It looks like Karl Rove has started framing the discourse for the mid-term elections. Regarding the issue of the Iraq war, an AP article reported:
Without specifically mentioning Democrats, the president urged politicians to ”conduct this debate responsibly.”
He said he welcomed ”honest critics,” but he termed irresponsible ”partisan critics who claim that we acted in Iraq because of oil or because of Israel or because we misled the American people,” as well as ”defeatists who refuse to see that anything is right.”
With that description, Bush lumped the many Democrats who have accused him of twisting prewar intelligence with the few people, mostly outside the mainstream, who have raised issues of oil and Israel.
Bush argued that irresponsible discussion harms the morale of troops overseas, emboldens insurgents and sets a bad example for Iraqis trying to establish democracy.
”In a free society, there’s only one check on political speech and that’s the judgment of the American people,” the president said to applause from a gathering of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. ”So I ask all Americans to hold their elected leaders to account and demand a debate that brings credit to our democracy, not comfort to our adversaries.”
”Patriotic Americans will continue to ask the tough questions because our brave men and women in Iraq, their families and the American people deserve to know that their leaders are being held accountable,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.
So, if you question the president’s handling of the war, you’re dishonest, irresponsible, defeatist, partisan, treasonous and unpatriotic. Nice.