Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 4, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

BUSH AND THE VISION THING....Josh Chafetz suggests that President Bush needs to make a "long and thoughtful" speech about

About what? Matt Yglesias interrupts at this point to laugh at the very idea and then departs the scene.

To continue: a "long and thoughtful" speech about Iraq and the war on terror and the underlying philosophy behind what we're doing there: where the danger comes from, the Bush Doctrine, root causes, draining the swamp, democratization, etc. etc. Says Josh:

That -- written by Michael Gerson, of course, who is an incredible speechwriter -- is the speech I want to hear.

Hell, who wouldn't like to hear a speech like that? The problem is that while Josh and his fellow war supporters all love this kind of visionary stuff, it's not clear to me what makes them think that Bush himself shares this vision.

I can't help but think that there's an awful lot of wishful thinking going on here. Sure, Gerson could write a lovely speech on these topics, but we all know what Bush sounds like when he's forced by political expediency to talk about stuff he doesn't care about: he's dull, drab, and practically monotonic. You can practically see him fidgeting to get out the door and quit talking about this airy, high-minded nonsense.

So: I'd love to hear the speech too, but what I'd really like is some concrete evidence that Bush actually believes this stuff. I haven't seen it yet.

And a quick note on Josh's point #2: Better be careful. I know it sounds good, but if you really believe it you'd better have a pretty good explanation in hand for why Pakistan has so far managed to avoid the same treatment that Haiti got.

UPDATE: Brad DeLong has more.

Kevin Drum 9:41 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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