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  • execooo1 execooo1 Mar 25, 2004 6:21 PM Flag

    Common sense suggests that those

    who led the nation for eight years before 9/11 bear greater responsibility than those who led the nation for less than eight months. Nothing in the hearings disturbed that notion. In fact, I thought Ms. Albright's testimony tended to underscore it. She spoke of the "megashock" of 9/11 and repeatedly suggested there was no political will on the part of the American people before that date to attack the Taliban or invade Afghanistan.

    She's right. There was no movement among voters to take out Al Qaeda. Most people didn't know what al Qaeda was. But that of course is where leadership comes in.

    You have to understand that Clinton was purely a poll driven politician, and if the numbers aren't there he won't move.

    Abraham Lincoln once said that public opinion is everything. Lincoln, however, did not sit around musing that he'd like to abolish slavery but the people don't want it, or that he'd like to hold the country together but voters don't like body bags, and anyway what's the exit strategy? (In fact Lincoln, in his war, had an exit strategy: Kill them until they give up, then leave.)

    Ronald Reagan had his head kicked in every day for taking steps he actually believed were right, such as helping the Nicaraguan democrats against the communist Sandinistas. He paid the price, enduring cries of "warmonger" and "cowboy." But in the end the Sandinistas were vanquished and democracy came.

    Mr. Clinton never wanted to pay the price. He wanted to be popular. And so he campaigned hard on child safety seats and midnight basketball. Baby issues.

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