By Editor-in-chief
updated 11/2/2006 7:43:46 AM ET 2006-11-02T12:43:46

The dustup over Sen. John Kerry’s remarks about Iraq strikes many voters as mindless, irrelevant and harshly partisan. In other words: typical Washington tripe.

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At least that’s a consensus emerging from discussions at, an issues-based community of grassroots opinion leaders. In one discussion center, or Loop, community members express their solidly partisan views – for and against Kerry – but most seem to agree that Kerry v. Bush II is much ado about nothing.

“This verbal spat is not what Americans really care about. Kerry’s comments are a distraction from the real issue of finding a solution in Iraq,” writes AdamFogel.

In several Loops, Democrats, Republicans and independents struggle to find answers on Iraq that go beyond the stay-the-course and cut-and-run positioning of this election season. Few seem to think the Kerry controversy will add to the debate.

“I think that an apology to the public is indeed in order,” writes jimrutan. “However, the apology should be from all political spinners who spew false rage every time they think that they can get some kind of political gain from the people they believe to be too ignorant to understand what was actually said.”

HOTSOUP co-founder Joe Lockhart joins the Loop to say the week’s events are all too familiar. A politician screws up. His opponents hype the mistake. The conflict-obsessed media fans the flames. “So,” writes the former White House press secretary, “we are all playing to part this morning.”

Joe goes on to say that the public is “pretty damn smart,” and will demand better. Go to and make your demands.

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