Bush Campaign Lies

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Bush Campaign Lie #69: Bush Believes He Has a 'Solemn Duty' to Protect the Nation 

This is the claim of a Bush ad titled 'Solemn Duty'.

When I first saw this ad, I thought: 'Well, I can't argue with that. Bush doesn't really make any factual statements in the ad, so there's nothing for me to refute.'

But then I remembered a story back in March about the Radio and TV correspondents' dinner, where Bush was joking about the fact that no WMD had been found in Iraq. The supposed threat --- 'imminent' or not --- of Iraq's WMD was the reason why we sent troops into Iraq, and at the time Bush made his jokes, thousands of Iraqis and more than 600 Americans had died as a consequence of these missing WMD.

Is this really something to joke about? What does this say about the seriousness with which Bush is carrying out his 'Solemn Duty'?

But wait. Some may argue that Bush was supposed to be making jokes at the correspondents' dinner. It's traditional. And he wasn't really joking about the casualties --- either American OR Iraqi --- in the war. On the contrary, he was poking fun at himself for making a mistake about Iraq's WMD capabilities in the first place. And there may be some merit to that argument, although as David Corn points out, only the most credulous observer really believes that Bush's staggeringly incorrect assessment of Iraq's WMD stockpiles was an honest mistake.

But surely, under normal circumstances, Bush doesn't joke around like this, right? I mean, for example, he wouldn't play with the camera like a mischievous schoolboy literally seconds before going on the air to announce the invasion of Iraq in the first place, right?

Well, actually, he would.

Bush supporters may excuse this behavior if they wish, but it is inconsistent and downright dishonest for Bush to treat the war like a fun game, and then release an ad with mournful music in which Laura sits silently and proudly at his side and looks at him dewey-eyed as he talks about his 'Solemn Duty'.

(Democracy Now! has a longer discussion of the Radio and TV correspondents' dinner. A remixed video of Bush's comments at the dinner, with a decidedly anti-Bush bias, is also available [3.6M download].)

9:51 AM