Skip to comments.Halp us Jon Carry
Posted on 11/02/2006 4:45:35 AM PST by Molly Pitcher
Let's not get lathered up worrying about what Sen. John Kerry meant when he contrasted the value of book learning to the value of getting shot at in a foreign war. Instead let's assess the public reaction and its possible impact on Tuesday's elections.
Parsing Kerry's words is a waste of time. Did he mean a lack of education might make one, like George W. Bush, an ignorant warmonger? Or only that hard work and hitting the books will keep one far away from the violent desert sands of volatile Iraq? Most informed speculators have adopted the second interpretation. But who knows?
Kerry blundered badly, and that's the point. He canceled campaign appearances with Democratic candidate hopefuls. Even Sen. Hillary Clinton -- probably for her own opportunistic reasons -- called for Kerry to apologize to American troops. Finally he did.
By now, quick Internet distribution and TV broadcasts have made common currency of the photograph of U.S. troops forming a line in the sand (literally) and holding a banner that reads, "Halp Us Jon Carry We R Stuck (c and k printed backward) in Irak."
The soldiers' message was clear, and apparently so was John Kerry's. Yes, he might have simply left out words from his statement that would have made it clear he was talking only about the president. No matter. These troops and their families took Kerry's "joke" as a direct insult. Unfortunately for Kerry's Democratic Party, a fair number of otherwise unmotivated Republican voters, and some independent ones, likely took offense, too.
The pregnant question now is whether the Kerry goof will rescue an entire election for the GOP. Perhaps not. Still, it has unquestionably put the brakes on the alleged Republican freefall that pollsters and pundits have been declaring for weeks. At the least, the senator's remarks might reverse Democratic fortunes in scattered close races, especially in the South.
Look at the places President Bush has campaigned in the last week. One key congressional race is in Georgia's District 12. Our latest InsiderAdvantage survey showed former Republican Congressman Max Burns barely trailing incumbent Democrat John Barrow.
In the same state, Bush also stopped off to help former Congressman Mac Collins as he tries to unseat Democrat Jim Marshall.
As little as a month ago, neither of these Republicans was given a chance of winning. But both of these districts have strong military ties and big blocs of independent swing voters. Deft use of Kerry's remarks could be the fillip needed to energize disenchanted Republican or lethargic independent voters to weigh in for the pro-military Republicans.
In Florida, the topsy-turvy race to replace resigned and disgraced Republican Congressman Mark Foley is suddenly being viewed by top political analysts as up for grabs. That, even though Foley resigned too late to take his name off the ballot and substitute the name of the Republican replacing him as the candidate. That means state Rep. Joe Negron must persuade voters to check the name of the now-reviled Foley in order to elect Negron. But it's a Republican district, and the electric voltage of Kerry's misstep could persuade voters to reject the conservative Democrat Tim Mahoney.
Then there's Tennessee. Democratic Congressman Harold Ford Jr. is in a nationally prominent battle against Republican and former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker. Within 24 hours of Kerry's statement, Ford was distancing himself from Kerry's remarks in a big way.
Ford has slipped slightly in the last week's polls. The last thing he needs is to be defending John Kerry instead of attacking Bob Corker. Complicating matters for Ford, he's trying to become an African-American, Democratic senator in a Deep South state. That's news in itself. He doesn't need bad news creeping in from points north.
In today's political world, major gaffes become minor blips overnight. Kerry's ill-spoken words may get drowned in a cascade of negative TV ads and the overwhelming volume of political news in these last days before the election.
The task at hand for the Republicans is to be bold enough to take Kerry's statement to the airwaves and into the field for grassroots, get-out-the-vote efforts. They might do well to recognize the power of images over mere words, or, in this case, an image of words -- misspelled words. Those soldiers' banner could become history if it makes for a surprise banner year for Republicans. Regardless, the Democrats aren't likely to soon turn to John Kerry for any more "halp."
Er, he didn't apologize. His supposed apology stated that he was sorry that so many misunderstood his comment. That's not an apology. It's a statement that there are many people in America stupid enough not to understand his nuanced approach.
A real apology would have been 'I'm truly sorry I made a statement that was taken as a slap at our military. That was not my intention and I am very sorry for misspeaking'. There's a world of difference between the two.
Also, this has nothing to do with forgiveness. It has everything to do with holding a politician accountable for his ways.
