Look In The Mirror For Apologies Mr. Bush
Several comments on the GOP's manufactured outrage over Kerry's remarks.
First, if you can't talk about Iraq and your candidates don't want you to appear in competitive districts because you are a liability to them, then Bush and his Mini-Me John McCain obviously needed something to change the narrative for several news cycles. And if there is one thing this White House is better at than anything else, it is avoiding responsibility for its negligence and attacking others even at the expense of talking up the positive. But if the White House and the GOP agree to nationalize the final week of the campaign onto Democratic turf on Iraq, they are playing into the Democrats' hands at a time when GOP candidates were trying to walk away from both Iraq and Bush's record.
Second, there is a lot on teeth-gnashing in the center-left blogosphere today about the distancing that several Democrats and Democratic candidates have done from Kerry over the last 24 hours, with several of these candidates like Harold Ford, Jr. and Jon Tester calling for Kerry to apologize. Stop the disappointment. These candidates are trying to win races against a GOP media and attack machine a week before the election. Let them decide what is necessary and appropriate in their own races without anyone on the outside demanding that these candidates fumble the ball this close to the goal line through adherence to ideological litmus tests. The immediate goal is to elect more Democrats to establish a check and balance on this administration, not to let the other side and the media encourage the Democrats into a party-purity circular firing squad a week before the election.
As long as the White House is demanding apologies, let's all get in the spirit. Mr. Bush, you should apologize for making a joke about not finding WMDs, as thousands die in Iraq for your lies. But why stop there?
Mr. Bush, apologize to the families of those lost on September 11th for your abdication of responsibility in the summer of 2001, and specifically for your "you've covered your ass now" response in ignoring the August 6th, 2001 PDB.
Mr. Bush, apologize for letting Osama Bin Laden escape at Tora Bora in December 2001, and for encouraging the Pakistanis to back away from Al Qaeda and the Taliban in September in Waziristan.
Mr. Bush, apologize to our troops in Afghanistan for abandoning the mission in that country to divert resources to Iraq, and for Donald Rumsfeld specifically refusing to provide resources for a heroin eradication program in that country that has led to a flourishing of financing for the Taliban.
Mr. Bush, apologize to our troops for sending them into harm's way through a campaign of lies and public disinformation, and then joking about it as the soldiers died for your mendacity.
Mr. Bush, apologize to our troops for using them in a war that had nothing to do with those who attacked us on 9/11, and for knowing you were lying about this at the time.
Mr. Bush, apologize to the troops for not sending enough of them to secure the country, for providing them with inadequate and substandard equipment, food, and logistical support that has endangered them every day they are there. You should apologize to the troops for not having a Plan B to deal with occupying the country after Donald Rumsfeld didn't get his way by installing Ahmad Chalabi as our toady. While you are at it, apologize to the troops for not securing the weapons caches inside Iraq and for letting thousands of weapons fall into the hands of those who are killing our troops now.
Mr. Bush, apologize to the troops for not changing strategy from "stay the course" when it could have mattered years ago, thereby ensuring that our troops are fighting and dying needlessly for your pigheadedness.
Mr. Bush, apologize to the troops for their inadequate veterans' benefits, why their families have to go on food stamps, why their families have to send them flak jackets, and why you don't attend the funerals of those killed in action.
And while you are at it, you should apologize to the troops for being so cavalier with their lives with the "bring them on", "Mission Accomplished", and other rhetorical nonsense. It sure seems easy for you to question the commitment and patriotism of others when neither you, your five-deferments vice president, your peacetime flight instructor Defense Secretary, and your combat-avoiding press spokesman have ever served their country in combat.
Mr. Bush, someone like you, who DQ'd from being a stateside pilot after running to Alabama to avoid Vietnam is in no position to ask anyone else to apologize to our troops for anything.
Any apologies begin and end with you.