Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The "Global Test" And Other Mysteries; The Vice Presidential Debate


This will suprise many, but I don't think Senator Kerry's reference to a "global test" for major foreign policy decisions is all that disturbing. I do not think by "global" he meant "worldwide." In the context of his statement it seems he meant "all-encompassing." That still raises questions, but it's not as bad as the meaning President Bush and the GOP are inferring-- that the global test means the rest of the world (our "allies") must approve our decisions.

What I can't understand is why the Kerry campaign hasn't simply clarified this. Instead, they've stood by and allowed Bush and co. to hammer Kerry with the global test concept. Either the're incompetent, or Kerry really means the test the way Bush interprets it, or there's some other reason they do not dare deal with the issue directly.

The V.P. Debate

John Podhoretz sums it up:

Cheney's utter consistency of approach and his command of detail on foreign
policy combined with his grave yet grandfatherly mien to make it seem as
though he were an Old Sage who had agreed to grant an attractive young
whippersnapper a master class in how to win an argument.

The very best analysis I have seen is here, in the always-reliable RealClearPolitics. Tom Bevan notes there this jab by Cheney (among others) which I thought was the very early turning point in the debate:

"I couldn't figure out why that [the vote] happened initially. And then I looked
and figured out that what was happening was Howard Dean was making major
progress in the Democratic primaries, running away with the primaries based on
an anti-war record. So they, in effect, decided they would cast an anti-war vote
and they voted against the troops.

Now if they couldn't stand up to the pressures that Howard Dean represented, how can we expect them to stand up to Al Qaida?"


And Hugh Hewitt observes:

Against powerful charges that Kerry cannot and will not lead in war because
he has a 30 year record against the use or maintenance of American military
power, all he can do is chant Tora Bora, Halliburton, and "I can do
better." Today's speech by the president will be another close look at
Kerry's instinct for appeasement and reflexive rejection of American
power. Should be fun to watch, and I will replay it this afternoon.

I'll admit I really stopped paying close attention after the foreign policy portion. I hear Edwards is considered to have narrowly won the domestic half of the debate, but who cares?

Questions I Still Have

What about this "we had Osama surrounded in Tora Bora" stuff? Kedwards has brought that up in each debate with no response from Bush-Cheney. I've never heard this. What is the answer?

What on earth is Paul Bremer thinking? If he had concerns about the number of troops we had in Iraq, why bring that up less than 30 days before the election? Hello?


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