Webb has a new TV ad and it’s terrific. It effectively conflates Bush and Allen and their “stay the course” theme for Iraq. But more important and effective is that the candidate himself delivers the message and does so in an authoritative manner. I think in today’s climate, where voters are looking for responsibility, candidates who deliver the message themselves win a lot of votes. Best of all, he delivers a succinct message that, for the life of me, I don’t understand why it hasn’t become the mantra for Democrats this year: “The people who failed to prevent this disaster are not the ones you can count on to fix it.”
The Bush administration also likes to say that critics of the Iraq War are Monday morning quarterbacks. “Let’s not play the ‘blame game’,” they say. One, that belies their mantra about others who should accept responsibility for their actions. You’ve often heard that from conservatives vis-à-vis welfare recipients. They should take responsibility for their actions, but the president won’t accept responsibility for his. But also, as Webb says, given the monumental disaster that Bush’s foreign policy has been and the outlandish costs, destruction of America’s integrity and loss of life, that we shouldn’t expect this gang that can’t shoot straight to get us out of this quagmire.
Another point I think needs to be addressed is this spin that comes from the Bush administration that we all thought Iraq had WMD. I heard it last night from Fran Townsend, assistant to the president for homeland security, who said,
What I‘m saying is, the intelligence that was provided in the NIE suggesting that Iraq was a threat to the region and to the world, was believed on by—on both sides of the aisle, that formed the basis of our going into Iraq. The intelligence turned out to be wrong. That said, we are safer as a result of not having Saddam Hussein in power.
The only reason “both sides of the aisle” believed there were WMD is because the Democrats only knew what the administration told them and what they told them was wrong, some say a lie. Either way, you can’t say with any intellectual honesty that both sides believed in the WMD charge.