Just Stop It

Chris Bowers is a treasure. But he is prone to this type of knee jerk nonsense:

Democrats are once again showing weakness in the face of attack, an eagerness to apologize for calling the right-wing names, and a willingness to close Daou's triangle on themselves.

Just look at the latest AP headline:

Some Democrats join Republicans in pressing Kerry for apology. Game over. So much for showing strength in the face of attack. Once again, we are weak, divided, and grovelling for forgiveness. The triangle is officially closed on this now. Well done, Democrats. My only remaining hope is that this story goes away quickly.

This is dumb beyond belief. Chris, it was game over the moment Kerry pushed this thing big with his stupid press conference. There is no reason for Democrats to have to go to bat for John Kerry in THIS ELECTION!! The Left Blogs have been dumb as hammers on this one. There was one thing to do with this story for the word go - hope the story went away quickly. MY gawd, Chris wanted to fight on the issue of whether John Kerry insulted the troops?

Now Stoller joins the dumb act. What is it with these guys? Kerry misspoke AND apologized. So what the heck is there to defend now? Honestly, stupid pills abound.

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    you're right (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Matt Stoller on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 05:45:39 PM EST
    I'm sure that the Republicans would have let this drop.  There's no way they would have pressured Democratic candidates to denounce Kerry.  There's now way they would have tried to keep this story alive.  That's not how they operate.  They engage in entirely good faith dialogue and would have said 'Oh he apologized that's enough for us'.  And journalists would have been completely on board.

    It's like you haven't paid attention the last five years to how these people operate.  You're a smart guy, but this post is probably one of the stupidest things I've ever seen you write.  Really, really insipid, incompentent politically, and cowardly to boot.

    Come on Matt (none / 0) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 06:05:51 PM EST
    Kerry gave them video, story legs and a wonderful target.

    But your invective is fair, in that I think your post is the stupidest thing you wrote. Really I do.

    Anyway, it is out of our hands now.

    You're still the best.


    This Election (none / 0) (#1)
    by roy on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 12:27:41 PM EST
    I'm not defending the Right's hyperventilating fixation, but it strikes me as naive to think that Kerry is not relevant to this election.  We aren't just voting on individual candidates, we're very consciously voting on which party gets majority control of which houses.

    So Kerry might not be running, but the DNC is, and the DNC not only counts him as a member but they chose him as the man best qualified to run the country just two years ago.

    stuck (none / 0) (#2)
    by skippybkroo on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 12:28:32 PM EST
    as i said, for the publicans' outrage to be valid, they have to concede the point that the men and women in uniform are indeed "stuck" in iraq.



    Keep trying (1.00 / 0) (#5)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 02:17:13 PM EST
    Not at all. You will find that you can call someone a SOB who has a perfectly charming mother and they will get quite upset with you.

    But I do find it interesting that you take Kerry's insults and try to use them for political purposes.

    Nothing like a double dip, eh??


    Yo mamma! (none / 0) (#3)
    by BigRiver on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 01:23:49 PM EST
    No, an insult doesn't have to be true.

    I can say yo mama's fat. It's an insult whether or not your mother is corpulent.

    Kerry can insult the troops by saying they are dull boobs stuck in Iraq whether or not they are boobs stuck in iraq.


    Flap (none / 0) (#4)
    by JSN on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 01:25:17 PM EST
    I agree with most of what BTD said but I think roy is correct about Kerry being a spokesperson for The DNC.  According to what Kerry was supposed to have said his target was Bush but he messed up and looks bad as a result. I did not support Kerry in the Iowa cauaces in 2004 because I did not think had a chance of winning  and I don't think he has a chance in 2008.

    As a matter of fact I don't think a current or former member of the House or Senate from either party hasa very good chance in 2008.
    If I wanted to find a doormat I would know where to look.

    A lost opportunity (none / 0) (#6)
    by swingvote on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 02:21:23 PM EST
    This whole thing is quickly becoming a lost opportunity for the Democrats.