"The fact that Kerry publicly apologized proves this."
Michael Barone on Fox & Friends this morning jokingly theorized that maybe Rahm Emmanuel and Chuck Schumer waterboarded him yesterday to squeeze this internet apology out of "be a man" Kerry.
Read his apology. He says he's sorry his words were misinterpreted, still blaming the stupid people who just heard it wrong. Nothing in there blaming himself for saying, oh so clearly, what he said. And his claim that inserting the word "us" changes everything.
Contextually, sticking in "us" makes no sense to me.
I guess it depends on what the meaning of "us" is.
I really hope that this is going to motivate a lot of people who were going to sit this one out...
I know that it's gotten Neal Boortz to change his mind on hoping the pubbies lose to "teach them a lesson." I wasn't going to sit this one out to begin with: I'll be casting a vote for Jim Talent, rather than just against Claire McCaskil, who shouldn't be allowed to hold ANY public office... I know people who HATE republicans and conservatives who have told me that they're voting for Talent because of her.
I really hope that this motivates people to turn out, since I believe that this was a freudian slip, that really shows how Kerry (and the majority of the dems) feels about the military.
I totally agree.
How many soldiers and their families, including elderly relatives and their children have computers and would even know what website to go to?
The whole thing could be a hacker going into his computer and making the whole thing up! I want to read Kerry's lips saying I'M SORRY!
When he ACTUALLY apologizes, then forgiveness can be extended.
Fact of the matter is, his "apology" was no such thing. Blaming others for "misinterpreting" your words and taking pot shots is NOT an apology. If he were a "real man" as he claimed to be at his press conference (where he said he wouldn't apologize [another flip-flop]), then he would just apology for his words and say that he never meant to demean the troops. And "Mr. Man" would have called a press conference, instead of posting his non-apology on a website, written mostly like by one of his staffers.
This man has a history of demeaning, insulting and degrading our troops so that's why I'm inclined to believe that this wasn't a "slip of the tongue".
IT helps Hillary. Don't be.
No kidding? Boy, those Guardsmen have produced an image that is probably going to go down as one of the most effective poitical stunts in history! LOL!
Mel Gibson is a private citizen, not a "leader" of a major political party. Gibson is not running for president in '08. Big difference.
You hit the nail on the head. When I first saw it, I laughed like heck. ...immediately followed with eyes filling with tears of pride for these 'plenty smart and plenty brave' ena nd women.
This pic should be on billboards across the US
I just realized this is Nov 2. Two years ago today Kerry was defeated for the presidency. It was an agonizing day and a very long election night but victory on Nov 3 was so sweet. :)
Kerry has not made a public apology, or even any sort of apology. He doesn't regret saying what he said, he regrets that some people (us dummies like most of the military) misunderstood. Big difference.
He will get my forgiveness when he does the following:
1. Really apologizes.
2. Apologizes in public.
3. Apologizes to the military, the people he offended.
In addition, he needs to admit that his remarks about Vietnam vets were lies, done as a calculated effort to get himself a political foothold in order to run for public office.
I am a forgiving person, but one actually needs to ask for forgiveness and make some sort of restitution before I forgive.
Mel Gibson had zero history of Antisemitism. Jon Carry has a lifetime record of slandering American troops. Second, he may have slipped, but he still said what he believed. There are plenty of Dem's and Lib's, who are defending what he said. Third, Jon Carry did NOT apologize for what he said, he apologized that the rest of us understood what he said and took him at his word. We're too stupid to understand the nuance.
Can we petition the Army to give all the troops in the picture a Bronze Star !
Let's just keep repeating Kerry's words. (And thank God he isn't our president)
"I am convinced a volunteer army would be an army of the poor and the black and the brown," Kerry wrote. "We must not repeat the travesty of the inequities present during Vietnam. I also fear having a professional army that views the perpetuation of war crimes as simply 'doing its job." John Kerry 1972
"They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country."
John Kerry 1971
"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."
John Kerry 2006
Does anyone see a pattern here?
You've got that right. Considering this banner with the troops has made its way over the internet, on Fox News, people start to wonder if the media of CBS, NBC, ABC, etc. are really being nonpartisan and fair and they only briefly show this to attempt to look fair when they are far from it. Too bad for them there are now other sources of news to find out the real story.
The sign is funny, but the expession on their faces is even funnier. That is now my new desktop background!