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Friday, August 27, 2004

Slate's Kaus - gets it about the medals

Arnold's (David) Pecker Problem - Plus four things Kerry's missing. By Mickey�Kaus: "kausfiles A mostly political Weblog. kausfiles A mostly political Weblog. Tuesday, August 24, 2004 Reader M.R. reacts to my comment that "The impression is forming: Kerry behaved honorably and capably in battle, but he was a hero in the write ups!" So you just now figured out the STANDARD rule of military write ups? Fair enough. Let's assume that a certain amount of hype is standard procedure in military write-ups, especially when medals are involved. The problem is that Kerry is running for president on this official hype of a more-than-honorable record (one reason he's constantly referring reporters to his official medal citations). He's not only running on the hype but pushing it to the limit, milking it for all it's worth. That's dangerous in, yes, the Internet era! Obsessive fact-checkers can smoke out the exaggerations and get them past the ex-gatekeepers.** Unfortunately, it's more or less all Kerry's got. It wouldn't be so important if Kerry had a) a discernable ideology; b) a political message; c) a record of achievement; or d) an appealing personality! ... P.S.: As Polipundit's reservist reader notes, the standard military practice of grade inflation also puts Kerry's glowing "fitness" evaluations in perspective. "One of the Top Few" turns out to mean "One of the Top 50%." ... ** (LBJ's far-more-hyped Silver Star, for example, would be smoked out immediately today.) 3:24 A.M.

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