How The Media And The Left Blogs Are Allowing McCain To Escape The Bush's Third Term Label

Eric Boehlert writes:

CNN.com announced last week that among McCain's top political priorities for the Republican convention was his "need to make it clear that his first term will not be Bush's third term." . . . [I]f McCain did pull off the great escape, it was only thanks to the press and the way eager journalists pitched in to erase Bush from the political picture.

Boehlert tactfully ignores the main reason Bush went off the radar - Sarah Palin. While it is true that the Media went after Palin, with the loud cheers of the Left blogs in the background, the cost of this obsession is obvious now - George W. Bush became the forgotten man. To the detriment of Obama and Democrats. More . .

Consider the much cited post from the excellent James Fallows on Palin and the Bush Doctrine. While most are using it to attack Palin, I think the most important part of Fallows' post is this:

The other was Gibson's own minor mis-statement. American foreign policy has long recognized the concept of preemptive action: if you know somebody is just about to attack you, there's no debate about the legitimacy of acting first. (This is like "shooting in self-defense.") The more controversial part of The Bush Doctrine was the idea of preventive war: acting before a threat had fully emerged, on the theory that waiting until it was fully evident would mean acting too late.

. . . Sarah Palin did not know this issue, or any part of it. The view she actually expressed -- an endorsement of "preemptive" action -- was fine on its own merits. But it is not the stated doctrine of the Bush Administration, it is not the policy her running mate has endorsed, and it is not the concept under which her own son is going off to Iraq.

(Emphasis supplied.) This is a perfect opportunity to reintroduce the fact that John McCain is running for George W. Bush's Third Term. But no one in the Media or the Left blogs, other than Matt Yglesias and myself, have focused on the fact that Palin in fact contradicted the Bush/McCain Doctrine.

This constitutes, in my estimation, political obtuseness.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

< Obama On Offense: McCain = Bush's Third Term | Friday Open Thread >
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    Best political analysis (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by BigB on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 10:55:18 AM EST

    In my view you are the most astute and shrwed political analyst/blogger on the left. If the Obama campaign had followed your advice over the last three months they would be on their way to a landlside victory.

    a) Obama should have chosen Hillary
    b) Should have ignored Sarah Palin from the get-go.
    c) Should have been attacking McCain every day on economics and nothing else
    d) Obama should have picked out two or three key issues which he would change and made them his issues so that when you ask an evareg American on the street what do you associate Obama with he or she would be able to say right off the bat.

    Obama needed to pivot from his vague "Change you can believe in" theme as soon as he won the nomination.

    I am afraid now it may be too late. I find their attacks lacking in focus. Each day it is a different attack with no cohesiveness.

    I want to know who decided (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 12:06:49 PM EST
    that a big education speech was needed this week.  Where is education on the list of voters' concerns right now?  We've been watching the stock markey plunge, unemployment rise, gas prices just today have gone sky high because of Ike - people are not worrying about how to pay for college in ten years - they are worrying about getting through this week - this month - on stagnant wages in a declining economy with steeper and steeper inflation on every front.  Camp Obama needs to come down to earth and talk about the things that are happening right now and address them with specific plans of action.

    There's more (none / 0) (#57)
    by 1980Ford on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 03:17:18 PM EST
    Palin strategy resembles Calif. governor Schwarzenegger's

    Schwarzenegger is facing a possible recall funded by the California Prison Guard Union.

    Even worse is the American Legislative Exchange Council.

    Selling laws to special interest lobbyists is the GOP's real base.


    If you follow (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by rooge04 on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 10:59:39 AM EST
    politics you know that McCain IS Bush III.

    Problem is that we were so quick to get insane about Palin that the GOP has somehow managed to say ,"Hey we hate Bush too! McCain/Palin is fresh and new!"  And the media perpetuates it and it becomes the narrative.

    Ridiculous. The Left Blogs can't get themselves out of their own way.

