Some choice bits from the transcript:
There is tonight no political division in this country that he [Bush] and his party will not exploit, nor have not exploited; no anxiety that he and his party will not inflame.
There is no line this President has not crossed — nor will not cross — to keep one political party, in power.
He has spread any and every fear among us, in a desperate effort to avoid that which he most fears — some check, some balance against what has become not an imperial, but a unilateral presidency.
Senator Kerry, as you well know, spoke at a college in Southern California. With bitter humor, he told the students that he had been in Texas the day before, that President Bush used to live in that state, but that now he lives in the state of denial.
He said the trip had reminded him about the value of education — that quote "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 can get stuck in Iraq."
The Senator, in essence, called Mr. Bush stupid.
The context was unmistakable: Texas;the state of denial;stuck in Iraq. No interpretation required.
And Mr. Bush and his minions responded, by appearing to be too stupid to realize that they had been called stupid.
They demanded Kerry apologize — to the troops in Iraq.
And so he now has.
A brief reminder, Mr. Bush: You are not the United States of America.
You are merely a politician whose entire legacy will have been a willingness to make anything political — to have, in this case, refused to acknowledge that the insult wasn't about the troops, and that the insult was not even truly about you either — that the insult, in fact, is you.
So now John Kerry has apologized to the troops; apologized for the Republicans' deliberate distortions.
Thus the President will now begin the apologies he owes our troops, right?
This President must apologize to the troops — for having suggested, six weeks ago, that the chaos in Iraq, the death and the carnage, the slaughtered Iraqi civilians and the dead American service personnel, will, to history, quote "look like just a comma."
This President must apologize to the troops — because the intelligence he claims led us into Iraq proved to be undeniably and irredeemably wrong.
This President must apologize to the troops — for having laughed about the failure of that intelligence, at a banquet, while our troops were in harm's way.
This President must apologize to the troops — because the streets of Iraq were not strewn with flowers and its residents did not greet them as liberators.
This President must apologize to the troops — because his administration ran out of "plan" after barely two months.
This President must apologize to the troops — for getting 2,815 of them killed.
This President must apologize to the troops — for getting this country into a war without a clue.
And Mr. Bush owes us an apology… for this destructive and omnivorous presidency.
We will not receive them, of course.
This President never apologizes.
Not to the troops.
Not to the people.
And in leaving him out of the equation, Senator Kerry gave an unwarranted pass to his old friend Senator McCain, who should be ashamed of himself tonight.
He rolled over and pretended Kerry had said what he obviously had not.
He was speaking of how often he had been to Walter Reed Hospital to see the wounded Iraq veterans, of how, quote "many of the have lost limbs." He said all this while demanding that the voters of Illinois reject a candidate who is not only a wounded Iraq veteran, but who lost two limbs there: Tammy Duckworth.
Support some of the wounded veterans. But bad-mouth the Democratic one.
And exploit all the veterans, and all the still-serving personnel, in a cheap and tawdry political trick, to try to bury the truth: that John Kerry said the President had been stupid.
And to continue this slander as late as this morning — as biased, or gullible, or lazy newscasters, nodded in sleep-walking assent.
Senator McCain became a front man in a collective lie to break sticks over the heads of Democrats — one of them his friend; another his fellow veteran, leg-less, for whom he should weep and applaud, or at minimum about whom, he should stay quiet.
That was beneath the Senator from Arizona.
And it was all because of an imaginary insult to the troops that his party cynically manufactured — out of a desperation, and a futility.
There, we have chaos: joint U.S./Iraqi checkpoints at Sadr City, the base of the radical Shiite militias — and the Americans have been ordered out by the Prime Minister of Iraq… and our Secretary of Defense doesn't even know about it!
And here — we have deliberate, systematic, institutionalized lying and smearing and terrorizing — a code of deceit, that somehow permits a President to say, quote, "If you listen carefully for a Democrat plan for success, they don't have one."
Permits him to say this while his plan in Iraq has amounted to a twisted version of the advice once offered to Lyndon Johnson about his Iraq, called Vietnam.
Instead of "declare victory — and get out"… we now have "declare victory — and stay, indefinitely."