Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

May 28, 2004

by V

Kerry unleashed; Kerryisms

Mark Kleiman is right to highlight Kerry's speech from Thursday; there's some choice material there.

The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Text: Senator Kerry on National Security

As president, on my first day in office, I will send the message to every man and woman in our armed forces: this commander-in-chief will ensure that you are the best led, best equipped fighting force in the world, and you will be armed with the right weapons, schooled in the right skills and fully prepared to win on the battlefield. But you will never be sent into harm's way without enough troops for the task or asked to fight a war -- (interrupted by applause) -- and you will never be asked to fight a war without a plan to win the peace. (Cheers, applause.) And you will never be given assignments which have not been clearly defined and for which you are not professionally trained. This administration -- (interrupted by applause) -- this administration has discarded and disrespected the advice, wisdom and experience of our professional military officers, and often ended the careers of those who dared to give their honest assessments. That is not the way to make the most solemn decisions of war and peace. As president, I will seek out, listen to, and respect the views of our experienced military leaders, and I will never let ideology trump the truth. (Cheers, applause.)

...Over the last year, we've heard from the president that our policy should be to simply stay the course. Well, one thing I learned in the Navy is that when the course you're on is heading for the shoals, it's pretty smart to shift the rudder. Staying the course is important. But staying the wrong course is not a sign of strength; it is a mark of stubbornness, and it ultimately weakens this nation and the world.
I think that's some fine speechifying, and it (mostly) lacks the "caveats and curlicues" that Will 'Kool Kid Supreme' Saletan makes fun of at Slate.

Saletan's latest "Kerryism", by the way, is pathetic. The 'curlicues' Saletan generally highlights are ha-ha funny but mostly missing in this one; the caveats from Kerry are actually substantive, on point, and change the meaning of Saletan's 'edited' version of Kerry's position. Saletan wants Kerry to oversimplify, oversimplify, oversimplify.

Hey Mr. Journalist, Sir: Why does your 'analysis' always seem to be just marketing advice?

The other reason today's Kerryism is pathetic is, Saletan had to reach back to April 15th to find it. What, Kerry didn't produce enough quotes for you to make fun of in the last 43 days? (Hmm, what might that indicate?)

To step back a bit and look at the bigger picture, Slate's clearly trying to promote Bushisms and Kerryisms as having equal weight. You know - "Hey, they both suck equally!"

This is just another (admittedly small) side effect of the journalistic fetish for appearing 'balanced' - the idea that treating opposing sides of an issue as having equal merit is always the best thing to do, no matter what the issue is or how much relevant and verifiable evidence one side can amass. "Why, to imply that one statement is more true than another would be injecting opinion... but treating facts as equal to lies is objectivity. It's part of the job."

P.S. I don't think Slate/Saletan is going to get a book out of his Kerryisms like they did with Bushisms; they're not nearly as disturbing or fascinating as the output of a guy who can't speak his own native tongue.

P.P.S. As long as Slate is equating the 'language difficulties' of Bush and Kerry for the sake of balance, how about paying someone whose dog Bush once ran over to write unsupported vitriol about him all day long, just to begin to balance out Mickey Kaus' mania for anti-Kerry fabrication and slander?
Posted by V at May 28, 2004 11:10 AM

I find it demoralizing that journalists, professors, students, and the general public (any non high ranking politician) think they are qualified to criticize the performance and actions of men in a position in which they have no experience and can not possible fathom. George W. Bush is from Texas, a state where many highly educated individuals use "loose" English on a daily basis. George W. portrays an image of which the "average" American can relate. Senator Kerry portrays and image similar to Bill Clinton; highly educated and successful, and of a higher class than the “average” American. The bottom line is that none of you have ever been president (nor will you ever be); you don't have to live his life, make his decisions, deal with the stresses of an entire nation, or handle his responsibilities. Why don't you take some time to criticize yourselves so that you may improve your own existence? Why don't you take the time to study, and work in ways which improve our nation and its image rather than tear down the individual who represents our nation internationally? It is time to climb down from your pedestals folks and take a look into your own reality. When you have a job that improves peoples lives and makes enough money so that your family can live comfortably for generations to come, and you have gained the respect of your peers and community, then perhaps you MIGHT be qualified to make a statement on presidential performance; whomever holds the position.

Posted by: Steve at June 18, 2004 03:06 PM

What a profoundly unAmerican statement.

Posted by: J at June 18, 2004 04:06 PM

While browsing for humorous presidential and candidate quotes, I found this.

Look at the lies and misrepresented sources here;

Posted by: Mark at August 27, 2004 12:22 PM

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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