Bush pretends he's just blowing off the French. But his comments show a pattern of blowing off external feedback in general. He shrugs off information that debunks his claims about WMD, arguing that it's more important for a president to understand the overall nature of the world. He defines credibility as agreement with himself. He reinterprets evidence of policy mistakes in postwar Iraq as evidence of success. In Thursday's debate, he dismissed unwelcome reports from that country as too offensive to heed. And according to Sunday's New York Times, he and his aides exaggerated Iraq's nuclear capability, ignoring warnings from "the government's foremost nuclear experts."
Bush claims he has done all this to protect you. But that claim is precisely what's challenged by the evidence he conceals or disregards. What he's protecting you from is the ability to measure his assertions against the world that you and I can see. That's the global test he's mocking. And he expects you to applaud him for it, because he thinks you resent the French so much you'd rather have a president accountable to no one.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
Are the Attacks in Canada a Sign of ISIS on the Rise in the West?
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
Watch Little Girls Swear for Feminism
Fascinating Maps Based on Reddit, Craigslist, and OkCupid Data
The Real Secret of Serial
What reporter Sarah Koenig actually believes.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.