[extropy-chat] Re: Why Kerry is -still- a better choice than Bush

David Lubkin extropy at unreasonable.com
Mon Aug 16 03:24:55 UTC 2004

John K Clark wrote:

>It's interesting that none of the vets who damn him served on his boat, 
>while all the men who did serve on it, and presumably know him best, 
>defend him.

Those who praise him were his subordinates. Those who damn him were his 
peers and superiors (up to Admiral Zumwalt). To some extent, the peers were 
present at the same events as the subordinates, literally a few feet away. 
Overall, they would provide data and judgments on different aspects of his 
performance than subordinates would.

Recognizing this, the performance appraisal mechanism at Hewlett-Packard 
combined input from everyone in the division who had worked with the 
employee. I assessed the subordinate members of my team, members of other 
teams, my peer project leaders, my manager, and his peers. It was 
time-consuming, but I thought it worked effectively.

>If Bush is wise he would drop this issue because whatever the truth one
>thing is clear, Kerry's war record is certainly more heroic than Bush's.

You presume that Bush is behind this. He may be, but there is not clear 
evidence either way.

I've heard lengthy interviews with some of the vets in opposition. They 
provide a credible story that Kerry was dangerous and dishonest, and lied 
to get most or all of his medals. (This is something servicemen take very 
seriously -- you may recall a few years ago there was a fuss about the 
Chief of Naval Operations wearing a medal he was not entitled to. He wound 
up committing suicide rather than face the disgrace.)

For me, I'm not surprised by the revelations. In particular, the lengthy 
profile that the Boston Globe did of him made it clear that he was a putz 
as far back as prep school, and continues this behavior to this day. (Many 
Boston locals have stories about unpleasant chance encounters with Kerry.)

The profile is available on the Globe's web site, and has a link to the 
~1971 Doonesbury cartoons lampooning his self-aggrandizing.

>Kerry's war record is certainly more heroic than Bush's.

I think that qualifies as the logical fallacy tu quoque. Someone else's 
character and accomplishments are not pertinent to assessing Kerry's.

Personally, I am much more interested in what Kerry did in the Senate than 
what he did in Vietnam, but Kerry has chosen to focus on his four-month 
record in-country, so it certainly seems legitimate to consider the merits 
of what he presents as his greatest accomplishments.

-- David Lubkin.

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