Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Only One Way Out

In that context, what of any substance is there to be made of the following?

Rumors floating around Washington mid-day Tuesday had the Kerry campaign reaching out to a couple of media outlets - NBC's Meet the Press and CBS's 60 Minutes - to discuss a possible appearance by candidate John Kerry this coming Sunday.

A Democratic strategist outside the campaign said the thinking appeared to be to get the candidate out to speak about the mounting Swift Boat Veterans for Truth controversy before the Republican Convention."’I don't know if they are thinking a full-blown mea culpa from Kerry, but that seems to be the way some people are thinking,’ says the strategist. ‘He wouldn't use the words “I'm sorry” in speaking about his actions after Vietnam here at home. But he would seek to try to put this thing to rest."

It’s fair to ask how that would be any different from his appearance on MTP earlier this year where he…

made a statement that appeared to be an indirect apology to veterans he might have offended with his activities in 1970. During that appearance he said he might have allowed his anger and frustration to get the best of him. But he stopped short of making any formal apology or admission that he was wrong for taking such a public stance against the war.

Make no mistake, it is a “full-blown mea culpa,” a formal apology, and an admission that he was wrong for taking such a public stance against the Vietnam war that the Swiftboat Vets are looking for. And they will settle for not one smidgeon or iota less. And don’t think that Kerry doesn’t know it. That is why this brouhaha is more than just a passing incident in the larger campaign. It is, rather, a blood feud that will only be decided when either Kerry is defeated in November, or he becomes president and exacts a terrible retribution on his one-time “band of brothers.”

In drawing “the real John Kerry” out from behind his calculating, “nuanced” mask, the Swifties have provided American voters with a very illuminating look at the man they’re being asked to consider for the highest office in the land. That service alone is as valuable to their country as any they rendered in Southeast Asia thirty-plus years ago.