Quote of the Day

From the never-to-be-misunderestimated Maureen Dowd:

Meanwhile, the Bush crew is shamelessly doing to Mr. Kerry what it once did to Mr. McCain: suggesting that the decorated Vietnam vet has snakes in his head and a temperament problem. “Senator Kerry appears to have lost his cool,” Scott McClellan told reporters in Crawford on Friday. And the Bush campaign chairman, Marc Racicot, said on CNN that Mr. Kerry looked “wild-eyed” responding to Swift boat muck.

It makes sense for W. to use surrogates to do his fighting, just as he did when he slid out of Vietnam and just as he did when he sent our troops to fight his administration’s misbegotten vanity war in Iraq.


Yeah, Maureen, but what about Cambodia — he said he was there in December but he was really there in January! Damn liberal media, ignoring the stuff that really matters.

The Discussion: 15 Comments

Really. I wish the media would start showing us just what exactly John Kerry stands for. I mean, all I hear about him is “Three Purple Hearts” and “liar” and “flip flop” and “Christmas in Cambodia.”

None of that tells me anything about what kind of leadership Mr. Kerry stands for, what kind of foreign policy he intends to pursue, how he intends to deal with the threat of terrorists, et cetera. I should think that what he intends to do in the next four years (if he gets elected) is more important than what he did, or did not, do some 30 years ago. It would be different if he were a convicted murderer, or a felon of some sort, but as far as I’ve been able to read, the most he may be guilty of is exaggerating or misremembering facts. Hardly a high crime against the state.

Furthermore, where is the careful investigative journalism? Shouldn’t they dig up facts? Look into what kind of medal inflation was prevalent in Vietnam? Check the backgrounds of the accusers? Do something to let us know how to separate the grain from the chaff?

August 22, 2004 @ 5:33 pm | Comment

He was never in Cambodia.

August 22, 2004 @ 10:45 pm | Comment

In or “near” — if we want the fate of the world to hang in the balance over this ridiculous factoid — well, it seems nuts to me. It’s of such insignificance that any discussion should never have entered the poilitical debate, just like the talk of McCain’s “illegitimate black child” should never have been raised in 2000. It’s pure distraction, and it’s clogged up the campaign process. And that’s what bush wants; no one’s talking about the real issues, which are a mess bush can’t talk his way out of. So use a group of surrogates to stir the shit — just like in 2000, even with the same ringleader (Spaeth) and same story (veteran’s swearing to the opponent’s poor military service). Horrible. Sickening. Beneath anyone who deserves to be America’s leader. BUT, despite tall that, Kerry may not have been in Cambodia 36 years ago, just near it, so I guess I’ll have to force myself to vote for shrub. Deficits are good for us, and the economy’s “turned” the corner (yeah, right) and we’re kickin’ ass in Iraq, so it’d be the smart thing to do.

August 22, 2004 @ 10:55 pm | Comment

Bush’s first act as president was to reinstate the global gag rule, Kerry’s first act as president will be to repeal it.

You can judge a rich man by the way he treats poor women.


August 22, 2004 @ 11:19 pm | Comment

Yeah, but Kerry’s girlie and effeminate and…you know, french. He uses words like “sensitive.” Yeck. He probably likes to eat snails and cheese, unlike those macho Republicans, who all next week in NYC will surely be eating spare ribs and slabs of buffalo meat throughout the convention. No quiche for them!

August 22, 2004 @ 11:42 pm | Comment

It saddens me that a presidential race is relegated to the same tactics that made high school such an embarrassing waste of time.

August 23, 2004 @ 2:54 am | Comment

Richard, what’s wrong with spare ribs and slabs of buffalo meat? (are there still buffalo?) ๐Ÿ™‚ Now, if we’re talking about eating it every day, then we’re talking about serious health problems, but otherwise I see nothing wrong with spare ribs, good sauce, et cetera.

But yes, I agree that no one is talking about the things that need talking about: namely what exactly do these two candidates stand for? What are their policies? What can we expect with 4 years of Bush, or 4 years of Kerry?

August 23, 2004 @ 2:55 am | Comment

But I thought it was seared, seared I tell you, into his mind.

He lied Richard. He lied publicly, repeatedly and on the floor of the US Senate. He lied about his military service, which is particularly offensive to those of us who served, which is why veterens are abandoning him in droves and he lied in order to accuse someone else of lying, which should be offensive to anyone.

Indeed, he still hasn’t told the truth, which is that He Was Never In Cambodia. Not at Christmas, not ever.

You may want to give him a break but no one else is compelled to and the fact that your boy lied about his military experience on the floor of the Senate is relevant to more people than you think.

August 23, 2004 @ 7:53 am | Comment

I know the Cambodia thing is relatively inane but it’s the only thing abouth the Swift boat campaign that bothers me… “The absolutely seared” line in particular makes it disturbing… I wish if Kerry was in Cambodia at or around Christmas or January that some documentary evidence be produced; shouldn’t there be some kind of mission record if he was there?

Once again, I know it has little relevance, however it IS an insight into his character if he wasn’t there.

