As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Global Test II

Four years ago, Bush defenders got a lot of mileage out of a comment that John Kerry made in the third Presidential debate.

No president, through all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America.

But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons.

Bush defenders immediately pounced on this by deliberately using a different definition of the word "global" that Kerry intended, and claiming that Kerry wanted to subject American national security to a vote by the United Nations.

Four years later, Barack Obama sat down for an interview with The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg and asked him a leading question about Israel which Obama handled fairly well.

JG: Do you think that Israel is a drag on America’s reputation overseas?

BO: No, no, no. But what I think is that this constant wound, that this constant sore, does infect all of our foreign policy. The lack of a resolution to this problem provides an excuse for anti-American militant jihadists to engage in inexcusable actions, and so we have a national-security interest in solving this, and I also believe that Israel has a security interest in solving this because I believe that the status quo is unsustainable. I am absolutely convinced of that, and some of the tensions that might arise between me and some of the more hawkish elements in the Jewish community in the United States might stem from the fact that I’m not going to blindly adhere to whatever the most hawkish position is just because that’s the safest ground politically.

So off of that, the Republican leader in the House John Boehner has decided that Obama called Israel a constant wound and a constant sore, instead of what he actually said, that the conflict is a wound, and conflict resolution is preferable.

It's important to recognize that a core part of Republican strategy in 2008, in addition to disenfranchising Democratic voters, is simply lying about their opponent. And the lies will vary from this variety of misinterpretation, to asserting that Obama's policies are socialist despite the fact that, you know, they're far from it, or making up wild stories that Obama favors some kind of $777 trillion dollar reparations fund. There's no real slickness to the strategy, or forethought put into it. Birds are gonna fly, fish are gonna swim, and Republicans are gonna lie about the Democrat.

Goldberg, a conservative, managed to display some intellectual honesty and point out that Boehner is, in fact, lying. The question is whether or not the rest of the media will follow his lead when some lie like this becomes front and center in the election.

Oh, in case you're wondering, the answer is "no, they won't, they'll give Republicans ample opportunity to lie and won't step in to correct the record."

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