Michael Barone notes the collapse over the past two weeks of the accusation that “Bush lied!” made by Joseph Wilson and the Democratic Party. But he also observes the key difference between the political landscape of the Truman presidency that produced the national security policy of containment and the Bush presidency that produced the national security policy of preemption:
In the late 1940s, Truman got bipartisan support from Republicans like Arthur Vandenberg and Thomas Dewey, even at a time when there were bitter differences between the parties on domestic policy, and received generally sympathetic treatment in the press. This time, George W. Bush has encountered determined opposition from most Democrats and the old-line media. They have charged that “BUSH LIED” even when he relied on the same intelligence as they did; they have headlined wild and spurious charges by the likes of Joseph Wilson; they have embraced the wild-eyed propaganda of the likes of Michael Moore.
They have done these things with, at best, reckless disregard of the effect their arguments have had on American strength in the world. Are they entitled to be taken seriously?
Barone’s concluding question is of course rhetorical, as the title of his column indicates. His column is “The Bush lied folks can’t be taken seriously.”