Not the troops. Keith Olbermann elaborates:
Sen. Kerry, as you well know, spoke at a college in Southern California. With bitter humor he told the students that he had been in Texas the day before, that President Bush used to live in that state, but that now he lives in the state of denial.If the troops don’t already feel like pawns in a deadly political game, I don’t know how they can come to any other conclusion today. The President and his political pals inserted the troops into the campaign trail, not for any direct benefit for the troops, but for the benefit of their Republican friends who were trying to get elected. After all, neither Bush nor Kerry is on any ballot.
He said the trip had reminded him about the value of education — that “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. If you don’t, you can get stuck in Iraq.”
The senator, in essence, called Mr. Bush stupid.
The context was unmistakable: Texas; the state of denial; stuck in Iraq. No interpretation required.
And Mr. Bush and his minions responded by appearing to be too stupid to realize that they had been called stupid.
They demanded Kerry apologize to the troops in Iraq.
And so he now has.
Bush claimed to be defending the troops from defamation, even when no defamation had occurred. In doing so, he defamed a former soldier.
I would expect our Sen. David Vitter to seize an opportunity to bash a Democrat. But Sen. Mary Landrieu disappointed me. Both were quick to defend the troops, but not the truth. I can only conclude that the truth would benefit neither.
If Bush is surprised to hear that Kerry was actually calling him stupid, he may consider suing Kerry for defamation. However, he must be careful. In cases of defamation, truth is an absolute defense. A statement can not be defamatory if it is true.
The media has also proved itself to be a willing pawn in the President’s game. Until Kerry did apologize, the media had no problem asking him why he would not apologize for something he did not say. Instead of spreading the truth, the media spread every demand for Kerry to apologize, not to Bush, but to the troops.
Bush didn’t get it. The press didn’t get it. Louisiana’s senators didn’t get it. It’s no wonder we are stuck in Iraq.
Who is going to apologize to us?