Wednesday, April 28, 2004

From today's Talking Points Memo by - Joshua Micah Marshall 4/28/2004

"I've been giving this matter a lot of thought recently. And if John Kerry is going to win this election, he will have to make it, in large measure, an election about accountability.

The president seldom any more makes a positive argument for how things have been handled up till this point. He doesn't admit mistakes, certainly. But what he does and doesn't say is telling.

Most of the president's speeches amount to a) My heart was in the right place and, b) The past isn't what's important. Where we go from here is what's important.

(Look at his ads and you'll see he's making little attempt to make a positive case for himself.)

His partisans chime in with something similar, quickly dismissing any discussion of what's happened up until this point -- all the many mistakes made over expert advice counseling against -- and arguing, militantly, that all the matters now is who has a better plan on where to go from here, etc.

This is certainly true, to an extent. But there's that double matter of accountability. Accountability first, just as a matter of principle. But at some point you have to ask whether the crew that has gotten so much wrong -- making almost every mistake makable in Iraq -- is really the team to get things back on track, to walk the situation back from the precipice. As in so much else in life, we predict the future based on past performance. And if you look at what's happened over the last eighteen months, I think that's a very hard argument for the administration to confront. "


On March 25th I wrote my friend Dave Johnson who runs Seetheforest with exactly the same message. He was planning on attending a Kerry function that night in the Bay Area. I suggested he speak to Kerry about this (how naive of me).

I raise the notion that this is in fact the Administration of Zero Accountability.

You can go down a long list of issues and see a solid pattern that smacks of an administration that does not hold itself accountable to the American people.


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