Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Kerry's Joke

A month or so ago, John Kerry, asked [by Jon Stewart, I think] why he didn't respond to all the "swift boat" attacks against him, he indicated that he thought the American people would see through all of that. That would make him "Dumber" of "Dumb and Dumber," with the majority of Americans being "Dumb." [Is that a botched joke?] After all, all he had to do was point out that Bush and Cheney were draft dodgers and he was not, with Bush using a kind of influence to get into the Guard not available to the average "Joe". Indeed, were the Guard a real option back when Bush joined up, something like 100% of potential draftees would have followed his lead since only about 6,000 National Guardsmen went to Vietnam. Kerry replied that he would would greet dirty attacks head on. This time he did, but a little too obliquely for my linguistic taste.

The current brouhaha resulted from Kerry's making what he later called a "botched" joke. The joke was (taken from the BBC):
"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well."

He added: "If you don't you get stuck in Iraq."
What this botched joke does is imply that Mr. Kerry believes either that our troops aren't smart or didn't apply themselves in school. Of course, anyone who thinks he would actually assert that is either a Republican and evil or stupid, or, more likely, both.

Kerry's defense was that he simply made a "botched joke." That, I think, is what happened, given the language of what he said and knowing that he definitely did not mean to say that our troops are stupid [because he isn't that stupid]. What I think we have here is a man who isn't very facile in the use of language.

What was really funny was Bush saying
"The members of the United States military are plenty smart and they are plenty brave and the senator from Massachusetts owes them an apology,"
Given the well-known principle that "it takes one to know one," I would say that Bush is disqualified by that principle from saying that our troops are plenty smart.

I happened to catch Kerry's press conference live and I liked seeing him project some anger. Too bad he didn't do that when he was running against Bush. In his PC, among other things, he said
It disgusts me that a bunch of these Republican hacks who've never worn the uniform of our country are willing to lie about those who did.
The problem is that he didn't actually name these hacks. I wish he had.

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Blogger The Language Guy said...

The Republican smear machine is making a full court press using Kerry's gaffe. If I never see him again on TV it will be too soon. He could cost the Democrats an election here or there. I trust the Demo candidates are rapidly distancing him from themselves.

9:27 AM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

Even if it was a joke, it still gives some insight into how he thinks. (Begin purely political statement) I can't stand that man, and no matter how bad Bush is, I still think he's better than Kerry would have been. (End purely political statement)

Bush makes these kinds of linguistic mistakes all the time, and they do show you what the person is thinking, to an extent (although the actual conclusions you can draw from it are perhaps unreliable). But nothing that Bush has let slip out has been all that offensive to the American people. As opposed to something Clinton let slip out (*bad dum bum psh*).

12:50 PM

Blogger Mr K said...

Lets be fair, I am pretty certain that this is intended to mean

"If you don't study hard, then you will be stupid enough to think that a war in Iraq will be effective".

Honestly, what else would he be thinking?

4:15 PM

Blogger Pamela said...

To assert that Bush's "linguistic mistakes" have not been "offensive" to the American people (at least many of us) seems, at the very least, naive. I find mistruths about reasons to go to war, misrepresentations about the heart of his administration's policies and misstatements (translate to spin) about environmental issues, tax cuts, national product, etc., extremely offensive.

I have a whole calendar of so-called "Bushisms," some merely humorous, but many extremely offensive, and I'd probably note that Kerry is inconsequential to the upcoming elections, while Bush is extremely relevant.

5:25 PM

Blogger Full Metal Attorney said...

Pamela, I was merely talking about mistakes, not statements intentionally made. Freudian slips, if you prefer.

5:57 PM

Blogger Mrs. Geezerette said...

I know most of you have seen the banner which some of our soldiers made in Iraq. It reads: HALP US JON CARRY - WE R STUK HEAR N IRAK.

I do not think Kerry intended to portray our troops as a bunch of losers. That would be political suicide. But that is how it came off. You have to consider that it was a Freudian slip on Kerry's part and truly reflects what he thinks of the makeup of our military which would make him an elitist then.

Kerry should have been mortified by his faux pas and should have made a full and immediate apology. But he didn't. I suppose he took the advice of his political advisers and attempted to make it look like the Republicans were just out to get him. This was a mistake.

Kerry needs to get rid of his political advisers...AND his joke writers. He may have been aiming at Bush with his poorly crafted joke, but he shot himself in the foot instead.

9:12 PM

Blogger maximo said...

i can't believe you people are still riding this horse(face). john kerry is/was/has been un-electable.

i mean, for crying out loud, i thought cognitive dissonance was a uniquely republican phenomenon.

4:33 PM


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