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John Kerry Responds to Republican Distortions, Pathetic Tony Snow Diversions and Distractions from Wing Nut-jobs

by Pamela Leavey

The right wing nut-jobs are full of Hot Air today as they attempt their latest attack on John Kerry.

Talk about taking things out of context — Michelle Malkin claims that it was “Unmistakable what he meant,” referring to John Kerry’s statement to students a Pasadena City College yesterday during a rally for Phil Angelides. You, “Don’t need a PhD in linguistics to understand it clearly,” Malkin said. Well, I was there Michelle, and clearly you and the rest of the wing-nuts have just twisted this with your own brand of perversion.

Not only did the wing-nuts take what Kerry said out of context, but Malkin reported today that “Seth Liebsohn of Bill Bennett’s radio show took a swipe today on this blogger when he said on air: “Even Democrats think Kerry meant what we say he meant and salute this crude.” Malkin noted the Liebson pointed “to this liberal blogger entry” (from my post here last night on the rally):

“Talk about speaking the stark truth to students who want more out of life. The education system in California is a mess, especially in L.A. County. Each day I pick my daughter up at school I see the recruiters leaving, smiling because they have snagged another kid who’s trapped by the system and see’s no future other than enlisting. It shouldn’t be like this. A 50% drop out rate is unacceptable. What is the bottom line for these kids, a job at McDonald’s or Iraq. Kudo’s to Kerry for delivering a wake up call to the young voters at the rally.”

The focus of the rally was education and Kerry gave the students are stark dose of reality when he noted that because the education system here is such a mess, because the drop-out rate is nearly 50%, and because the cost of higher education keeps rising, some students are faced often with struggling through the system to go to a higher education, or those who can’t end up joining the military and heading for Iraq. There truth is there’s few choices for the students the NCLB leaves behind every year.

I speak from first hand experience about what the choices are for urban kids in cities like L.A. As a single mother with a kid in public school, I’ve watched the school system degenerate and yes, I see the recruiters lurking around my daughter’s school daily waiting for the next kid who figures out he can’t make the grade. I believe our kids deserve a better chance, I know that many are getting screwed by the cuts to public education, NCLB and the rising costs of higher education. I talk to kids from my daughter’s school and they know the future looks grim under the Republican reign that could care less about the little people. And I also know that John Kerry believes that it’s right to put on the uniform of the United States and serve our country, but he also believes that our kids deserve a first rate education.

So note to Malkin, Liebsohn, Captain Ed, JustOneMinute and the rest of wing-nuts who have distorted John Kerry’s statement — “you don’t know John Kerry.”

John Kerry issued a statement this morning to in response to White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, assorted right wing nut-jobs, and right wing talk show hosts who are desperately distorting Kerry’s comments about Bush to divert attention from their disastrous record:

If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they’re crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq. It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.

The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor.

Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because they’re afraid to debate real men. And this time it won’t work because we’re going to stay in their face with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their distortions. No Democrat will be bullied by an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a stand still and lose strategy in Iraq.”

Dave Johnson of Seeing the Forest gets it: Kerry Was Talking About BUSH.

The bottom-line is that John Kerry is under attack right now from the usual gang of Republican draft dodgers and sniping armchair warriors who never served this country, but love to attack and distort all those who have – these are the same people who attacked Jack Murtha and Max Cleland — and they will keep attacking until we say — NO MORE.

Here’s the real deal — yesterday, John Kerry made a tough and starkly honest joke about Bush, and admittedly it came out a little mangled. I was standing in the room and it was clear where Kerry was going with his statement — the importance of a great education because if you don’t you’ll be stuck in the war in Iraq — Bush’s stupid war that we all know is based on lies.

So, the right wing has kicked their slime slinging mud machine into high gear and they are trying to distort Kerry’s comments and disgracefully allege that John Kerry was criticizing the troops. That’s right — disgracefully. He was talking about the troops, he was talking about the importance of getting a good education and how easy it is to get screwed by our messed up education system. Let’s make it clear, Kerry has spoken about the importance of a good education time and time again. He’s said in the past, “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.” His point is ALWAYS to wake kids up to how important a good education is — he does want to see our kids fighting in a war we don’t belong in.

If anyone thinks that a veteran would make fun of the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the one idiot who get us stuck in a war in Iraq, they’re crazy — absolutely freakin’ nuts! It’s all about Bush, not the troops.

This is a test of whether Democrats know how to fight back and it’s a big test. We can’t afford to slink off and retreat. We must stand up to the likes of Tony Snow, Bill Bennett, Karl Rove, and the right wing cabal. Kerry’s fighting back and the Dem Daily has his back — and the entire netroots should too. We can blog about how bad the education system is and yet when someone speaks the truth to power about the reality, we let it get twisted by the cabal. I don’t think so.

Kerry is pushing back hard on this fight. Don’t let the cabal get away with this.


