Chris WallaceAnyone who watched The Flintstones growing up remembers The Great Gazoo. He was an annoying green alien who had all sorts of magical powers. He called Fred and Barney “dum-dums” when, in fact, he was usually the dumb one. The media’s recent obsession with asking Republicans if the Iraq War was a “mistake” — as if we all had Gazoo’s ability to travel through time, or that the Iraq we see today was inevitable based solely on one decision — is absurd. It’s infantile. Marco Rubio tried to use logic and reason to bust through Mr. Wallace’s Gazoo skull on Sunday, but failed.

Mediaite reported Sunday:

In perhaps the closest cable news has ever come to a genuine Abbott and Costello bit, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace attempted to get an answer out of Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) over whether he would have invaded Iraq, and also who was on first.

Wallace repeatedly asked Rubio whether he would have invaded Iraq knowing what he knows now, and Rubio continued to answer according to the intelligence available in 2002. They went around this loop about half a dozen times.

In short, Mr. Wallace was unable to see the difference between the question “Was it a mistake to invade Iraq in 2003?” and “Would you have invaded Iraq if a little green alien told you beforehand that there were not huge stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Saddam Hussein’s possession?”

Marco Rubio has answered “no” to the first question and “no” to different variations of the second question, but for some reason the media refuses to acknowledge the difference between the two.

What would Iraq have looked like if President Obama had secured a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq? Even former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta has criticized the president for how he handled the draw down and exit of U.S. troops in December, 2011.

What would Iraq look like today if Mr. Obama didn’t treat the Islamic State group — which he called a “J.V. team” in June, 2014 — as a “local” problem? What would Iraq look like if on September 9, 2014 — when Mr. Obama said he didn’t have a strategy for dealing with the Islamic State group — he was actually prepared?

Chain reactionThe point isn’t to put all the blame on Mr. Obama for what Iraq looks like today — the point is to show that the premise of the “Was it a mistake?” question is incredibly flawed. The popular answer is to just say “Yes. It was a mistake, and I would not have invaded Iraq if I was president in 2003,” but that isn’t the answer any serious presidential candidate would give.

Some reasons include:  a.) intelligence work on tyrannical police states is by its very nature based on murky evidence, and b.) no one running for president at this time received the intelligence briefings George W. Bush did (in a post-9/11 world, no less).

To add insult to injury, this is the line of questioning Republicans can expect to receive as long as Jeb Bush hangs around. The media would love nothing more than to talk about George W. Bush from now until election day. It may not be fair, but that is political reality. It is rather selfish for Mr. Bush to run for president when he knows that the media will keep everyone — particularly the Republican Party — mired in the past in order to assist its preferred (Democratic) candidate.

If Marco Rubio wants to win the Republican nomination, then he needs to do a better job swatting down the media’s multitude of Great Gazoos. He survived Chris Wallace’s weird line of questioning, but it was awkward. Let’s hope that he has learned from this experience and comes up with a strategy for navigating future minefields of inane questioning.

Advertisements

About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

6 comments

  1. Its not October of 2002 when the resolution passed. The question is what to do now, not then. Then is over, there is a whole industry of alternate history to discuss what ifs and what could have happened differently; and as Doug says one decision didn’t make Iraq what it is today. Clinton, Kerry and Biden all voted for the resolution, according to Obama this made them unfit for the Dem nomination in 2008, yet apparently very fit for high positions within his administration … further suggesting this a silly exercise to delve into. GW Bush and his administration made those decisions; Rubio wasn’t even there. Lets see what he proposes going forward.

    I do almost wonder if FOX has thrown their support in with Jeb Bush, I saw an interview with Rubio and O’Reily a few days back, and I thought O’Reily was running roughshod over Rubio’s answers also. As Rubio unusually states, he’s not running for yesterday; hopefully the Gazoos of the world will understand this. Does anyone else remember the Great Space Coaster? Maybe Fox can ressurect Gary Gnu to interview Rubio next week and make this a bigger farce. I hope Rubio hangs tough with these clowns and doesn’t lose his optimism.

    1. The Great Space Coaster was its own show in the early to mid eighties; it was on channel 32 (which became FOX) in Chicago. I could be mistaken, but when it went off the air they may have replaced it with Thundercats :). “Gary Gnu” was a green puppet….who I guess was a gnu….that did the news segment.

      Regardless, a puppet or a gnu could have done a better job with the Rubio interview; not one of Chris Wallace’s finer segments. The Gazoo head may be my favorite photo manipulation you have ever done!

    2. Usually I think Chris Wallace does a pretty good job, but for whatever reason he decided to lose all common sense in this interview.

      I’m glad that you liked the picture of Chris “Gazoo” Wallace. 🙂

  2. Chris Wallace was unfair in his questioning of Marco Rubio. Maybe Marco Rubio should have used the same response Hillary Clinton gave to the Senate committee when they asked her about Bengazi and she replied “What difference does it make”. What difference does it make Mr. Wallace what the decision would be today looking back on facts and circumstances that were available in 2002?

    1. I suspect one of the reasons why Hillary Clinton has avoided interviews like the plague since declaring her run for the presidency is because she knows that she will have to answer tough questions. “What difference does it make?” will not do her any favors.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s