Wednesday, November 01, 2006

John Kerry Goes Nucular

I hate to pile on John Kerry because I am a compassionate conservative and I think he has suffered enough. There is nothing sadder than a Democrat who has run for President and lost. Republicans treat their presidential also-rans with the respect elder statesmen like Bob Dole and Gerald Ford deserve, and they continue to lead productive lives long after the campaign is over. On the other hand, Democrats are like mother birds who kick their presidential hatchlings out of the nest once they have been touched by defeat.

Many Democrats are now shaking their heads as everyone from President Bush to his old, loyal friend John McCain is demanding that Kerry apologize for allegedly insulting our troops in Iraq. Some Republicans see Kerry's misstep as chance to refocus the election back where it should be -- on Sen. Kerry instead of on President Bush and Iraq. Senator Kerry refuses to apologize, saying that he actually meant to insult George Bush and not our troops when he said, "You know, education -- if you make the most of it, you study hard and you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." He claims he intended to say, "You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq," implying that Bush did not work hard enough in school. But even if Kerry did misspeak and simply botched a joke about President Bush, I think that's reason enough to be glad he wasn't elected President.

Can you imagine having a President who mangles the English language the way Kerry does? Think how dangerous it would have been to have someone who doesn't choose his words carefully and makes large numbers of people angry by what he says. Being President requires a person who thinks before he speaks and uses words diplomatically. Imagine if he had accidentally insulted, say, North Korea or Iran, think of what the consequences might have been. And considering how sensitive Muslims are there's no telling what Kerryisms might have set them off.

At the very least a President should be able to pronounce words correctly. Remember when Kerry pronounced the name Genghis Khan with a soft "g," nearly causing an international incident with China? If Kerry had been elected President, what other world leaders' names would he have mispronounced? Would he at least have been as quick on his feet as George Bush was when he was asked during the 2000 campaign to name the President of Pakistan. Bush cleverly said "the General" because he didn't want to risk mispronouncing Musharraf's name. It's that kind of cultural sensitivity and quick thinking that makes a great leader.

And what kind of a message would it have sent to all the illegal immigrants we berate for not being able to speak perfect English if our own President seems to speak English as a second language? Instead of taking courses in French, couldn't Kerry have brushed up on his English a little more? And what's with his strange accent? Hasn't anyone told him that the "g" is supposed to be silent in words that end in "ing?"

Another question this incident raises is why was Sen. Kerry trying to make a joke in the first place? A couple weeks ago he made a joke on Real Time with Bill Maher that also caused a bit of a kerfuffle in the conservative blogosphere. After telling host Bill Maher that he had just come back from a retreat in Vermont with his wife, Maher said, "You could have went to New Hampshire and killed two birds with one stone." Kerry's reply, "Or, I could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania and killed the real bird with one stone" was interpreted by some outraged conservatives as a joke about killing the President. Although Maher seemed to think it was a joke about not getting elected President himself, it certainly is easy to see how someone might immediately jump to the conclusion that a sitting U.S. Senator might make a light-hearted jibe about assassinating the President on national television. Kerry really should have been more careful about making a joke that could be so easily misinterpreted. Perhaps he should avoid humor altogether as he seems to lack the judgment that President Bush has to know when a joke is in good taste.

Perhaps the most important lesson we learned about why Kerry was unfit to be President was his conduct after the incident. Not only did he refuse to apologize, he attacked and demonized those who were demanding that he say he was sorry. In the face of an onslaught of criticism he went nucular, using angry bellicose language against his opponents that was more suitable to a playground bully, not someone who wants to be President. "I’m sick and tired of a bunch of despicable Republicans who will not debate real policy, who won’t take responsibility for their own mistakes, standing up and trying to make other people the butt of those mistakes," Kerry said. "I’m sick and tired of a whole bunch of Republican attacks, most of which come from people who never wore the uniform and never had the courage to stand up and go to war themselves."

Imagine what it would have been like to have a President whose first instinct is to go on the offensive against his opponents and make exaggerated charges against those who disagree with him. Imagine what it would have been like to have a President who relies on bluster he can't always back up. Imagine what it would have been like to have a President who never admits a mistake and refuses to back down even in the face a mounting evidence that he was wrong. All I can say is thank goodness Bush is our President and not Kerry.

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12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful column. Well done. I've always felt it was Howard Dean who had all of the characteristics Bush-haters claim to see in the president. Actually, Kerry is an even better fit.

Reasonable Liberal said...

I hope the terrorists win next Tuesday. Remember though, I've heard the results for the Saddam trial come out Nov. 5th. Will this give the Anti-Terrorists a bump in the polls?

Daniel DiRito said...

See a tongue-in-cheek posting that employs the same GOP tactic used in relation to Senator Kerry to creatively interpret remarks made by the President in the most unfavorable manner...here:

www.thoughttheater.com

Bob Ryan said...

While the political fodder produced by Kerry's "blotched humor" is prodigious, I am more interested in what we regular folks can learn from the mistake. That is, that humor itself carries ethical consequences. Humor reveals our beliefs.

If you want to read more about this please see my post at http://www.swimstartingwithme.com/blog.html.

outofcontext said...

Mission Accomplished. Kerry has apologized. Once again Republicans have launched all out war, with discipline and coordination and overwhelming ideological forces. So much for the defeatocrat charges of incompetence.

Sporty said...

Wow! Thank you for letting us all know about the bullet we dodged in 2004! I had NO idea!

Would you also say we dodged a bullet in 2000? That dastardly Al Gore was all puffed up with his "Internet this" and "Love Story that". I'm sure that bluster and exaggeration would have had disasterous results -- in foreign policy especially.

Imagine, we might have invaded some other sovereign nation on puffed-up reasons and gotten lots of people killed for no good reason!

Heavens me! That would have been dreadful!

ohdave said...

Kerry said "pardonnez moi"
after dissing the soldier's emploi.
"I can't be exused
for words I misuse...
Apres tout, je ne suis pas le roi!

Sickofspin said...

John Kerry is ignorantly arrogant.

James Killus said...

Thank god John Kerry will not be reelected this year. People are too smart to send an insensitive gas bag back to the Senate in an election as important as this one.

Ariel said...

Good point about the way Dems torch their also-rans. Almost makes me feel sorry for Kerry. Almost.

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Anonymous said...

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