Friday, October 01, 2004

The Charge Not Answered

Yglesias says:

THE CHARGE NOT ANSWERED. The main thing that lends debates -- as opposed to normal speeches -- some interest is that even when the candidates aren't allowed to directly address one another, they still set up their charges in such a way as to clearly imply that the other guy ought to be responding to his opponents' attacks. In that light, it's worth highlighting one charge Kerry made several times that Bush never responded to directly -- namely that the reason Osama bin Laden is at large threatening the United States rather than dead on the battlefield was the Bush administration's decision to "outsource" the battle of Tora Bora.
I've never heard any of Bush's allies offer a convincing defense of this decision, and it's a critique Kerry's been leveling on-and-off ever since the day it happened. Tonight, Bush didn't even try. A tacit admission, perhaps, that Kerry was right. I think that means Kerry ought to press the assault forward and start bringing this up more often. Force the president to either admit he was wrong and puncture his self-cultivated mystique of infallibility or else offer some kind of defense. I don't see what he could possibly have to say for himself.