  • DKos: The John Kerry nonsense — “Kerry has nothing to apologize for.”
  • Taylor Marsh says it’s a distraction.
  • RELATED POST: Video & Transcript- Kerry: “I Apologize to No One for My Criticism of the President”


  • Max Cleland on John Kerry’s Response to GOP Attacks
  • Kerry Responds to Desperate Bush Smears – Media and Blogosphere in a Frenzy
  • General Claudia Kennedy Defends Veteran John Kerry Against GOP Attacks
  • Olbermann Discusses John Kerry’s Remarks and the Republican’s Distortion (Video)
  • A Loss of a Loved One and John Kerry
  • Note to Little Green Footballs: You’re Wrong About Enlistment Requirements
  • John Kerry Talks to Imus
  • Statement of Senator John Kerry
  • Olbermann: Bush Owes Troops an Apology, not Kerry
  • Bush – The Great Divider
  • Punching Bag or Punching Back?
  • 19 Responses to “John Kerry Responds to Republican Distortions, Pathetic Tony Snow Diversions and Distractions from Wing Nut-jobs”

    1. John Kerry has been out-campaigning anyone, anywhere since June at least. He has been speaking at Fanueil Hall in Boston with major policy speeches, pushing for a debate on Iraq on the Senate floor, conducting all his ususal Senate responsibilities and traveling all over the country to support Democratic candidates, especially the veterans runningy for office.

      NO ONE is perfect. He mangled the comment, the hyper-reaction is simply the GOP tactic for not considering the person as a whole, but isolated comments out of context or comments that came out differently than intended.

      As I pointed out on the previous post, the Right Wing is able to disregard Bush’s repeated failures as a businessman, his mediocre performance as a Governor in a state that has a very weak Governor’s role, his violation of TANG commitments, his repeated mangling of the English language and inability to express himself at press conferences. Yet absurd attacks like this against Democrats, Kerry specifically, are flung like garbage to a hog pen.

      Of course, the hogs scarf it up.

    2. This is a non-story that is being hyped by the GOP to try and make it a real story. I’ve posted the clip being circulated and also explained exactly what was intended (though poorly worded) by the remark…here:


    3. Thanks Daniel

    4. By saying “us,” might poke at someone for having gotten us stuck, but why is Bush so recognizable as intellectually lazy?

      Many people are getting stuck in Iraq, for lack of other choices, with the level of education and mental soundness clearly waived for the military’s wanting cannon fodder.

      But Kerry’s devotion to the service, its people and benefits, has never waivered. He’s worked tirelessly for them, and often been the last man standing against these GOP budget cuts.

      What is really amazing, is how quickly the media reach, and scores of bloggers and callers, were mobilized with the same reading, and always wrong.

      I hope when thinking ahead, people don’t think a pretty face and neophyte are gonna cut it. Not without the kind of all party support that Kerry did NOT receive last time.

      Winning back the White House, especially if we do take Congress, however marginally, will mean one party rule, less attractive when media darling McCain is the GOP candidate. People need to be very afraid of a McCain candidacy, however likable and smarter than W, an easy feat.

      When are we getting preview?

    5. MarjorieG

      Absolutely seeing a preview!

    6. I am kind of scared over this and I don’t know why.

    7. I am not suprised at Michell Malkin for twisting this. I have said it many times before, Michelle is a freaking NUT! BTW, if she believes in the right wing nuttery factory so much, why am I hearing her? Doesn’t she have a kitchen to be barefoot in? So STFU Michelle and go get me a beer!!

    8. Indie, I’m scared, too, because the GOP, and netroots who haven’t forgiven Kerry, will carry this to the exclusion of the great work and great policy speeches he’s been giving.

      I’m scared because I know this crap works, and because folks really don’t know what Kerry did on the campaign trail or has done since.

      Again, the coordination of the attacks should be a warning. And like they all knew that Kerry had a blog again? Must be all those GOP staffers who pounded on the glass to shut down the Miami recount.

      Just when I thought the media was starting to see the Dems as a way out of this mess. They fall for the Rove campaign.

    9. Marjorie,

      I don’t want to be pessimistic, but there are some saying that they won’t vote for Kerry again after this and that he costs us 06 when he has done a lot to help win since 04. Stories like that aren’t nice to hear, especially when he is gaining support.

      This isn’t his fault, but if he runs again, he is going to have come out forcefully like he has been doing cause the GOP will throw this right back in his face if he runs again.

    10. I’ve read both versions… what John said, and what he meant to say. Either way, he owes NOBODY an apology!

      The first statement, the one he actually made…
      “You know education…if you make the most of it…you study hard; 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.”

      Many kids of today who are not from families that can afford the high cost of a college education for their kids, well these kids often listen to the recruiters paint a rosey picture about how great things are in the service and about all the benefits of serving (such as college money) often make this choice instead of taking a chance in the low wage real world. These kids that do sign up wind up in the hot spots of the world… Iraq, Afganistan, the big “K”, or other tinderboxes. So, in reality, the get “stuck” where Bush and company feels they are needed. I am no rich kid, or highly educated person… I am just an average wage earning, tax paying, parent that knows exactly what is meant by being “stuck” in an undesirable situation.

      And even without the explaination John made to try and clear things up…
      “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.”
      was right on track!

