Dear Howdy, The Democrats' failed 2004 presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry, may have just sabotaged his party's highest hopes for the 2006 midterm elections. Karl Rove himself couldn't have engineered a better campaign reminder of the Democrats' utter lack of credibility when it comes to supporting, respecting and leading America's military.
Here is what Sen. Kerry told an audience of young people at a campaign event on the Pasadena City College campus on Monday held for losing California Democrat gubernatorial challenger Phil Angelides:
"You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."
And this man aspired to be our nation's 21st-century commander in chief with that Neanderthal 1960s attitude? Both a local NBC news affiliate reporter and a Pasadena Star-News reporter mentioned Kerry's statement without fully realizing the condescending slam against our, ahem, all-volunteer armed forces embedded in the remarks. The Star-News did observe that the derisive comment was met with "a mixture of laughter and gasps." But it wasn't until after KFI-AM Los Angeles radio show host John Ziegler posted the audio on the Internet and a YouTube user posted video of the event that a firestorm broke out on the airwaves and across the right side of the blogosphere.
America has the best-trained, most professional, most well-educated military in the world. But the moonbats want only to hear the myths of the soldier-as-victim or the soldier-as-brutalizer or soldier-as-indentured servant. Never mind that for every two volunteer recruits coming from the poorest neighborhoods, there are three recruits coming from the richest neighborhoods, as The Heritage Foundation recently reported. Never mind that 99.9 percent of the enlisted force have at least a high school education. Never mind that 49.2 percent of officers have advanced or professional degrees; 39.4 percent have master's degrees; 8.5 percent have professional degrees; and 1.3 percent have doctorate degrees.
Kerry's response to the backlash from military families around the globe? An adviser admitted to the National Journal that his boss's botched warning to students was "mangled." But a Kerry press release instead attacked Rush Limbaugh, White House spokesman Tony Snow and "assorted right-wing nut-jobs" (present!) for the words that came out of his mouth and his mouth alone. The Associated Press water-carrier for Kerry and the Dems, left-wing reporter Jennifer Loven, dutifully recycled the Democrat line that Kerry was really targeting President Bush, not the lazy, uneducated troops "stuck in Iraq."
Nonsense. The intent was clear enough for at least some in the audience to "gasp," as the local reporter on the scene described.
This is no isolated case of Democrat incompetence and insensitivity toward the military. Kerry's party is the party of Dick Durbin, who likened American interrogators and Gitmo military staff to Nazis, Soviet gulag operators and genocidal maniac Pol Pot.
Kerry's party is the party of Patty Murray, who praised Osama bin Laden's charity work with nary a nod to our men and women in uniform who have sailed and flown to the most far-flung regions of the world on reconstruction and humanitarian missions. Kerry's party is the party that approved of him tarring American troops as terrorizers in Iraq last year.
And Kerry's party is the party whose national party website couldn't even find an American soldier to illustrate a page dedicated to "Veterans and Military Families". Until a military reader of my blog called attention to it, the DNC site erroneously featured a photo of a Canadian soldier named "Abdul" in its attempt to show support for American troops.
Can you trust a party with such entrenched disdain and contempt for the military to use that power well and wisely at a time of war? America made a choice in 2004. Two years later, the Democrats have said and done nothing to earn the nation's endorsement now...
As a national uproar continues over comments by Sen. John Kerry suggesting American troops were lazy and not bright, President Bush is hammering Kerry and fellow Democrats for their lack of strategy for winning the war in Iraq, while troops themselves are mocking Kerry.
In a photo circulating the Internet today, soldiers were shown holding a banner with intentional misspellings reading: "Halp Us Jon Carry – We R Stuck Hear N Irak."
"I am... I guess 'amazed' is the proper word at how courageous our troops are, and I am amazed at the fact that they are so capable, and that they volunteer in the midst of this war to defend us, and these troops deserve all the support of the United States of America, and they understand as well as anybody that we are making progress in Iraq," Bush told talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh today.
"My problem with many of the Democrat voices in Washington is they have no plan for victory. ... I believe responsible leaders must come up with a plan for victory in order to achieve peace, and yet the only plan I hear is, one: let's get out of Iraq before the job is done – which would be a disaster for a future generation of Americans."
Bush pointed out that different from previous wars, "if you leave the battle, the enemy follows us home to America."
