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So What If Our President Is A Nimcompoop?

While President Bush's admittedly impressive shoe-dodging skills are the top story of the day, let me call your attention to an inteview he did with ABC's Martha Radditz while in Baghdad, particularly this bit, as transcribed by Mike Allen:

Raddatz: Let's talk about this trip. Your last trip to the region as president. Your last trip to Iraq. Surely your legacy will be largely about this war. Talk to me about how that feels being here? The last trip and what you really think that legacy will be.

Bush: Well, first of all I think a president's legacy is going to take time. We've accomplished a lot in my administration. Like No Child Left Behind; 52 months of uninterrupted job growth; PEPFAR, which is the AIDS initiative in Africa; fighting malaria, where there's poverty; faith based; I mean there a lot that people will be able to judge this administration on. Clearly, one of the most important parts of my job because of 9/11 was to defend the security of the American people. There have been no attacks since I have been president, since 9/11. One of the major theaters against al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al Qaeda said they were going to take their stand. …

Raddatz: But not until after the U.S. invaded.

Bush: Yeah, that's right. So what? The point is that al Qaeda said they're going to take a stand.
[Emphasis added.]

There is an undeniable logic to what Bush is saying: Once al Qaeda decided to make its stand in Iraq, there was a case to be made that U.S. forces had to stay and fight them there. I'm not saying that case was right, but it was a case. Nevertheless, the fact that Bush still refuses to even acknowledge what led to al Qaeda making its stand in Iraq--i.e. our invasion--still manages to shock. I know it shouldn't at this point, but it does.

P.S. Bush was a big fan of the "so what" expression on this trip. He also used it in his Baghdad press conference, to wit:

So what if a guy threw a shoe at me? 

I'd say it was slightly more appropriate in that context.

--Jason Zengerle