Monday, July 19, 2004
...continues to twist slowly, slowly in the wind.
Poor Josh Marshall, so willing to defend a source who lied to him, so far from God. Today's nail in Wilson's coffin, and yet another internment in the larger graveyard that has become the "BUSH LIED, THEY DIED!" meme, comes by way of Michael Barone, one of the editors of The Almanac of American Politics. He neatly summarizes the intellectual callowness of Bush's opponents and concludes the following:
Yale historian John Lewis Gaddis has argued that George W. Bush has transformed American foreign policy, in response to the threat of Islamist terrorism, more than any president since Harry Truman transformed our foreign policy in response to the threat of aggressive communism.
But there is one big difference. In the late 1940s, Truman got bipartisan support from Republicans like Arthur Vandenberg and Thomas Dewey, even at a time when there were bitter differences between the parties on domestic policy, and received generally sympathetic treatment in the press. This time, George W. Bush has encountered determined opposition from most Democrats and the old-line media. They have charged that "BUSH LIED" even when he relied on the same intelligence as they did; they have headlined wild and spurious charges by the likes of Joseph Wilson; they have embraced the wild-eyed propaganda of the likes of Michael Moore.
They have done these things with, at best, reckless disregard of the effect their arguments have had on American strength in the world. Are they entitled to be taken seriously?
Again, it is instructive to note the following. Had Albert Gore or Bill Clinton been President on September 11th of 2001, and had they been confronted with the same intelligence that George Bush had been, I strongly suspect that either Democrat would have taken similar action to Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. The difference, of course, is that the war's most opportunistic opponents would have been entirely in support of the war and our troops.
Most of the liberal opposition to the Iraq Campaign in particular, and the War on Terror in general is not principled. It is partisan.
UPDATE: Safire puts the Boot In on the Op-Ed page of today's New York Times. I strongly suspect that there is much more to this story than the conclusion that Joe Wilson was an unprincipled con man. I suspect, but cannot prove, that Safire does, as well.