President Bush glossed over some complicating realities in Iraq , Afghanistan and the home front in arguing the case Americans are safer and his opponent cannot deliver.
On Iraq, Bush talked of a 30-member alliance standing shoulder to shoulder with the United States, masking the fact that U.S. troops are pulling by far most of the weight. On Afghanistan and its neighbors, he gave an accounting of captured or killed terrorists, but did not address the replenishment of their ranks — or the still-missing Osama bin Laden.
Bush’s acceptance speech Thursday night conveyed facts that told only part of the story, hardly unusual for this most political of occasions.
He took some license in telling Americans that Democratic opponent John Kerry “is running on a platform of increasing taxes.”
Kerry would, in fact, raise taxes on the richest Americans but as part of a plan to keep the Bush tax cuts for everyone else and even cut some of them more. That’s not a tax-increase platform any more than Bush’s plan for private retirement accounts is a platform to reduce Social Security benefits.
And on education, Bush voiced an inherent contradiction, dating back to his 2000 campaign, in stating his stout support for local control of education, yet promising to toughen federal standards that override local decision-making.
“We are insisting on accountability, empowering parents and teachers, and making sure that local people are in charge of their schools,” he said, on one hand. Yet, “we will require a rigorous exam before graduation.”
That, ladies and gentlemen, was a news report not and editorial.