William Saletan siezes upon Bush’s closing statement in the press conference last night, which I must confess made my jaw drop:
One thing is for certain, though, about me, and the world has learned this: When I say something, I mean it. And the credibility of the United States is incredibly important for keeping world peace and freedom.
I find it nearly impossible to describe how angry President Bush’s refusal to admit any mistakes at all made me. Perhaps he refused to answer those questions because his political advisors told him that admitting any mistakes would provide ammunition to the Kerry campaign, but everyone already knows about Bush’s mistakes (except for the Bush supporters in the deepest denial), and his refusal to cop to them just makes him look crazy (to me). Even if Bush were to confine himself to postwar planning for Iraq, there are plenty of mistakes to choose from, and that’s before you get into the botched job of hunting al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, the botched job of reconstructing Afghanistan, or the credibility destroying arguments that the we used to justify invading Iraq.
The other alternative is that Bush doesn’t think he’s made any mistakes, which leads to the conclusion that Bush believes that where we are today is the best case scenario, and that’s disturbing.