Monday, January 12, 2004
I'm a big supporter of Gov. Dean. I know that this whole "gaffe" issue is utterly and totally baseless. (Bush said the same thing about Saddam that Dean said about Osama!) The media are a bunch of mindless fools that only say something if they hear it said elsewhere first--thus, demented groupthink about said "gaffes." Still, the dementia of the media is a serious problem, and has to be dealt with. It's good that the Gov. is being more careful about what he says, and it's probably good that he's restricting access to reporters. But--recognizing the potential problem does not require any apologies. You shouldn't even be obliquely acknowledging the reality of these "gaffe" accusations. Don't be afraid to defend yourself, ever! NOTE: look at the transcript of Bush's Dec. 15 press conference. He REALLY DOES SAY that Saddam's guilt shouldn't be prejudged. Point this out! Point out that the whole "gaffe" issue is so much mindless bullshit--EVEN AS you be more careful about what these bastards can do to your words taken out of context. Also: don't back down from the Saddam's-capture-hasn't-made-us-safer-argument! Hammer it home! You can make the point more effectively if you say, as you did in your Dec. 15 speech, that while the capture is a GOOD thing, IT DOESN'T REDEEM THE WHOLE IRAQ ADVENTURE. We would be SAFER if we hadn't gone to war in Iraq and instead had focused our resources on Al-Qaeda.
So: please don't even think about backing down. Being wary of your enemies has nothing to do with backing down.