Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Tough Guy Dreams Die Hard

It's their recurring fantasy, and our recurring nightmare.

The leading GOP candidates for president seem to yearn for the days when men were men and talking tough was just the medication we sought to help us feel safer in a dangerous world. The leading GOP candidates seem determined to help us relive the entire episode. All it takes is a properly clenched jaw, the right glint in the eye and a dogged determination to ignore the facts just as Bush, Cheney and the entire neocon gang did four years ago. Rudy Guliani has done everything but carry his bullhorn with him to recapture that swagger.Last night it was Mitt Romney who carelessly crossed the line between dreamy longing and sheer fantasy:

What I mean by that […] that is that if you're saying let's turn back the clock and Saddam Hussein had [been] opening up his country to IAEA inspectors and they'd come in and they'd found that there were no weapons of mass destruction, had Saddam Hussein therefore not violated United Nations resolutions, we wouldn't be in the conflict we're in.

What Romney seems to forget is that the inspectors were in Iraq in 2002, and they found no nukes, and that that was one of the specific points on which Bush bamboozled the country. As Atrios points out, we're seeing the same casual interest in the facts of the matter that got us into trouble in the first place:

The inspectors did go in, as we all know. Still, some say the inspectors went in, some say they didn't, who is to say who is right?
However detached from reality, this is the kind of rhetoric that will win the nomination of the party that still thinks the war in Iraq was a good idea.

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