Following in Josh Marshall’s footsteps, Salon now has an interview, by Dave Talbot, of Joe Wilson. Here’s something interesting that answers a question I’ve pondered a few times:
TALBOT: Why did you contribute to both campaigns?
WILSON: Well, I take great pride in being an American, and I don’t believe either party has a monopoly on wisdom. It did seem to me that when Mr. Bush was running as a compassionate conservative, he was going to be the better of the two candidates. I thought it was important that we have the two best candidates. I contributed to the Bush campaign before they went to South Carolina and engaged in their smear tactics against Mr. McCain and his wife and children. And ultimately, as I look back on [my Bush contribution], I made a mistake.
If only more people has watched South Carolina and similarly perceived Bush as he truly is.
UPDATE: this is worth thinking about as well, especially in light of Cheney’s fear-mongering today (“Cheney told the conservative Heritage Foundation that terrorists are ‘doing everything they can’ to get weapons of mass destruction that could kill hundreds of thousands of Americans ‘in a single day of horror.'”):
TALBOT: Do you think the U.S. is less safe now, post-invasion?
WILSON:Yes, absolutely. For three reasons. One is that we have 133,000 more potential targets out there, a lot closer to where harm can happen, that we’ve created another front for terrorism that we’re now in the midst of. Secondly, if we’re hit again here in the U.S., with all these National Guard call-ups, we’ve got a lot of our first-responders over there instead of here. And thirdly, just because of the way we’ve prosecuted this war and how offensive it’s been to the rest of the world, especially the Muslim world, we’ve created an exponentially larger pool from which actual terrorists might be drawn down the road. I don’t think we’re safer at all as a consequence of this.
Cheney’s fears may be valid, but the question is whether our actions are likely to increase or diminish the odds of those fears being realized. Wilson makes a strong and succinct case that we are less safe now than before the invasion.