While campaigning in California yesterday for gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides, Kerry 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. And if you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
Kerry’s suggestion “that the men and women of our military are somehow uneducated is insulting and it is shameful,” Bush said at an appearance in Georgia tonight. “The members of the United States military are plenty smart. And they are plenty brave. And the senator from Massachusetts owes them an apology.”
Contrast this with a snippet of a story on NPR earlier this week:
In their living room, Carmelo Roman de Jesus and Gloria Cruz have a shrine to Alexis, a glass cabinet with his baby shoes, baby teeth, toy cars and Medals of Honor. They’re still upset with military recruiters who promised their son $20,000 to enlist.
In an economy without many options for those lacking a college degree, the military can appear to be the only real option. Particularly when recruiters are making empty promises like that.
Michael Moore makes the same point about his home city of Flint, Michigan.
Kerry’s remark could have been better phrased, but Bush’s response shows a typical lack of introspection.