If John Kerry had to apologize for words that may have been misconstrued as insulting to American troops serving in Iraq, what should become of a Republican leader who blames U.S. officers serving in Iraq for the sorry state of affairs there?
GOP House Majority Leader John Boehner appeared this afternoon on CNN, where he said that Donald Rumsfeld shouldn't be hung out to dry for Iraq. According to a transcript excerpt posted at AMERICAblog, Wolf Blitzer interrupted Boehner to note that, as secretary of defense, Rumsfeld is in charge of the military. Boehner's response: "But the fact is the generals on the ground are in charge, and he works closely with them and the president."
Harry Reid, among others, thinks turnabout is fair play. In a statement excerpted at Raw Story, the Senate minority leader said: "I expect President Bush and congressional Republicans, who demanded John Kerry apologize, hold their own partys majority leader to a much higher standard. There's no spinning his disparaging comments. He made them. He needs to apologize."
Boehner's spokesman tells the Hotline that Democrats are "quickly squandering any and all credibility by even attempting to equate Mr. Boehner's comments with criticism of anyone in the military." He's got a point there: You can't really "equate" Boehner's comments with "criticism of anyone in the military" because they are criticism of people in the military.