Second, the president not only refused -- "for about the fifth time" -- to acknowledge that invading Iraq was a mistake. He got right back in their faces and affirmed, defiantly, that it was the right thing to do -- and said he couldn't wait until we could have an actual debate on this subject. He was daring Democrats to defend the Saddam regime, what with its use of WMD, its systematic torture and its burying alive of its own people -- not to mention its support of terrorists.
Third, Bush squarely debunked the Democratic slander that he is a unilateralist. He said the claim was not only bogus -- he did assemble a large coalition to attack Iraq and also begged the other recalcitrant nations to join -- but noted that Democrats are completely hypocritical and inconsistent on the matter. He had been consistent in his approach to Iraq, Iran and North Korea -- employing a multilateral approach to all three. Democrats -- redundantly, since it was already being implemented -- insisted on a multilateral approach to Iraq, but have castigated Bush for not meeting with each of the twin dictators, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and North Korea's Kim Jong Il, alone.
On the issues, President Bush welcomes a debate on the state of the robust economy ushered in by his tax cuts. We've created 6.6 million jobs since August 2003, unemployment is down to 4.6 percent, wages are up, the stock market is at an all time high, oil prices are dramatically down, and the deficit has been cut in half three years earlier than he predicted. Any takers?
Then he explained that Democrats were obstructing his prosecution of the war, including opposing his efforts to prevent terrorist attacks through the NSA terrorist tracking program and the legislation authorizing tough interrogation techniques. And he emphasized that remaining in Iraq until the mission is complete is essential to winning the war on terror. Our defeat there would embolden global jihadists -- and he does not intend to allow that to happen.
If the president stays out front between now and the elections, forcing a debate on the real issues, the gloom and doom predictions about Democrats regaining control will stop dead in their tracks.
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