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Old 04-29-2004, 09:01 AM   #1
Lurikeen
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Default A good point: "For once, Bush should fight his own battles"

"For once, Bush should fight his own battles"

by Josh Marshall

It’s really not hard to see why many Democrats just plain old hate President Bush.

Yes, I know “hate” is a strong word and underlying it is a strong emotion. But it’s not an altogether inappropriate feeling in the face of unmitigated, unapologetic and seemingly endless gall.

Last Sunday, the president’s longtime handler and current campaign adviser Karen Hughes went on the talk shows to attack Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) over his military record and his subsequent work as a Vietnam war protester.

In particular, Hughes implied that Kerry had some sort of character problem because of a dispute over whether he threw back ribbons or medals during a war protest in 1971.

“He only pretended to throw his,” Hughes told CNN.

“Now, I can understand if, out of conscience, you take a principled stand, and you would decide that you were so opposed to this that you would actually throw your medals. But to pretend to do so — I think that’s very revealing.”

As E.J. Dionne rightly put it in The Washington Post two days later, this campaign against Kerry is a smear, pure and simple.

As Dionne writes, the same question once put to Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) — “Have you no sense of decency, sir?” — needs to be posed to these “shamelessly partisan Republicans who can’t stand the fact that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are facing off against a Democrat who fought and was wounded in Vietnam.”

But let’s not get tripped up by the shameful display on the House floor last week, when Republican after Republican all but accused Kerry of being a traitor, or even by Hughes’s temerity in questioning the service of a man who risked his life for his country in Vietnam, on behalf of a man who did everything in his power to stay out of that fight.

Let’s draw back and see the big picture. And the big picture here is Bush, who is behind all of this.

Let’s start with this. What’s the signature pattern of Bush’s life?

When he faces a challenge or a tough scrape, he lets his family and friends bail him out. He has always let others do his fighting for him.

You see it in his failed businesses, where well-heeled family friends again and again came in to bail him out. It’s there in the legal scrapes. And it’s there in the whole matter of ducking service in Vietnam — first by getting his father’s and his father’s friends’ help in jumping the queue to get into the Texas Air National Guard, and then again with help cleaning up the subsequent unfortunateness while he was serving in the Texas Air National Guard.

(As was reported this week in Salon, despite assurances to the contrary from the White House, the president still refuses to release his complete Vietnam-era service record.)

The pattern has even come up repeatedly on the campaign trail. Since the president came onto the national political stage, he has faced three main opponents — Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), then-Vice President Al Gore and now Kerry. Each served in Vietnam, though under very different circumstances. And President Bush has had his lieutenants and surrogates attack the service of each one.

So here, with Hughes, we have the same pattern repeating itself. The president knows he’s vulnerable on this issue — after all, he says he supported the war at the time, but he did all he could to avoid the fighting himself.

So he gets Hughes to do his dirty work for him. That means that to shift attention from an earlier time when he couldn’t fight his own fights, Bush is now repeating the pattern.

So what should the Democrats do? First of all, it’s unpardonable that the party and the campaign are forcing Kerry to rebut this medals-and-ribbons ridiculousness on his own.

He shouldn’t even need to stoop to the level of addressing this stuff. Where are his surrogates? What about retired generals and other Vietnam vets?

Kerry himself shouldn’t be lowering himself to addressing the particulars of these attacks or getting mixed up on the details. He should be taking this directly to the
president. He should tell him to turn over a new leaf in life and stop being a coward.

If the president wants to attack or question Kerry’s war record or what he did after the war, Kerry should tell him to do it himself. No special deals, no hidden help from family retainers, no hiding behind Hughes. Tell the president, for once, to fight his own fights.

http://www.thehill.com/marshall/042904.aspx
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Old 04-29-2004, 09:49 AM   #2
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So here, with Hughes, we have the same pattern repeating itself. The president knows he’s vulnerable on this issue — after all, he says he supported the war at the time, but he did all he could to avoid the fighting himself.
In other words.
Now, I can understand if, out of conscience, you take a principled stand, and you would decide that you were so opposed to this that you would actually throw your medals. But to pretend to do so
Karen Hughes can understand taking a principled stand but not pretending to. If Bush took a principled stand perhaps he would have fought like Kerry did when he took a principled stand. I venture to guess that no matter what stand Kerry took, he EARNED IT. He had every right to do whatever he wanted with his medals. After all he earned them and they belonged to him.
Seems to me like more hypocrisy from Bushiepoo.
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Old 04-29-2004, 10:03 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by bumbleroot
I venture to guess that no matter what stand Kerry took, he EARNED IT. He had every right to do whatever he wanted with his medals. After all he earned them and they belonged to him.
Seems to me like more hypocrisy from Bushiepoo.
Exactly. Kerry earned the right to do with his medals anything he wanted. If he wanted to just toss ribbons in a gesture of support for anti-war vets (like himself), then that is his choice and in no way disingenuous as the Bush campaign would like all of us to believe.

