Monday, September 15, 2003
Dick Gephardt, Miserable failure: Presidential hopeful and AWOL legislator Dick Gephardt appeared on Fox News Sunday and demonstrated unequivocally that he should never set foot anywhere near the White House.
In the first segment of the show, Secretary of State Colin Powell revealed that the French would like to have a solid date for turning over complete control of the country to the Iraqis. Powell further revealed that the French starting point for negotiations on that date is thirty days. Yes, three-zero, thirty days. I suspect that even Rep. Dennis Kucinich would balk at that deadline.
When Gephardt gets his turn, interviewer Brit Hume presents him with the French proposal and asks how he would negotiate with a French government that seems so out of touch with reality. (The "out of touch with reality" is my characterization, not Hume's.)
Gephardt's response is to say that Bush should have gone to the U.N. even earlier than it did in the run-up to the Iraq War. And once the battle was won (of course, he and other dwarfs, on other occasions claim that it still isn't won), we should have immediately gone to the U.N. and NATO seeking assistance.
After Gephardt's revisionist history lesson, Hume again presses his point: What would you do now? How would you, as president (God forbid), deal with France and its "thirty days" stance.
Gephardt's response: "I would negotiate tough with France."
Wrong. Gephardt's entire stance has shown that he would not "negotiate tough with France." Gephardt, and many Democrats, who place international consensus/approval above America's needs would do whatever it took to get France on board. In short, Gephardt would cave.
Hume, thankfully, gave Gephardt rope with which to hang himself, on the issue of dealing with North Korea.
In consecutive statements Gephardt demonstrated that he is a flat-out liar and an idiot.
Gephardt: My criticism is of what the administration did right after the president came into the presidency. Because he said the arrangement or the contract of the Clinton administration had reached with North Korea was appeasement. He criticized severely what President Clinton had done with the North Koreans and made it sound like he would never have put up with that agreement. And then he put them in the axis of evil after 9/11. And then said the leader of North Korea was one of the worst leaders in the world.
Well, Dick, isn't all of that true? Isn't Kim Jong Il one of the worst leaders in the world? His people starve to death while he spends money on nuclear weapons. And that isn't the half of it. From MSNBC.:
- At one camp, Camp 22 in Haengyong, some 50,000 prisoners toil each day in conditions that U.S. officials and former inmates say results in the death of 20 percent to 25 percent of the prison population every year.
- Products made by prison laborers may wind up on U.S. store shelves, having been "washed" first through Chinese companies that serve as intermediaries.
- Entire families, including grandchildren, are incarcerated for even the most bland political statements.
- Forced abortions are carried out on pregnant women so that another generation of political dissidents will be "eradicated."
- Inmates are used as human guinea pigs for testing biological and chemical agents, according to both former inmates and U.S. officials.
Maybe Gephardt would call such a "president" a "miserable failure." Then again, maybe not.
So, we kind of by rhetoric, pulled back from an agreement that was making some sense and got us in a pretty good place.
Hume: Didn't North Korea break that agreement?
Gephardt: North Korea did after all these statements. The president was left an agreement from another administration that I think was a sound agreement. It sure was better than having a war with North Korea, and he disparaged the agreement. Put them in a very unusual category without explaining, you know, why they were there and so we wind up with them pulling out of the agreement; announcing they've violated the agreement. And now we've got to scurry around to get back to the agreement that he called appeasement at the outset. I don't think this is a good performance.
This man can never be entrusted with the presidency.
First, Gephardt seems to argue that it's Bush's fault that the North Koreans violated the agreement, when the historical record confirms that North Korea had violated the agreement long before Bush was elected, let alone uttered the words "axis of evil."
Second, Gephardt believes that ignorance is bliss when it comes to nuclear weapons in the hands of Kim Jong Il. Bush's classification of them in the axis of evil prompts them not to violate the appeasement/agreement, but forces them into "announcing they've violated the agreement." It's not the violation that's bad -- it's admitting it.
Third, only a madman would want to "get back to the (1994) agreement." What good was it? The North Koreans violated it for years, before fessing up. Gephardt appears to be the proverbial insane man who will try the exact same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.
It's questionable that the other Democratic candidates will have the intestinal fortitude to correct Gephardt -- it would win them no votes from the angry left.
But if Gephardt ends up winning the Democratic primary, expect this interview to come back and bite him in the butt. Democrats have to be at the very least credible on national security to be elected. Gephardt has officially failed that test.
Addendum: Questioned later about Palestinian leader/terrorist Yasser Arafat, Gephardt referred to him as a "failure," not a "miserable failure." Apparently that appelation is reserved for George W. Bush alone.