Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

October 27, 2003

by J

Inappropriate Demands

Dan over at the unofficial Kerry for President blog is back after a hiatus. I took issue with a general (not candidate-specific) comment he made in a comments thread. He said, regarding Iraq,
Just saying we need to go to the U.N. is no longer a viable solution. Time is running out and we need to get it right as quickly as possible. I was against the war in Iraq, but I think we need someone who takes a realistic view of the situation as it stands.
I don't think that demanding detailed solutions from the Democratic candidates is fair or productive. Whatever any of these guys say now -- there's nothing they can do at the moment to effect the kind of change that's needed "as quickly as possible." (Well, the Senate Dems could make a bigger stink about where the money should be coming from -- upper class taxcuts.) Bush will be in office for another year, so taking a 'realistic view of the situation as it stands' at the moment is pretty much irrelevant.

What will matter is how they plan to approach the problem in terms of their general philosophy and approach, whatever the situation is in January 2005, in a broad sense, since there's no way to know how else Dubya and his cronies will have screwed things up by then. Details from the Dems at this stage are IRRELEVANT since it's likely that everything will have changed by the time they could get around to actually doing anything.

For any of them to offer much more than "international institutions.. support the troops... involve the UN.. blah blah" generalities is truly counterproductive. Saying "What would you do about Iraq if you're elected?" is just a stupid question. It cannot truthfully be answered with anything other than "It depends...." and the press won't sit still for a multi- variable decision tree, so platitudes it is.
Posted by J at October 27, 2003 09:47 PM

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