From a reader:
I’ve been following this whole “secret plan” debate between you, Marshall, and Taranto. I have to say that even though I don’t find Marshall’s original point very compelling, I find his defenses from your attacks even weaker.
Marshall writes “the great majority of the American people have no concept of what kind of conflict the president is leading them into.” But as you note, the administration hasn’t exactly kept its plans a secret. Maybe it’s because I read a lot of punditry, but I’ve known certain administration officials have wanted to democratize the Middle East for several years now. It would seem to me that if people don’t realize this, it’s because they’re not reading about it, not because Bush is concealing it. An analogy: just because “the vast majority of the American public” doesn’t know that Rod Paige is the Secretary of Education doesn’t mean Bush’s nomination of Paige was a secret, or that Bush is concealing Paige’s service. Marshall somehow shifts the blame for the public’s lack of interest from the actual people who don’t care to the the White House.