With due respect to those who’ve suggested otherwise, the Kerry story is not over.
The Senator has now issued what I predicted yesterday (not that this was rocket science) would be an “apology” wherein he asserted, not that he was sorry for having said something vile, but that he “regret[ted]” that we numbskulls “misinterpreted” his remarks “to wrongly imply anything negative” about our troops.
This, of course, was version four or so, Kerry having been dragged kicking and screaming to this point only after first defiantly compounding the offense, then I-was-tired back-tracking, then it-was-a-joke dissembling. (A “joke” which, once explained, made no sense — especially coming from someone who (a) had himself voted in favor of sending our troops to Iraq and (b) is a high-order recidivist when it comes to slandering the military (as Mark Levin recounts).
Meanwhile, for nearly two weeks now, Rush Limbaugh has been castigated for something he didn’t do (i.e., make fun of Michael J. Fox’s struggle with a debilitating disease — as opposed to suggesting Fox had intentionally not taken his meds to exacerbate his condition for the purpose of a public political appearance … something Fox has admitted to doing in the past).
National Democrats, including Kerry as late as two days ago, and the national media, including the White House press corps as late as yesterday, first misconstrued Rush’s remarks (and ignored the lengthy, generally unassailable argument from which they were drawn — to wit, that even those for whom we have sympathy cannot expect immunity from criticism when they enter the public arena); then they demanded an apology to keep the story alive; then they misrepresented the apology that came (when Fox explained that he had OVER-medicated, Rush apologized for suggesting he had under-medicated or been acting, but did not retract any of the original, valid criticism); and then — once Kerry got himself in hot water — they switched gears and claimed the apology they had been gleefully chirping about for several days had not actually happened, such that Kerry should now not have to apologize unless Rush apologized.
None of this is surprising. This is competitive politics.
One side — the side the press has been telling us for months has the election in the bag — has nevertheless strategically wrung every drop they could squeeze out of one perceived opportunity.
Why would the side that is behind stop drawing attention to a revealing gaffe — indeed, a gaffe by the other side’s last national standard bearer — just because the opposition now says, on the basis of Kerry’s lawyerly-worded “apology,” that it’s now time to put all this behind us and get back to the important business of kicking the stuffing out of Bush?