Thursday, November 15, 2007

Important Dem Debate Moment

One thing I haven't seen mentioned in the commentary on tonight's Democratic presidential candidate debate in Nevada is the responses to the constitution vs. national security question. It was a bit silly for Blitzer to compress a complex issue like Pakistan into such a simplistic dichotomous question, but fine, there it is. Bill Richardson said that our values are more important than our security - a bold and important statement, although he didn't exactly nail it. Most other candidates said either that security comes first or that you can't separate the two.

Chris Dodd, who did pretty well during the debate, really bullshitted on this particular answer. He said that the presidential oath of office requires presidents to do two things: protect the Constitution and protect America against enemies foreign and domestic. So what is the actual presidential oath?
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Maybe Dodd made an honest mistake, confusing the presidential oath with the one he's taken as a member of Congress. But this is important: nowhere in the president's job description does it say that it's his or her job to keep us safe. Bush seems to think it is, and that he's supposed to ignore parts of the constitution that jeopardize our safety. But that's not the way it's written. We're not supposed to be a nation of gutless turds. Our ideals are supposed to matter.

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