This reader makes a point I’ve mulling for a while:
Just read Chafetz’ response. It’s the final sentence that bothers me. In the immortal words of Clint Eastwood in “Unforgiven,” “deserve ain’t got nuthin’ to do with it.” This isn’t a friggin’ job interview. The ONLY question is who has the “right stuff” to deal with the security issues before us. Whether Bush receives an A or and F in his handling of foreign policy really has no bearing except to the extent that it gives us a sense of what the future may bring. In that respect, does Chafetz actually believe that Kerry will perform better than Bush? Sure doesn’t sound like it from his response. The point being: grading the President retrospectively is only useful if it gives a clue to the future, specifically in the context of his opponent. In this instance – i.e., an existential war – voting against Bush because he doesn’t “deserve” it is silly.