More…

kerry-saluteThis whole “My name is John Kerry and I am reporting for duty” thing is embarrassing. It is such a bald-faced photo-op/sound bite that it makes him and his campaign look even more cheesy and contrived than the other guy’s. How about inspiring us with a thoughtful and truthful speech instead? How about being honest and forthright instead of just playing the game like every other corrupt and bloated politician in Washington?

And what’s with all this commotion about bloggers at the Democratic National Convention? Sure, bloggers can provide something of an antidote to the shortcomings of the corrupt and bloated corporate media, but to find any real information you need to slog through an awful lot of badly edited and bloated blogs before you find anything original. In the meantime, you’ve got all these expectations of finding some kind of insight and all you get are a bunch of nerds playing with the medium. Let it happen, but don’t make such a big deal of it!

And U.S.ers wonder why people don’t like to have their countries occupied by the U.S. military. Here’s a test: see if you can see the difference between these two statements:

(1) The rules of engagement during the Iraq War stated that it was legitimate to commandeer a civilian’s vehicle if (a) it was needed for military purposes, and (b) it was either paid for, or a receipt was left with the owner.

(2) It is OK for American soldiers to chase a civilian vehicle, then steal it at gunpoint without leaving any money or receipts.

Sgt. 1st Class James Williams, a 17-year veteran with previous combat experience, apparently did not understand the difference before he and his crew shook down an Iraqi for his SUV. He claims he really thought he was “allowed to do that.” Inspiring, isn’t it?

In an whole other vein, things tend to spawn their opposites, so perhaps the prevalence of badly-edited blogging and other Web writing (I include my own in that category) will cause a resurgence in understanding of the importance of editing. I don’t mean proofreading, I mean editing.

10 thoughts on “More…

  1. I personnaly think the Duty thing was brillant.
    First: it puts Kerry military career on the stage, for immadiate use, which naturally compatible with the Iraki situation to be handle.

    The other thing: Bush can not say the same thing, because he did not clearly serve his country, as it’s not clear exactly where he was during the war (except on the front for sure).

  2. while talking about editing…
    I personnaly think the Duty thing was brillant.
    First: it puts Kerry’s military career on the stage, for immadiate use, which is naturally compatible with the Iraki situation to be handled.

    The other thing: Bush can not say the same thing, because he did not clearly serve his country, as it’s not clear exactly where he was during the war (except on the front for sure).

  3. I agree that it puts that forward, but I think it is too unsubtle and is not the kind of thing you should base a whole campaign around. Especially now that some of Kerry’s wartime exploits are coming into question. (There are allegations that the film footage of him in combat situations was all staged, and that even then he knew such footage would be advantageous one day.)

  4. Or, put another way, just as the value of editing is being lost, so to is the value of oratory. Instead of finely-crafted and moving oration we get gimmicks and sound bites.

  5. Hate to say this, but a lot of voters need unsubtle. That statement and gesture, as mawkish perhaps as it was, was not intended for elite pundits to deconstruct, but to energize the Democratic rank and file and win the trust of swing voters — including a large percentage of military voters whom the Bush administration has let hang out to dry on any number of issues.

    For far too long – possibly, since Kennedy, certainly since Truman — the Dems have been seen as soft on military issues and Kerry gives them that credibility again. Maybe not as much as Wesley Clark might have, but Kerry balances that out with the less-hyped parts of his background: a former prosecutor who specialized in corruption cases and of course as a longstanding US Senator who knows how the House works; his involvement in Senate committees on intelligence and military activities certainly make him more credible on those fronts than W.

    Combat footage staged? I’d love to see where those allegations came from. I bet it was one of those unattributed, sourceless soundbites from some guest of the Bill O’Reilly show, the kind that wither back into nothingness when confronted. This sounds to me like spin-reported-as-truth. As Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie know, if your team repeat your talking points early and often enough, some people believe they’re true :)

  6. Yes, I know that ultimately the unsubtle route is the only way to win, but that doesn’t mean I can’t lament the other.

    Here’s one report on the “staged” thing, in which Kerry supposedly said two years ago that he wouldn’t use the footage for campaign purposes.

    The other problem with pulling stunts like that salute is that it can cause you to fall really hard if the opposition can find any degree of untruth in it, or if you fail to live up to the false image you’re creating.

  7. On the unsubtlety: agreed. I’d prefer someone with Trudeau’s panache, but he wouldn’t go down easily in Oklahoma. But compared to Chimp In A Flightsuit declaring “Mission Accomplished”… I’ll take the salute.

    I did a bit of digging: turns out the story has already been thoroughly discredited. WorldNetDaily, where you found one version of it, is one of those Internet conservative newspapers that reprints GOP talking points practically verbatim, plus a helping of Drudge-style made-up stuff to boot. Need I mention they are also loosely affiliated with the Republican-friendly (and Moonie-owned) Washington Times…

    MediaMatters has the scoop on the false Kerry film allegations here.

  8. Yes, as you say, “compared to…” I’d like to see Kerry (or whomever) stand on his own, and be more than just “not Bush.”

    Thanks for the digging. I didn’t know the background on that site (I wish there were some kind of clearinghouse where you could get the low-down on these places in one click.) But my point was not that specific case, per se, but that when a candidate sets himself up in an iconic pose he’s running a big risk of a very hard fall if that icon ever shatters.

  9. Hey, Kerry’s our only hope for regime change. I’ll do my best to get every last Dem to the polls if it means there’s a slight chance that we can be free from the crush of Ashcroft, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. If it doesn’t work, can you guys please get going on the refugee camps across the border? Thanks!

  10. Yes, I know he’s the only hope for change. And he’s probably a good option regardless. I just wish — for his sake — that it was more than that.

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