In one event, we have a summary of everything people don't like about John Kerry and the Democrats: condescension and arrogance.
It all started Monday, as Kerry was on the hustings for Democractic candidates ahead of next week's mid-term elections. He uttered the following to a group of college students:
"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. And if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.''
The apparent implication was clear -- America's military men and women are stupid. Having viewed the original video of his comments, I can think of no other interpretation of what...he...said.
The point was lost on no one, and the White House and others immediately demanded an apology.
Landing in Seattle Tuesday, Kerry explained that this comment was a "botched joke" aimed at the president-- the punchline was supposed to be "Just ask President Bush."
He declined to apologize to anyone, then launched into a diatribe:
"I'm sick and tired of a bunch of despicable Republicans who will not debate real policy, who won't take responsibility for their own mistakes, standing up and trying to make other people the butt of those mistakes. I'm sick and tired of a whole bunch of Republican attacks, the most of which come from people who never wore the uniform and never had the courage to stand up and go to war themselves."
He goes on to insult the intelligence of the president and his White House advisors, call White House spokesman Tony Snow a stuffed suit and Rush Limbaugh "doughy" -- why he dragged him in we'll never know -- and said anyone who thinks he was talking about the troops is crazy.
In other words, it's not him -- it's everyone else.
A full-blown meltdown. Read it here in the NY Times.
A couple points though:
-- If he didn't mean to insult the troops, why not simply apologize for the misunderstanding? He's responsible for it -- he's the one who muffed the line. We don't know what he meant -- we only know what he said.
-- When the president "botches" a line, people call him an idiot. Does this mean Kerry's an idiot too?
-- If Kerry really was referring to the president's academic record, what does that say about Kerry? As the Boston Globe reported last year, his GPA at Yale was slighltly lower than Bush's. So, who's the imbecile here?
Today, Kerry and the Democrats are reeling -- he finally issued a faint apology and has cancelled further campaign stops. Other Democrats have joined the call for a fuller apology.
But the damage is done and it may have an impact on next Tuesday's elections.
"I'm not offended, but this is why John Kerry lost the election," said Jana Cook, a 43-year-old advertising executive and mother of two in Olathe, Kansas, quoted in a Reuters story. "He was perceived as an elitist and those are the kind of statements an elitist makes."