Monday, October 04, 2004

Check this out

From Columnist Manifesto:

Okay, so as I understand it, Kerry's position that the Bush administration has botched, and continues to mishandle the Iraq war, sends “mixed signals” to the world, and -- irrespective of whether it's true -- disqualifies Kerry from being "commander in chief." Think about what that means: essentially, any president who through a combination of incompetence and bad judgment embroils us in armed conflict that drags on to election time must be re-elected “because there’s a war on.” Doesn’t such a principle create a rather perverse incentive for presidents in a democracy?


The worst indictment of the mainstream media, our First Amendment Watchdogs, is their almost complete failure to challenge this assertion by Bush. The job of the media is to question policies, particularly plainly wrong policies, and to refuse to let truth be the first casualty of war. Yet the New York Times simply reported Bush’s assertion – that a man is disqualified from the presidency by questioning the sitting president’s failed war policy – as though it were a legitimate position in a two-sided argument. It’s not a legitimate position: it’s an argument for tyranny, implying that war – even a limited conflict without a declaration of war, like Iraq – puts democracy on hold. The media’s implied acquiesces in this anti-democratic assertion is a terrible failure in its First Amendment role.


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