May 03, 2004

WE HAVE A JEEP

"Democrats," writes Timeís Karen Tumulty, "start to get nervous whenever the Massachusetts Senator opens his mouth without a script." Wasnít George W. Bush meant to be the bumbling stumblemouth? Tumulty continues:

Kerry gives plenty of ammunition to those who say he considers no hair too fine to split and who charge that he tailors the cut of what he says to meet the tastes of the audience and the moment. Asked on Earth Day whether he owns a gas-gobbling SUV, the champion of higher fuel-efficiency standards first said no, then admitted under questioning that, yes, that was a Suburban parked at his Sun Valley, Idaho, vacation house. Next, he distanced himself from his own driveway: "The family has it. I don't have it." It was a far different story, however, when Kerry visited car-loving Detroit last February. Back then, he exulted to local reporters about how much horsepower he commands: "We have some SUVs. We have a Jeep. We have a couple of Chrysler minivans. We have a PT Cruiser up in Boston. I have an old Dodge 600 ... We also have a Chevy, a big Suburban."

Says a former aide, sighing: "He wants everybody to love him."

They donít.

UPDATE. Test your Kerry knowledge! Select the correct answer to complete this sentence from todayís New York Times:

Senator John Kerry is set to introduce a major television advertising push on Monday that will highlight his ...

A: inbuilt Segway-like gyroscopic balance sensors.

B: mighty jaw muscles, powerful enough to cleave though a soup bone.

C: biography and service in Vietnam.

UPDATE II. The Germans canít understand why anyone would vote against Kerry:

The US President seems invulnerable at home. His popularity numbers are even climbing ... So far, at least, the growing count of war victims in Iraq and the equally growing criticism of President Bush from his political opponents has had an (opposite) effect: The voters are apparently still unimpressed; in most polls Bush has even risen slightly.

What's going on here? Don't Americans watch TV? Don't they read newspapers?

Posted by Tim Blair at May 3, 2004 05:20 PM
Comments

I hope some enterprising person puts all Kerry's stumbles and turnabouits into one convenient file for mass circulation.

Someone like a paid Republican campaigner, just like the paid Democrats who put together the infamous "Bushisms" for the last election.

Posted by: EvilPundit at May 3, 2004 at 05:22 PM

Kerry gives plenty of ammunition to those who say he considers no hair too fine to split and who charge that he tailors the cut of what he says to meet the tastes of the audience and the moment.

But, but I thought that was nuance! Is Tumulty saying it's something else, something less noble? What is the world coming to???

Posted by: Spiny Norman at May 3, 2004 at 05:57 PM

I hope some enterprising person puts all Kerry's stumbles and turnabouits into one convenient file for mass circulation.

TiVo is my friend... Maybe I should set it to start recording 24-hours news channels.

Posted by: david at May 3, 2004 at 06:37 PM

Whatever else you can say about Kerry, I personally find his referring to a member of his secret service detail as "that son of a bitch". That son of a bitch's job is to catch bullets that are otherwise meant for Kerry, so the least Kerry can do is be nice.

Shades of Chelsea Clinton referring to her secret service detail as "trained pigs".

Posted by: steve at May 3, 2004 at 06:38 PM

And in case anybody forgets, this is what John Kerry also did during the Vietnam War:

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/02/11/elec04.prez.kerry.fonda/

Posted by: steve at May 3, 2004 at 06:43 PM

I'm dissatisfied with President Bush. He didn't serve in Vietnam. Neither did Dean, Edwards, Lieberman, Nader, et al.

Oh, I wish there was a candidate who did serve in Vietnam. That would clinch it for me.

Tim, do any of your readers know of a candidate that served in Vietnam? Someone who's patriotism is beyond question? Any information is helpful. I would appreciate it. Thanks much.

Posted by: JDB at May 3, 2004 at 06:43 PM

Okay, so Bush didn't go to Vietnam. However, he did fly CAP missions in the F-102 Delta Dagger, a single-engine jet with the gliding characteristics of a housebrick. And just in case anybody thinks CAP over the continental USA was a lark, Bush flew CAP in the approaches which would be used by Soviet aircraft attacking from Cuba.

Don't forget, the Cold War was truly nasty, and the Russians regularly flew bomber sorties from Cuba just to test USAF reaction times and tactics.

Okay, so Bush and Cheney didn't go to Vietnam, but they didn't dishonour those who did go, as Kerry did when he resumed his anti-war protestor career (I say "resumed" because he was a prominent anti-war campaigner at Yale, but joined the navy to get some uniform time like his hero JFK) when he got home.

Quite frankly, Kerry makes me sick. How can Americans trust him with their money when Theresa Heinz-Kerry doesn't.

