Saturday, November 17, 2007

 

John Kerry as a Coming Attraction

Less than two weeks ago, we learned that over three years after the fact, John Kerry was ready to once again face the Swift Boat Veterans:

“We have put together a documented portfolio that frankly puts their lies in such a total light of absurdity and indecency, that should they ever rear their ugly heads again, we have every single ‘t’ crossed and ‘i’ dotted, and I welcome that in a sense,'' Kerry said following a morning address to the South Shore Chamber fo Commerce. ``It’s a shame we weren’t able to produce all that at the time.'' WEB EXTRA / Kerry says he’ll be ready next time

Yeah – a real shame.

Well, apparently the timeline for proving the charges were lies has been moved up considerably:

Kerry Vows to Disprove Swift Boat Claims

“Sen. John Kerry, whose 2004 presidential campaign was torpedoed by critics of his Vietnam War record, said Friday he has personally accepted a Texas oilman's offer to pay $1 million to anyone who can disprove even a single charge of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.”

The whole article is rather amusing and definitely sympathetic to Mr. Kerry:

“While fellow veterans and reporters disproved many of the group's claims at the time…”

Uhh – if that’s true, why haven’t the skies been full of “fellow veterans and reporters” swooping into Dallas to collect the $1 million. My own recollection of the furor surrounding the charges was that at best the reporters concluded that the Swift Boaters hadn’t proved all their charges and that the fellow veterans that did come forward for John Kerry were just agreeing with his version of events.

“Ever since, Kerry has worked to lay the criticisms to rest.

“In May 2005, he began allowing reporters access to his full Navy personnel and medical records _ something he refused to do during the campaign.”

We then found out why he wasn’t eager to disclose all during the campaign:

Yale grades portray Kerry as a lackluster student - The Boston Globe

“In 1999, The New Yorker published a transcript indicating that Bush had received a cumulative score of 77 for his first three years at Yale and a roughly similar average under a non-numerical rating system during his senior year.”

“Kerry, who graduated two years before Bush, got a cumulative 76 for his four years, according to a transcript that Kerry sent to the Navy when he was applying for officer training school. He received four D's in his freshman year out of 10 courses, but improved his average in later years.”

Yep – he didn’t even do as well as George W. Bush. Heh, heh – how would that piece of info have played in 2004?

And that also serves to question the accuracy of this statement:

“[John Kerry’s] own response was muted for fear of legitimizing his critics' attacks.”

I’m not sure which is more moronic – that really being a “fear” or the reporter’s acceptance of it as the explanation. The book “Unfit for Command” was a #1 bestseller – only an incredible conceit could possibly conclude that the attacks would still lack legitimacy as long as they didn’t garner a John Kerry response.

As to that being the reason for the muteness; how does the reporter verify that? Wouldn’t it be more accurate to write that the Kerry campaign claimed that as a reason for the muted response? My own belief is that John Kerry thought he didn’t need to do anything because his friends in the media would handle it for him. (And they did try.) Further, I can easily imagine the Kerry campaign not eager to let his GPA become public knowledge because it wouldn’t fit the mythology.

My suspicion is that one’s reaction to the charges by the Swift Boat Veterans was a function of how you already felt about John Kerry. If John Kerry really can blow these charges out of the water, I will post a very sincere “mea maxima culpa”. Until then…

Comments:
Makes me feel better about my OK but not butt-kicking grades my first year at Princeton. I did not get straight A's - hardly - but managed to keep out of those ranges completely for four years. Worst grade in my term there was a C+ in linear algebra, the mathematics of matrices and arrays, which is I guess about a 77?. I was there as grade inflation had indeed begun but well before it hit its highwater mark.

In fairness, though, I was competing at an unfair advantage due to my decidedly lower average daily blood alcohol content than, I am sure, either of those gentlemen.
 
Bruce - I peaked freshman year 1st semester with a 3.125 GPA...I toss no stones at anyone's college transcripts
 
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