The Moose found one passage in the President's Inaugural address particularly offensive and ahistorical.
One of the great myths that is advanced by many Republicans is that they are addressing the mess of terrorism that was bequeathed to them by President Clinton. And, unlike W., they claim, President Clinton was largely indifferent to advancing American ideals and fighting tyranny.
President Bush invoked that claim in yesterday's speech,
"For a half a century, America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders. After the shipwreck of communism came years of relative quiet, years of repose, years of sabbatical. And then there came a day of fire."
Although the Clinton efforts against Osama are not beyond criticism, it is not as if the Republicans were consumed by this threat. They were far more concerned about building a missile shield than stopping Al Qaeda. If Bush was focused on this danger in the 2000 campaign, it eluded the Moose. And even after he was briefed about the severity of the threat by the outgoing Clinton officials, Bush largely ignored the problem and focused on tax cuts for his donor class until 9/11.
And when it comes to fighting tyranny, E.J. Dionne points out in today's Washington Post,
"Repose? Sabbatical? Put aside the fact that in the years Bush dismisses, the United States stood up, slowly and reluctantly, to be sure, for freedom in Bosnia and Kosovo and Haiti. "
In fact, many Republicans fiercely opposed Clinton's efforts to spread freedom and halt tyranny in those countries. At the time, Governor Bush only belatedly supported the interventions.
On this point, W. was guilty yesterday of taking a sabbatical from the truth.