Furthermore, the entire ribbon thing is a smear tactic plain and simple. Bush can't run on a war record, because he hasn't a good one. He can't point at his military service because when it is compared with Kerry's service record, Silver and Bronze stars and all, Bush looks less than mediocre. So what does the Bush campaign do? Attacks Kerry for taking a principled stand against the Vietnam war and calls him a "flip-flopper"; yet, Bush himself doesn't come out with the attack, instead he hides under the skirt of Karen Hughes.
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Old 04-29-2004, 11:02 AM   #4
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What puzzles me is how all of a sudden the Vietnam war became a war we should be proud to have participated in after 30 years of almost unanimous agreement that it was a mistake. The word "Vietnam" is almost synonymous with "quagmire" when descibing a war.

EDIT: once I posted I realize something I left out. I'm not saying those who served in Vietnam were making mistakes, they were doing their duty. I'm talking about the decision of the U.S. government to escalate the war after the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

This isn't support or defense of anyone, I'm just curious.
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Old 04-29-2004, 11:07 AM   #5
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You guys are funny. Of course he has the right to do whatever he wished with them, including keeping some and throwing others. That of course isnt the point, the point is that he told interviewers that he threw both when, in fact, he did not. And to support this, because im sure you will call my words into question:

"I gave back, I can't remember, six, seven, eight, nine medals," Kerry said in an interview on a Washington, D.C., news program on WRC-TV called Viewpoints on Nov. 6, 1971, according to a tape obtained by ABCNEWS.

Kerry was asked if he gave back the Bronze Star, Silver Star and three Purple Hearts he was awarded for combat duty as a Navy lieutenant in Vietnam. "Well, and above that, [I] gave back the others," he said.

The statement directly contradicts Kerry's most recent claims on the disputed subject to the Los Angeles Times last Friday. "I never ever implied that I did it, " Kerry told the newspaper, responding to the question of whether he threw away his medals in protest.

"In a real sense, this administration forced us to return our medals because beyond the perversion of the war, these leaders themselves denied us the integrity those symbols supposedly gave our lives," Kerry said the following day.

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/Polit...ls_040425.html

Pretty darn clear to me don't know why you guys can't see it. Not only that, why can't Karen Hughes respond ? Shoot I read many denials and counteraccusations from Kerrys team about all kinds of subjects and not from Kerry directly. What is your point that you are scared of Karen ?
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Old 04-29-2004, 11:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Crimsonedge
That of course isnt the point, the point is that he told interviewers that he threw both when, in fact, he did not.
You are correct about that and I had totally forgotten about that interview he did in the 70s where he says he "gave back" 8 or 9 medals. Just what does an interview in the 70s really have to do with Kerry's character today? I think not much, if we are to be realistic. I did things in my twenties that I wouldn't even dream of doing again today. I don't see how frying Kerry for that is really meaningful to how he would conduct himself as President... unless of course the point being made is that he lied in that interview and is now a liar because of it? If that is the case why stop at the interview? I am sure he lied to his parents throughout childhood with "I didn't do it" and "he did it" type statements, too.
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Old 04-29-2004, 11:29 AM   #7
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why can't Karen Hughes respond
Karen Hughes has every right in the world to say what she wants to say. However, her words are hypocritical when she characterizes it as not taking a principled stand. It was Bush who did not actually take the stand and stand up for his country and his fellow country men. It was Kerry who took the real stand. Complaining about what he did with the medals is absolutely stupid. That doesn't change the fact that he earned these medals in the war while Bush was AWOL.
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Old 04-29-2004, 11:39 AM   #8
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Bumble prove or shut the fuck ok. Its getting pretty boring listening to you say Bush was AWOL and Bush didnt win the election etc etc. The fact is Bush did serve his country, Bush did win the election, and Bush wasnt AWOL.
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Old 04-29-2004, 12:40 PM   #9
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and Bush wasnt AWOL.
The fact that even the records that Bush released leave a gap in his service record. So, on what grounds do you believe he was not AWOL? I believe he was AWOL because he has still to answer with records or any proof that he did serve his time in Alabama. Face it, he was a son of privelege that benefitted into the guard and pretty much from having to fulfill his obligations in the guard as well. The truth hurts you and pisses you off, but I didn't make that truth up- it is right before your eyes.

And if you weren't so fucking stupid you would realize that I mentioned that he chose NOT to go to war by joining the guard. Even Colin Powell said those that joined the Guard did so to avoid the war.
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"I am angry that so many of the sons of the powerful and well-placed... managed to wangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units...Of the many tragedies of Vietnam, this raw class discrimination strikes me as the most damaging to the ideal that all Americans are created equal and owe equal allegiance to their country."
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You are pissed off because your man was a pussy 35 years ago while our man had real character and stood up for his beliefs and causes. Now when he has the chance to stand behind others while they prop him up he talks a good game.
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Old 04-29-2004, 05:54 PM   #10
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You call me stupid ? You just called over a half million national guardsmen pussies. Dumbass.
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