Wednesday, November 01, 2006

More suggested jokes for John Kerry

"You know, 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. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." John Kerry, 10/30/06.

On the radio program "Imus in the Morning," the Massachusetts senator said he was "sorry about a botched joke" about Bush. John Kerry, 11/1/06.

A few bulletproof "jokes" I'd like to propose:

"I am deeply concerned that America's lower classes no longer show appropriate respect for the debutante season."

"You know, if you network effectively while at Yale, you make the most of it and join the proper social club, someday you too might be tapped for Skull & Bones and become a major party candidate for President of the United States. Tragically, the rest of you could end up stuck as successful bankers and Wall Street lawyers."

"If you aggressively groom thyself and monitor thy eating, thou also might marry a billionaire widow. If thou art unkempt and unsightly, thou may have no choice but to bang a University of Minnesota cheerleader."

"Perfect your Latin, study hard, and you can read The Aeneid in Virgil's original, splendid voice. With inadequate Latin, you will be consigned to read the serviceable new Robert Fagles translation while eating freeze-dried soup in Kandahar."

"If they don't pay close attention in their wine-tasting classes, I fear that more Americans will drink Night Train."

"I understand the struggles of America's working folks. Just the other day I was driving my Volvo to Dean & Deluca when I spilled a latte on my crotch. In conclusion, our very, very gay and brave troops must be encouraged to marry persons of the same gender."

"I have come all the way to Des Moines to tell you that Rick von Sloneker is a cad, and it is my current intention to thrash him."

"Who among us does not love the Cha-Cha?"

(Preemptive rebuttal: Spare me any comments about how I'm holding water for the Republicans or about how Kerry's remarks were taken out of context. Just like you, I broke things the night that he lost, and I've been busting my ass trying to make sure that the right thing happens in this mid-term. Candidates on the margins shouldn't have to suffer just because we nominated the Bill Buckner of American politics in 2004.)


Crunk Raconteur said...

Coming up next on Cole Slaw Blog, Crimenotes will detail how voting for Democrats equals surrendering to the terrorists, and how those horrible Democrats are going to raise your taxes and mandate that you can only get married to a member of the same sex!

I realize your point...but come on. We only have to keep it together for 5 more days.

Let's just remember what happened exactly 2 years ago today...

(all that said, Rick Von Slonecker IS a cad, and I would also like to thrash him...although I'm not sure what Fourier would think of that)

CrimeNotes said...

I realize your point...but come on. We only have to keep it together for 5 more days.

Yeah, that was pretty much my point. And apparently asking Kerry not to fuck things up is asking the impossible.

Flop said...

Wasn't his (poorly expressed) point that if you're stupid, you'll do something like order an unwise invasion of Iraq? I thought he was taking a shot at Bush's stupidity, not at the working-class roots of much of the armed services.

In that case, it's not that his comments are in or out of context, but willfully misrepresented by Republicans. Which would not exactly be a first.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm getting my white gauntlet back from the cleaners before they close _ it has a date with Rick von Sloneker's face.

CrimeNotes said...

Based on these two comments, I'm starting to understand why Democrats lose elections.

You shouldn't have to discern the imaginary unspoken intent behind what someone is saying, especially when it's a lame throwaway joke that runs the very high risk (say, 98%) of being interpreted as saying only stupid losers join the armed forces. First, you probably don't say it at all. The original line as written was a contorted observation about how Bush is stupid and only stupid people get us stuck in Iraq. It was not funny and it wouldn't have worked as a sound bite.

But as delivered -- not in the Platonic ideal, up there in the heavens, where we all hear the perfect, biting John Kerry statements of our fantasies -- he pretty much said that if you study hard you'll do well, and if you don't you'll end up in the armed forces, which, by implication, means that only stupid people are in the armed forces and that military service is highly undesirable.

We all know what he wanted to say and we all know what he said. I really don't know how anybody who wants the best for the Democrats can shrug this off. This is exactly the kind of thing that plays into the Republican narrative. Sticking up for him in this circumstance is an example of choosing your battles poorly. Fucker needs to shut up and knock it off.

But by all means, feel free to rationalize self-inflicted wounds: If you know someone wants to kill you and you hand him the gun, it doesn't make you a murderer, but it makes you a goddamn idiot who didn't put enough thought into self-preservation.

Crunk Raconteur said...

