Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Good Question

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo got this e-mail from a reader:

I’ve obviously missed something. When did it become appropriate for the Commander-in-Chief to go onto a military installation before a military crowd and denounce the opposition party? I cannot remember a time in my 21-year career when anything remotely like this happened. Is it just me or are we embarked on something very dark and dangerous for our democracy?

Apparently it’s not a one-time thing. He did a replay for the Western time zones last night in Alaska.

President Bush escalated the bitter debate over the Iraq war on Monday, hurling back at Democratic critics the worries they once expressed that Saddam Hussein was a grave threat to the world.

“They spoke the truth then and they’re speaking politics now,” Bush charged.

Bush went on the attack after Democrats accused the president of manipulating and withholding some pre-war intelligence and misleading Americans about the rationale for war.

“Some Democrats who voted to authorize the use of force are now rewriting the past,” Bush said. “They’re playing politics with this issue and they are sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy. That is irresponsible.”

The president spoke to cheering troops at this military base at a refueling stop for Air Force One on the first leg of an eight-day journey to Japan, South Korea, China and Mongolia.

Not having a military background, it never occurred to me that it would be inappropriate for the president to make a political speech on a military base. It’s not because I’m naive on that score, but I would think that it would be the one place where politics has no place; the defense of our country isn’t a partisan proposition.