Republicans on the draft: pot, meet kettle

By Tim Grieve
Published October 15, 2004 11:44PM (UTC)
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Isn't it just awful when the other side distorts your views?

On a conference call with reporters today, Bush-Cheney campaign manager Ken Mehlman complained bitterly that John Kerry is talking about the possibility of a military draft if Bush wins re-election. "Once again, the senator raised the issue -- an issue which he knows not to be true -- about the potential for a military draft in the United States," Mehlman said. "The president has said it's not the case. Donald Rumsfeld has said it's not the case. The fact that Senator Kerry continues to try to bring up what he knows to be false in order to frighten voters is entirely inappropriate and further undermines his credibility with voters. . . . He will say anything, including things he knows to be false, to win political points, and it's outrageous and it should stop immediately."


Poor, poor Ken. Bush said it and Rummy said it, and that should be it. After all, it's not like the two of them have ever been wrong about anything, is it? It's not like Bush told us that Saddam Hussein had WMDs. It's not like Rumsfeld told us that he knew exactly where the WMDs were.

And it's not like the Bush-Cheney campaign has ever ignored something John Kerry said to "win political points" or "scare voters." No, the Bush campaign would never suggest that Kerry would give other nations a veto power over America's defense, despite Kerry's clear statements to the contrary. The Bush campaign would never suggest that Kerry has a "retreat and defeat" policy for Iraq, despite Kerry's clear statements to the contrary. And the Bush campaign would certainly never suggest that Kerry will raise taxes on the middle class, despite Kerry's clear statements to the contrary.

Mehlman is free to be outraged if he wants to be. But if his ire is directed at candidates who won't take the other guy's views at face value, then he ought to start looking a little more closely at the campaign he's running for George W. Bush.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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