Who attacked us on 9/11: Speaking Clearly

Many thanks to all the coverage of the debates by my fellow bloggers. The GOP post-debate debate seems to be trying to say Kerry made some alleged 16 technical errors along the lines of how they attacked Gore four years ago. I have not seen this alleged list but I hear one of the alleged errors was some Kerry statement that the rich got all of the tax cut. Now if President Pork Barrel Bush wants to bring up that “tax gap” issue in the next debate – fine. Ken Mehlman held a conference call to claim that Kerry has a “credibility canyon but check out this for how his call flopped.

Speaking of Mr. Mehlman, go to this Brad DeLong detailing of some of Bush’s lies last night that Kash mentioned and check out the comments from “Ken”. While it is really sad, clicking at his signature goes straight to the Bush-Cheney email so you can jot down to these folks what you really think of their incessant and brazen dishonesty.

But what killed me was the pre-debate insistence by the Bush crowd that the President “speaks clearly” as if proper enunciation makes up for dishonesty and incompetence. Mehlman’s defense of Bush’s lies noted by Brad was that the President speaks clearly – something the President noted twice last night during the debate. But note the few times the President noted Afghanistan – it was always in connection with Iraq. In fact, my count has the word “Iraq” mentioned 97 times during this debate and at one point the tape shows Mr. Bush answering a question about Afghanistan by first calling the country Iraq before he switched to calling it by its proper name.

The highlight of the debate for me was here:

LEHRER: Mr. President, new question. Two minutes. Does the Iraq experience make it more likely or less likely that you would take the United States into another preemptive military action?

BUSH: I would hope I never have to. I understand how hard it is to commit troops. Never wanted to commit troops. When I was running—when we had the debate in 2000, never dreamt I‘d be doing that. But the enemy attacked us, Jim, and I have a solemn duty to protect the American people, to do everything I can to protect us.

KERRY: Jim, the president just said something extraordinarily revealing and frankly very important in this debate. In answer to your question about Iraq and sending people into Iraq, he just said, “The enemy attacked us.”

Saddam Hussein didn‘t attack us. Osama bin Laden attacked us. al Qaeda attacked us.

BUSH: First of all, of course I know Osama bin Laden attacked us. I know that.

OK, Mr. President. If you know bin Laden attacked us – how come you answered the question about attacking Iraq with: “the enemy attacked us”?