    Kerry was out of line with his comments, and his idiotic claim that they were intended as a jibe at Bush makes him look even dumber than usual. And this guy is supposed to be the smart, nuanced, Democrat who was chosen as the standard bearer two short years ago? His "joke" doesn't even make sense.

    Howard Dean could have done a lot of damage control if he had the nerve, and the intelligence, to step forward and say Kerry was wrong. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid could also have done a great deal of good if they too had stepped up and admitted that Kerry had stepped in it.

    Instead, we see the party circling the wagons for this loser once again, and the Big Tent Democrats are whining about why we don't just leave it alone and pray it goes away.

    Compare this to the Mark Foley situation and the Republicans start to look better every day. Somehow I don't think that's what anyone here wanted.

    Hah...right... (none / 0) (#32)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 06:38:37 PM EST
    What claptrap. You guys got a gay pedophile that you circled the wagons around and you're gonna compare that to someone who (perhaps mistakenly) uttered the truth? Puh-leeeeeze...

    You don't think people know by now that Iraq is a disastrous quagmire? Really??

    This is one more example of how out of touch with the lower class folks who get sent off to war the average Republican is...as if we needed any more reminders.


    Again the point being missed is (none / 0) (#7)
    by Patrick on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 02:58:18 PM EST
    Regardless of what Kerry meant (or didn't mean) to say, the audience heard the same comment we all heard and they CHEERED. They had no idea what he was supposed to say, only what he said, and what he said was clearly demeaning to our soldiers...and they cheered. WTF?  Who was in this audience? democrats, that's who.  

    Says who? (none / 0) (#8)
    by swingvote on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 03:06:10 PM EST

    I have seen the audience's response described as laughter and gasps, but never cheers. Where did you see this description?

    And these were kids, Patrick, not adults. Their probable immaturity is of far greater concern than their likely partisan affiliation.

    I heard that (none / 0) (#10)
    by Patrick on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 03:13:09 PM EST
    On the video tape of his comments...Which I watched..I can get you a link if you need it, but it's all over the net.  

    Re (none / 0) (#9)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 03:11:23 PM EST
      Is it not possible the audience cheered the advocacy of education and not the perceived insinuation that troops in iraq lack it?

    Is it possible (none / 0) (#11)
    by Patrick on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 03:14:10 PM EST
    Anything's possible as you well know.  Is it reasonable.  That is a tougher sell.

    Re (none / 0) (#12)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 03:43:42 PM EST
      Why's it not reasonable-- or even not likely?

      I think we can all agree that no one could possibly have "gotten" what Kerry claims was his intended meaning -- a slam of Bush--  so why is it not likely many also didn't "get" the slam on the troops and just heard a politician make the daring point that education is a good thing and dimly realized that is a goood time for students to cheer?

    Because it is what he said (none / 0) (#19)
    by Patrick on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 04:53:47 PM EST
    so why is it not likely many also didn't "get" the slam on the troops and just heard a politician make the daring point that education is a good thing and dimly realized that is a goood time for students to cheer?

    Because the comment that he made clearly demeaned the men and women serving in Iraq.  It wasn't some "nuanced" reference, it was plain, clear speech and yet they cheered.  I didn't hear any gasps in the video/audio tape, but the press does report that, indicating that, at least to some people, the meaning was pretty obvious whether intentional or not.  


    However (none / 0) (#20)
    by Patrick on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 04:56:48 PM EST
    However, as I led off in another thread, I thought the whole thing was much ado about nothing, at least until Kerry responded.  Now its got legs.  It's still a stupid "controversy" but given Kerry's proclivity to malign service people in the past, the shoe does seem to fit.  

    Not pointing out that it's usually the lower class, less educated kids that get to come home (under cover of darkness) in coffins.

    I agree with Kos and Chris (none / 0) (#13)
    by msobel on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 03:45:33 PM EST
    I think that this is a manufactured issue and the proper response is to use it to talk about how Bush and the Rethuglicans (sic) have failed the troops.

    Wow (1.00 / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 04:09:11 PM EST
    Manufactured? You mean that wasn't Kerry standing there giving a speech?

