January 08, 2004

Well Said

from - smijer

This is old news. I hate to keep re-hashing it. This Wisconsin editorialists really gets it, though. Via BFA, the Capital Times

...But, from the sound of what some of the other Democrats were saying, it appeared that they were more interested in beating Dean than Bush.

What else can explain the objections to Dean's assertion that the United States is no safer as a result of the capture last month of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein?

Only over-the-top enthusiasts for the Bush administration's misguided rush to invade Iraq ever tried to suggest that country, or its leader, posed a serious threat to the United States. For all of his thuggery, Saddam was a secularist who was always at odds with Osama bin Laden and the fundamentalists who make up the al-Qaida terrorist network. And after a decade of bombings, sanctions and United Nations weapons inspections, it was obvious to anyone who cared to consider the facts that Saddam and what remained of his military forces were incapable of mounting an attack even on his neighbors in the Middle East.

As it turned out, Saddam and his minions were not even capable of mounting a credible military defense of their own country.

Despite the facts, the White House tried to spin the line that the beaten mess of a man hiding in that hole near Tikrit posed a threat. In doing so, they strained what was left of their credibility. The same must be said of Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, who repeated the Bush administration line on stage during Sunday's debate. Along with John Kerry and several of the other candidates who are trying to catch up with Dean, Lieberman has been taking Dean to task for failing to embrace the White House spin that says capturing Saddam made the United States safer. Lieberman claimed that he could not understand how anyone could say the nation was not safer after the apprehension of Saddam.

Dean responded by saying, as he always has, that Saddam is "a dreadful person," and by explaining, "I delighted to see him behind bars, and I hope he gets what he deserves." But, Dean added, "The fact is that since Saddam Hussein has been caught we've lost 23 additional troops. We now have for the first time American fighter jets escorting commercial airliners through American airspace."

Dean's point was clear, and clearly correct.


What is different and interesting in this election cycle, at least that I haven't noticed before, is that there is an unprecedented number of attacks on the Democratic front-runner from the other candidates and from the incumbent, that all seem to focus on the parts of policy where he is most clearly right. Ordinarily, your opponents ignore you when you are right, and go after you when you are wrong.

I think this is an optimistic sign for a Dean candidacy. This is an obviously biased view-point, but I see that as a sign that Deans opponents are having a a lot of difficulty finding a weak point in Dean's views upon which to mount an attack.

On a related note, Kevin notices another optimistic trend. The GOP seems to want to run on generalities from the liberal platform.

Posted by smijer at January 8, 2004 07:01 AM
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