Yes, yes, yes: I know Senator Kerry was talking about Bush when he said that those who don't work hard in school end up stuck in Iraq. Of course Dubya isn't personally in Iraq; Kerry was using the same sort of metaphor that Dubya's folk use when they credit the Wee Emperor with "fighting terror," even though his closest brush with personal involvement was limited to a series of frantic dashes from one secret, secure spot to the next on 11 September 2001. And of course Prexy's handlers and minions are feigning outrage at their simulated misunderstanding of Kerry's "joke." I get all that, and I'm sure everyone else does, too. Everyone this side of the mouth-breathers in Limbaugh's audience, that is.
It occurs to me, though, that the source of Kerry's difficulties is that he can't simply speak the truth in plain language. Instead, he must denigrate the Chimp-in-Chief with little Pseudo-Zingers for Halfwits. And what is that truth? Well, Kerry's been at this game long enough that I basically have no idea what he really thinks -- or whether he really thinks anything, beyond the White House would look much better with me living there. If I were to guess, I'd guess that Kerry's plain truth would sound like: "Bush is a bungler; he's the nominal head of the Stupid Party, and they have a tough time whenever they're occasionally placed in power. You all should be sure to elect Democrats -- me in 2008, for example -- because we're more competent in handling the levers of the Big Machine: the permanent government. The Machine won't do anything fundamentally different; it will just do what it does more effectively, bigger 'n' better. Under Democratic leadership, for example, the U.S. won't be stuck in Iraq; instead, we'll be going through those Ay-rabs like shit through the proverbial goose."
He can't say that, though, because it would alienate the antiwar part of the Democratic Party base. (I suspect they're vastly overestimating the size and power of that part; I suspect it basically doesn't exist. But I could easily be mistaken.) He also can't say what I think is true: "Bush is a tyrant and a war criminal. If my party achieves power, American soldiers will be out of Iraq by next week, and will be home and being discharged the week after. They'll be in a tight race with the American soldiers in Afghanistan, Korea, Germany, Japan, and wherever else we have more than a token-sized embassy honor guard. As for Dubya and his henchmen, they're Hague-bait as far as we're concerned; if the World Court wants 'em, we're happy to extradite." He definitely couldn't say that; it wouldn't sit well with the magnetic ribbon and flag crowd on their way to the Toby Keith concert.
So, since he can't say anything coherent, he's reduced to working the comedy circuit, trying to zing il Duce with carefully-calibrated one-liners. Well, to paraphrase: you live by the dishonest sound bite, you die by same. A plague on both their houses.