I love any comment that starts off with "I'm starting to understand why Democrats lose elections." It's right up there with "It's hard to take the Democrats seriously on (whatever) when they won't even admit that (whatever the default GOP position is) is the way it is." Or, "You just have to admit that Democrats hate religion." Or whatever Republican tripe they spew that always, ALWAYS gets a sober and rational discussion from many Democrats, always eager to meet the Republicans half way.

Here's the point. This is so completely not a big deal. This is only a big deal because the Republicans, desperate to talk about something, anything, that will get the focus off of their shortcomings (failed ideology, rank incompetence, abundant criminality, constantly bubbling to the surface bigotry, etc.) are screaming to the heavens about it.

And we're letting them, like we always do. When something like this comes around, half of the Democratic Party (or more) wrings their hands and frets over what this says about us as a party. Frankly, this doesn't say anything about us as a party. Do we hate the troops? Do we denigrate the troops? Well, of course not, and it's idiotic to think otherwise.

But every election the Republicans trot this out, how we don't support the troops. And every time, instead of saying what we should say, which is, "Don't be an idiot, you Republican hack", we spend all our time beating up on our own for making a miscue, and wondering whether this pulls the mask away from us and reveals us for the actual troop-hating selves we must be.

We cannot let them keep doing this.

And is it why we lose elections? Yeah. Look at the Republicans. They won't even admit that the fact that the President is a buffoon, the Secretary of Defense is incompetent, the Speaker of the House covers up child molesters, the House Majority Leader (former, anyway) is under indictment for money laundering, and half of their powerful representatives take bribes, says anything about their party.

We can learn something from that. As long as we let them control the narrative. As long as we constantly doubt ourselves. As long as we buy into their story that, deep down, we are the problem in this country, they will always win.

So it's time to stand up for the Democrats and have some confidence. And if you don't, fake it till you make it.

CrimeNotes said...

Except for the demented first paragraph, I agree. But first, let's talk about how you're demented. Trying to stop the party from self-inflicted injuries isn't remotely like saying Democrats support terror, and the inability to separate substantive truths from terrible PR is, again, a nice illustration of why Democrats lose. Don't like it when Republicans run wild on half-truths and smears? Then call out Democrats who give them firepower in the name of a botched joke. That's not giving in to Republicans, that's expecting a little bit of common sense and judgment from the standardbearers. By your analysis, rebutting the Swift Boat ads would be meeting the Republicans halfway and playing defense. It's not like Kerry said anything substantive that merits a defense. He said something stupid, refused to correct himself, and basically invited the Republicans to open fire. I don't know how you can blame the Republicans for Kerry saying that people who join the military didn't study hard. The only principle this incident supports is the observation that Kerry has terrible instincts.

Otherwise, our basic themes seem to be as follows:

My point: Don't give the Republicans free ammunition.
Your point: Republicans need ammunition and are desperate to find some.

double entendre said...

Wow; CN wrote a very funny post and liberal co-bloggers and occasional guest bloggers are missing the point (me also suspect they would lambast Republicans for saying something as stupid as Kerry did).

Thanks a lot, John Kerry. You may be right, but as CN said "I'm starting to understand why Democrats lose elections."

Wil said...

Hey, New Yorker! Cool blog.

evil girl said...

i can so not express how much i hate all you at this moment. knock it off.

CrimeNotes said...

I, for one, thought that this was a great post.

Thanks Entendre and Wil.

22280 said...

I agree with Crunk.

The issue isn't whether anyone should defend Kerry - nobody is doing that. What he said was stupid, whether he meant it or not.

And that's ALL that needs to be said about this issue. Kerry is not running in this election, and most people are smart enough to know a desperate GOP straw grab when they see one.

Rather than approach the issue rationally, the Democrats have responded with panic - like a football team blowing a 21-point fourth-quarter lead because it's so used to losing it falls apart at the first sign of trouble.

The Democrats' frightened calls for apology, and their frantic rush to see show just how outraged they are, are not helping. All that does is give the issue legs. It also comes off as extremely fake.

Flop said...

I knew I'd regret leaving a comment here just as I knew I'd regret paying attention to this whole carboard cutout of a tempest in a fake fucking teapot.

But now that I'm in for a penny, I'm in for the whole Sacagawea:

The Republicans are good at "working the ref" and seizing on the slenderest of reeds to make a giant media kerfuffle. They've done that here. I don't see how blaming Kerry for being clumsy (which he was) helps in any way at all.

lt's like telling a girl she was asking for it, being in that part of town dressed that way. Sure, there's something to be said for common sense, but is that really the point to make right now?

