Transcript of remarks BEFORE the thing everybody’s so hopped up about, from the videohere:
How many of you remembered to set your clocks back? Democrtats set their clocks back one hour. Republicans want to set them back to 1958.
Yesterday I was in the state of Texas. As you all know President Bush used to live there. Now he lives in the state of denial, the state of deception. I’m glad to be here, I really am. I thank you for having me. I’d like to talk about education …
And then it goes into the whole deal everybody’s heard a thousand times.
Look, I went and found this (which to me doesn’t actually help much, but does make it a little clearer that he was mocking the Chimp) because a reader wrote in that it was hard to find. Reader was right, the NYT posted the full text of his “apology” but not the full text of the speech that occasioned the same. But I don’t want to get too wrapped up in the minutiae of this, because seriously. Google News is all full of headlines from around the country like “Kerry Slip Won’t Hurt Dems at the Polls” and stuff. And … it mostly makes my head hurt, because … why would it? I mean, last time I checked, Kerry’s presidential campaign was, you know, over.
Not that the Republicans are stupid to try. People voted against Kerry in 2004 because Michael Moore was fat and Ward Churchill was a douchebag. People vote against Democrats for their county board because Hillary Clinton freaks them out. People are shocked when I tell them I do not, in fact, worship a graven image of the Clintons at the local Meet-Ups, so long have they believed it’s all one big gay-marrying gun-confiscating intern-blowing mishmash of the same five guys at party HQ. (It’s all about envy, all that, because don’t we wish politics was half that much fun?) So the fact that the Republicans are trying to make Kerry the face of the Democratic Party the way Ted Kennedy was before Billy came along, well, it doesn’t shock me.
It does, however, gross me out. I mean, come on. Kerry’s my on-again, off-again political boyfriend, and I still think he’s sexy as hell, but even I don’t think about him as much as these wingnuts appeared to have done. I spent a lot of time after the 2004 election trying to parse exactly what it was about him that pissed them off so much, and I came to the conclusion that it was the fact that he pointed out, simply by existing within his own history, that there was more than one way to be patriotic, and thus undermined the story they were telling themselves, the story that made them good people. That’s a tough thing to swallow, and it’s the only thing I can think of that would account for why, two years after their guy beat Kerry in an election, they’restill so mad at him.
I also don’t think it’s working all that well. Mainly because let’s face it, my sexy political boyfriend is a wonk with a goofy smile. Nobody cares. Nobody cared in 2004, really, either. That election was about Bush and only marginally about Kerry at all. I knew a few Kerry-haters, but I know a lot more Clinton-haters, and if you asked them to rank the five Democrats they think are the Biggest Loooserz, Kerry’d rank below Dean and probably even Feingold. It’s hard to sustain that kind of contempt for very long. The hardcore, Freeperville wingnuts can manage it but the red stater on the street? Nah. He’s still got Billy to be pissed about, after all.