    Heck McCain doesn't even have to be Bush III (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Maria Garcia on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:05:46 AM EST
    You just don't reward Republicans for what they did to this country for the last 8 years PERIOD.

    That's what a McCain victory would be. There are no consequences for bad behavior, except to the American people.


    Well (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:07:56 AM EST
    considering how the DNC acted during the primary, we aren't really in the position to make that argument.

    Too true. (none / 0) (#16)
    by rooge04 on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:17:29 AM EST
    Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by chrisvee on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 12:51:05 PM EST
    Republican president enabled by a Republican majority and then minority.  They are out of answers and here are ours. It's very simple and all this stuff about Palin's experience is just a waste of time distraction.

    It's the economy, health care, and fears about being embroiled in another war.


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:06:35 AM EST
    everything you say is "golden" as long as you are the new shiny toy. Obama had this treatment for a while. Now Sarah is the "it girl" and the press isn't going to let anyone take that title away from her. It's like everything Obama has been depending on to push him over the finish line just collapsed. It's always what happens when you rely on vagueness and media love. The media will fall out of love with you and you are left with nothing but platitudes. Substance is what always wins the day.

    That's where (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by rooge04 on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:18:30 AM EST
    some of us have always disagreed with BTD's assessment that Obama was better because of the media darling status.  They're officially sick of him. His sheen has worn off.  Palin is the new Obama (in the eyes of the media).

    Instead of Attacking Palin (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by BDB on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:07:34 AM EST
    Here's a chance to show that even she thinks McCain's policy is wrong.   That she disagrees with Bush and McCain.  It's ridiculous to attack her, IMO, for giving an answer most Americans agree with.  And using it to claim she simply wasn't vetted or whatever is too inside baseball.  Nobody gives a crap.

    But she went on an articulated a perfectly reasonable standard, but it's a standard you won't get if you vote for her because the man at the top of the ticket doesn't believe in it.  Use it to drive a wedge between them not by beating up on her, but by using her to show how wrong McCain is.

    Of course, that would require stopping the mob mentality that seems interested in only destroying Sarah Palin (whose beliefs are not really all that more egregious than most GOP politicians, but she seems to hit a nerve that men like McCain don't, hmmm, I wonder why?) and instead trying to figure out the best way to defeat McCain.

    To Clarify (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by BDB on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:12:37 AM EST
    I have no doubt that Palin would be a disaster as VP or President.  She's a Republican and if she doesn't believe in the Bush doctrine now, she will because that's what the neocon advisors around her will want.  And we have to be careful not to build her up for 2012.  But I don't think attacking her for an answer that wasn't crazy is a good way to win.  It just makes it look like it's a feeding frenzy about her (which in many ways, IMO, it is) and not really about the issues or even McCain.

    Palin is scary because she's all of the awful GOP policies wrapped in a package that has cultural appeals for a lot of people.  But people seem too focused on the wrapping and not enough on the GOP policies, which aren't nearly outside the GOP mainstream as many seem to believe.  They are the GOP mainstream, that's why she appeals to the "base."  And it's why the GOP and McCain are so scary.  


    Every poll I see (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Steve M on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:11:24 AM EST
    says that a substantial majority of people believe McCain would basically continue Bush's policies.

    Maybe the focus needs to be on the fact that they have the same policies, as opposed to pretending that they are the same person.  Because McCain can talk all he wants about being a maverick, but at the end of the day, it's hard to name the Bush policies that McCain would actually discontinue.

    That number has dwindled significantly (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:15:02 AM EST
    And that, my friends, is how McCain has grabbed the lead.

    That's why (none / 0) (#19)
    by CST on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:18:43 AM EST
    I think the 10% change line is so effective and needs to be brought out more.  People don't think of McCain and Bush as the same person, so you need to acknowledge that while still saying "they will do the same thing for this country".

