The Corner

Outrage

…from several readers — and, obviously some of my Corner colleagues — that I would dare to suggest that John Kerry was not slandering our troops.

 But he wasn’t. He may regard them with contempt (my personal impression is that JK regards most of the human race with contempt); he may despise them; he may think they’re dumb crackers; but T-H-A-T-’-S N-O-T W-H-A-T H-E S-A-I-D.

What he said was: “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.”

Who is stuck in Iraq? Not the common soldier, who just does a tour of duty, as Kerry himself knows from (sorry to bring it up) experience. Who’s stuck in Iraq? George W. Bush is stuck in Iraq. That was the point of Kerry’s joke. Which he botched. No fair-minded person, watching Kerry deliver those lines, could think otherwise.

I’m not carrying any water for John Kerry. I wrote this about John Kerry, and a good deal more uncomplimentary stuff besides. I don’t like John Kerry. I didn’t vote for John Kerry. Truth is truth, though, even when applied to John Kerry. If you can’t handle the truth, that’s your problem.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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