Who's Really Keeping America Safe?
By Garance Franke-Ruta
Reactions to the dueling speeches by President Obama and former vice president Dick Cheney are flowing fast and furious. Two of the first (we'll add more as the day progresses):
William Kristol, The Weekly Standard Blog: "Obama's is the speech of a young senator who was once a part-time law professor--platitudinous and preachy, vague and pseudo-thoughtful in an abstract kind of way. This sentence was revealing: 'On the other hand, I recently opposed the release of certain photographs that were taken of detainees by U.S. personnel between 2002 and 2004.' 'Opposed the release'? Doesn't he mean 'decided not to permit the release'? He's president. He's not just a guy participating in a debate. But he's more comfortable as a debater, not as someone who takes responsibility for decisions.
"Cheney's is the speech of a grownup, of a chief executive, of a statesman. He's sober, realistic and concrete, stands up for his country and its public officials, and has an acute awareness of the consequences of the choices one makes as a public official and a willingness to take responsibility for those choices."
Josh Marshall, TPM: "11:20 AM ... Cheney starts things off classy with some snide comments about Obama's speech length....
11:28 AM ... Cheney now seems to be arguing he was psychologically traumatized by the experience of watching the 9/11 attacks like the rest of us did.
11:30 AM ... Shorter Cheney: If you don't agree with my torture policies, you don't take 9/11 seriously....
11:33 AM ... In many ways, it's obvious. But listening to Cheney, you get such a rich sense of the difference between these two men. Cheney, grizzly, paranoid and feeling and more than anything harshly partisan.
11:39 AM ... Calling torture 'torture' is libel.
11:42 AM ... I think the truest read on Cheney is his cutting and snide anger contrasted with his history of personal cowardice, ducking service in the Vietnam war he himself vociferously supported. Fear and anger are his defining emotions.
11:45 AM ... Wondering how long it took Bill Kristol to write this speech."
Web Politics Editor
May 21, 2009; 12:40 PM ET
Categories: The Debate Rages On...
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