    Wow. You just never know.


    Kerry has been and is continuing to be a MILLSTONE (none / 0) (#14)
    by paddymick on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 03:56:53 PM EST
    He was the candidate that knocked Dean out of the race in 2004, only to fold when he had it in the bag. He is the "democrat" still sitting on millions of unused campaign money that could be helping democrats in tight races and now he is the idiot that is giving an otherwise hopeless GOP great political targets in the days (DAYS!!!) preceding the election.

    Drop the joker. Kick his butt out of office. I would call him a loser, but I think GOP operative would be more accurate.

    Kerry is millstone around the neck of the democrats. He needs to be cut loose.

    paranoia demonstrated (1.00 / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 04:07:51 PM EST
    paddymick writes:

    I would call him a loser, but I think GOP operative would be more accurate.

    Pardon me while I laugh. Seriously? Is the Left that paranoid??


    Paranoid? (none / 0) (#22)
    by paddymick on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 05:55:14 PM EST
    Paranoid about what? A political idiot? I am not paranoid about Kerry. I think he is an idiot and I wish the Dems would quit acting like he is the power behind the party. He has dropped the ball on every occasion that he had it passed to him.

    Intentional or not, he has handed more wins to the GOP than many of their own. I won't claim he is actively seeking to destroy the democrats, I will instead say that he actively and persistently puts his own interests ahead of the party's interests.

    They should be done with him. He's a waste of time.


    re (none / 0) (#17)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 04:10:53 PM EST
      He didn't say intentional GOP operative.

    re (none / 0) (#18)
    by Gabriel Malor on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 04:20:46 PM EST
    Rove, you magnificent bastard!

    sorry, i don't see (none / 0) (#23)
    by cpinva on Wed Nov 01, 2006 at 05:58:55 PM EST
    where kerry misspoke at all. anyone with half a brain (which seems to leave out a lot of people), knew exactly what he meant. he has nothing to explain or apologize for, as far as i'm concerned.

    Re: (none / 0) (#25)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 07:10:03 AM EST
      The problem is that although everyone did know what he meant almost everyone on both sides tried to lie about what he actually meant and the Republicans' lie was a lot better than the lie told by Kerry and his apoloigists.

      What he meant was "take advanatage of your educational opportunities or you run the risk of your opportunities being so limited that you might find it necessary to join the military to make a decent living and have a path for advancement."

      He did not mean to impugn the troops but he obviously did mean to warn kids that THEY could get stuck in Iraq if THEY did not study hard.

       At that point it was just a poor choice of words that the Republicans tied to seize on by giving the worst possible interpretation and one that clearly did not match Kerry's intent.

       Then because he's an arrogant ass, who like many politicians thinks he's clever enough to talk himself out of any trouble, he lied poorly trying to say his remarks were aimed at bush and not his audience. It was pitiful and no one believed him and served to give credence to the Republicans' allegations he was attacking the troops.  He could have ended the controversy by simply issuing a statement apologizing for inadvertently suggesting the troops are there because they did poorly in school and expressed his admiration for them and acknowledged that most of them are men and woman of distinction and honor serving their country by choice but standing by his statement that many do join the military for economic reasons and that education can give people other options that many would prefer.

      By LYING and refusing to apologize he gave the opposition the chance to let him have it with credibility they would have lacked if he hadn't been such an ass.

       Then belatedly, he gave a half-hearted apology still refusing to acknowledge the real meaning of what he said and (Thank God) slunk home with his tail between his legs.

      His only "mistake" originally was wording his comment so it sounded too general as if it encompassed all the troops present and future rather than being precise enough to make it clear he was speaking of what might result for individuals in his audience if they didn't prepare for higher education. It's what he did after that was a sorry spectacle and it's all HIS fault.

      The smart Democrats take that approach and don't try to give his lies credence. It's cold but, don't throw the drowning man a line if he's just going to pull you down with him.  


    Kerry (none / 0) (#26)
    by Richard Aubrey on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 07:18:38 AM EST
    This issue has two problems for dems.

