The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Political Memo: Bush's Mocking Drowns Out Kerry's Explanation of Iraq Vote
George Bush is "mocking" John Kerry for his statement that he stands by his decision to vote in favor of the use of force authorization. Bush claims this is a "new nuance," a flip flop. It goes without saying that Bush is not treating this with the seriousness it deserves. But David Sanger, the author of the NYT piece, is playing along. He says
"Mr. Bush, sensing he had ensnared Mr. Kerry, stuck in the knife on Tuesday, telling a rally in Panama City, Fla., that "he now agrees it was the right decision to go into Iraq." The Kerry camp says that interpretation of Mr. Kerry's words completely distorted the difference between a vote to authorize war and a decision to commit troops to the battlefield.First, his analogy is hardly appropriate. Is "sticking the knife in" a euphemism for distorting? Second, his first reaction to the Bush distortion is citd to the "Kerry camp," rather than in anobjective voice. Later, though, he says this:
In fact, in interviews since the start of the year, Mr. Kerry has been relatively consistent in explaining his position.Why wait until paragraph 20 out of 24 to note that the entire controversy is an artificial gotcha game?
Mr. Bush may be seeking his moment now because polls show that Mr. Kerry's approach to Iraq is resonating with voters as strongly as Mr. Bush's - in some cases more strongly. That may explain why Mr. Kerry is willing to suggest some dates for the start of troop withdrawals, something he would not do a month ago.
George Bush's knife would be a spoon if it was dulled on the truth.