When you're a Massachusetts' liberal and you've lost Don Imus and Karen Tumulty, you've lost:
You've got to wonder about John Kerry's eye-hand coordination. His career is falling into a pattern. Whenever Kerry is confronted with a big decision, he tries to compensate for his last mistake.
He voted against the first Iraq war, which turned out to be a success. So when the second one came around, he swallowed his misgivings and voted for it. That also turned out to be a mistake.
So when it came time to vote for the $87 billion to fund the war that he had voted for, he produced what must be the single most damaging sound bite in modern political history by voting for it before he voted against it.
So now, when U.S. troops are suffering their worst casualties in nearly two years, he insulted them. Could Karl Rove have dreamed up a better October surprise than having the Democrats' most recent choice for Commander in Chief suggest that the men and women are dying there because they weren't smart enough to get into law school?
His initial impulse, predictably enough, was to fight back against the criticism. He didn't want to fall again into what turned out to be the biggest trap of 2004, when he failed to understand that a relatively small ad buy from a group that no one had ever heard of could be more damaging than he imagined.
He was determined not to be "swift-boated" again. So he declared: "If anyone owes our troops in the fields an apology, it is the President and his failed team and a Republican majority in the Congress that has been willing to stamp — rubber-stamp policies that have done injury to our troops and to their families."
But even Rand Beers, his national security adviser in the 2004 campaign, said: "It's unfortunate that Senator Kerry misspoke. No one who has ever been in combat would intentionally impugn our brave troops."
In other words, Kerry has managed on the eve of what could be a watershed election to remind pretty much everyone what it was they didn't like about the Democrats, and especially what they didn't like about him.