George Will, Flip-flopper

In the 2004 election, the very suggestion of having changed one’s mind warranted the charge of “flip-flopping.” That was singularly dumb. Changing one’s mind about bad policies is a good idea. We won’t see this, however, from the current POTUS. We’re seeing a lot of it from the 1st armored pundit brigade of 2003 [I’ll link to material later, when I find it]. Only a few of them have had the cobbles to admit having been disasterously wrong. We still think they ought to be punished–demotion seems fair enough. Since we don’t have the power to demote, however, we can point and hoot. We can also study the brain-dead nonsense used to justify the behavior of an intellectually challenged man.

So, on that note, let’s look at the silly parsing of a slightly more hawkish George Will in March of 2003:

>It is a measure of *the intellectual vertigo* into which the United Nations has plunged “the international community” that America, which is going to war to enforce Resolution 1441, is said to be doing so “in defiance of the United Nations.” The war will be followed by a presidential election in which all candidates must answer this: “Do you believe that any use of U.S. military power lacks legitimacy unless approved by France, Russia and China?” The Republican candidate has already answered. [emphasis added]

That’s a dumb question. But let’s answer it anyway. The “legitimacy” never really was the issue, now was it. The real question–the one realized by France and Germany and all of the coalition of the unwilling–was whether the war *then* was justified for the reasons put forward by the administration. “Legitimacy” is a narrow and wrong interpretation of justification, in other words. Say it was “legitimate” in some narrow legal sense. This would have raised a second question: is it a good idea? Nope. It clearly wasn’t a good idea. For 3438 or so reasons.

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