« Hawks of Many Stripes | Main | Power, Terror, Peace, and War I »

Does This Matter?

I think James Joyner has the relevance of Bush's military service record roughly right:

As I've noted several times previously, a candidate's military service matters only to the extent that it sheds light on his likely performance in office. This is especially true for those seeking the presidency, since it carries with it the hat of Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces. But given that George W. Bush has been President for nearly four years, and leading a war effort for three of those, one would think that service as an 0-2 would be rather irrelevant at this stage. It would be rather like deciding whether to re-appoint Richard Myers to a second term as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff based on his performance as an ROTC cadet at Kansas State.
I agree. My only counterpoint would be this. The fact that George W. Bush lies constantly about everything he does is very relevant to discussing his performance as commander-in-chief. If I had my druthers this issue would be talked about by noting that he lies about Iraq ("my choice was to trust the word of a madman"), about Libya (where the deal had nothing to do with Iraq), about North Korea (where the US, and not the DPRK, was cheating on the agreed framework), about tax policy (among other things, said his plan cut taxes for everyone when it didn't), about health care policy (left $50 billion or so off the pricetag for his Medicare bill), and about education policy (keeps saying people either "oppose" or want to "water down" NCLB when they actually want to increase federal spending aimed at NCLB implementation). Sadly, though, it's hard to get that stuff on the agenda. The press is more comfortable talking about lies that pertain to a person's personal life, such as this National Guard stuff. But if it becomes established that Bush is a liar, that may make it easier to shed light on his policy-relevant lies.

September 10, 2004 | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Does This Matter?:

» Liar, liar, Iraq on fire.... from YudelLine 2.0a
Matthew Y. asks the logical question concerning the President's failure to serve in the National Guard three decades ago, Does This Matter?The fact that George W. Bush lies constantly about everything he does is very relevant to discussing his performa... [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 20, 2004 11:31:17 PM