Tidbits for Political Junkies with Short Attention Spans & Hearty Appetites


Thursday, May 06, 2004

Two Words for John Kerry

Short sentences.

There was a diary entry over a dKos this morning, complaining that Kerry is “whacking Bush hard” and that “the media chooses not to cover it.” Perhaps, on both counts. But, after looking at what Kerry said, and how he said it, I’m not surprised that the media may have missed the message.

He might actually make news if he'd learn to tighten up his message -- and quit letting Bush off the hook.

Take these statements as an example:

"I think the world needs to hear from the president that the United States of America regrets any kind of abuse of this kind or any kind of effort like this. Because we have to show the world that we're willing to correct our own mistakes."

"The president of the United States needs to offer the world an explanation and needs to take appropriate responsibility," he said. "And if that includes apologizing for the behavior of those soldiers and what happened, they ought to do that."

Don't say "I think." These are your words. We can assume they’re your thoughts.

And for Christ's sake don't muddle up “the president”, “the United States,” "we" and “they” -- when you’re really talking about George Bush. He is not an abstraction. And he is certainly not "us."

And whatever you do, don’t act as if “explanations” will suffice. You are fond of saying that Bush says one thing while doing another. So don’t give him a pass to try that again here, of all places.

Here's my version:

Words aren't enough. George Bush needs to do more than tell the world that he regrets these abuses. Of course he regrets them. We all do. They're an unholy outrage.

But regret, and spin, won't fix the problem.

He needs to show the world that he is willing to correct his own mistakes, and stand up and be accountable for mistakes that happened on his watch, in his war, in the military that he controls as commander-in-chief.

It's time to stop just talking about accountability...and actually show some.

Maybe, just maybe, John Kerry, if the press can figure out what you're saying ... there's a chance that the voters will.


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