August 23, 2004 @ 10:43 am | Comment

If he did indeed misstate the date he was in or near Cambodia, maybe he should have his hand slapped. But weโ€™ve been through this all before, Conrad: There are harmless embellishments and lies, which you and I and certainly every politician have made. Then there are more dangerous and irresponsible lies, like telling people the economy is going one way when itโ€™s going another, or exaggerating a threat to the point of dragging us into war. We are in a state of crisis in America like Iโ€™ve never seen. We know bush is a very dangerous and compulsive liar. We have some very dubious evidence that Kerry may have embellished an utterly irrelevant factoid, perhaps to make himself look good, perhaps because he has being stupid, perhaps becauseโ€ฆ.who knows? But itโ€™s a tiny matter, like when Gore was accused of exaggerating the price of his motherโ€™s prescription medicine, and the Republicans came out with the same nonsense you are โ€“ โ€œHe lied to the American people! Heโ€™s unfit to serve!โ€ This is called making a big mountain out of an almost invisible molehill, and itโ€™s sickening. If truth is your litmus test, bush would have been out of office the day after he was sworn in and you know it. I believe Kerry is a more honest man than bush and I believe the American people wonโ€™t allow themselves to be so easily manipulated this time. Itโ€™ll take more than this to convince people they need to suffer 4 more years of bush. Oh, and check the Weekly Standard article I posted yesterday โ€“ even conservatives are admitting this is crap. Pure, irrelevant crapola.

Hugh, if you want insight into bush’s “character,” I have many, many examples, each far uglier and repellent than this tiny non-story about Cambodia.

August 23, 2004 @ 3:05 pm | Comment

Let’s try this again, he stood up, on the floor of the US Senate and said he was on a secret, clandestine, illegal mission, inside of (not “near” and it’s a big friggin difference, a missison “near” Cambodia would have bee irrelevant) and said that the memory, of being under hositle fire, while the president denied he was there, was “seared” into his memory.

Imagine if he’d said that the President denied there were US troops in Cambodia, but in fact he was actually “Near” that country. It’s absurd.

It’s not a harmless embellishment. It’s an outright lie, told on the floor of the US Senate, in order to claim moral supreiority (“I was there, you weren’t”) over opponants. It speaks volumes as to character, of which I have always believed he was severly lacking.

August 23, 2004 @ 9:15 pm | Comment

Conrad, I’m tired of arguing this. So maybe he embellished a story. So what? It was a personal anecdote — it wasn’t as if he was arguing for going to war. It wasn’t as if he was announcing important economic information of relevance to every American. That’s where bush lies repeatedly and with measurable effect. This might be the silliest thing I have ever heard. Remember, you also thought the sky was falling when Sandy Berger allegedly “stuffed secret documents in his pants and socks” — and it was nothing. Nada. It was just another orchestrated leak designed to embarrass and smear. Luckily the Cambodia non-issue has been disparaged on the cable news shows (and I’m watching Chris Matthews right now) because there’s simply nothing there, it’s just a Karen Hughes/Karl Rove talking point full of sound and fury, signifying less than nothing.

Amazing — Just as I was typing this, Matthews said, “Christmas in Cambodia is pure poetic license. I couldn’t care less about it. He served his country.” (Paraquoting, of course, as Matthews talks very fast.) Truly this is a dead issue, one that never had any life except on the warblogs — no one here cares. Sorry Conrad;l it it were otherwise, I’d tell you. If you really want to convince Americans not to vote for Kerry, you need something more substantive than this silly anecdote.

August 23, 2004 @ 9:25 pm | Comment

AP (Wash DC) — President George W. Bush came under politcal fire today when it was discovered that he exaggerated his military service. Bush has long claimed, including in a past State of the Union address that, while serving in the Air National Guard, he flew a secret Christmas mission over Cuba, where he received anti-aircraft fire. Indeed, Bush claimed that the memory was “seared” into his memory.

It now emerges that no such Christmas mission took place, and that there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Bush, or any other ANG pilot, ever flew over Cuba. Indeed, all surviving members of Bush’s chaim of command deny that Bush flew such a mission.

A spokesman for the President now claims that Bush’s memory may have been faulty and that the President actually flew “near” Cuba at some other time.

Republicans claim that the Presidenat’s story, if false, amounts to nothing more than “harmless embellishment of an utterly irrelevant factoid.”

If the preceding story ran, you’d be screaming for impeachment Richard, and everyone who reads this site knows it.

August 23, 2004 @ 9:27 pm | Comment

Conrad, impeachment over an anecdote something said 36 years ago? — never, ever, ever. You don’t know me; hell, I didn’t even ask for Clinton to be impeached after he admitted he lied about Monica. We are all human beings, and we all tell lies sometimes. It’s not noble, and it’s to be criticized — but impeached??? That would be nuts. Unless, of course, you =tell lies that result in death and destruction. As I’ve said, and as you’ve never acknowledged, there are lies and there are lies. Lies about breaking into the Democrat’s campaign office — that’s a whole other story. Lies about Iraq designed to lead us into a needless war — that’s a whole other story.

August 23, 2004 @ 9:32 pm | Comment

Jesus H. Christ on a rubber pogo stick. Where’s the evidence that Bush LIED to get the US into war. The intelligence was wrong. Tennet assured Bush it was right. The Senate Intelligence Commission concluded it was wrong but that no one in the administration believed or knew it to be wrong.

There are Lies and there are Errors.

And speaking of lies, your boy’s embellishments get better and better:

“Kerry said in a 2003 interview that after the Christmas Eve 1968 engagement, he asked his crew to write a caustic telegram to the chief of naval forces in Vietnam, Elmo Zumwalt Jr., to wish him “Merry Christmas from the troops that weren’t in Cambodia, which was us. We were.”

Ohh, such a big man. Inspring insubordination. Telling off the Admiral. Except it never friggin’ happened. No mission, no crew, no telegram.

And think about it logically, if it was really January, not Christmas as he first claimed, and he just got confused, did he also get confused about the “Merry Christmas” telgram. Why would you say “Merry Christmas” is it wasn’t? Or did it really say “Happy New Year” and Kerry was confused again.

Or maybe, the whole friggin’ thing is an enormous whopper.

And isn’t it interesting that every permutation of the fable is designed to make Kerry look morally superior to someone else?

What kind of man, at his age, having accomplished being elected to the Seante, feels the need to tell such self-serving lies.

It’s creepy.

August 24, 2004 @ 2:28 am | Comment

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