Friday, October 12, 2007

In this week's Republican presidential debate, Chris Matthews asked a pretty good question to all the candidates: "If you were president of the United States, would you need to go to Congress to get authorization to take military action against Iran's nuclear facilities?"

Given the mess Bush has made of Iraq, it was interesting to observe the candidates dance all around this fairly strait-forward question. My two favorite responses were from the two leading candidates, Romney and Rudy. Romney uttered, "You sit down with your attorneys and tell you what you have to do...." Come again? In deciding whether or not to go to Congress about declaring war, Romney as president would first consult with not his closest foreign policy advisers, VP, Secretary of State, etc., but instead his lawyers?! What?!

And Rudy's reply was even more disturbing in my opinion: "It really depends on exigency of the circumstances and how legitimate it is...." What? The decision has been made to go to war and the question is whether you go to Congress first or instead skip them and just attack. Thus, you would think at that point it was already decided that the reasons for going to war were "legitimate" and didn't warrant any kind of further appraisal. Is Rudy implying he would go to war for anything other than legitimate reasons or circumstances? Is he implying that he's learned from the mistakes of this administration, who went to war based on cooked data and lies?

A larger point being are these the types of guys we want replacing an already disastrous presidency? It's one thing to dodge a question, it's quite another to give crazy, nonsensical answers like the above. Do we need four more years of this?

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