The Trib prints a letter by Scott Smith of Sewickley regarding Kerry’s challenge to debate George W. Bush once a week until the election. Scott commits two errors.
First, Smith insists that the President is far too busy to make time for a series of debates. Nice try, Scott, but considering all the time Bush has spent on vacation in Crawford, Texas (including all of last week) and speaking at supporter-only campaign rallies, I don’t think a few debates will seriously impair Bush’s schedule.
Pointing out the votes Kerry has missed is a cheap shot, since nothing even comes up for a vote in the Senate unless the Republicans who control it already know the outcome. Kerry is there to vote when it makes a difference; there is not much point in him showing up to vote against a bill when the Republican majority is going to pass it anyway. The infamous May 2004 vote to extend unemployment benefits was rigged by Republicans who knew Kerry wouldn’t be there to vote for it.
Second, Smith accuses Kerry of trying to have it both ways by serving in Vietnam and then returning to testify about the atrocities. I’m sure, Scott, if he could have testified to what he saw without going to Vietnam to see it first, he would have.
The point is, when his country asked him to serve, he did. When he witnessed a wrong, he spoke out against it. There is nothing contradictory about that.