In the last days before an election, tiny ripples in teapots have a way of becoming tempests, and so it was with the furor surrounding Sen. John Kerry’s dumb remark about getting stuck in Iraq.
Now that Kerry has apologized — after first fiercely refusing to do so — GOP strategists are jubilant. They should be. With the war going badly and the polls looking grim, a straw man happened along at a very convenient time. And he was bearing gifts.
No matter how obvious it was that Kerry’s original remark was a mangled jest aimed at President Bush, Republicans wasted no time casting the remark as further evidence of Democratic disdain for the military. For the Democrats, damage control meant joining the chorus. Said one Democratic strategist: “He has already cost us one election. The guy just needs to keep his mouth shut.”
Probably not a bad idea. But Republican outrage over his remark was overwrought, and Republican glee now is just unseemly.
Meanwhile, Democrats tried a counterattack, criticizing House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, who in an interview Wednesday seemed to shift blame for the problems in Iraq from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to the generals. “John Boehner ought to be ashamed,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. “He’s blaming our troops for failures in Iraq.”
Posted by Dave Knadler
Registered?Commenting on WE Blog now requires you to be a Kansas.com member. Use the links above to register, if you haven't already, or to log in.
Do you tweet? Follow us on Twitter: @WE_Tweet.