Kerry Goes anti-Iraq


It's late at night in the Kerry mansion in Boston, and Kerry is planning strategy with James Carville and Paul Begala, the latest editions to his team of consultants.

K: I think we may have a coup, guys - you old attack dogs, you - now that Rather has accepted those documents about Dubya's refusal to take that physical…why, that's the same as AWOL, maybe even the same as treason…maybe even the same as…I mean, a direct order and all… . That's just plain wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong…you know, like his middle initial…

B: Good grief, John, a high school sophomore wouldn't stoop to that wrong, wrong, wrong stuff. D'ya suppose Rather can find us a document for the Court Martial that Bush got for refusing to honor a direct order?

K: Hadn't thought of that. Could you get on it, Snakehead?

C: Snakehead? Just 'cause you and that ambulance-chasin' Edwards got hair, you call me Snakehead. You got any idea how that'd play in the Ninth Circuit out there in la-la-land where the Terminator is terminatin' your lead. That Snakehead stuff is harassment with a capital "J."

B: Capital "J?" Carville, you spell about as well as I tell the truth.

K: Whoa there, Begala. James is using the Mexican version of "j," which sounds like "h." Teresa explained it to me. You know, like San Jose is really San Hose…no, that can't be right…sounds like some kind of socks. Anyway, he's practicing his Spanish for some bushwhacking among all those Mexicans in Texas. Right, Snake…I mean, James? I apologize and take your point about that Snakehead stuff…cruel, demeaning, condescending…

B: Yeah, just like ol' Snaky-boy here. (Laughter) Okay, James, I'm not looking for a Purple Heart…put down the knife. Seriously, d'ya suppose Rather could have someone dig up…or make up…a Court Martial decision, or at least a memo-to-file by somebody…probably somebody dead, of course? What about that guy Barnes…you know, the guy that got conscience-stricken and told Rather how sorry he was for deciding who would go to Vietnam and all when he was running Texas? He's still alive, though, so…

C: Nah, Barnes wasn't in the Air Guard. Anyway, his own daughter's already called him a liar, right on television. No tellin' what might pop up if we went there again. Barnes and Rather are both just about as digestible as road-kill now anyway, what with all those experts talkin' about the fact that dead men tell no tales and spaces and fonts and ser…sar…surf…

B: Serifs, James, those little strokes on letters or something. Understand, now, guys, I don't know where Rather got those memos or letters or whatever…and it's just plain wrong to…

K: Yeah, wrong, wrong, wrong, you know, that middle Dubya initial…stands for…

B: Hell's bells, John, you gotta get off that juvenile stuff…what I was getting at was that some creeps are blaming this campaign for those papers that the experts are claiming are false…you know we wouldn't do anything like that… and we won't do it again.

K: I didn't hear that, Paul…I'm in campaign mode…the last thing I need is for somebody to say we fed Rather that stuff…and I'd sure's hell better not hear we won't do it again, or I'll have some heads rolling right down Beacon Hill.

C: John, doncha think we might oughtta get off that Guard stuff? I heard Rather go through that same stuff last night…no names…no source…no corroboration…nobody alive to give it some punch. Hell, even that guy Staudt - some colonel or other - that the other officer referred to about applyin' some kinda pressure had been outta the Guard for a whole year and a half already when he was supposed to write about him…I mean, Rather's dead meat, and you need to give 'im a call and tell 'im to back off.

K: We do that, and what do we go to, James? I've based my whole effort on my Nam duty juxtaposed with Dubya dodging out…and now that Swift Boat bunch has jumped all over my heroic effort to win…

B: To win what, John? You won a free trip home after four lousy months and then…wait…wait a minute. Maybe we ought to go to Plan B. You came home and did your duty by telling the whole world how wrong…

K: Right…wrong, wrong, wrong…

B: Not Dubya-wrong again , John. You went to Congress and television and Paris to tell the whole world how wro…mistaken the U.S. was to go to that wretched place where they all spoke some kinda French - that's bad enough - and committed all those crimes…cut off ears…you know, everything they do now in the Congo and Sierra Leone. Look what it did for you…got you elected lieutenant governor with old Dukakis and right on into Congress with Ted Kennedy and Barney Frank and even got you introduced to Teresa after the divorce and your first source of cash was gone…why, it's a no-brainer, John.

K: Yeah…what do you mean?

C: He means to go the same route as before, you lunkhead - nothing personal there, John…sorry…although that's not as bad as Snakehead. When you went anti-Vietnam and slammed all your brothers and made 'em into war criminals and played footsie with Jane Fonda you made it big. So now, you go anti-Iraq and slam all these Rumsfeld loonies and talk about Abu Ghraib every day and play footsie with Michael Moore and…man…what an idea, Paul…that's even better than the…the…never mind.

K: But I voted for the damn war, James. They'll get me for flip-flopping again. And I voted the 87 billion and…

B: But then you voted against the 87 billion, so you have the perfect record…sort of mending your ways, like squaring things for wasting that teenage boy with the crippled leg in Vietnam…you know…coup de grace…silver star stuff…making atonement is what the preachers call it down in Texas.

C: Yeah, all the college faculties will back you up, John, that bunch of idiots with PH.Ds…not enough sense to get in outta the damn rain and not enough skill to open an umbrella. (loud laughter) They'll get you some protesters lined up all over the country…mostly college kids too dumb or high to recognize their own folks half the time. Give 'em a free tattoo and a free T-shirt and a few joints and they'll…

K: Well…actually I have thought about it. I never fall off my skis, you know, which means, especially with my skull-and-bones background, that I think of everything. I liked this idea yesterday…no, wait…day before yester…no, wait…it was at lunch yesterday…seared in my mind like Christmas in Cambodia…that I changed my…then, at dinner Teresa mentioned that I was in a rut and…maybe it was last night I changed my mind about it from…from whatever it was…

B: We'll set it up there, John. Just give us the word. We'll even contact Jane and Michael and maybe Barbara Streisand and Willie Nelson…you know, a big concert at Ground Zero in New York…uh, John…you actually didn't spend Christmas anywhere near Cambodia…remember?

K: I didn't? Maybe it's that dream I keep having…anyway, we could use those movies I set up, you know, me in the jungle chasing…

C: No more Vietnam, John. This is Iraq we're talkin' about. Start puttin' together your anti-Iraq speeches now, and we'll set you up with Larry King for the announcement. We'll make 'im promise to ask questions about that 87 billion and how you saw the light and…

K: And how our guys cut off ears at Abu Ghraib…I believe I'm getting it now…man, we're headed for the big white one…wait, I'll have to call Teresa and then maybe Chirac…you know, get a big surge from old Europe and…let's see, we'll get Dan Rather to scare up some…

C: Road-kill, John, remember, Rather's road-kill. We'll go for Jennings this time…maybe Brokaw…naw, he's quittin' after the election so…