"That's one of the reasons why we will win in Iraq. I repeat: the only reason we could lose in Iraq is if we leave, and, therefore, we've got kids sacrificing in Iraq, and when they hear politicians say, 'Get out before the job is done,' that's discouraging to them, and it's discouraging to the Iraqis, and it's encouraging to the enemy. That's why my voice is so loud in saying to our troops: 'What you're doing is noble and important and you're going to win and history will look back and thank you for your sacrifices.'"
Bush's remarks come one day after a furor erupted over a statement by Kerry who told students at Pasadena City College in Southern California: "You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq. ..."
While the former presidential nominee later referred to his comment as a "botched joke," it came under immediate fire from the White House, where press secretary Tony Snow called it an "absolute insult."
"Senator Kerry not only owes an apology to those who are serving, but also to the families of those who've given their lives in this."
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
Kerry hit back at the White House in a statement, charging it's the president and his administration who owe U.S. troops an apology because they "misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it."
"This is the classic GOP playbook," Kerry said. "I'm sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did. I'm not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium."
But with a growing firestorm of criticism, Kerry held a news conference yesterday in Seattle where he was campaigning for Democrat candidates. The senator said he would not apologize, calling his comment a "botched joke about the president and the president's people, not about the troops."
"Let me make it crystal clear, as crystal clear as I know how," Kerry said. "I apologize to no one for my criticism of the president and his broken policy. If anyone owes our troops in the fields an apology, it is the president and his failed team."
Limbaugh told Bush, "Frankly, Mr. President, the American people are outraged by this because John Kerry is just the latest. This is not the first."
Anybody who is in a position to serve this country ought to understand the consequences of words, and our troops deserve the full support of people in government. People here may not agree with my decision. I understand that. But what I don't understand is any diminution of their sacrifice. We've got incredible people in our military, and they deserve full praise and full support of this government. Secondly, what they deserve is a plan for victory, and we have a plan for victory. Our victory, as you know, is really to help the Iraqis win, to help the 12 million people, to help Iraq realize the dreams of 12 million people who voted. To help the political process and help the security process and help the economic process and we're doing just that. It's not easy work, because there's an enemy that still tries to derail the process. They're trying to foment sectarian violence, and on the other hand it's necessary work.
Kerry, meanwhile has canceled some personal campaign appearances for other Democrats today, while some candidates in his own party are asking for an apology.
'Terrorizing' Iraqi children
Kerry angered many in the military last December with remarks in an interview with CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer, accusing U.S. soldiers of "terrorizing" Iraqi children.
John Kerry testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971.
"And there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the – of – the historical customs, religious customs," Kerry said. "Whether you like it or not ... Iraqis should be doing that."
Those remarks reminded many Americans of Kerry's most controversial testimony before the nation in 1970, when he was a returning Vietnam vet calling for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces in that conflict.
He told senators about hearings he helped organize among disenchanted Vietnam war vets in which accusations of atrocities by U.S. troops were recounted.
"They told stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country," he said.
'Insensitive, ill-considered and uninformed'
Responding to the "stuck in Iraq" comment, Sen. John McCain, a POW in Vietnam and potential rival to Kerry in the 2008 presidential election, said in a statement the senator "owes an apology to the many thousands of Americans serving in Iraq, who answered their country's call because they are patriots and not because of any deficiencies in their education."
"Americans from all backgrounds, well off and less fortunate, with high school diplomas and graduate degrees, take seriously their duty to our country, and risk their lives today to defend the rest of us in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere," McCain said.
The Arizona Republican said the "suggestion that only the least educated Americans would agree to serve in the military and fight in Iraq, is an insult to every soldier serving in combat, and should deeply offend any American with an ounce of appreciation for what they suffer and risk so that the rest of us can sleep more comfortably at night."
"Without them, we wouldn't live in a country where people securely possess all their God-given rights, including the right to express insensitive, ill-considered and uninformed remarks," McCain concluded.
Sen. David Vitter, R-La., fired off a letter to Kerry today, calling the comment "truly despicable and offensive."
"It's a slap in the face of all of our intelligent, dedicated, brave men," Vitter wrote. " ... They aren't stupid, uneducated, or lazy. They're heroes. And they deserve your immediate apology."
The national commander of the American Legion also has called on Kerry to apologize.
"As a constituent of Senator Kerry's, I am disappointed. As leader of the American Legion, I am outraged," said Paul A. Morin. "A generation ago, Sen. Kerry slandered his comrades in Vietnam by saying that they were rapists and murderers. It wasn't true then and his warped view of today's heroes isn't true now."
