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Tuesday, November 15, 2005
The President's Veterans Day Speech

On Friday, President Bush gave a Veterans Day speech at Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania. It was a substantive account of why we are and should be at war, who the enemy is, and how things are going. I didn't hear the speech. I generally prefer to read his speeches, which allows me to focus on the substance, not the delivery. (Sometimes I'm impatient with his delivery and get distracted.)

In fact, I had not yet read the speech, when I happened to notice that David Kusnet of The New Republic had written that this might be the worst speech of Bush's presidency. He cited three reasons: it was too long, too focused on policy, and partisan. I thought, anything the left will attack in those terms must be worth reading. So I read it. It was good.

The idea that speeches on Veteran's day should be non-partisan is a bit of a stretch. I didn't see the opposition set aside its partisanship for a day! Moreover, calling Bush's speech partisan is even more of a stretch, unless your party is Baath. The President did briefly mention that some folks are still busily trying to rewrite history for partisan gain, insisting that the White House deliberately deceived us and them about the justification for war. That was a small part of the speech and rather restrained, in any case. He mentioned his 2004 opponent, but not by name. In fact, he didn't mention any names in this context, but we all know they are mostly Democrats and media. There has been at least one investigate into the war's prelude, with no evidence found that the White House deliberately deceived us. Apparently some people still want it investigated more, at least to keep it in the news.

Some of the many who do not hate the President bitterly may be hoping that the next investigation, or the one after that, will finally persuade people that the President did not, in fact, lie, so we can move on to real problems and substantive issues. Don't get your hopes up. If my experience with the rabid "Bush lied" crowd is any indicator, facts, evidence, and logic need not apply. They will believe what they choose to believe, no matter who from what party tells them otherwise.

Here are two places to read the speech: WhiteHouse.gov and JewishWorldReview. Make your own judgment -- but after you've read the speech itself, not just on the basis of what was said on the news.

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