“Bush Issues Veiled Attack on Obama,” declares the lead story on the New York Times website, even though the article notes: “Mr. Bush did not mention Mr. Obama by name, and the White House said his remarks were not aimed at the senator.” Nonetheless its lead paragraph simply states it as though it were gospel truth: “President Bush used a speech to the Israeli Parliament on Thursday to issue a veiled rebuke to Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential contender, who has argued that the United States should negotiate with countries like Iran and Syria.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Rahm Emanuel declares: “For this White House, partisan politics now begins at the water’s edge… Does the president have no shame?”
And Howard Dean, head of the DNC: “If John McCain is really serious about being a different kind of Republican, he’ll denounce these remarks in the strongest terms possible.”
Just for the record, and again, here’s what Bush said:
Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: “Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.” We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.
As I said earlier, this is what might be called anti-terror boilerplate. Bush is criticizing a mindset, one that has had purchase even within his own administration. But come on. Democrats criticizing Bush for supposedly criticizing an American politician outside the borders of the United States? When untold numbers of them have done the same thing over the past seven years? Is this some kind of sick joke?