Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Barnyard Politics

"Education -- if you make the most of it and you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well," said Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat. "If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."
To quote our whimsical Secretary of Defense, "Oh, Henny-Penny, the sky is falling!" Somebody told the truth. It's too bad he left out the punch line: "Just ask President Bush."

So now it's dogpile-on-Kerry time again:
Some Democrats defended the senator, but others privately cringed. An unnamed Democratic congressman told ABC News: "I guess Kerry wasn't content blowing 2004, now he wants to blow 2006, too."
Oh, bravo, sir! Displacement is so much more constructive than confronting the source of the problem.

So, keeping alive a completely meaningless cockfight, CNN wants to know "who should apologize" over the artificial horror engendered by John Kerry's clumsy comment on why kids should do well in school:
President Bush has called Kerry's comments "insulting" and "shameful" and said the Democrat from Massachusetts owes an apology to the U.S. military. Kerry said the president owes the troops an apology for misleading the country into the war in Iraq. What do you think? Does Kerry owe the nation's military an apology, or does Bush?
Rather beside the point now, since Kerry already apologized. We truly are a nation of fainting goats.
fainting goat
Here's what I told them:

Everyone knows--and you in the media have reported on it for years--that kids with fewer options and less money are not only more likely to enter the military for a chance at education and career-training, but the recruiters themselves focus their efforts on poor and minority candidates far more than on rich ones.

That doesn’t automatically mean that highly-educated and wealthier people don’t also join up (though they are far more likely to be officers)--and it doesn’t mean that the poor kids who do join aren’t doing it for patriotic reasons as well.

But come on…to deliberately ignore the fact that the infantry of this volunteer military is mostly made up of the working class is simply bad faith, the same bad faith in which that buffoon in the White House twists Kerry’s words to accuse him of disrespect for the troops. He gets up on the bodies of the “troops” to try to make some political hay, and you, you recorders of history; you let him get away with it. You sit there and allow Bush, a man who spent his entire so-called “military service” pulling strings and eluding responsibilities while his poorer contemporaries died like flies in the jungles of south Asia, accuse a real war hero of disrespect for the troops, and yet fail to question what standing he has to make such accusations? Bush has consistently laid out budget after budget cutting funds for veteran’s needs, and has sent billions unaccounted for into Iraq while failing to ensure the soldiers and their families got enough armor and enough pay to keep them out of the field hospitals and the food banks.

So tell me this---who disrespects the troops:
Kerry, who fought in war, who lost dear friends in front of his eyes and had the courage to speak out against it, who tries to impress on kids at a turning point in their lives that failing to take advantage of education reduces their options and pushes them towards the devil’s bargain of the volunteer service?
Or Bush, who has never spoken a single word about the “troops” that wasn’t steeped in opportunism and disingenuousness, and who has never experienced one minute of the terror and loss of war?
But forget all that. It's so much more fun to play the wounded ignoramus. Where are my smelling salts, Miz Liza?

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