September 19, 2003

So Much For the Uniform Making the Man

Tell me again how General Clark is supposed to assure the uncommitted middle of the electorate that he's serious about national defense. I don't care whether Wesley Clark flip-flops already in a 24 hour period:

Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark backtracked from a day-old statement that he probably would have voted for the congressional resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq, saying Friday he "would never have voted for this war."

Let's face it, we've come to expect that sort of thing from all politicians, some just do it better than others. And don't believe for a minute that Wesley Clark is not a politician. You don't reach that high in the military without being an effective politician.

The retired Army general, an opponent of the conflict, surprised supporters when he indicated in an interview with reporters Thursday that he likely would have supported the resolution. On Friday, Clark sought to clarify his comments in an interview with The Associated Press.

"Let's make one thing real clear, I would never have voted for this war," Clark said before a speech at the University of Iowa. "I've gotten a very consistent record on this. There was no imminent threat. This was not a case of pre-emptive war. I would have voted for the right kind of leverage to get a diplomatic solution, an international solution to the challenge of Saddam Hussein."

But I do care that someone who really ought to know better has already made it impossible for me to even consider voting for him. I had been prepared to try and be open-minded and listen to him for a while, but it's now clear there's no point. I'm certain there are a few principled reasons for opposing the liberation of Iraq -- none of which I agree with -- but this is not one of them. I can't see any daylight between Howard Dean's position on the liberation of Iraq and Wesley Clark's as he expresses it here, except that Howard Dean has been more consistent in his opposition.

Let's recap:

"I would have voted for the right kind of leverage to get a diplomatic solution, an international solution to the challenge of Saddam Hussein."

Funny, no one who advocates this myopic vision can specify exactly what "the right kind of leverage is" to achieve their transnational progressive utopia, though they all have no doubt that it can be done easily by anyone but President George W. Bush. Dick Gephardt was particularly inept in his attempts to dodge a specific answer to this question when questioned by Tony Snow last week. I also can't help but wonder what the magical combination of words must be that somehow eluded Bill Clinton for eight years and the best minds of all the professional diplomats of the UN for eleven. I'm actually quite shocked, and a little disappointed, at how quickly Wesley Clark, who is so accomplished and who has achieved so much, became an empty suit.

It's now official: Wesley Clark -- all asshat, no cattle.

Posted by Charles Austin at September 19, 2003 10:01 PM

Sounds like someone from the Democrat power structure finally got a hold of Wesley Clark. "Now General, if you want to get elected as a Democrat, you can't go around saying that you probably would have supported the war. This is what you need to say..."

Posted by: Jon at 09:20 AM