Posted by: steve at May 3, 2004 at 06:52 PM

"I'm dissatisfied with President Bush. He didn't serve in Vietnam. Neither did Dean, Edwards, Lieberman, Nader, et al.

Oh, I wish there was a candidate who did serve in Vietnam. That would clinch it for me.

Tim, do any of your readers know of a candidate that served in Vietnam? Someone who's patriotism is beyond question? Any information is helpful. I would appreciate it. Thanks much."

Well, your criteria rules out anyone named Clinton.

Posted by: Gaz at May 3, 2004 at 06:57 PM

I hope some enterprising person puts all Kerry's stumbles and turnabouits into one convenient file for mass circulation.

Did anyone ever do this for Clinton? He came up with some shockers:

"I still believe in a country called Hope"
"That depends on what the word 'is' really means"

Posted by: TimT at May 3, 2004 at 07:37 PM

Why Kerry wants to reemphasize Vietnam again and again escapes me. Kerry abandoned his command after four months, cut and ran back to the USA after being awarding some dubious medals. Back in the states, while still in the military reserves, Kerry spent the next few years undermining Americans still engaged in combat. After 35 years of public life, is this the best Kerryís can offer? Maybe so.

Posted by: perfectsense at May 3, 2004 at 07:41 PM

Spiny Norman:

"Dinsdale."

Posted by: Sean M. at May 3, 2004 at 08:08 PM

What, Kerry served in Vietnam? Why didn't he mention this before?

Posted by: Clem Snide at May 3, 2004 at 08:53 PM

.......that will highlight his chin, which makes Dan Dare's look like Charles Hawtrey's.

Posted by: Habib at May 3, 2004 at 09:26 PM

I notice Kerry fell off his bike and suffered a "minor scrape" to his arm....I'm assuming he immediately put in for a fourth purple heart....

Scarab

Posted by: Scarab at May 3, 2004 at 10:44 PM

The bicycle attacked his patriotism.

Posted by: Sortelli at May 3, 2004 at 10:53 PM

(and yes, a fine dude named Harry beat me to that joke in another thread already, but it's too funny to just say once)

Posted by: Sortelli at May 3, 2004 at 10:59 PM

See, it all goes to prove what the Germans believe. Television? Newspapers? What're those? Americans are just a bunch of baccy-chawin' ignernt cowboys, so it's no wonder we reject that wonderfully nuanced multilateralist Kerry.

Posted by: Rebecca at May 4, 2004 at 01:35 AM

Are there many repectable politicians who tout their military combat experience? I thought real veterans were more dignified and humble when it comes to their experience. Selling yourself on combat experience, I thought, was looked down on.

Posted by: aaron at May 4, 2004 at 02:09 AM

What's going on here? Don't Americans watch TV? Don't they read newspapers?

Sure we do. We just don't believe 'em much. We've had long experience with the "media", and know it for the clapped-out whore it is at heart.

Posted by: mojo at May 4, 2004 at 02:15 AM

mojo:

Actually, the correct response is:

"Don't Americans watch TV? Don't they read newspapers?"

Sure we do. And we remember what is there.

What do the Germans do, start each day with a complete brain-wipe ?

Posted by: Carl in N.H. at May 4, 2004 at 02:52 AM

Jeez, we 'Muricans are soooo stoopid! Just like Margo says.

Maybe we don't read newspapers and watch TV, but some of us read history books... and can discern no reason whatsoever why any of us should take advice from Germans on whom to vote for.

Posted by: Steve Skubinna at May 4, 2004 at 03:29 AM

For JDB.

If General George Patton were alive and President of the USA, this would
probably be his Fireside Speech:

My fellow Americans:

As you all know, the defeat of Iraq's regime has been completed. Since
congress does not want to spend any more money on this war, our mission in Iraq is complete.

This morning I gave the order for a complete removal of all American forces from Iraq. This action will be complete within 30 days. It is now time to begin the reckoning.

Before me, I have two lists. One list contains the names of countries which have stood by our side during the Iraq conflict. This list is short.

The United Kingdom, Spain(out now), Bulgaria, Australia, Norway and Poland are some of the countries listed there.

The other list contains everyone not on the first list. Most of the world's nations are on that list. My press secretary will be distributing copies of
both lists later this evening.

Let me start by saying that effective immediately, foreign aid to those
nations on List 2 ceases immediately and indefinitely. The money saved
during the first year alone will pretty much pay for the costs of the Iraqi war.

The American people are no longer going to pour money into third world hell-holes and watch those government leaders grow fat on corruption. Need help with a famine? Wrestling with an epidemic? Call France.

