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Swift Boater No. 1
John Kerry gets his just desserts--from John Kerry

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Date published: 11/5/2006

Swift Boater No. 1

John Kerry's painful self-expiation

SEN. JOHN KERRY'S little joke about smarts and soldiering in Iraq turned out to be, pardon the expression, not much of a swiftie. If the Kerry Correlation is true, the senator's performance at a California city college last week qualified him to be dropped off alone in middle of the Sunni Triangle with a rifle, pack, and desert uniform with a stitched-on name patch: Doofus.

If that scenario sounds suicidal, Mr. Kerry's remark about the lazy and ill-educated "get[ting] stuck in Iraq"--he claimed later he was talking about President Bush, but Mr. Bush is a fellow Yalie--was political hari-kari. Speaking of Mr. Kerry's presidential prospects in 2008, the amoral political genius Dick Morris says, with a brevity that precludes dissent, "Kerry is dead." One commiserates with Mr. Kerry, returning home to Teresa after immolating their First Couple hopes, perhaps trying to explain things while dodging every shoe in her closet. She probably has a lot of shoes. Mr. Kerry may not have encountered hostile fire this intense on the Mekong.

Actually, the senator's lethal gag might be better likened to a suicide bombing: Not only did he blow up himself, but he also blasted shrapnel at Democratic candidates in tight races, some of whom disinvited him from campaign appearances. A week before a watershed election, apathetic GOP voters were sharply reminded why they might want to keep Congress from falling wholly into the hands of the party that just two years ago ran John Kerry for commander in chief.

Mr. Kerry's lapsus linguae , as Dick Mephistopheles Morris pointed out, may have been Freudian. The senator may really look down on the troops. But the current U.S. military got off easy--Mr. Kerry implied that they are merely ignorant--compared with their forebears who fought in Vietnam. Young John likened them to the brutal minions of Genghis Khan, only with grenades.

There are dirty politics, and there are pseudo-dirty politics, tossed unjustly by skilled liars into the skullduggery cell. One widely accepted falsehood is that Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, the Democrats' 1988 presidential candidate, was "smeared" by George H.W. Bush's Willie Horton ads. In fact, as governor, Mr. Dukakis had backed the furlough program that allowed Horton to rape a Maryland woman and half-kill her fiance. Another crystallizing canard paints the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth as a GOP front group devoted to ruining Mr. Kerry's Vietnam War record just in time for the 2004 election. While that group went too far in impugning the basis for Mr. Kerry's combat awards, it brought overdue reckoning to a man who had branded hundreds of thousands of living and dead warriors as berserk brutes.

Now Mr. Kerry self-administers final justice to his political career. Dr. Freud, how we love thee.