I was so happy to see John Kerry's remarks yesterday about how if you're stupid, you get "stuck in Iraq."
Not that I wasn't massively offended. Here, I play both my veteran card and my from-the-South-Dakota-trailer-park card. The Navy was a great opportunity for me, but it certainly wasn't my only one. And ultimately, I chose to serve even after a really negative ROTC experience because I decided I owed my country my service. And so my very first reaction to John Kerry's latest bits of wisdom includes words and phrases better suited to the ship than to public writings. He is truly beneath contempt.
But then I realized that this was preferable to the pander about how everyone "supports the troops" (a phrase almost without meaning). Because the bottom line is that Kerry doesn't, and neither do the liberals he was appealing to at the California rally or at his hole-digging press conference here in Seattle the next day. The far left Phil Angeledes supporters and Kerry himself hold military people in deep, deep contempt. It's not universal from liberals, but it's pretty darn close. I saw it all the time from people in college, and even back home - "Why would you join the military? You can do other things!"
This morning I was flipping around the radio on my way to school, and turned to Hippy Radio to see what they had to say about it. Predictably, Stephanie Miller said Bush was the one who should apologize to the troops. Yawn. But then she took a call from a listener that insisted Kerry was right, and that if they'd just poll the troops they'd see that they all were forced to join the military because they didn't have any other options. The host agreed, but then quickly pointed out that wasn't what Kerry REALLY meant. Right.
Even worse, the military are actually much better educated than their civilian peers. Not only was he a jerk, he's just factually wrong.
Last night on Hannity and Colmes, John McCain was visibly angry in denouncing Kerry's comments. And remember, this is from the guy who was mad about the Swift Boat Vets.
The bottom line is that they believe that the military is the last refuge for the dumb who couldn't get into Community College, because the vast majority of liberals wouldn't even think about joining the military. I believe they're sincere when they say they "support the troops," but they say that like they say they support infants. There's no respect there, and there's an insulting ignorance about the men and women currently serving, why they're serving, and their education levels. And worse, they think "supporting the troops" means to keep them home at all costs. You can't tell me Eisenhower didn't support the troops, but they were less well equipped, trained, treated, educated, and led than our soldiers are now.
Kerry claims he meant to insult the President, not the soldiers. I believe that, too. But the Vietnam "Baby killer!" shouting anti-war protester he came of age as reflexively came out instead. It's hard to contain your true beliefs constantly. This was the ultimate Freudian slip.
Kerry said that you're "crazy" if you think that "a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there[.]" Well, call me crazy, but Kerry did just that, and has done it his entire adult life. (He actually did both in this case, so his statement isn't technically wrong.) But remember, this isn't the first time Kerry slagged active troops in combat zones as a veteran. Anyone remember his completely false allegations of war crimes and "in the manner of Jen-jis Kahn" Senate testimony? The MSM doesn't. How about his more recent comments that American troops were "terrorizing" Iraqi women and children? Kerry criticizes troops all the time. He's arrogant and elitist, and anyone that didn't go to Yale or marry a bajillionaire ketchup baron is naturally less smart than he is, which includes pretty much everyone in uniform.
But again, I'm happy. This election is about the base, and now the base is mad. POed, in fact. Michael Savage, who has spent the last few months explaining how no one should vote for Republicans, either, was on the war path yesterday, saying the Kerry comments were a "personal turning point" for him on for whom - or if - he should vote. Millions of others, unhappy with Republicans and with no particular reason to vote against Democrats, surely feel the same.
Dick Morris has more numbers:
Among independents, the percent that plan to vote Republican has risen from 15 percent on Sept. 22 to 23 percent on Oct. 11 to 26 percent on Oct. 24. While independents are still voting for more Democrats, it's only by 38-26 compared with 38-15 last month.Foley who? Morris wrote this before Kerry's political suicide vest went off.
But as the Republican Party has gained among Independents, it is losing its base. Republicans who plan to vote Republican in 2006 have dropped from 75 percent on Sept. 22 to 72 percent on Oct. 11 to 68 percent on Oct. 24! Obviously the impact of the Foley scandal has yet to diminish among the morality-minded Republican base.
This may well have solidified the GOP get-out-the-vote advantage, and will serve to retain the Congress for the Republicans. I hope it does, and I hope further that this puts the exclamation point on the end of John Kerry's contemptible political career.
UPDATE: Here's the forced "apology." Too little. Too late.