Politics

John Kerry, War Veteran

I confess I am not a huge John Kerry fan (Edwards was my favorite of the John-John combo in ’04).

But I’m glad to see him stand up today to the Chicken Hawk thugs who are running our country currently and attacking him in the past day (Kerry told someone at a rally yesterday that if they didn’t get an education, they’d "end up in Iraq" — Republicans are calling him "anti-military" and are demanding an apology).

Here are the money quotes (from the NY Times):

"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,” Mr. Kerry went on. “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.
….
“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,” the senator said.

There are, of course, many honorable Republicans who have scrupulously avoided the kind of Elmer Gantry patriotism practiced by folks like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity (among the many chicken hawks who have never served) and their ilk.

But I’m afraid the party has a pathetic history of war-avoiding losers bashing real combat veterans, going back to the number Nixonites did on George McGovern some thirty-four years ago, when they portrayed the World War II flying ace as a wimpy appeaser. McGovern, of course, had actually served under combat situations, dodging anti-aircraft fire in dozens of missions over North Africa and Italy, and winning the Distinguished Flying Cross; Nixon worked handling cargo supplies, and so far as I know never saw any enemy fire.

The Kerry dust-up comes on the heels of another chicken hawk, George Allen, resorting to an attack on the fiction writings of his war hero opponent in the Virginia Senate race.  Allen, who of course never served, won his Senate seat by defeating another war veteran in 2000, Chuck Robb.

I’m glad to see Kerry hit back, two years to late, I hope other Democrats will do the same. The attacks on veterans like Kerry and Allen by thugs like Hannity and Limbaugh and Cheney and Bush are Nixonian through and through, and I don’t mean that as a compliment.

It boggles the mind that any sensible, honest Republican could be proud of their party at this moment.

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