    It's not just (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by mingus on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:20:21 AM EST
    the media and the left blogs. It's the whole structure of the Obama/Democratic campaign. The Obama campaign has been desultory at best lately, lacking a focus as noted by others, and seems even at this laate date, uncertain where they are going and how to get there.  While the Republican party has closed ranks and act as one to get the ticket elected, we (Dems) hear our side praise McCain as a good and able man sending competing messages to the public. Why are we supposed for Obama again? Even the now Democratically controlled congress can't seem to get it together as the New York Times has reported that the Democrats have now decided not to bring SCHIP up for a vote before the election, thus sparing the Republican Party and McCain/Palin the potential political embarrassment of seeing Bush veto that measure once again. The last couple of weeks have been discouraging to say the least.

    You have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:26:04 AM EST
    about the SCHIP thing.  You must be!

    The SCHIP story (none / 0) (#30)
    by mingus on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:38:41 AM EST
    came out a few days ago. It's quoted in The Moderate Voice blog which I found at Memeorandum.com.  I think it's still up there (memeorandum).

    Arrogance and insanity is the same (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:47:41 AM EST
    leadership mix that sits in the White House right now, and it would seem the Democratic leadership has now been infected.  How arrogant and insane of them to not champion the people FIRST come hell or high water!  That is why nobody believes in them!  Nancy Pelosi's new book about 'Know Your Power', I saw it at Barnes and Noble when I was book shopping for something to read while tending my bedridden son.  I glanced at that and thought to myself not worth the paper it is printed on and bought a fresh copy of 'Beloved'.

    Democrats (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by justonevoice on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:26:46 AM EST
    are clueless if they are not willing to show the American public Bushco and the GOP vetoing legislation that helps children.

    Nancy probably will send a sternly worded letter telling Bush that they better approve it once the elections are over!

    These so-called Dem "leaders" are as useful as a tit on a bull.


    It is worse than political obtuseness (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:24:10 AM EST
    because those words sound far far too kind a way of putting it.  I've always been smart financially and I have read bonddad diaries for like about two plus years so I started out ahead and through self education I figured out how to shore up my family for what was going to hit and is now hitting.  Other people out there though......most people out there.......they are really really hurting and if someone doesn't begin to really really address what the Bush financial policies have done to people all across the board excluding the wealthy........God I'm so frig's sake frustrated.  My sort of adopted mom is 70 and she isn't doing well physically, but her $300,000 savings that she placed into an IRA and is supposed to now be keeping the wolf from her door is worth $70,000 and she is very money smart too.  People who have been taken for the mortgage ride are so depressed right now, all sorts of people we live around and work around.  They can't even afford to get out of the gas guzzlers they drive so that they can buy a simple compact car, they struggle and limp every single day right now.  How can John McCain be where he is in the polls except that people really do not understand what happened to them and how they got here?  How can the media and left blogs fail the American people like this? In my opinion somewhat how can Obama himself for not being more of a hollering it out advocate and champion for the solutions and making those who are responsible for it all responsible fail this country so badly?  It is very hard to want to work hard also for someone to get a job that it seems that they themselves don't want to work that hard for either.  Hopefully I'll feel differently and see something I'm needing to see when the debates hit.

    Do you think the realities of the economy (none / 0) (#55)
    by sallywally on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:15:12 PM EST
    as they apply to most of us are really clear to the Obama campaign in their bubble?

    Just asking.....


    Nope, and I think it is a horrible problem (none / 0) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 10:18:32 PM EST
    that the campaign can either suffer from such bubble blindness or such lack of honest concern.....whichever it is and God knows I hope it is bubble blindness and not the later.

    It's the economy (5.00 / 4) (#34)
    by chrisvee on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 12:01:02 PM EST
    Everyone I know is scared to death of what's happening to our economy. The latest about various financial institutions and what that will mean to the average person is the talk at the water cooler and around the dinner table.

    All the Obama campaign needs to do is make the Republicans own these failures and present how his policies will address help.

    It's a simple recipe that's being made much too hard.