CrimeNotes said...

lt's like telling a girl she was asking for it, being in that part of town dressed that way. Sure, there's something to be said for common sense, but is that really the point to make right now?

Oh ... wow. Just ... wow. If this discussion were happening in a bar there would be tons of yelling and pounding on the table right now.

This post making fun of Kerry's clumsiness has been hijacked into the worst installment of Policy Roundtable ever.

Incidentally, what the fuck are we all doing up this late on a Thursday commenting on this lame blog?

CrimeNotes said...

I mean, seriously, usually I have to watch Meet the Press or Fox News to hear opinions so divorced from reality.

22280 said...

So what's your solution? You've pointed out that Kerry fucked up, which I agree with, but you haven't said a word about what the Democrats should do about it between now and Tuesday.

Republicans never admit they're wrong.

Democrats go out of their way to admit they're wrong even when they're not.

Which strategy has worked better lately?

CrimeNotes said...

Make John Kerry shut the eff up. Deal with the reality we have instead of the one we wish we had: you know, the reality where Republicans successfully portray Democrats as elitist snobs who hate America. Sticking up for Kerry in this situation perpetuates that meme -- it doesn't rebut it. Stop enabling brazen screw-ups and rhetorical incompetence by rationalizing them as ingredients in a Republican plot. There's no solution, just ways to make this go away quickly and quietly. (Which, despite this sound and fury, it seems to have done already.)

It's been somewhat perplexing to watch a benign post that was meant to be funny spark so much ire and insecurity about the state of Democratic politics, comparisons to blaming the Democrats for terrorism, and a metaphor of John Kerry as a victim of violent rape. This has been a lesson in how the pathology of Democrats can be just as screwed up, delusional and monolithic as the Republicans.

evil girl said...

a plauge on all your houses. seriously.

22280 said...

"Make John Kerry shut the eff up."

Too late. Try again. :)

"Sticking up for Kerry in this situation perpetuates that meme."

Who is sticking up for him? Flop and Crunk are declining to freak out about this. I'd hardly call that sticking up for him.

"Stop enabling brazen screw-ups"

Who is 'enabling' anything? Kerry's comments are at best completely benign and at worst an offensive statement by someone who isn't even running for anything this year. That's just the truth. If pointing that out makes me retroactively at fault for Kerry's comments, fine. I don't think the 'Democrats hate America' line is resonating anymore, so if Democrats must engage the GOP on it, they should be able to do so without meekly selling out their most recent presidential nominee.

You don't like John Kerry. We get it. But this isn't worth the fake anguish we've been seeing from Hillary and Co. It really is perfect that you compared Kerry to Bill Buckner. Buckner was not even the biggest goat of that INNING for the Red Sox, much less the entire World Series. But Red Sox fans blamed him anyway because years of losing made them irrational and they needed a scapegoat.

I have no doubt Kerry will receive the same treatment if things don't work out Tuesday, but it will be a crock.

CrimeNotes said...

Are you fucking kidding me? I don't like John Kerry?

I was blistered and crazy for a week after he lost. This post didn't have a goddamn motherfucking thing to do with "like" or "not like." It had to do with a fuck-up and clumsiness and something was was generally embarrassing, a self-inflicted wound. But really, it didn't even have a fucking thing to do with that. It was just playing with his tin ear.

Get the fuck over it.

CrimeNotes said...

And since i continue to play in this comment thread, which has become literally the worst political discussion I've ever had, yeah, actually, I do think you enable this kind of thing to repeat if you don't shut it down. I didn't see anything Hillary said, and I don't care what she said, but when Harold Ford and particularly Claire McCaskill are forced to confront this shit and are the ones absorbing the smears because Kerry lacks judgment and self-control, they really don't have any choice but to denounce the comments and hope this goes away.

And for whatever its worth, I don't think anyone commenting on this stupid fucking post have "enabled" anything, just like I haven't 'scapegoated" Kerry. This is a lame-ass blog and I did a post making fun of Kerry's clumsiness. Big fucking deal. Get a life.

Flop said...

I'm just pissed that this kept me from liveblogging the Latin Grammys, which sucks because I was a classics major. Compendium honoraria, motherfuckers.

CrimeNotes said...

Sorry that I lost my temper.