The Corner

Tapped V. G-File

Matt Yglesias takes exception to my skewering of Kerry and Edwards for voting against the reconstruction money. He suggests it’s unfair for me to suggest Kerry and Edwards don’t have a plan for Iraq. Rather Kerry and Edwards simply voted against Bush’s plan because they have a better one. As Yglesias seems to understand — since he thinks Kerry and Edwards should have voted in favor of the bill — this really doesn’t cut it. At the end of the day, you get an up or down vote. The choise was yes or no, plan or no plan. This is a point Gephardt made at the Detroit debate:

I think we all try to do what we think is right. That’s what I try to do. I thought the right thing to do, even though I want part of it to be a loan and have a lot of other suggestions about where the money could come from, in the end you’re presented in the Congress with a vote, up or down on the $87 billion. And I can’t find it within myself to not vote for the money to support the troops, our young men and women who are over there protecting us, dodging bullets in a very tough and difficult situation. And so, I felt the right thing to do was to do that.

If we’re going to have a new standard which says legislators get a free pass for not supporting X or Y so long as they can claim to have a “better” plan for X or Y, then I do hope we’ll never hear about Republicans voting against Bill Clinton’s economic plan ever again.

Moreover, while I’m sure Yglesias follows the finer points of Edwards’ and Kerry’s policy positions, I have to say having listened to them in numerous interviews it’s pretty generous to say they had “alternative plans.” All I’ve heard is a cacophony of double-talk from Kerry, Edwards and Clark. Dean’s actually offered a bit more substance — bad substance, but substance nonetheless.

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