Thursday, March 25, 2004

Sometimes Jeanne d'orleans says it best:

It hit me then how often this administration expresses outrage that anyone would raise difficult issues "in an election year." The fact that this is an election year, and that every issue is politicized, has virtually replaced "national security" as a reason why no one is supposed to raise difficult or controversial issues.

But shouldn't that excuse be laughed out of the arena? Obviously the Bush administration has exploited national security concerns for political purposes all along, but national security isn't a laughing matter, or a matter for bickering. But isn't the whole point of elections to force people running for office to answer questions about what they've done and what they will do? In an election with an incumbent, is there anything more important than accountability? Clarke's charges aren't coming a week before the election. The administration has more than seven months to refute him and argue for the validity of its own vision. If they had any sense whatsoever of how a democracy worked, that's what they'd be doing, not arguing that there's something underhanded about discussing actual issues in an election year

(apropo of the attacks on the timing of the appearance of Richard Clarke's book(which the Bushies held up in review for some months.) and Joe Conason's Salon interview with Clarke.)