In Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate, Mitt Romney completely misrepresented how we ended up in Iraq. Later, Mike Huckabee mistakenly claimed that it was Ronald Reagan’s birthday.Well, that explains so much about the modern Republican Party: reality is an "unreasonable hypothetical." But of course, this is about much more than the blinkered delusions of Mitt Romney and the Republican base. Thirty years ago, when the now-dead President Ford said there would be no communist hold on Eastern Europe, he was widely and rightly mocked and made to look like an idiot. Where is the press today? Talking about John Edwards' haircut, or Obama's middle name. Brilliant.
Guess which remark The Washington Post identified as the “gaffe of the night”?
Folks, this is serious. If early campaign reporting is any guide, the bad media habits that helped install the worst president ever in the White House haven’t changed a bit....
Now fast forward to last Tuesday. Asked whether we should have invaded Iraq, Mr. Romney said that war could only have been avoided if Saddam “had opened up his country to I.A.E.A. inspectors, and they’d come in and they’d found that there were no weapons of mass destruction.” He dismissed this as an “unreasonable hypothetical.”
Except that Saddam did, in fact, allow inspectors in. Remember Hans Blix? When those inspectors failed to find nonexistent W.M.D., Mr. Bush ordered them out so that he could invade. Mr. Romney’s remark should have been the central story in news reports about Tuesday’s debate. But it wasn’t.
Friday, June 08, 2007