Ah, I remember the heady blogging days of 2004, when John Kerry provided WhatsAPundit with so much material....
So, ust when it looks like the Republicans are stuck with talking about Republican problems (which pretty much ensured their majority status in both houses would go down in flames) John Kerry commits the cardinal sin of modern politics.
He says what he really means.
Compare and contrast:
You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you dont, you get stuck in Iraq.
--What Kerry said.
I can't overstress the importance of a great education. Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq.
--What Kerry supposedly meant to say.
Let's disregard for a moment the Kerry v Bush educational comparison (which makes the putatively prepared joke very much a pot v. kettle proposition). Instead, let's examine why
Kerry might have mangled the joke in the very particular way he did.
This is not a man who trusts the United States military, from the Commander in Chief down to the privates on patrol, to be anything other than a stupid, malicious force for evil. For Kerry, the military will always be the military as imagined by anti-Vietnam protesters, dead-end draftees led by sadistic officers led by a corrupt oligarchic power structure.
That Kerry should slip up in his delivery, going from a calculatedly specific target to what he believed to be a valid generalization, really wouldn't be a surprise. As an aside:
It's actually funny to see how indignant John Derbyshire
is that the anti-troops interpretation is the one most of us came to. My only conclusion is that Derb has read the quote totally out
of the greater context, and is damned proud of his ability to focus on the tree, and forget about the forrest. (BTW, I love it that Kerry is claiming people are reading his quote out of context. It's exactly his well-documented context he should be hoping people ignore....)