    Yup (none / 0) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 12:13:42 PM EST
    Better yet - tie McSame to Rove (none / 0) (#6)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:05:59 AM EST
    Not only has McCain been sycophant to Bush but his campaign is now as Rovian as you can get. While Rove is behind the scenes it is obvious who is directing the show - from the Rove aides who are in the campaign to the smear tactics and distractions and framing we have been experienceing.

    Bush with ALL the trimmings.

    Rove (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by justonevoice on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:19:43 AM EST
    is fine for us political junkies.  Average Jane and Joe on the street really doesn't grasp the whole idea of "rovian" this or "rovian" that.

    Issues and contrast and good ol' retail politics.

    That's how you win.


    i'm going both ways on this (none / 0) (#8)
    by Turkana on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:06:58 AM EST
    it's true that mccain is the issue, but the palin pick is also about mccain. it tells us that mccain is unfit to be president. and i also think we need to go beyond bush iii- mccain could actually be worse...

    Then you are ignoring reality (5.00 / 6) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:14:29 AM EST
    Here is how to think about it - forget what YOU think, consider how the voters are thinking.

    Palin has been pilloried for 2 weeks now. And McCain is ahead.

    Time to deal with reality.


    I agree (5.00 / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:17:39 AM EST
    Another minute spent on Palin is a minute wasted.

    McCain LOVES that everyone is talking about Palin.


    Absolutely correct (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by justonevoice on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:22:41 AM EST
    the more Palin is the TOC the more McCain gets to pound his chest and cry maverick this and maverick that.

    Palin is a great foil and has proven to be a HUGE distraction, much to the detriment of the Dems, and throwing Obama's campaign off-message.

    Hillary Clinton gave them the line of the season and they STILL ignored it:  "Palin is an historic voice and addition to the race but her policies only continue the failures of the republicans."  (Or something close to that).


    I can hear that ... (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:26:26 AM EST
    little chuckle of his every time he sees the press or pundits wasting time on Palin.

    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by BDB on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:29:24 AM EST
    What happens in most campaigns is that by the end most people hate both candidates.  What the Palin focus does is allow her to be the one they hate along with Obama, leaving McCain to be the untouched, above-it-all guy.

    It also doesn't help that the Dems are absolutely awful at the culture war stuff (the Clintons being the notable exceptions).  When the GOP hits Obama, the Dems defend Obama.  How could they denigrate Obama's time at community organizing!  When what they should be doing is hitting the GOP for denigrating Americans.  How could they denigrate the millions of Americans who lead their communities daily?

    The GOP has this down.  If you denigrate Palin, you denigrate women.  Or mothers.  Or small towns.  If you denigrate McCain, you denigrate veterans or old people.  

    The Obama campaign has made this too much about HIM.  And now many of his supporters are making it too much about HER.
    When it becomes about the American people, then the Dems will be getting somewhere.  (Not that I think Obama's going to do all that much more than McCain, I'm in the he's a center-right politician only about 2% less evil camp.)


    she's been pilloried in the blogs (2.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Turkana on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:35:44 AM EST
    but the media have been very mixed. blitzer, brokaw and others lauded her ability to read off a teleprompter- she passed whatever minimal standard they set. we shouldn't obsess on her and ignore mccain's own problems, but there has to be a threshold at which point people begin to doubt. we do have to keep nudging her towards that threshold. if the voters do begin to question her fitness for office, that alone destroys mccain.

    I disagree (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 12:06:06 PM EST
    The Media has killed her.

    Yes (none / 0) (#41)
    by chrisvee on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 12:52:45 PM EST
    I caught a bit of GMA today and they were all over her, albeit motivated by their need to justify Charlie Gibson's behavior, of course.

    How many people get their news from the morning shows? My guess is, enough to make me very afraid.


    Voters questioned Dan Quale's fitness for office (none / 0) (#45)
    by bridget on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 05:09:42 PM EST
    all the time
    the media questioned his fitness for office. Bush still won the election and he refused to replace Quale with another VP in 92. Voters just don't care that much about the number two on the ticket.

