Sunday, April 11, 2004

What an Opening Paragraph

Libertarian-Conservative Jim Pinkerton I think has written one of the best opening paragraphs outlining the problem with Bush's pre-9/11 stance on al Qaeda:
"If you knew that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had received a memo a month before Pearl Harbor entitled, 'Japanese Determined to Attack the United States in the Pacific,' and that he had done nothing about that information, would that knowledge change your perception of FDR as a wise war leader?"
That sums up the failings of Bush. It is not that he could have done anything to prevent 9/11. He likely could not have. What he could have done was to try harder and to admit that he could have tried harder. Instead his surrogates (he says little on the subject) just claim nothing could have been done or that it was someone else's fault, namely the red herring of all red herrings, Bill Clinton.

Bush's campaign has its focus: "Bush is a great leader." What Pinkerton points out is that he may be the person walking out in front, but that does not make him a leader.

This morning John Dean was interveiwed on NPR and made a point about Bush and Cheney meeting together with the 9/11 commission. His point is that Bush is just the Head of State, and Cheney really runs the government. Bush can't answer things without Cheney by his side. This point has been made before, but has mostly been satire. Here we see it in action. Bush's support generally is rested on the personal connect people on the right have for the guy. His frat boy charm is something I find vomit inducing, but the conservative subculture (bible thumpers and small businessmen) eat that attitude up. Bush is the Head of State the GOP wants. What Pinkerton and Dean's observations support is the empty suit charge made against Bush. Bush is not an idiot, but he is a long way from an engaged commander-in-chief.

[Pinkerton Link via TPM]

UPDATE: Great Minds Think alike. Kevin Drum comments on this paragraph as well.

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