Just As I Thought

Blame your predecessor

The Bush camp last week portrayed John Kerry as a man who will raise taxes and spend, spend, spend. They ignore the fact that the Bush administration cut taxes dramatically on the richest Americans, then went on to spend so much that they have converted the nation’s largest surplus into the nation’s largest deficit — in almost no time at all.
Today, in an attempt to deflect criticisms leveled by their former terrorism chief, Condoleeza Rice obliquely blames the Clinton administration for the failures on September 11:

The al Qaeda terrorist network posed a threat to the United States for almost a decade before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Throughout that period — during the eight years of the Clinton administration and the first eight months of the Bush administration prior to Sept. 11 — the U.S. government worked hard to counter the al Qaeda threat.

During the transition, President-elect Bush’s national security team was briefed on the Clinton administration’s efforts to deal with al Qaeda. The seriousness of the threat was well understood by the president and his national security principals. In response to my request for a presidential initiative, the counterterrorism team, which we had held over from the Clinton administration, suggested several ideas, some of which had been around since 1998 but had not been adopted. No al Qaeda plan was turned over to the new administration.

She goes on to refute the claims that the administration did nothing and that they attempted to link September 11 with Iraq. That last part is quite amusing — anyone with half a brain who heard anything the president said knows better.

The Bush administration has certainly changed the tone in Washington. They’ve taken a Clinton-esque talent for passing the buck and multiplied it. Dubya has yet to take responsibility for anything at all that’s happened on his watch — except for his dubious assertion that his tax cuts have been successful in jump-starting the economy. Hell, he won’t even appear before the 9/11 committee without first making them jump through hoops and negotiate ground rules for his appearance. What does he have to hide? What kind of leadership is he displaying? Clintonian leadership of the first order, it seems. Although even Clinton will appear without any ground rules.

What an astounding piece of guts and leadership it would be if Dubya would just once and for all claim that “the buck stops here” and take full responsibility for all event that occur during his administration. Can you imagine what a stunned reaction the left would have? How could they win against that kind of leadership? Luckily, they have nothing to worry about on that front. A man who is running campaign commercials claiming such high ideals as leadership–aren’t there laws against false advertising?

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