I’m perfectly willing to believe John Kerry’s explanation that he meant to tell a joke insulting George W. Bush rather than members of the military.
Apparently, when he said: “You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
He meant to say: “… you end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush.”
It’s much more plausible that he meant to insult Bush, rather than military personnel. He might actually believe that most members of the military are there because they weren’t good enough students to have better options; I just don’t think he’d intentionally make that case publicly, right before an election.
Now, I’m not one to endorse being easily offended by jokes. But, I wonder why it’s so much more acceptable to insult President Bush and, indirectly, the 62 million people who voted for him than it is to insult the military.