The media and the blogosphere are in the midst of a frenzy like we haven’t seen since ’04 over the trading of barbs by Kerry and Bush today. The firestorm extraordinaire is as David Stout from N.Y. Times describes, “another example of the heated rhetoric surrounding the war issue as the Congressional elections approach.” There was no holding Kerry back this morning when the hits started coming from the right wing nut-jobs, the war of words was launched between the left and right all over the media, the blogosphere and the air waves.
Stout notes in the NY Times “Part of Mr. Kerry’s outrage may arise from memories of 2004, when a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth raised allegations, never substantiated,” and he added, “This time, Mr. Kerry did not wait.” Damn straight he didn’t wait. Kerry released a statement soon after the first hits started and then moved on to an all out, no holds barred press conference, that was stunning to watch (video and transcript here). Poetic justice at it’s best — Kerry ripped into the right wing parrots and pundits and tore them all a new one.
In his direct response to Bush’s desperate smears, Kerry said:
“I make apologies to no one about my criticism of the President and his broken policy that kills and maims our heroes in Iraq every single day. This pathetic attempt to distort a botched joke about President Bush is a shameful effort to distract from a botched war.
As a combat veteran, I know the dedication, integrity, and commitment of American troops. I’ve lived it. Had George Bush and Dick Cheney been in combat one minute of their comfortable lives they would never have sent American troops to war without body armor or without a plan to win the peace and they wouldn’t be exploiting our troops today.
President Bush owes an apology to our troops and to their families for his disaster in Iraq. George Bush didn’t do his homework when he ran from sound intelligence about Iraq. Dick Cheney didn’t learn from the lessons of the Gulf War when he forgot his own advice not to get bogged down in Iraq. George Bush didn’t do his homework when he ignored General Shinseki’s advice to go to war with enough troops to maintain order. This entire administration didn’t learn anything about telling the truth; otherwise they would have leveled with the American people that we are stuck in a civil war in Iraq today.”
Here’s a view of the discussion in the blogosphere, on the air waves and in the news:
Keep the heat on JK — Don’t stop firing back at until after election day. It’s time for a real debate on Iraq — Do Not Back Down. We’ve got your back.
UPDATE: Hotline On Call notes Kerry spokesman David Wade’s response to McCain call for Kerry to apologize…
Kerry aide David Wade: “When will John McCain ask his new Republican best friends George Bush and Dick Cheney to apologize for misleading America into war and giving us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it? John McCain’s neoconservative pals 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.”
UPDATE 2: Note to readers — Fire Back in support of John Kerry…
UPDATE 3 – RELATED POSTS: