John Kerry discovers veterans ... after 24 years

John Kerry has jumped into the 2008 election cycle with both feet … which must have hurt his jaw something fierce. Take a look at the mailer Kerry has sent to constituents in Massachusetts for his re-election bid in November on veterans issues. After spending 24 years in the Senate without authoring a single piece of successful legislation on veteran’s affairs — or much in the way of legislation at all — he has suddenly discovered his former brothers in uniform:

Kerry campaign mailer

To be fair, it’s not the first time Kerry has tried to boost his political career through veterans. Who can forget his salute to fellow Vietnam veterans in his 1971 Congressional testimony?

I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command….

They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.

In his campaign web site, Kerry attacks the Bush administration for the lack of interest in veterans during the seven years of his term. In another part of the mailer, he claims that the Bush administration tried to “limit” veteran’s benefits. Yet under Bush, spending on veterans has increased from $54.5 billion to $86.6 billion per year in inflation-adjusted dollars — an increase of 59% over seven years. That’s almost double the rate of increase for Medicare (30%) and more than three times the increase in Social Security spending (17%).

If it had been left to John Kerry, veterans would have had to wait 24 years to get anything at all — anything besides accusations of atrocities that later proved untrue. The notion that he serves as a champion of veterans falls apart even on the most cursory of reviews.