Kerry Not Stuck In Iraq
"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." Senator John Kerry
"2004 Dem Presidential Nominee John Kerry Refuses to Apologize for Belittling U.S. Troops" Republican National Committee
There it is, in black and white, the core difference between Democrats and Republicans. It's not ideology. Most real issues come in so many shades of gray, the lines are blurred across all party lines.
The difference is a deep, fundamental divide in the practice of partisan politics. A totally different view of We The People. And a wildly divergent approach to communicating the message.
Democrats continue to try--perhaps naively--to elevate the discussion. To focus on ideas, issues, goals. To rally people around possibilities. Hopes and dreams. Positive solutions.
Republicans have always favored The Personal Attack. The Big Lie. Unfurling the flag to cover failure. Under George W. Bush, they've become masters of obfuscation as information. And of ugly, transparent pandering to national grief and fear.
Fighting dirty is increasingly the trend at election time. But the skeeve factor has been raised to an art form by Bush Republicans. Local campaign ads supported by the national Republican party have sunk to new lows. They've turned elections into cock fights.
When John Kerry botched a joke aimed at the president's botched policy in Iraq, he played right into their hands. And gave them a big chance to crow.
Kerry's miscue provided the Republican party with a golden opportunity to attack Democratic party candidates nationwide. They're using outraged patriotism with cynical precision to divert attention from the public's growing dissatisfaction with the war and the Republican Party.
That's the real irony in the current Kerry-Bush non-issue brouhaha. The party of the Elite has stooped to appealing to the lowest common denominator in an effort to confuse the uninformed and uneducated into ignoring Republican mistakes and voting their way.
John Kerry should stay resolutely above the fray. And stand firm on the real issues. He should apologize sincerely and succinctly to the troops, soldier to soldier, for an honest mistake. He's a genuine war hero. He's one of them. He knows who they are and what they're up against. He should remind them of that. And let them know he's working hard to bring them home.
George Bush can't do it. Dick Cheney can't do it. Rick Santorum can't do it. They've never been soldiers. They've never fought in a war. They aren't patriots. They're politicians with a twisted agenda who jumped at the chance to use our troops--the real patriots--to further their own political aims.
If the Democrats are smart, they'll help John Kerry turn a mistake into a mission: to shine a bright light on the dark dealings of the Republican Party.