Without question a vote for Bush will do more for moral absolutes in our culture than a vote for his opponent. So there is manifestly nothing dishonest or negative about Bush making an issue out of this.
As another example, Milbank took Mr. Bush on for saying that some people believe we should "lay down our arms" and "negotiate" with our enemies. Again, Milbank implies that no one advocates these "absurd" positions and that Bush is misleading the public by setting up another such "straw man." "Kerry," says Milbank, "certainly has not proposed opening talks with Osama bin Laden or putting him on the couch."
Well, Mr. Milbank, President Bush didn't accuse Kerry of doing that. But since you brought it up, no less a Democrat insider than Bill Clinton -- who reportedly has been drafted to take an increasingly active role in the Kerry campaign -- told Cornell graduates that we should seek to find solutions to problems through cooperation, not conflict.
"If you live in a world where you cannot kill, occupy or imprison all your actual or potential adversaries? you have to try to build a world with more friends and fewer terrorists," said Clinton. "That is the purpose of politics, to bring people together when they cannot control each other and they must work together ? The great power of the United States through history has not been in our weapons but in the power of our example, and the hope we have held out to others."
Is that close enough for you, Mr. Milbank? With such a philosophy articulated by the Democratic Party's hero, wouldn't President Bush be irresponsible not to bring it up? How can we possibly afford to entrust the security of the nation to the owners of such a recklessly naive worldview?
So who is misleading whom? Who is being negative? Who is setting up straw men: you and your colleagues and the party you support, or Mr. Bush?