    One is that the best you can say of Kerry is that he's awkward, arrogant, and a poor speaker and doesn't know how to handle a simple gaffe.  And that the dems thought he'd make a good president.  The republlicans have been saying worse, some of which may be true, but I was referring to the best that can be said, which is pretty bad.

    The other is that it gives us all a reminder of his Winter Soldier lies and slander.  You recall that, of course.  And the dems thought the guy who put that together would make a good president.

    Re (none / 0) (#27)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 07:39:07 AM EST
      First, I don't think very many Democrats ever thought Kerry was anything more than the candidate with the best chance of beating someone they considered a really bad President. No one I know was particularly enthusiatic about Kerry but given the rest of the field, I think his selection made sense at the time. And, even in hindsight, with full appreciation of his many flaws and blunders, I think it's fair to say that he at least made it a close election. Do you think Dean or Clark or anyone else running in 2004  could have done that? I don't.


    Kerry (none / 0) (#28)
    by Richard Aubrey on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 09:01:30 AM EST

    I agree.  That, in fact, was my point.  Kerry was the best the dems could come up with.  Better folks haven't bothered to try to work their way up the dem ladder.  The same might be said for repubs, but the subject here is the problem Kerry poses for dems.

    He was the best they could find.  And the dems either didn't care personally about his baggage, or didn't think it would make a difference.  To have that issue brought back to life is not good for dems.

    I expect somebody will be wasting cyberwhatsit doing a parallel piece on Bush and repubs.  Go ahead.  But Kerry is a dem and the issue is him.

    Kerry is an issue, unfortunately, but.... (none / 0) (#29)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 09:26:10 AM EST
     he's not near the most important issue. The Republicans would be crazy not to do their best to make him a bigger issue than he deserves to be because they don't have much else to tout,  but one Democrat (even an important one) making a fool move really isn't that big a deal unless it's done the week before an election.

      Even then, it's a big deal not because his blunder is likely to change many  votes in any race but because it hogs space that could otherwise be filled with other issues  that might either actually motivate  a swing voter still on the fence to vote Democratic, or perhaps more likely,  be a factor in some who would vote Democratic staying home or some who might have stayed home into voting Republican.

       Obviously, we wouldn't be regaled with so many Democrats awkwardly trying to dismiss Kerry  as  an issue and so many Republicans cynically exploiting him if he weren't one,  but that's more a reflection on the sorry state of both Parties than his true importance.


    Kerry (none / 0) (#30)
    by Richard Aubrey on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 10:13:26 AM EST

    Let's assume Kerry is a fool.  Did he get big to get where he is, or did the dems get small?

    I see it as standing in a group of people, from which those taller than you are systematically excused.  Presto, you're tallest.

    Which is to say, if you weren't very tall to begin with, the folks left around you are shrimps.

    Kerry, IMO, demonstrates the dems are shrimps.

    smaller-- on both sides of the aisle! (none / 0) (#31)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Nov 02, 2006 at 10:25:30 AM EST
      In the last twenty years we have had:


      I don't see much "stature" anywhere on that list, so while your observation about Democratic nominees is valid it is equally true about the Republicans.

       Perhaps, this is a result of the open primary method of nomination coming into vogue, but then maybe we just romanticize the past and in reality relatively few Presidents, let alone nominees, have stood all that tall.

    I was in the military, and speaking as a vet, if I was sitting in Iraq right now I would be a hell of a lot more pissed off at George Bush than John Kerry. At least John Kerry went to Vietnam. At least John Kerry didn't snort coke or go AWOL during his military service. And last but not least, at least John Kerry didn't send me to over ther to put my ass on the line for a pack of lies.

    Why would I be insulted by Kerry? For apologizing for telling the truth! You see, Dick Cheney could shoot a guy in the face and never apologize. In fact, the guy he shot in the face apologized to him!

    So you are correct, Kerry and the Democrats are totally inferior to the Republicans in one respect: SHEER UNMITIGATED CHUTZPAH!