Democrats have dismissed recent comments by Sen. John Kerry about troops in Iraq as a “botched joke.”

Republicans only wish they could use the same term concerning President Bush.

First he made a funny when he said we were going to attack Iraq because the country had weapons of mass destruction. Man, what a side-splitter that one turned out to be.

Then he said the attack was actually part of the “War on Terror.” I tell you, I’m still chuckling over that one.

And lately, he gave his full support to Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense because of the outstanding job he’s doing. Wow, my stomach hurts from laughing.

What? He wasn’t kidding about those things? He really expected intelligent Americans to believe him? And some did?

Republicans are desperate to take the emphasis during this election off Iraq. That’s why they jumped on Kerry’s comments to a group of college students that if they don’t work hard, they would have to leave school and “be stuck in Iraq.”

They claim it showed disrespect for our troops.

I’ll tell you what shows disrespect for our troops. Getting them killed in a war Bush started under false pretenses. Or getting their arms or legs blown off because we are in a war we can’t win and have no clear way to get out of it.

It makes me very sad when we run stories in The Herald about locals dying or being injured over there.

I’ll tell you about disrespect for our troops. Every time Bush stands before a podium and mentions 9/11. That had absolutely nothing to do with the war in Iraq; in fact studies show that being in Iraq has made the chance of terrorist attacks even greater.

And while Kerry’s words may seem a bit condescending to some, think about it. How many college graduates to you really think there are in Iraq?

Because of Bush policies that have let hundreds of thousands of jobs leave this country, the challenge of making a good living without a college education in America has become greater than ever. Some people joined the military for technical training and better pay and actually did get stuck in Iraq.

But this is election time. Any comments people make are magnified. For example: If I said, “The Republicans have ruined this country,” people might misconstrue the meaning to think that I really mean Republicans have ruined this country.

Oops, sorry. That is what I mean. The only real joke has been the current Republican administration that has put us into the worst financial debt in our country’s history. Never before has there been a bigger separation of classes. The rich get richer and the rest of us work to make them that way.

Republicans took control of this country partly because the religious right thought the people they were putting in office were “righteous.”

Talk about your botched jokes. Since then some have gone to jail as crooks and others have been exposed as pedophiles. And the worst thing is, as some people point out, I don’t ever remember reading of Jesus being pro-war or pro-wealthy.

Tuesday people can send a message at the polls about the way they want this country run. If the leadership in Congress isn’t changed, than people will get exactly what they deserve.

People like Reps. Phil English and Melissa Hart will be drinking champagne with Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld and sharing a laugh even though a record number of more than 100 Americans in October came home from Iraq in boxes!

I won’t be laughing.

Herald Sports Editor Lynn Saternow writes this column each Saturday for the Opinion page.

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