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October 15, 2004


Update on the third debate

You knew Bush wasn't going to accept Kerry's explanation on Wednesday night of what he meant by the "global test" line from Debate #1. Here's what Kerry said during Debate #3 to clarify that statement: "I have never suggested a test where we turn over our security to any nation. In fact I've said the opposite, I will never turn the security of the United States over to any nation. No nation will ever have a veto over us. But I think it makes sense, I think most Americans in their guts know, that we ought to pass a sort of truth standard. That's how you gain legitimacy with your own countrypeople and that's how you gain legitimacy in the world. But I'll never fail to protect the United States of America."

Now here's what Bush said yesterday at a "Victory Rally" in Oregon: "Once again, last night, with a straight face, the senator said—-well, shall we say, refined his answer on his proposed global test. That's the test he would administer before defending America. After trying to say it really wasn't a test at all, last night he once again defended his approach, saying, I think it makes sense. (Laughter.) The senator now says we'd have to pass some international truth standard. The truth is we should never turn America's national security decisions over to international bodies or leaders of other countries. (Applause.)" Transcript of the rally speech is here.

So, is Bush claiming that as President, he doesn't have to provide the truth, or any evidence at all, to the American people when making security decisions? As Slate points out, Bush is "refusing to measure his claims and decisions against the truth," even to his own countrypeople--and now he's promoting this refusal as a campaign point. I guess we shouldn't be surprised at Bush's disdain for striving for legitimacy of government in the US, and his assumption that his actions as President are automatically legitimate. He clearly hasn't noticed that when you have no legitimacy in countries you are occupying, you can't lead there either.

categories: Politics, War and Security
posted by amy at 2:04 PM | #

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