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.