    Dan Quale became the butt of jokes for four years straight. He received some pretty rough treatment that's for sure. Trudeau's satirical treatment of Quale and Bush in Doonesbury never let up. The feather and the lightbulb AFAIR.


    This is not a winning narrative. (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by rooge04 on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:20:56 AM EST
    It has already failed. The left blogs should have ignored her. Instead all the Obama supporters played right into the GOP's hands by freaking out about her and talking about her incessantly. They cannot take away that the public kinda likes her.  The only way to squash that is to ignore, ignore, ignore her.

    I love your analysis (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:39:50 AM EST
    and many times have found it compelling, correct, and used it.  Problem with political junky bloggers is we can live in our heads too much and not on the streets.  It is possible to over intellectualize the McCain/Palin weakness and that is exactly what a bunch of out of touch brainiacs have done.  We must always remember that the majority of America does not join us in this brainiac deformity and they are busy scrubbing toilets and figuring out how to afford gas.  The Republican party often out does the Democratic party as well because most of them don't have this brainiac deformity either and the general population can relate to them better than they do us even though the basis of that relationship is robbing the voter blind AGAIN.

    most voters (none / 0) (#35)
    by Turkana on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 12:02:44 PM EST
    think mccain is some principled maverick. we need to undermine that in every possible way.

    Yes, he was very appealing (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 12:11:44 PM EST
    to swing voters in 2000.  Around 2004 he completely lost his principles and there is no reason why anyone needs to forget every single time that took place. People always complain that the American public has a short memory but that is not so.  The American people are working class and when your yard artist shows up and beautifully prunes your bushes and reminds you to fertilize next week the political junky's job is remind him how to tend to his political wellbeing.  Everyone was born with gifts they were meant to share with those who do not possess them but have something else wonderful to trade.  The leftysphere hangs out with itself too much and now only seems to be able to wank.

    Too late! The Maverick is here to stay. (none / 0) (#44)
    by bridget on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 04:35:45 PM EST
    One year of Obama media love cannot undermine two decades of McCain media love in the eyes of the voters. McCain's heroic narrative is now set in stone. Where are the first chips? I don't see any. Besides you need a pretty large hammer to get something done within two months.

    Esp. since campaign 2000 McCain's many faults were either ignored or "disappeared" by the media pundits and reporters who fawned over "the maverick" on his straighttalk express every time they opened their mouths on TV and paper. For heaven's sake, even John Kerry was ready to accept him as his running made in 2004. How much more embarrassing can it get I ask you? But That's what the voters know about McCain.

    Folks who didn't see this coming must have slept under a rock for the last decade. Bob Somerby's amazing archives will help in that case.

    btw. the liberal blogger's constant maligning of the Clintons who are the Dem party in the eyes of the voters, too, never helped Obama and most importantly, not the Democratic party to get a Dem into the White House. But it always helped the GOP and esp. Rep presidential candidate McCain in this election. The Clinton-haters refused to even consider that fact.



    That electoral map (none / 0) (#11)
    by justonevoice on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:10:51 AM EST
    has at least TWO serious flaws:

    Calls TX weak GOP.  There's not ONE Democrat that holds one statewide seat in Texas. Not one. Texas is ruby red.

    Indiana is usually the FIRST state called in the presidential elections for republicans.

    If anything, CA should be barely Dem:  they were able to have a sitting Dem governor removed by recall and elected a republican one.  Not to mention that in 2004 Kerry got 6.7 million votes and Bush got 5.5 million votes.  About an 800K spread.

    Texas, by contrast, 4.5 million votes for Dubya and 2.8 for Kerry.

    Sadly the only Dem holdouts in TX are Austin and Dallas, with the RGV in tow.

