
That's surely why Kerry is running his kamikaze kandidacy on biography rather than any grand themes. Senator Kerrikaze is running for president because he thinks he should be president -- who needs a platform? One of the most revealing aspects of the campaign this last week were the interviews given by his various surrogates. Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic National Committee chairman, went on Hugh Hewitt's radio show and was asked about the swift boat veterans' ads, and he laughed and blustered and stalled and floundered. That sounded weird. This thing's been going on a month now, and the Kerry campaign still hasn't come up with a form of words to deflect questions about it. If they had an agreed spin, McAuliffe and Co. would be out using it. But the seared senator feels it's lese majeste even to question him. He can talk about Vietnam 24/7, but nobody else is allowed to bring it up.
Sorry, man, that's not the way it works. And if he thinks it does, he's even further removed from the realities of democratic politics than he was from the interior of Cambodia. Instead of those military records the swift boat vets are calling for, I'd be more interested in seeing his medical ones.
As for Bush, to be sure at one level his convention was a ''soft-focus infomercial,'' just as Kerry's was. But the infomercial came into sharp focus just often enough to clarify, piercingly, the differences between the parties. On opening night in Boston, the Democrats staged a tasteful, teary candlelight remembrance of those who died on 9/11. On opening night in New York, the Republicans put up one speaker after another -- John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Ron Silver -- resolved that those thousands of innocents shall not have died in vain.
I remember a couple of days after Sept. 11 writing that weepy candlelight vigils were a cop-out: the issue wasn't whether you were sad about the dead people but whether you wanted to do something about it. Three years on, the two conventions drew the same distinction. If you want passivity and wallowing in victim culture, the Dems will do. If you want to win this thing, Bush is the only guy running.
Wait until the debates. Holy Moses! President Bush will be all calm, and Kerry will come apart at the seams. I believe his true self will show through when he has to go one-on-one with President Bush.
No one has the right to insult Kerry, except possibly Teresa, and only on the day she gives him his allowance.
Kerry titles his book "Tour of Duty" for his service in Vietnam. He also claims that he had TWO tours of duty in Vietnam (because of his time on the USS Gridley).
John Kerry was in Vietnam (for 4 months) and yes he was on the deep-water coast of Vietnam on the USS Gridley (for a few weeks), but he did not serve a tour in Vietnam.
A Tour in the Nam was 12 months, one year, 365 days, one trip around the sun. Guys would count down the days until their time was up. It was a big deal. When you only had a few weeks to go until your 12 months was up, you were "SHORT", going home soon. When you broke 100 days you were a Double Digit. A Single Digit Vet (less than 10 days to go) could be found in his hooch packing.
This issue is important for this reason. John Kerry knows that he didn't serve a Tour, let alone TWO Tours, in Vietnam yet he brazenly reports that he did.
One might argue 'Well, the time that Kerry spent in Nam was HIS tour, so what is the big deal"?
If that is your argument then Kerry should have named his book "My Time in Nam" or something. Not give the impression that he spent a tour in Nam. AND, there is NO excuse for his claim for TWO TOURS in Nam. It is John Kerry spinning the truth to make himself something that he is not.
As far as Unfit for Command is concerned, I have read it. The Swifties could care less if John Kerry got medals, their issue is the same as what I explained above (and the fact that Kerry smeared their good name with his lies) and that is that Kerry diverts from the truth to make himself into something that he is not so much, that he cannot be trusted.
Kerry embellished his After Action Reports to get medals that he didnt deserve. He fabricated accusations when he came back from Vietnam when he spoke before the Senate Intelligence Committee when he said that his fellow Vietnam Veterans committed atrocities. He has never provided any proof that his accusations were true, and in fact now admits that his accusations were over the top. Over the top? They were untrue! And his falsifications harmed POWs, their families, and Vietnam Veterans in general.
POWs who were in North Vietnam prison camps when Kerry was telling his fabricated stories to the Senate and the American public to bolster his political ambitions were tortured and threatened to be placed on trial as War Criminals. POWs were told by their captors You will never go home because of Kerrys fabrications. Kerrys untrue accusations are unforgivable.
General Vo Nguyen Gaip , the Commanding officer of the North Vietnamese Military and Bui Tin who served on the General Staff of the North Vietnam Army and received the unconditional surrender of South Vietnam on April 30, 1975 both claim that North Vietnam was poised to negotiate a surrender because of the Communists military failures during the 1968 Tet Offensive and thereafter. But because of the Anti-War movement in America (led by Jane Fonda and John Kerry) they felt that the Demonstrations gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses."
America was kicking the Communists butt in every battle. General Westmoreland had the Communists number and was winning the war. Americas pullout of Vietnam was due to Kerry and his group of Demonstrators. Kerrys ant-war activities played a very significant part in causing America to lose the war in Vietnam.
Because of John Kerry and others like him there are more names on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D. C. than there otherwise would have been. There was also the slaughter of 3.5 million South Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians when America pulled out that is significantly attributable to John Kerry and his now admittedly over the top accusations. John Kerry has blood dripping from his untrue accusations.
When I returned home to Los Angeles from Vietnam in 1971 my head was spinning as I walked through the Terminal at LAX, thinking about the culture of war that I had just left while looking around at the opulence in America. When I stepped outside onto the sidewalk a group of Longhairs walked by and one of them spat on me while the others called me a Baby Killer. I feel that the treatment that I received, and have lived with for the past 33 years, was due to John Kerry and his lies.
John Kerry does not have the moral integrity, honesty, or judgment to be the Commander-In-Chief of the worlds most powerful military. John Kerry IS, unfit for command.
Mekong Delta 1970-1971
Great post. Steyn should be required reading in schools. Kerry really is an utterly self-centered human being. It's all about him all the time. He stands for nothing but himself. He can't stand the rigors of a poltical campaign. So how can he stand the rigors of war?
I heard a rumor that the Salvadoran immigrant that dries Kerry's feet (essential after a day of wind surfing) is voting for Senor Boosh.
Some say that FnKerry had a few too many martini's that night. Makes one wonder, doesn't it?!
ROFLMAO!! Doubly so, since this is showing up in the "old media".
First thing I read this morning. Great way to start the day!
There's something hilarious about saying that at midnight. Kerry is a bad Peters Sellers. And he makes Inspector Clouseau look downright respectable.
Kerry must be pathological. He's so far removed from the realities of democratic politics than he was from the interior of Cambodia. Instead of those military records the SBVFT are calling for, I think we should be more interested in seeing his medical ones, they may be quite telling.
It would be very difficult for John Kerry to encourage a "Return to Normalcy" in the wake of the event at that school in Russia.
Great article by Steyn.
The new season of Saturday Night Live starts tonight. Kerry has provided a ton of good fodder. Can't wait to see what they do to him.
That last paragraph nails it.
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