Apology Not Accepted...
John Kerry's first attempt at damage control to yesterday's "misinterpreted joke" was to come out in front of the cameras again and say "I apologize to no one"...
Perhaps his camp didn't think that worked out very well, so a written statement, which he is calling an "apology", was issued later:
As a combat veteran, I want to make it clear to anyone in uniform and to their loved ones: my poorly stated joke at a rally was not about, and never intended to refer to any troop.
I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform, and I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended.
It is clear the Republican Party would rather talk about anything but their failed security policy. I don’t want my verbal slip to be a diversion from the real issues. I will continue to fight for a change of course to provide real security for our country, and a winning strategy for our troops.
That doesn't sound like an apology to me.
Kerry's "botched joke" is offensive to me on several levels...
First - Kerry's tone was condescending to his immediate audience. He was addressing students at Pasadena City College, and he came across as a parent telling his kids to eat all their vegetables if they want to grow up to be big and strong. These aren't elementary school kids; they're young adults. They know the value of education, otherwise they wouldn't be there.
Second - Kerry's implication that military service is something "smart" people should avoid is downright elitist, and reminiscent of prevailing attitudes from the Vietnam era. We all know that Kerry served a four-month tour in Vietnam, but we also remember that he later threw away his medals, and defamed his fellow veterans comparing them to "Genghis Khan" when he testified before the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations in 1971. It was Kerry and his cohorts in Vietnam Veterans Against the War that helped to perpetuate negative stereotypes against the military in the 1970s.
Third - Kerry's "botched joke" was disrespectful to everyone who has ever served in the U.S. military. We are not a bunch of slack-jawed "Gomer Pyles" or "Forrest Gumps" who had no other option but to join the military, as many would have you believe. Today's all-volunteer force is much more educated than their predecessors, or even their contemporary civilian counterparts.
Kerry's actual remarks (as opposed to what he now wishes he had said), were highly insulting to everyone who has served in the military. His subsequent series of bizarre attacks against the President did nothing to alleviate the offense. His written non-apology of this afternoon is wholly inadequate, and only adds insult to injury: he regrets that his words were "misinterpreted."
Please don't insult us further, Senator. We know what you said. You may not have meant to say those precise words, but the meaning of what you did say was perfectly clear.
Apology not accepted.