      So, either way…
      JOHN OWES NOBODY this apology that the Repuba spin machine is calling for.

      John Kerry, speaking directly to you John, “STAY THE COURSE”! You are dead on, straight ahead, full speed!


    11. Quoting Donny: “I am not suprised at Michell Malkin for twisting this. I have said it many times before, Michelle is a freaking NUT! BTW, if she believes in the right wing nuttery factory so much, why am I hearing her? Doesn’t she have a kitchen to be barefoot in? So STFU Michelle and go get me a beer!! ”

      OMG that’s classic!

    12. Indie- I was a bit sick when I first saw it and haven’t watched TV news at all tonight because I knew they would bash JK.

      The people who said they won’t vote for him again probably had no intention of doing so anyway.

      Kerry won’t get any help from the dems and I’m sure other 08 contenders are just salivating.

      But this could cut both ways.

      They have put this focus on Kerry and he has a chance to turn it into a positive by being relentless on the fact they sent troops to war with not enough equipment, they have no clue about how to get them out, and yes Iraq is a civil war.

      the high number of troop’s deaths was getting loss in the msm noise but Kerry needs to remind them of it and ask for what? The rationale for this blame fiasco changes every damn week.

      Folks will use it against him and I’m worried about that but he is smart and if he does it right he could come out a winner.

      After all most of the people who he supported are against the war anyway and if the dems in the congressional races run from Kerry the heck with them in my opinion.

      They can use this to talk about what is really going on if when this is bought up by the GOP. Most of them won’t but the smart ones will.

      The gop brings this up bring up foley preying on kids, 103 troops killed in one month, GOP using race to divide the nation and tarnish the lives of good men, the GOP picking on man with Parkinson’s who is trying to find a cure so he can see his children grow up.

      Dems rolled over in 02 they can’t do it this time.

    13. Donnie

      Aren’t you glad that your girl linked to me today. LOL! It made my day to be quoted by Malkin and right wing radio. 😉

    14. Indie, Marjorie, Pen

      Ginny and I were discussing on the phone – WTF is the Dem leadership. They should have JK’s back – he’s sure as hell had there’s.

    15. Starting in the `60’s, the republicans, (who are no friends of public education) put out the call to their constituants to run for school board positions. This action would be easy, as no one really cared enough to pay attention in those days. It also gave them a jumping board to higher office.
      Once elected, education in the USA started on a downhill slide that continues to this day. I blame everything on Ronald Reagan, including Columbine and other latch key kids shooting up schools.
      WE call it, “The dumbing down of America”.
      Our education system is in the toilet; no history, no civics or poli-sci, no sports or music. Kids graduating who read on a 3rd grade level.
      Being dumb doesn’t mean your stupid, but it will keep you from getting a good job.
      What is the alternative for these people?, join the army. If you don’t get killed, you might just get educated

    16. wow.

      just wow.

      i was wondering how or whether you were going to backtrack on your initial, pre-controversey interpretation of kerry’s remarks, which was the same in substance as that of the people angered by them, only you supported them.

      what you seem to have done is synthesize kerry’s spin with your own original interpretation and created a second spin more convaluted and internally comprimised than the official one.

      kerry said the troops are stupid.

      kerry’s spin, which doesn’t proceed at all from what he actually said, was that he meant to call bush stupid.

      basicly what you’re saying is that the troops are stupid because of bush.

      you really are a confused person

    17. “we support the war criminals. bring the war criminals home so they can stop committing war crimes against the freedom fighters.”

      you can say that kerry and progressives in general are indisputable allies of the military, but the troops don’t buy it and neither does anyone else.

    18. re: Donnie #7 & Javelin #11

      You’re right Javelin.

      The whole bs surrounding telling Malkin to return to the Phillipines or the kitchen is likely an insert from some lonely Freeper looking to insert inflammatory language, thus giving Malkin an ‘excuse’ to point out even more ‘liberal bias’.

    19. Jimmy used the word “stupid” to describe what John Kerry said. Perhaps this was the best word he could have used in his comments to get his point across. As for Bush, the best word to describe his actions are just plain dumb! The difference being one who is stupid (or makes a stupid mistake as in what John did)has the intelligence to know a mistake was made, learns from it, and does all they can to correct the mistake and not do it again. Being dumb (as in what Bush did by getting us stuck in Iraq) is they are not intelligent enough to know it was a stupid mistake, don’t learn from it, and doesn’t do anything to correct the mistake… and actually try and defend their reasoning for doing so.



      1 a : slow of mind b : given to unintelligent decisions or acts : acting in an unintelligent or careless manner c : lacking intelligence or reason
      2 : dulled in feeling or sensation
      3 : marked by or resulting from unreasoned thinking or acting
      4 : lacking interest or point


      1 a : lacking the human power of speech
      2 : temporarily unable to speak (as from shock or astonishment)
      3 : not expressed in uttered words
      4 : lacking some usual attribute or accompaniment; especially : having no means of self-propulsion
      5 : a : lacking intelligence b : showing a lack of intelligence
      7 : not having the capability to process data