As I wrote for tomorrow's edition of the Register, John Kerry is proving to be the gift that keeps on giving -- to the Republicans.
Maybe it was intended to be a joke aimed at Bush or maybe it was a little of Kerry's subconscious seeping out. Either way it was a disaster.
Consider what he actually said: "Education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't you get stuck in Iraq." On Imus this morning he said (click here for video) it was supposed to be "you get us stuck in Iraq. Just ask Bush."
Give him the benefit of the doubt, but even that is not especially funny and is in fact rather mean-spirited. Bush's problem is not lack of education -- he has an MBA after all -- but incuriosity and stubbornness. Kerry's comment, if that's what he meant to say, reflects a thoroughly unearned sense of superiority that most people found troubling about him last time he ran for national office. If it came out of his subconscious, it suggests the possibility that he's in a bit of a time warp, stuck in the Vietnam era when people who didn't keep up their grades were vulnerable to being drafted, whereas it's an all-volunteer army now.
Either way, it gave the Republicans, who richly deserve to get trounced this election, a chance to recast it as a replay of Bush v. Kerry. Even two years later, with all the chaos in Iraq and even after Katrina, I wouldn't be surprised if more people find Kerry repugnant than find Bush repugnant.
So Rush Limbaugh hurt the Republicans last week with his over-the-top comments about Michael J. Fox -- and his decision to keep harping on the topic becauyse like Bush he can never admit he was wrong and just shut up. And Kerry hurts the Democrats this week because he's such a thin-skinned privileged spoiled brat that he can never admit he was wrong and shut up.
Both parties richly deserve to suffer. Too bad they make voters and other Americans suffer along with them.