Actually, Senator, you did…

National Journal’s daily morning brief Hotline gives Senator John Edwards the “Quote of the Day” this morning:

“We didn’t give Bush the authority to screw this thing up the way he has.”

The Kerry/Edwards team has been trying to walk a fine. On one hand, they can’t be opposed to the war – they both voted for it and the American public hasn’t turned against it quite yet. On the other hand, they can’t say it’s gone off without a hitch, mostly because it hasn’t – oh, and they’ve got to find a point of contrast with the President.

The Republicans aren’t the only ones playing Monday morning quarterback with Kerry and Edwards’ voting record: the Democratic candidates are doing it themselves as well. When Congress voted to give blanket authority to the Executive Branch, they ceded a major portion of their viability as an arbiter national defense.

Congress decides when we go to war – and in this case, they decided to cede that responsibility to the Executive Branch. Good idea? Probably not, especially when it may set a precedent. Regardless, it doesn’t absolve Congress – nor any Member who voted to cede control – of the ultimate responsibility.

Edwards’ underlying point is that he trusted the President not to screw up the whole thing. Fair enough, Senator – certainly Bush deserves a large share of criticism for the failures of the war. What the Senator glosses over (and perhaps outright disavows): that buck doesn’t stop at the White House – it stops at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. If he didn’t want the President to screw it up, perhaps he should have voted to keep the authority where it belongs – in the Capitol.

Printed from: http://devilsadvocacy.com/2004/09/30/actually-senator-you-did/ .
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