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Checking Candidates' Votes on War

Citation

Publication Date: 
January 29, 2008
Format: 
Op-Ed or News Article
Bibliography: George Fisher, Checking Candidates' Votes on War, San Jose Mercury News, January 29, 2008, pg. 12A.

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Professor George Fisher wrote an op-ed for the San Jose Mercury Times on presidential candidates' war voting records:

The statute of limitations on Iraq war votes expires Feb. 5. With party nominees probably fixed, there will be no more political accountability. Voters have one last chance to judge how candidates fared on their most telling character test.

The concern is not that candidates who favored war in 2002 were wrong. Yes, they were wrong to think Iraq's weapons of mass destruction threatened our security. They were wrong to think the president's plans included winning the peace.

If these candidates were simply wrong, we should question their judgment, not their character. But what if they were right? What if they doubted the justice or wisdom of war - and voted to authorize war anyway? What if they supported war to avoid seeming weak and un-presidential?