Folks, we have been inundated with messages from readers in hot pursuit of John Kerry’s excellent adventure in Cambodia. The seriousness, doggedness and creativity of our readers are humbling.
Attorney William Dyer (in his guise as Beldar), for example, has written to advise us that he has posted a long corrective to a bit of the bullying that seems to constitute the Democrats’ contribution to political discourse: “Impermeable to the facts: Kenneth Baer’s article ‘Frontal Assault’ in the New Republic Online.”
Dan at Dislogue has directed us to his thoughtful meditation on this statement of John Kerry: “I wish they had a delete button on LexisNexis.” Dan treats Kerry’s statement as his proof text in “Kerry’s disappearing art.”
Dr. Stephen Marmer — our favorite psychiatrist — writes:
The issues are whether Kerry falsified his resume, whether “Bush lied” now becomes “Kerry lied,” and whether Kerry is a pathological liar.
As to the first, didn’t Notre Dame fire a football coach a few years ago because he had falsified his resume? Would you feel comfortable going to a surgeon who claimed to have had a certain fellowship but actually didn’t?
Regarding the second, the left has hammered Bush on his missing National Guard records. It has also claimed (wrongly) that “Bush lied” about the yellow cake. This Kerry matter is not merely a faulty recollection. It is something he repeated numerous times over nearly twenty years. As you pointed out in your post, the Christmas in Cambodia story was only meaningful if he actually WAS in Cambodia. Near Cambodia doesn’t make it anything at all.
Finally, John Kerry has a proclivity for spinning the truth. I’m not prepared to say he is a pathological liar. But consider that when he fell down skiing he said, “I didn’t fall. That SOB knocked me down.” Careful combing of the record would probably uncover similar self-serving shadings of the truth.
Regarding Cambodia he did something worse than ordinary lying. He seems actually to have convinced himself that he really was there, and repeated the self-deception for twenty years. That tells me that he has a problem distinguishing truth from falsehood. Such a pattern of self-deception is extremely troubling in anyone. It is dangerously troubling in a President.
As we have noted previously, over the past several months we have received messages from many Vietnam veterans expressing their views on John Kerry. We have sought to let Power Line serve as a forum for these messages.
Today’s message from Russ Vaughn is such a message. Russ served in the 2d Battalion, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam in 1965-66. Russ’s message is in the form of a poem entitled “The Night Before Christmas (Cambodian version),” and it’s special:
‘Twas the night before Christmas and we were afloat
Somewhere in Cambodia in our little boat.
While the river was lighted by rockets’ red glare
No one but the President knew we were there.
The crew was all nestled deep down in their bunks,
While the Spook and I watched the sampans and junks.
Our mission was secret, so secret in fact,
No one else would remember it when we got back.
When out on the water there arose such a clatter
I leaped down from the bridge to see what was the matter.
The incoming friendly was starting to flash
And I knew that the ARVN’s were having a bash.
The snap of friendly fire on the warm tropic air
Convinced me for sure no one knew we were there,
On a clandestine mission so secret it’s true
That I’m still convinced only Tricky Dick knew.
While I huddled for safety in the tub on the bow,
I thought of a title, “Apocalypse Now.”
To give to the films I was I making each day
To show all the voters when I made my big play.
As I sat there sweating in my lucky flight jacket,
Spook said, “Merry Christmas!” and tossed me a packet.
And what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a new lucky cap, which I still have right here.
I keep it tucked here, in this leather brief case,
Just sharing with the press its secretive place
As I regale them again with my senate refrain,
That Christmas in Cambodia is seared into my brain.
Don’t bother to quibble with history my friend,
By pointing out Johnson was President then.
Don’t listen to Swiftees who try to explain,
For I tell you that night is seared into my brain.
Down Hibbard, down Lonsdale, and you too O’Neill,
So you don’t remember? Well it’s something I feel.
I don’t need all you Swiftvets to support my campaign,
‘Cause Christmas in Cambodia is seared into my brain,
Into my brain, into my brain, into my brain…
(Thanks to reader Rob McNeil for the heading.)
HINDROCKET is humble: For once. Sometimes I’m embarrassed at how smart our readers are. What a great parody! Maybe we should turn this site into a message board.