Last year, the Heritage Foundation published a study titled, "Debunking the myth of the underprivileged soldier," which said "the typical recruit in the all-volunteer force is wealthier, more educated and more rural than the average 18- to 24-year-old citizen is."
For every two recruits coming from the poorest neighborhoods, the study said, "there are three recruits coming from the richest neighborhoods."
Elections Matter - Don't Let Others Decide for You by Newt Gingrich Commentary
(CR) – An election is a choice between two futures, and in this election, no less than the future of our great nation is at stake. We cannot simply let others decide for us. America's best days are either ahead of us or behind us, but it is up to us to win the future that our nation deserves.
There is no attack on American culture more destructive and more historically dishonest than the unending war against God in American public life.
This minority worldview is completely at odds with the overwhelming majority of Americans. Yet, it has been systematically imposed on us over the last fifty years in an effort to remove religious expression from the public square.
The Classroom and the Court
In both the courts and the classrooms, radical secularists are replacing 219 years of American religious freedom and political liberty with a revisionist version of American history.
For two generations, we have passively accepted this assault on the values of the overwhelming majority of Americans.
America simply cannot be explained without understanding the centrality of God to our nation. Yet, too many schools spend too little time studying the Founding Fathers and even less teaching what they had to say about God.
Rewriting History in the Classroom
Radical secularists do not want students to examine too closely the Declaration of Independence because it contains America's central premise: We are "endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable Rights". The only intellectually honest explanation for this phase is that Thomas Jefferson believed our rights come from God alone. That is an explanation they simply cannot accept.
From their perspective, if we could only avoid teaching about Jefferson, we would not have to deal with the fact that our third president attended church services in the United States Capitol building. They could omit the fact that Benjamin Franklin proposed opening each session of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 with a prayer. They could forget that our first president, George Washington, placed his right hand on his family Bible during his first inauguration in 1789, and then added the phrase "So help me God." They could gloss over the fact that Abraham Lincoln made fourteen references to God and quoted the Bible twice in his second inaugural address of only seven-hundred and one words.
Some special interests groups wants to avoid these historical facts because they do not want to acknowledge God. Understood. But, why should their political agenda determine our children's education?
If you sit out this election, you are choosing their future by deciding to accept their agenda.
Rewriting History in the Courts
The Supreme Court has seen fit to rule against God in the American public square time and again, even as they sit inside of a building surrounded by religious imagery. Most prominent among them are a depiction of Moses and an engraving of the Ten Commandments over the chair of the Chief Justice, each affirming our Judeo-Christian roots.
In case after case brought by radical secularists, activist judges have virtually made God into an outlaw. The Court has ruled against school prayers and Bible studies, and even prohibited voluntary prayer before football games. Most recently, a California court reaffirmed the Ninth Circuit Court ruling that the phrase "one nation, under God" was unconstitutional.
They are using the courts to meet their political objectives. But why should we accept appointed lawyers' edicts on how faith can be expressed in the public square?
If you sit out this election, you are choosing their desire for enforced secularism.
The Choice Between Two Futures
We are, and always have been, one nation "under God."
Each morning in our nation's capital, the first rays of sunlight illuminate a 555-foot shrine to the Father of our Country -- the Washington Monument. Inscribed on the eastern side of its aluminum capstone, visible to Heaven alone, are the Latin words "Laus Deo" (Praise be to God).
Imagine how different America would be if the Founders had begun the Constitution with the words "we the government" instead of "we the people."
Some will not accept these historic facts, and they don't want you to know about them. But their argument is not with those of us who want to keep God at the heart of public life; their argument is with the founders themselves.
Their only hope is to keep you from voting.
But we can defeat their political agenda by speaking the truth.
America was founded on a revolutionary proposition penned by Thomas Jefferson; a proposition that proclaimed that our rights are the grant of God, not of any king or government.
There are millions of Americans just as frustrated as we are with the fact that that those of us who want to keep God in the public square are vastly underrepresented in our state capitols and in Washington.
But here's the rub. If we don't mobilize our voters to vote for those who share and will defend our values and against those who reject them, how can we expect anything to change?
An election is a choice between two futures.
Disengagement is NOT the answer. Full participation in our American democracy is.
We owe it to all those who sacrificed throughout American History. We also owe it to all of those who are currently sacrificing in what I have described as an emerging third world war. A war that pits our nation against an enemy whose worldview is irreconcilable with freedom.
