Strange Brouhaha

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Un. Be. Lievable.

I just read an article where some shill for Bush-Cheney '04, when confronted with some mockery by John Edwards about Bush's non-answer to the final question from last week's debate, said "The President answered that question in the debate."


The President was asked, you'll recall, to give three instances in which he came to realize he had made a wrong decision. It's a very simple question. (And by the way, wouldn't it be neat if the moderator for tomorrow night's debate says, "And for our last question of the evening, for President Bush. During the last four years, you have made thousands of decisions that have affected millions of lives. Please give three instances in which you came to realize you had made a wrong decision, and what you did to correct it.") Here's what he said:

I have made a lot of decisions, and some of them little,
like appointments to boards you never heard of, and some
of them big.

And in a war, there's a lot of - there's a lot of
tactical decisions that historians will look back and
say: He shouldn't have done that. He shouldn't
have made that decision. And I'll take responsibility for
them. I'm human.

But on the big questions, about whether or not we should
have gone into Afghanistan, the big question about
whether we should have removed somebody in Iraq, I'll
stand by those decisions, because I think they're right.

That's really what you're - when they ask about the
mistakes, that's what they're talking about. They're
trying to say, "Did you make a mistake going into Iraq?"
And the answer is, "Absolutely not." It was the right decision.

The Duelfer report confirmed that decision today, because
what Saddam Hussein was doing was trying to get rid of
sanctions so he could reconstitute a weapons program. And
the biggest threat facing America is terrorists with weapons of
mass destruction.

We knew he hated us. We knew he'd been - invaded other
countries. We knew he tortured his own people.

On the tax cut, it's a big decision. I did the right decision.
Our recession was one of the shallowest in modern history.

Now, you asked what mistakes. I made some mistakes in
appointing people, but I'm not going to name them. I don't
want to hurt their feelings on national TV.

But history will look back, and I'm fully prepared to accept
any mistakes that history judges to my administration, because
the president makes the decisions, the president has to
take the responsibility.

I interpret that to mean, more or less, "I've made a lot of decisions. Some people think I'm wrong. You're really asking about Iraq, and I don't think I was wrong there. I don't think I was wrong to cut taxes. I may have made a mistake or two but I'm not going to own up to them right now."

How does that answer the question? It was a concrete question with an easily measurable test for a successful answer: three mistakes. We didn't get that. It's like being asked "Name three books you've read" and answering "I enjoy reading quite a bit. There are many good books out there. You're really asking me if I've read the Harry Potter books, and I haven't. But I do enjoy reading, although I'm not going to tell you what books I've been reading recently."


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