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Friday, October 29, 2004

The endorsement neither candidate wanted

And thank Allah that neither one got it. I've struggled a few times trying to explain my feelings about how to treat the opinions of people who are not respected. Most recently, I complained about the Kerry campaign jumping on the story about the Iranian leadership endorsing Bush. That particular gaffe looks particularly foolish now that the new Osama tape has come out. If OBL had specifically said that Kerry should be elected, whatever the reason, the Bushies would have been all over it, and could have cited the Kerryistas' reaction to the Iran endorsement as justification. If you don't respect terrorists, their opinion shouldn't count one way or the other to you. You act according to your own morals or interests or whatever, without regard to what they say or what you think they want. If "letting the terrorists win" is the best course of action, by all means let them win! The Spanish knew this back in March, voting out their sleazebag government despite the idiotic charges of "letting the terrorists win." You're not doing it to let them win; you're doing it because it's the best course of action. In an honest political system with integrity, all candidates would reject the opinions of those they don't respect not as wrong, necessarily, but irrelevant. Unfortunately, we are light-years away from an honest political system with integrity, and Osama might have derailed the Kerry express with an endorsement. Don't be surprised if Karl Rove stays up late tonight concocting a Zarqawi endorsement for Kerry.

Anyway, I think both Juan Cole and WIIIAI do a better job of reviewing Osama's latest video (due out on DVD in time for Christmas) than I would, so I'll refer you to them.