    Perhaps the 527s (none / 0) (#31)
    by Lahdee on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:39:35 AM EST
    can be of service. While the Obama campaign may not feel the need to strongly paint McCain with the Bush brush, the 527s certainly can do just that.
    Time for some George and Marsha at the dinner table wondering whose going to lose their job first, who will get sick enough to bankrupt their future, etc.. Make McCain own the failed policies he supports, and will continue if elected.

    Yes (none / 0) (#47)
    by JAB on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 05:16:58 PM EST
    And you can add that to the list of Obama flip-flops.

    Not a flip flop, reality (none / 0) (#51)
    by Lahdee on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 07:02:55 PM EST
    Nice to see he's capable of adjusting his campaign as opposed to Mr. McCain of Arizona who seems to be in koolaide heaven.

    Palin didn't contradict the controversial part of (none / 0) (#42)
    by DeanOR on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 02:06:43 PM EST
    the Bush Doctrine, which is preventive war. She either doesn't know what it is, doesn't understand it, or didn't want to talk about it. She chose to righteously defend the less controversial part of the doctrine, which is the right to preempt an imminent threat, and Gibson let her totally avoid addressing the question of launching a preventive war when there is no threat of an imminent attack (as in invading Iraq).  

    I guess I find myself wondering (none / 0) (#46)
    by frankly0 on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 05:15:51 PM EST
    how much traction one can get out of an issue that the average voter is not going to pay a lot of attention to -- viz., the difference between Palin's view about only engaging a preventive war if there's an "imminent" threat, vs. engaging in a preventive war if there might be an attack at some time in the future, but it would impossible to predict or know in advance when that attack might occur.

    Really, it's a pretty abstract distinction for most people. In fact, one might say it's almost an epistemological issue more than anything else: it may well be a distinction between whether an attack is knowable to be imminent or not. That's the issue that really seems to be at the crux of the Bush doctrine as it was justified.

    How this kind of issue might be made to resonate with the ordinary voter escapes me.

    I think the (none / 0) (#48)
    by frankly0 on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 05:20:41 PM EST
    ordinary voter would say something like,

    Yeah, if a guy means you harm, and he might sucker punch you at any moment, you've got a right to punch him out first.

    And I don't think the ordinary voter is going to see that to be a lot different from punching first when you know for sure the other guy is going to punch you.

    Lefty blogs want to make a big stinking deal out of Palin's failure to make the distinction. But guess why Palin probably didn't make that distinction? Because she, like the ordinary voter, doesn't really make those distinctions, and don't see how they much affect what one should do in particular cases.

    It would strike both as being pretty silly to make some big distinction between the two types of self defense. To them, they are basically the same.


    Just one further point (none / 0) (#49)
    by frankly0 on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 05:31:31 PM EST
    the Bush doctrine, at least as I read the quotes that were put up the other day on this blog, really seems to be fairly targeted toward a country like Afghanistan before 9/11. The Taliban supported al Qaeda. It was unknown when an attack on the US might be launched by al Qaeda, but it could certainly have happened at any time.

    The Bush doctrine would have allowed us to invade Afghanistan and depose the Taliban, if that's what it would have taken to get rid of the al Qaeda threat. The doctrine of preventive war only in the case of known imminent attack would not have.

    So which is a better doctrine to cover the situation? I'd go for the one that allows the al Qaeda threat to be removed even if one could never establish for certain that they had in mind an imminent attack, or that they might ever execute one.

    The Iraq war, however, was never justified under the Bush doctrine (at least as I read it) because there was never a terrorist threat against the US present in Iraq.


    Allowing McCain to escape (none / 0) (#56)
    by Jarbo on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 11:35:47 AM EST
    The Obama campaign should have listened to Rush Limbaugh and pundit Dick Morris (on FoxNews!).  They both said trying to tie McCain to Bush was a losing strategy, that McCain would easily separate himself from Bush, leaving Obama emptyhanded.  Obama's people have never run a campaign larger than mayoral race and it shows.  Welcome to the Bigs!!  Plus, they have an unelectable candidate which doesn't help.