Secretary Kerry and that girly bike

Governor Jindal apparently dislikes Secretary Kerry’s transportation choices:

Yes we have another expression of that tired juvenile conservative trope that liberal men are wimp-metrosexuals* who fail to live out our apparently God-given gender roles.

There is nothing wrong with being a wimp (I happen to be one) or with being a metrosexual. But it’s a little weird here. Once you’re a highly-decorated war hero who’s chased down and killed a rocket-launcher-wielding soldier of the Viet Cong, you’re kindof entitled to ride whatever bike you want, girly- or otherwise, without fear of being macho-splained by Bobby Jindal. (Below the fold is the citation for Kerry’s Silver Star.)


*Trope not intended to describe Barack Obama, LeBron James, and other liberals who are filed under an alternative entry.

On 28 February 1969, Patrol Craft Fast 23, 43 and 94, in conjunction with Underwater Demolition Team 13 and Vietnamese Regional and Popular Forces personnel, conducted an operation on the Ca Mau Peninsula as part of Operation SEA LORDS. While transiting the Bay Hap River en route to an insertion point along the Dong Cung River, these craft with thirty Regional/Popular Force personnel embarked in each unit came under heavy enemy small arms fire from the river banks. The Officer in Tactical Command, Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY directed his units to turn to the beach and charge the Viet Cong positions. Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY expertly directed the fire of his craft at the fleeing enemy while simultaneously coordinating the insertion of the embarked troops. While the Regional and Popular Forces conducted an area sweep, Patrol Craft Fast 43 remained on station to provide fire support and Patrol Craft Fast 23 and 94 moved upstream to investigate an area from which gunshots were coming. Arriving at the area, Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY’s craft received a B-40 rocket close aboard. Once again Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY ordered his units to charge the enemy positions and summoned Patrol Craft Fast 43 to the area to provide additional firepower. Patrol Craft Fast 94 then beached in the center of the enemy positions and an enemy soldier sprang up from his position not ten feet from Patrol Craft Fast 94 and fled. Without hesitation Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY leaped ashore, pursued the man behind a hootch and killed him, capturing a B-40 rocket launcher with a round in the chamber. Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY then led an assault party and conducted a sweep of the area while the Patrol Craft Fast continued to provide fire support. After the enemy had been completely routed, all personnel returned to the Patrol Craft Fast to withdraw from the area. While backing off the beach, these units again came under a hail of fire, this time from the opposite river bank. Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY immediately coordinated the firepower of his units and supressed the enemy fire. Later, after disembarking personnel, and while exiting from the Bay Hap River, the Patrol Craft Fast were again under fire. Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY immediately maneuvered his craft through several strafing runs which completely silenced the enemy. As a result of this operation, ten Viet Cong were killed and one wounded with no friendly casualties. In addition, numerous sampans, structures and bunkers were destroyed as well as confiscation of substantial quantities of combat essential supplies. Lieutenant (junior grade) KERRY’s devotion to duty, courage under fire, outstanding leadership, and exemplary professionalism directly contributed to the success of this operation and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Unites States Naval Service.”

For the President
Vice Admiral, U. S. Navy
Commander U. S. Naval Forces, Vietnam

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

3 thoughts on “Secretary Kerry and that girly bike”

  1. Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, the officer who signed the citation, is presumably an object of suspicion hinself. Wikipedis:

    He assumed duties as Chief of Naval Operations and was promoted to full Admiral on July 1, 1970, and quickly began a series of moves intended to reduce racism and sexism in the Navy. These were disseminated in Navy-wide communications known as "Z-grams". These included orders authorizing beards (sideburns, mustaches, and longer groomed hair were also acceptable) and introducing beer-dispensing machines to barracks. Not all of these changes were well received by senior naval personnel. The measures to reduce discrimination against women and racial minorities were adamantly opposed by some.

    Bradley and Eisenhower wouldn't have made the Fox machismo cut. That's not reaching as far as Eugene of Savoy (gay) and the first Duke of Marlborough, straight but attractive to both sexes, including the Prince as well as Charles II's mistress Barbara Villiers.

    Boris Johnson, Tory Mayor of London, rides a bike. His eclectic (straight) love-life is legendary.

  2. Is this the same Bobby Jindal who graduated from Brown and went to Oxford (England, not Mississippi) on a Rhodes Scholarship and did his military service with McKinsey & Co.?

    1. Mock all you want but he was debagged by hostiles at Oxford several times yet lived to tell the tale.

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