April 23, 2007

johnmeacham.jpg Russert asks Meacham a direct question about Giuliani flip-flopping on his gun control stance and he never once mentions Rudy by name, or his position except in the broadest sense possible. Instead, he spends his time discussing the Democratic Party's shortcomings on this issue. Why was it taboo to give us his opinion on Giuliani?

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And then he has the nerve to call the Iraq war a "grand historical bet." We have thousands of troops dead and countless innocent Iraqis who will never breathe again and his analysis is to call the decision to go into Iraq a bet? Is he kidding me? He's saying that Bush threw a hundred dollar bill on a chance to roll a six at the dice table. We weren't told that the Iraq was was a game of chance. There was supposed to be flowers and chocolates and a field of dreams when we got there. The Iraqis were ready to embrace the US for coming to their rescue. Isn't that what Cheney said? Yes, I'd love to see him impeached...

By trying to analyze the situation in such an elitist way that so many of the gang of 500 often do, he cheapens the political debate in this country and a chance to steer them in on an honest course....(Transcript below the fold)

MR. RUSSERT: ...about gun control. Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, this is an article from Newsday, the Long Island newspaper. “[Rudy] Giuliani this week issued statements on gun control and late term abortion that differ sharply from his previous positions, opening him up to ‘flip-flop’ charges by activists. The gun control switch seems particularly stark. As New York mayor, Giuliani didn’t just support tough controls—he became former President Bill Clinton’s go-to Republican to lobby a GOP Congress to back an assault weapons ban.

“Later, Giuliani joined a lawsuit against gun makers and called for a ‘uniform law passed by Congress’ to regulate handgun ownership.” That’s not part of his agenda now.

MR. MEACHAM: No, and I think you saw what the Democrats—there was a lot of kind of deafening silence, in a way, on the gun issue most of the week. You know that in 1994 the Republican blowout was to some extent, and in some quarters, blamed on the crime bill, on President Clinton’s anti-crime legislation. I know that people close to the Gores blame the loss of Tennessee in 2000, and therefore the loss of the presidency, on the gun issue. And so I think the Democrats are very touchy about this, and the Republicans are, rather predictably at this point, playing, playing to the base. It’s an inevitable conversation that comes up after one of these horrible things. We have a piece in Newsweek this week by Mike Bloomberg, who is, argues, “Let’s enforce what’s on the books. Let’s crack down on illegal guns.” And I think you’ll see more of that moderate Bloomberg-Schwarzenegger wing of politics taking the lead on this.

MR. MEACHAM: I think we’re in this odd moment where everyone wants to support the troops, but move away from the mission. And the Democrats are living in terror of—and I think that’s the reaction to Senator Reid’s comments—is to look as though they’re being unsupportive of the troops, because that is a—to link all these things together—that’s an American value. That’s something we should all share. We should be—in the political culture at the moment, we should be supporting the troops in the field, we should be taking care of them when we come home. That’s become a very live political question. And when the language of lives wasted, which Senator McCain said on Letterman, and had to...

MR. RUSSERT: Senator Obama.


MR. MEACHAM: Senator Obama. People don’t want to hear that more than 3,000 American lives have been wasted in a war that, whatever you think about the run-up and the intelligence failures, was undertaken with Congress and with the broad support of the American people and is a grand historical bet. And it’s something that we are not going to know whether it’s worked or not worked for a long time.

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