The old standby

kerry_stand.jpgIn response to a foolishly hypocritical (and, of course, highly manipulative, and, therefore, effective) media campaign of Republican party attacks on presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry’s record as a Vietnam War veteran, including Bush communications mastermind-cum-housewife-cum-communications mastermind Karen Hughes’ nonsensical “did he or didn’t he” questioning of Kerry’s disposal of military “ribbons” or “medals” after returning home in 1971, the war veteran came out with his swift boat’s fifty-caliber machine guns metaphorically blazing.
His weapon of choice? The declaration that “I’m not going to stand for it,” which, unfortunately, Senator Kerry seems to stand for all too often when it comes to defending his Vietnam war record.
April, 2004:

“This is a controversy that the Republicans are pushing,” Mr. Kerry said on “Good Morning America” on ABC. “The Republicans have spent $60 million in the last few weeks trying to attack me, and this comes from a president and a Republican Party that can’t even answer whether or not he showed up for duty in the National Guard. I’m not going to stand for it.

February, 2004:

“If they’re going to try to question my commitment to the defense of our country, then I’m going to fight back,” Kerry said at a February campaign event. “Because they did that to Max Cleland … and I’m not going to stand for it.

February, 2004:

“Defense of nation is exactly that. Yes, that’s exactly what they did. They put Osama bin Laden’s photograph up with Max Cleland Cleland and suggested he was weak–Max Cleland, weak–on the defense of our nation. Now here’s a man who left three of his limbs on the battlefield in Vietnam. To have someone who, you know, has never served suggest that someone who has is weak on defense is simply unacceptable, and I’m not going to stand for it.

And in the interest of the “equal time rule,” Bush, too, has been known to wield this same principled “stand” on occasion, including in his remarks on the creation of the Department of Homeland Security at the National Republican Senatorial Committee Annual Dinner.
September, 2002:

“Unfortunately, some senators — not all senators, but some senators — believe it is best to try to micromanage the process, believe the best way to secure the homeland is to have a thick book of regulations which will hamstring this administration and future administrations from dealing with an enemy that could care less about thick books of regulations. Unfortunately, some in the Senate — not all in the Senate — want to take away the power that all Presidents have had since Jimmy Carter. And I’m not going to stand for it.

Come on, guys, mix it up a bit.
“I will not tolerate that.” Or, “I gaze upon these mistruths, and I see that which battles honesty, and I do declare myself to be decidedly antagonistic towards this selfsame deception, such that I verily seek to destroy, nay, annihilate said behavior.” Or maybe just “I am so against this shit.”

2 replies on “The old standby”

Well observed post. “I’m not going to stand for it” is getting pretty tiresome and begs the rhetorical follow-up: “Yeah? Well what are you going to do about it?”
Frankly, I thought Kerry was on to something saying “these guys are the most crooked, lying group I’ve ever seen” – even if it was not an intentionally public pronouncement.
Maybe he do a remix of “big time” “major league asshole” – that still seems to have legs from the last campaign.
I think we can worry about “elevating the discourse” (another cliche) after we do something about repetitiveness.

Kerry sure seems to hesitating and hedging almost constantly. Seems like he’s caught in a vortex of competing influences, as if he can’t or hasn’t made up his mind.
Imagine the position he’s in; the war on terror(noun), the iraq WMD/Democracy/what’s next/war, outsourcing, deficit, it’s a full plate of issues that have been squeezed to the maximum by powerful groups of people. The circumstance seems irreversible and he has to campaign on the fact that he’s the alternative to an irreversible premise.
The right wing has laid out the arguements and the answers for a long time and seem to be able to work around obvious flip-flops. Kerry needs to take a lesson. The right is too organized to self-destruct even while self-destructing.

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