Its a pitty that when the Whitehouse Press Corps gets publicly humiliated, that doesn't make News... especially as the media try so very hard to both make and be the stories. A recent exchange between Tony Snow and the White House Press Corp, regarding the remarks from Oregon's Senator calling the War in Iraq 'criminal,' left both Press and Gordon Smith feeling the formidable sting of Snow. Compliments of Newsmax, via Free Republic.
Reporter: Republican Sen. Gordon Smith, last week, said, "Our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day, it's absurd. It may even be criminal," and that he can no longer support this. What is your reaction to a Republican senator saying that what's going on right now in Iraq is criminal?
Snow: Well, we dispute the "criminal" part, obviously, and at the same time, understand the senator's concern.
We share the concern about not doing well enough fast enough. But do not assume that people are simply being blown up. They are on missions. And as General Corelli said last week, "There's not an engagement our people have lost, but it is still important to continue the work of building greater capability and capacity on the part of the Iraqi government and helping them out."
People on both sides are going to have disagreements, much as Joe Lieberman, formerly a Democrat, apparently run out of his party for disagreeing with what was seen as orthodoxy at that time . . .
Reporter: Republican Sen. Smith is challenging the strategy. What he basically said yesterday, as well, was, when you do the same thing over and over again without a clear strategy for victory, that is dereliction, that is deeply immoral. Such is the dispute. He's saying what the president is doing is immoral.
Snow: Well, then we disagree.
Reporter: You're just going to blow it off? A Republican senator is saying the president's policy may be criminal and it's immoral, and you're just saying, we just disagree?
Snow: And what would you like me to say? Should I do duels at 10 paces?
Reporter: Don't you think you should answer for that? You're saying — you've said from this podium over and over that the strategy is a victory, right? And you have a Republican senator is saying there is no clear strategy, that you don't have a strategy.
Snow: Well, let's let Sen. Smith hear what the president has to say. We understand that this is a time where politics are emotional in the wake of an election. And you know what? Sen. Smith is entitled to his opinion. But I'm not sure exactly what you would like —
Reporter: Well, how about answering the central thrust about the strategy, not about, like, politics —
Snow: OK, the strategy is pretty simple. If you take a look, for instance — if you take a look at the Baker-Hamilton commission report, what do they talk about?
They talk about building greater capability on the part of the Iraqis so that you can have an Iraqi government that governs itself, sustains itself, defends itself, who's ally in the war on terror is a democracy.
I don't think it's immoral to be a democracy. I don't think it's immoral to have a state that is able to stand up and defend itself against acts of terror. I don't think it's immoral to defend the Iraqi people against acts of terrorism aimed at Muslims.
Reporter: The senator is not saying that's immoral. He's saying that the U.S. — he's saying, of course democracy is a great goal . . .
Snow: You know what, Ed? Ed, I'll tell you what. You're engaging in an argument and you're trying to fill in the gaps . . .
Reporter: It's not an argument. It's a Republican senator saying it, not me. It's a Republican senator saying it, and he's not . . . Are you saying Republican Sen. Smith is not in favor of democracy?
Snow: Well, I don't know. You just said he said it's immoral; when I listed the elements of the policy, you said that's not what he was talking about. So please tell me what he was talking about.
Reporter: He's saying that day after day, U.S. soldiers are . . . caught up in the middle of a civil war — not about the government there —
Snow: OK, here's what's immoral: the killing of American soldiers. We agree.
Bravo, Tony! Would that our so-called Republican Senator from Oregon were likewise acccomplished in the art of Reason, he'd not feel the need to pandor to the fetid core of Leftwing politics in an effort to save his seat. Soon enough, Smith is sure discover what his Senate colleague, Chafee, has since learned, that the Left will never lend their support to a Republican...
... and Republicans will never lend their support to a listless coward.