The Self Made Pundit
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
I think the New York Times did a fairly good job of summarizing (though a bit too summarily) Gore's speech on Iraq yesterday. The New York Times piece went overboard in its analysis, however. The Times wrote:
His appearance here suggested a shift in positioning by Mr. Gore, who has for 10 years portrayed himself as a moderate, particularly when it comes to issues of foreign policy, and repeatedly invoked his 1991 vote on the gulf war resolution as a way of distinguishing himself from the rest of his party.
The Times gave no explanation how Gore's position is in any way inconsistent with his previous foreign policy positions or "immoderate." I have trouble recalling (sarcasm alert) exactly when Gore previously took the position that the American President should have a blank check to invade Iraq. Gore did not retreat from, or modify, his support for "regime change" in Iraq. There is nothing inconsistent about Gore's position that "regime change" is a secondary objective that should not derail our primary objective of fighting the war on terrorism. There is also nothing immoderate about Gore's position, unless one defines "moderation" as supporting each swing in the Bush Administration's foreign policy.
Not surprisingly, the GOP lived up to my prediction of yesterday that rather than engage Gore on the substance of his speech, it would engage in "ad hominem GOP attacks on the irrelevancy of Gore and boasts about how the country is behind the President in his war on evil." As the Times reported, Jim Dyke, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, stated "It seems to be a speech that was more appropriate for a political hack than a presidential candidate, by someone who clearly failed to recognize leadership." If the GOP and the Bush administration rose above the level of name-calling and actually engaged the substance of Gore's points, the country be far better served. Instead of being afraid to engage Bush in a debate on foreign policy (the all-too-common Democratic response), Gore set forth a more coherent and likely to succeed approach to the war on terrorism and Iraq. Gore's speech was simply excellent.