Christopher Hitchens has a piece in Opinion Journal today that is recommended reading. I thought this excerpt was of particular interest:
For now, the Democratic leadership has ridden (again) to Mr. Bush’s rescue by making its own literal-minded condemnation of Mr. Kerry’s pratfall. Sen. Clinton and Rep. Ford, and numerous other more exposed and nervous aspirants, are taking their distance from their former standard-bearer. If this is the courage that they show in the face of a minor flub from one of their own . . . but let that go. Is there anything to be learned, or gained, from this essentially frivolous side-issue? I think that possibly there may be.
On Wednesday evening, on Hugh Hewitt’s high-octane radio show, I accepted his challenge and gave out my private email. I had said that my emails from soldiers in Iraq were generally relaxed about the Kerry flap: He wanted me to hear different.
I have since had the chance to read about 500 or 600 messages. Almost all of them politely phrased (I exempt one from “the Riordan family” who evidently have not forgiven the long history of British depredation in Ireland) and almost all of them appending the list of college degrees as well as of medals and citations held, these letters show a very deep and interesting rift in which Mr. Kerry plays only a secondary part. Many of my respondents agreed that his words may not have meant or intended quite what they first seemed to mean, but they also felt that the klutziness was Freudian, so to speak, in that the senator’s patrician contempt for grunts and dogfaces was bound to come out sooner or later.
It is very kind and gracious of the troops to accept Kerry’s comments as merely a Freudian slip considering he has expressed contempt for the “grunts and dogfaces” on another occasion since his Ghengis Kahn testimony at the Senate hearings in 1971.