Sunday, April 06, 2003

Cancel the elections

Everyone commenting on the John Kerry debacle has so far focused on the fact that Kerry has fought back admirably against the Republican attacks against him. And when the Republicans have been castigated, it has, for good cause, focused on the fact that they questioned Kerry's patriotism.

But there is a deeply insidious aspect to the Republican attacks. Take, for instance, the press release from RNC chairman Marc Racicot:
"Senator Kerry crossed a grave line when he dared to suggest the replacement of America's commander-in-chief at a time when America is at war. Critical analysis offered in the best interests of the country is part of a healthy democracy. But this use of self-serving rhetoric designed to further Senator Kerry's political ambitions at a time when the lives of America's sons and daughters are at stake reflects a complete lack of judgment."

Oh really? Does Racicot then believe that the elections of 1972, 1968, 1964, 1944, 1918, and 1864 should have been canceled? Because in each of those elections, the nation was at war. And the replacement of America's commander-in-chief was an open question that no one would have dared to challenge.

It could not be more clear that Racicot is suggesting that "replacing the commander-in-chief" is an unacceptable proposition during wartime, and even talking of doing so is nearly treasonous.

Racicot really needs to explain his remarks. If America is at war in 2004 -- which is clearly a possiblity -- will Racicot and the GOP suggest that anyone daring to challenge Bush has "crossed a grave line"?

I used to chuckle at the left-wing worry warts who suggested paranoiacally that Republicans intended to cancel the next elections. Maybe I shouldn't have.

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