The radical secularists' goal is to replace a nation where God is central with a nation where rights are accorded to individuals not by their Creator, but by those in power over them. History is filled with examples of this failed model -– Nazism, fascism, communism, -- and their disastrous consequences. But here again, they are choosing to ignore history.
If we are going to be able to pledge allegiance to "one nation under God," we must vote.
If we are going to choose victory over appeasement in the emerging third world war, we must vote.
If we are going to secure our borders, we must vote.
If we are going to continue live in "the land of the free and the home of the brave," we must vote.
We owe it to those who built this great country, to our children and to our grandchildren to be citizens and to show up and vote. Because if we don't, we will have only ourselves to blame.
We are the freest, most successful society in all of human history. But to preserve our freedom and our God given rights, you and I need to make a commitment to getting everyone who shares our vision of the future to vote. It is time to reclaim our country. Will you answer the call?
If EVER in history there was a time when all political parties were in agreement about something, THIS IS THAT TIME. All political parties agree that THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF OUR GENERATION. For this reason, we should not find even ONE Christian who has the right to vote, choose to instead, stay home and not vote.
The Bible is clear that it is God who takes one King down and sets another King upon His throne. Yet, He uses the people of the "land" to cooperate with HIM to make this happen. In a democracy, you could only pray all day, but if no Christians voted, righteousness would not prevail.
On the other hand, if all Christians voted, but none of them prayed, the same dismal results would happen. Unrighteousness would prevail.
Therefore, as people living in a land run as a democracy, we must both Pray AND Vote. Either one, without the other, falls short of the mark.
Please forward this to ALL your friends. Your children's future DOES depend upon it.
(P.S. Elijah List Publications is a for-profit LLC and therefore, we are allowed to talk about voting, and we can even name names at times in our emails since we are not required to do otherwise. You must know too, that as I've often said, Christians are not primarily Republicans OR Democrats. Instead, we are Monarchists. We serve a Reigning King, Jesus, who is the King of Kings!).
Note: This commentary was delivered by Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley.
Yesterday you heard Chuck Colson talking about the need for Christians to vote. Today, I want to talk about an aspect of voting that deeply troubles some Christians every time we have an election.
I'm talking about the fact that nobody's perfect.
Wait a minute, you say, everybody knows that. That's elementary-school stuff. Maybe so, but the truth remains that every election year, many Christians discover this simple fact all over again, and it throws them into a tizzy. They go into the political process as if they were picking a pastor instead of an elected official. They look for someone who is right in every category that matters to them, instead of looking for someone who will advance the common good and agrees with them as much as possible. When they don't find the perfect person, they become disillusioned.
Politics is a rough business, but so is all of life. There's always something that triggers this trend. This year, some of those triggers include the Foley scandal and David Kuo's book Tempting Faith, which attempted to persuade evangelicals that they were being used by those in power, even those who claimed to be on their side. And for some, it worked.
Thus, for example, Rod Dreher writes at his blog on Beliefnet.com, "I'm not prepared to be used . . . again. . . . I can't bring myself to vote Democratic, because I have no faith in the Democrats. . . . [But] I doubt very much I'm going to vote for [the Republicans] at the national level, because they have not earned my vote." I guess we're left with the conclusion that no one is good enough to vote for.
Rod is a good man, a good journalist, and a faithful Christian. He's a brother. But I think he's dead wrong. If you read more of his blog, it appears that he, and others with the same mindset, are insisting that politicians not only make the right decisions, but that they make them for the right reasons and that they make them all the time. Take it from someone who's been in politics—that's just not going to happen.
Are we right to want our leaders to share our values? Of course. But will we always have the choice? What should our response then be? To choose as wisely as we can—or not to choose at all?
The great conservative writer Russell Kirk called for us to be guided by "the principle of prudence," or of sound judgment and consideration for long-term consequences. It might feel good if you feel disillusioned to refuse to vote, sitting on your hands at home, registering your protest. It might make you feel like you've taught the politicians a lesson. But if that's the case, we've only failed to stand up and tell the politicians what we believe in. How can we expect our government to take an interest in what we believe if we won't take the simplest action of voting to defend it?
The fact is, we always have a choice, whether we realize it or not. We have a choice between candidates. We have a choice to influence our government, or to stay silent. This year, I hope that all of you all around the country will make the right choice.
Go to the polls next Tuesday. Pray for wisdom and prudence. Then vote.
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