In the future, together with Congress, I will work to cut taxes and solve
some local problems. On that note, a word to terrorist organizations. Screw
with us and we will hunt you down and eliminate you and all your friends
from the face of the earth. Thirsting for a gutsy country to terrorize? Try France, or maybe China.

To Israel and the Palestinian Authority. You, boys. Work out a peace deal now. Just note that Camp David is closed. Maybe all of you can go to Russia for negotiations. They ! have some great palaces there. Big tables, too.

I'm ordering the immediate severing of diplomatic relations with
France,Germany, and Russia. Thanks for all your help, comrades. We are
retiring from NATO as well. Bon chance, mes amis.

I have instructed the Mayor of New York City to begin towing the many UN
diplomatic vehicles located in Manhattan with more than two unpaid tickets
to sites where those vehicles will be stripped, shredded and crushed. I don't care about whatever treaty pertains to this. Pay your tickets tomorrow or watch your precious Benzes, Beamers, and limos be turned over to some of
the finest chop shops in the world. I love New York.

A special note to our neighbors. Canada is on List 2. Since we are going to
be seeing a lot more of each other, you folks might want to try not pissing
us off for a change. Mexico is also on List 2. President Fox and his entire
corrupt government really need an attitude adjustment. I have a couple extra
tank and infantry divisions sitting around. Guess where I'm gonna put 'em?
Yep, border security. So start doing something with your oil.

Oh, by the way, the United States is abrogating the NAFTA treaty--starting now.


It is time for America to focus on its own welfare and its own citizens.

Some will accuse us of isolationism. I answer them by saying darn tootin'.

Nearly a century of trying to help folks live a decent life around the world
has only earned us the undying enmity of just about everyone on the planet.

It is time to cut taxes here because we will not be spending on other peoples problems.

To the nations on List 1, a final thought. Thanks guys. We owe you. To the
nations on List 2, a final thought. Drop dead. God bless America. Thank you
and good night.

Posted by: Fly at May 4, 2004 at 04:02 AM

"Don't Americans watch TV? Don't they read newspapers?"

Sure we do. And we remember what is there.

What do the Germans do, start each day with a complete brain-wipe ?

Actually, that would probably be an improvement over the current situation. Unfortunately, the media is still accepted as the unassailable purveyor of truth by all too many people over here. A good population-wide brain wipe probably couldn't make things much worse than they already are.

At any rate, it's not too surprising that a "journalist" got indignant because the unwashed masses refuse to believe the dreck being shoveled out by the media. Of course, the main reason that idiot even has a job (let alone a target audience) is that German/European people are usually every bit as gullible and unthinking as he accuses Americans of being, so perhaps he ought to keep quiet and not draw unwanted attention to himself. But hey, he's writing for a leftist rag, so the ability to make an ass of himself in writing is probably a job requirement.

Posted by: PW at May 4, 2004 at 05:17 AM

I realize that anything that deals with Kerry is off topic and off color, but am I the only one who has
noticed the uncanny resemblance between Kerry and Dudley Doright of the NW Canadian Mounties?
And what about Ted Kennedy and Dudley's horse?

Posted by: Mike H. at May 4, 2004 at 05:52 AM

Nah -- I think that he looks more like Droopy Dawg.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at May 4, 2004 at 08:07 AM

"Karen Tumulty unleashes savage attack on John Kerry's patriotism"

Posted by: Harry B. at May 4, 2004 at 08:23 AM

This isn't the first time I've seen that stupid isolationist "speech" in a comments thread. I declare that it sucks.

Posted by: Sortelli at May 4, 2004 at 10:39 AM

I don't know Sortelli, credit where it is due: that's a pretty impressive speech for somebody to give from underneath the mangled wreckage of a jeep.

I would be yelling for morphine, never mind wonking on about international relations.

Posted by: Carl in N.H. at May 4, 2004 at 01:35 PM

I agree with Sortelli. The speech is sort of like the curate's egg. Parts of it are excellent. The rest is rotten. In particular, if you want to benefit the US, abrogating NAFTA is bassackwards. But then, I doubt Patton understood economics. Few people do.

Posted by: Michael Lonie at May 4, 2004 at 03:10 PM

Last time I saw it, it was framed as the "speech GWB should give". Patton's just being tacked on for extra cred.

Frankly, the whole thing could be replaced with a picture of a baby sucking his thumb. Let's leave the wacky isolationism to Buchanan and those lovable anti-war leftists who have suddenly become big fat psuedoconservative "Who Cares About Iraqis, What About Me?" whiners.

But Carl's right, that speech would be pretty impressive if given from under a jeep.

Posted by: Sortelli at May 4, 2004 at 03:57 PM

Maybe they just don't read German Newspapers. Stupid fucking krauts.

Posted by: Amos at May 4, 2004 at 10:21 PM