November 02, 2006

What Would Karl Rove Have Done?

John Kerry is pilloried, hoisted on his own petard, ridiculed -- and all unnecessarily so. Why? Because he waffled. Because he hedged. Because he shuffled his feet and then apologized. All for something he did not need to apologize for.

Kerry's initial instincts were right. He got tough and stood up for himself.

What exactly did he say? Here it is:

"Do you know where you end up if you don’t study, if you aren’t smart, if you’re intellectually lazy? You end up getting stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush.”

Why, in heaven's name, did he feel he needed to apologize for that remark? Here is the spin Karl Rove would have devised were he a Democratic Party strategist:

Rove would have turned it into an advantage. He would have had Kerry ask: "What's the matter with you all? Don't you get it? Bush didn't study, Bush isn't smart, Bush is intellectually lazy....and look where it has gotten us! The disaster in Iraq. All you have to do is ask most Americans who now disagree with the Bush Iraq war. He is stuck in his own mess. Let me repeat -- didn't study, isn't smart, and is intellectually lazy. How did we get in this horrible mess? George Bush. Need I say more?"

"And any convoluted inference that I am dissing American troops is ludicrous and insulting. And those who attempt to misuse my words are the ones who are insulting our troops, not to mention insulting the intelligence of the American people."

Karl Rove would not have let Kerry apologize for anything.

Don't the Democrats have anyone who could have turned this to their advantage?

I despair when I see something like this happen.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, Rove is the master of the manipulative soundbite as we all know. WE do need a linguistic equivalent on our side. I feel no sympathy for Kerry, though. Why didn't he stand up 2 years ago when we needed him to?

Damian Mann said...

That seems to be the problem with some of the old school Dems. I'm seeing the new Howard Dean Dems fighting back. I don't think Dean totally stood with Kerry for a reason. It was Kerry's camp that created the fuss over "The Scream". It's just a little payback.

Sarah said...

Stephen,
As always, your blog is a pleasure to read and your comments are right-on.

If only Kerry stood up for what he said. Who would believe that a politican said something completely true. He told it like it is and was raked over the proverbial coals for it. No wonder politicians lie to us day in and day out. Look what happens when they say the truth.