Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Bush: Kerry is at least as good as me

It occurs to me that Bush has a fundamental problem with his defense on the Iraq issue. Typically, whenever the Democrats have taken his administration to task for it (such as in the first two debates), Bush and his people have tried to deflect the attack by saying, "But Kerry voted for it."

I don't want to get into a discussion of whether Kerry voted for the war or whether he just voted for the authority to go to war (that gets us bogged down in legalistic arguments that are political losers). But I think it is significant that the major defense offered by Bush is not that the invasion of Iraq was a good idea but that, if it was bad, then Kerry is equally culpable in the mistake.

That's going to be a tough sell. It requires us to believe that one Senator, saying yeah to a measure that gives the President the authority to go to the UN and put the squeeze on Saddam Hussein is equivalent to said President actually giving the "GO!" command to his generals in the field.

In other words, even at its best, Bush's argument is that he, Bush, is at best no better than Kerry and quite possible a whole lot worse.

Is this a winning argument?

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