Now some of those who voted for the war are struggling with how to explain their votes. Well they should be struggling. Why should we trust their judgment and courage now?
Back in 2002, and early 2003, Bush didn't fool me with his WMD threats. Rice's warnings sounded hollow to me. When Colin Powell went before the United Nations and started talking about satellite images and movable laboratories... I knew right then and there that he was full of it, that he had sold out his integrity to follow the Bush party line.
I knew. A lot of other people knew. JOhn Kerry should have known. Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden should have known. If they didn't, they were not paying attention. IF they did know and they still voted FOR the war, then they sold out their constituents and America.
I'd like to see a Democratic presidential candidate who did not vote for the war. I want to see someone who was able to figure it out back then, not someone who made a mistake, not someone who now knows differently, when there was enough information then.
Sorry John Edwards. It's good that you admit you made a mistake, and you're doing better than Hillary, who won't admit it. But you both should have known then that Bush was lying, that COlin Powell had sold out. Millions of Americans went to the streets, trying to tell you. You didn't make a mistake. You made a decision, a bad decision. It is not one I am willing to accept your apology for.
There are candidates who saw what was really happening. I want that kind of person making the big decisions for America. There are candidates who were tough enough to stand up against the tide of pressure to say NO to Bush and to his war. I want that kind of person to be facing the tough choices and the raised voices of power that the president faces, not people who caved, not people who couldn't see through the lies to the real truth.
The Iraq war vote was a really big test. You either passed it or flunked it. It's that simple. It was a test of courage and a test of vision, a test of insight and a test of ability to sift through facts, evidence and then, to make the right decision.
Funny. As I write this, the candidates forum held before AFSCME, in Reno. Dennis Kucinich comes on. He has two minutes. Here's part of what he says, really, as I'm writing this,
"It must be really tough for candidates to come before the American people and claim that they were tricked, deceived, misled... by George Bush."
"People are looking for a president who has the ability to do the right thing when it matters most.
Mike Gravel, at the same forum, says, "There were tens of millions of americans had the view that we shouldn't invade Iraq."
Later the following morning, I catch some of the beginning of the same forum.
Chris Dodd talks about being about to admit to making mistakes. And he admits he made a mistake.
Hillary Clinton says, "My vote was a sincere vote based on the facts and assurances I had at the time."
(unfortunately, I had to leave, and couldn't watch the other candidates' statements.)
Clearly, my thoughts on this are not alone. There are plenty of candidates who didn't vote for the war. And I wouldn't rule out the possibility of finally supporting one who did, especially if he or she fesses up and faces the failure he or she demonstrated earlier. Edwards saying he made a mistake is just a start.
Just to be clear, at this point, I have not yet chosen a candidate I am getting behind.