Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

September 2, 2003

by J

More on Kerry on MTP

To follow-up on V's post yesterday about Kerry's appearance on Meet The Press, here's a link to the recently-posted transcript. I was also bothered by Kerry's weird "tsk tsk" to his staff for being nasty. Here's what he said:
MR. RUSSERT: Your campaign manager is quoted as follows: “Howard Dean is a very crafty, very calculating politician.” Do you agree?

SEN. KERRY: I don’t want to make any characterizations. I wish my campaign were not making characterizations of people publicly and I don’t like that.
Umhmm. So, if the nastiness from Mssrs. Jordan and Lehane continues, what do we conclude? Either Kerry lied on Meet The Press, or he can't control his staff. I don't believe for a second that he's unaware of what they've been doing. The other bizarreness was his queer loyalty to his Yale fraternity (or whatever the hell it is) and, presumably, fraternity brothers such as Dubya:
MR. RUSSERT: You both were members of Skull and Bones, a secret society at Yale. What does that tell us?

SEN. KERRY: Not much, because it’s a secret.

MR. RUSSERT: Is there a secret handshake? Is there a secret code?

SEN. KERRY: I wish there were something secret I could manifest there.

MR. RUSSERT: Three twenty-two, a secret number?

SEN. KERRY: There are all kinds of secrets, Tim.
That's just so weird. It really creeps me out.

I think Kerry is now my #4 choice, behind Clark and Gephardt.
Posted by J at September 2, 2003 04:06 PM

Kerry's a chump.

Posted by: david at September 4, 2003 09:58 PM

If Kerry holds his secret fraternity pledge over that of public office which he now holds and aspires to weild from an even higher office he is a disgrace to those very vows he took. Like Bush he deserves no more than to be on trial for treason. Skull and Bones represents many old world families and has substantial corporate interests both directly and through its members. Curiously all members who are elected to positions of public office seem to bend public policy to support those industries. This is more than a conflict of interests it is a betrayal of national trust. Please email me if anyone has reason to believe Dean is also Skull and Bones

Posted by: Dreamtrove at December 27, 2003 10:47 PM

Why blast a man (Republican or Democrat) for upholding a pledge? You should rather applaud him for keeping the vow, shouldn't you? If he were to divulge secret information he vowed to forever keep, how much more of a scoundrel would he be? If you don't like his politics or are pulling for another candidate, that is fine, but please give people credit for that which they deserve. Keeping a vow - whether it be to a fraternity, a constitution a spouce etc. is still keeping a vow, and that should be congratulated, not criticized.

Posted by: Kevin Kedzior at January 18, 2004 11:12 AM

Not all pledges and vows are worthy of being kept -- I would put 'vows' associated with college fraternity rituals (probably performed while under the influence) in this category.

Equating a fraternity with the Constitution suggests to me that we probably don't agree on this point.

Posted by: J at January 18, 2004 11:17 AM

There's a fascinating page on Bush, Kerry and Skyll and Bones at http://www.survivalistskills.com/bushkery.htm. Very interesting reading!

Posted by: Peter Atkinson at March 11, 2004 03:38 AM

"Not all pledges and vows are worthy of being kept -- I would put 'vows' associated with college fraternity rituals (probably performed while under the influence) in this category. "

I agree that not all pledges and vows are worthy of being kept. However, I find your blanket statement offensive and worse, ignorant. As a member of one such organization, I can assure you that, while the consumption of intoxicating substances in large quantities is a practice associated with many fraternities, I can not imagine that any such organization would debase itself or its members by impairing a member's ability to think clearly or fully comprehend anything to which they were affirming allegiance. This type of blind, unfounded assertation is the type of thing that reduces a previously logical argument to the arena of slander and name-calling. Furthermore, I do not understand how one can summarily characterize all such 'vows' as 'not... worthy of being kept' without knowing what is contained within them. The vast majority of such pledges and vows include affirmations of allegiance to God, country, and such universal human ideals as faith, charity, and desire to help one's fellow man. Surely you do not imply that the unfaltering subscription to such clauses is in any way unworthy.

Posted by: Brandon at March 22, 2004 11:15 PM

G. W. Bush is a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. To what fraternity (not Skull and Bones) does John Kerry belong?

Posted by: Patrick Groff at March 27, 2004 02:01 AM

Surely you do not imply that the unfaltering subscription to such clauses is in any way unworthy.

This conversation is taking place in a context. That context is about Kerry refusing to say anything about his and Bush's secret society "because it's a secret." That is hardly the same sort of oath as swearing to uphold the Constitution.

But, you did a good job twisting the conversation into something you can get offended about and hurl insults over.

Posted by: J at March 27, 2004 10:04 PM

Dear Mr. Russert:

I watched with morbid fascination last night your discussion with Paul Krugman and Bill O'Reilly. I had watched your tolerance and amazing calm on another occasion when Don Imus made a complete ass of himself on your program, but this was"over the top." I watch your programs religiously because I think I gain insight; I am a true political "junkie" like yourself. O'Reilly has enough psychological problems that I ended up thinking that he should be institutionalized. Krugman was at a loss to know how to deal with an insane person. Krugman's input was quite valid. O'Reilly is an obvious bully and liar. His jealousy of Krugman was a palpable thing. I kept watching because I wondered if someone would get hit!
In the future, I hope that you will leave Bill O'Reilly out of the dialogue. As he spoke last night I kept remembering his merciless bullying of the 24-year-old young man whose father had been killed in 9/11 in "Otufoxed". I think the man has anger-management problems, credibility problems, and is a street thug. I would not invite him into my home. I find him despicable. His mindless aggressiveness, on-the-spot distortion of whatever others say, his intolerance of differences of opinion, and his lack of manners should put him into the "pariah" category...and I don't say that about many people!

I hope that you will NEVER include that man in a civilized discussion. He is just not "up" to it.

Posted by: Treva Duffy at August 8, 2004 10:02 AM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
The Politics of Truth... A Diplomat's Memoir

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush

Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
The Great Big Book of Tomorrow

Clinton Wars
The Clinton Wars

Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

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