A few worthwhile reads on the Kline-as-Klink affair. Minvolved is fast becoming the blog of record for Minnesota. Dump John Kline takes particular umbrage with Kline conflating himself with all uniformed personnel. John Kline's Record has a very relevant incident from Kline's campaign against Bill Luther.
Then there's this uninformed screed from Samantha's voice:
The publication on her website of his photo with his Marine uniform replaced by a Nazi uniform is not just libel against the man himself, it is libel against all United States Marines. Although she took the picture down, she has not yet apologized. Even if she did manage to eek out an apology, it would not be enough. Her defamation of man and service are wholly inexcusable and unforgivable. But don’t worry Coleen, when the terrorists come knocking at your door, the U.S. Marines will still be there to protect you, your family, and all of their detractors because they are honorable; you are not.
Rowley, of course, apologized publicly and attempted to contact Kline personally.
I've seen the idea on several right wing blogs that Rowley's staffer replaced Kline's Marine uniform with Klink's uniform. This doesn't make sense to me. I can't find a specific start date for Kline in the Marines, where he served for 25 years. Kline graduated from Rice University in 1969 and fought in Vietnam, so it seems like he probably joined the Marines around 1970. That means Kline left the Marines in 1995...11 years ago. Two things seem out of place. First, John Kline certainly hasn't aged much in the 11 years since Kline left the Marines. Second, Kline is smiling broadly. No offense intended to Marines anywhere, but you don't often see Marines smiling so broadly while posed in uniform. For example, see the difference between Kline in and out of uniform:
Satire and ridicule are the rocket launchers of campaigns. If not aimed carefully, they are far more likely to blow up in your face then to take someone else out in a Halo 2 death match. Here, Rowley's staffer used a satirical photo wholly unrelated to the subject of an long, long blog entry about how great Ulysses S. Grant was.
That, my friends, is what scares me most about this blunder. The idea that Coleen Rowley's campaign is going to great lengths to defend U.S. Grant. Of all the issues people care about, whether Grant is properly honored has a lower priority than getting the kids to bed on time come Christmas Eve.
Pick better battles, candidate Rowley, and learn to fight back, too. When Kline says you have a "lack of perspective, a lack of seriousness, and a lack of good judgment", it's an opportunity to remind people of how trivial this issue is and compare it to the awful judgment Kline has shown in supporting a right wing agenda that gives tax breaks to oil companies and cuts student aid, or voting for tax cuts in a time of war, or failing to hold the administration responsible for providing body armor to the Marines in Iraq who face far greater dangers than having one's pride pricked by a badly doctored photo.
You conclude with:
". . . it's an opportunity to remind people of how trivial this issue is and compare it to the awful judgment Kline has shown in supporting a right wing agenda . . ."
Actually Rowley has done this, in a dynamite press release today. I haven't had the chance to post it at my place, but if you drop me an email I'll forward it to you.