Keith Olbermann always struck me as a bit unbalanced, even when he was trying to jazz up sports-score-reading on ESPN. I guess his fans considered him “edgy.” I haven’t seen Olbermann in his current gig, which apparently involves jazzing up left-wing television commentatary, but I’ve heard that he’s pretty much gone around the bend.
This Olbermann rant — “Where are the checks, balances?” — confims these reports. His thesis is that President Bush, in prosecuting the war in Iraq, has been “unchecked and unbalanced.” Olbermann informs us that our system of government was set up so that “no one man could run the government the way he saw fit — unless he, at the least, took into consideration what those he governed saw.” He then asks, “Where did that go, Mr. Bush?”
A better question would be, where have you been, Mr. Olbermann? The war in Iraq was launched only after our elected representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of proceeding. In doing so, they had access to the National Intelligence Estimate and other key intelligence resources. Since the beginning of the war, our elected representatives have approved the expenditures necessary to continue the effort.
The people have spoken directly, too. In 2004, a majority of them voted for President Bush even though it was clear that no WMD would be found; even though it had become the conventional (though false) “wisdom” that there was no connection between Saddam and al Qaeda; and even though the sophomoric “shifting rationale for the war” meme that Olbermann trots out in his latest rant had often been rehearsed by administration critics.
Olbermann also plays(?) ignorant about the Supreme Court’s role in the war on terror. The novel constitutional issues that have arisen as a result of this war are working their way up to the Court, as our system contemplates. The Supreme Court has already resolved some of the important ones by close and sometimes fragmented votes. The Bush administration has, of course, adhered to these decision, returning to the drawing boarding whenever called upon to do so. Again, that’s exactly how our system is designed to work.
One could add that Bush’s conduct compares quite favorably with that of other wartime presidents, except that Olbermann most likely does not believe we’re at war (or should be at war) with terrorism. In any case, such a comparison is unnecessary. Bush’s conduct has not just been subjected to checks and balances by wartime standards; it’s been subjected to the checks and balances established by our constitutional system for any circumstances. Olbermann seems to be the unbalanced one.
Via Real Clear Politics
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