October 03, 2004

Global Test

Thomas Jefferson thought that the United States's actions needed to meet a global test:

The Declaration of Independence: When... it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another... a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation...

So did these guys:

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

One person thinks that the United States's actions don't have to satisfy any global test: George W. Bush. Who are the real patriots here? (a) George W. Bush, or (b) John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Hancock?

The fact is that the United States's only reason for being and biggest edge in war and diplomacy is that we are the Good Guys. George W. Bush never knew that--and still doesn't.


UPDATE: Mark Kleiman is on the case with "Jefferson's global test" as well.

Posted by DeLong at October 3, 2004 01:16 PM | TrackBack
Comments

BdL: "The fact is that the United States's only reason for being and biggest edge in war and diplomacy is that we are the Good Guys. George W. Bush never knew that--and still doesn't."

I disagree with you. I believe GW Bush thinks we're the good guys, but his reasoning follows a different line than mine.

GW Bush and many of his supporters believe that *because* we are the good guys, everything we do must be right.

I believe that in order to *be* the good guys, we must always strive to do the right thing.

In other words, I believe my actions create my moral standing; GWB believes that his moral standing confers rightness to his actions.

I had a boyfriend like this once, so I'm quite familiar with the mindset....

Posted by: rebecca blood at October 3, 2004 01:31 PM

"One person thinks that the United States's actions don't have to satisfy any global test: George W. Bush."

Except where North Korea is concerned, and then the opinions of China are paramount. (Except that they wouldn't be, but hey.)

Posted by: Grumpy at October 3, 2004 01:33 PM

A slight quibble. A regional approach to negotiating with North Korea strikes me as most helpful. China is on the border, and China is bent on a revolutionary movement to a middle class country. There is every reason for China to wish to work for peace between the Koreas and Japan and America.

Posted by: anne at October 3, 2004 01:44 PM

Re goodguys, a quote inspired by the last Bush administration:

We've got a thousand points of light
For the homeless man
We've got a kinder gentler machine gun hand

My son plays that song quite frequently, even though he was about 5 when it came out.

Posted by: sm at October 3, 2004 01:54 PM

We are lacking a foreign policy with an idealistic vision. Through the most difficult times in our history our leaders have sought to be especially hopeful, especially forward looking. We are passing through a time of crises and war, but we need to have a sense such as a Lincoln or Roosevelt might give of the sort of people we will become and the sort of world we wish as peace comes again.

Of course, we will always reserve the right to defent ourselves. But, more is needed. A sense of purpose that is clearly communicated when we defend ourselves as to the world of peace we perceive even in the midst of war.

Posted by: anne at October 3, 2004 02:04 PM

That's a weak argument Brad.

Frankly, I don't see how one gets anything close to a "global test" standard from the text of the Declaration. All it says is that in the case of dissolving political bands, one is required (by a decent respect for world opinion) to *declare the causes* for the decision. It doesn't mention any sort of standard that most be applied to that decision, or test it has to pass, only that you declare what your reasons are.

Even Bush fulfilled the weak requirement of *declaring* the causes for going to war. They were weak causes that didn't stand up to scrutiny. But he declared them in speeches and on television so the whole world could hear.

Obviously Kerry meant to assert something stronger. He said in the debate that one should be able to "prove" to the world that you were justified in your decision. So, in other word, not only are you required to *declare* your reasons, but your reasons should in some way *pass muster*, to the extent that they abount to a "proof" that you are in fact justified.

Posted by: Dan Kervick at October 3, 2004 02:09 PM

Are you saying that Jefferson's reasons are weak, and insufficient proof?

Posted by: Brad DeLong at October 3, 2004 02:28 PM

"Obviously Kerry meant to assert something stronger".

Kerry's "global test" is a "proof" that only the U.S. needs to find entirely convincing. Otherwise, we would always be constrained by world opinion, which Kerry specifically ruled out: "No president, though all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America. "

Such a "proof" amounts, then, to a well-formed declaration, a means of preserving (or now, restoring) the credibility of the U.S. Such credibility serves our interests, in the long run.

Posted by: Ken C. at October 3, 2004 02:38 PM

Bush's take on Ken C.'s sentiments comes down to paraphrasing Daffy Duck:

"Credibility, schmedibility--so long as I'm rich!"

Posted by: Derelict at October 3, 2004 02:51 PM

Hello Brad,

I've been doing a lot of that work lately, eg, long lists of things & people. I find the (ul) (li) (/ul) tags brighten things up a lot. (Substitute carens for the parens as I can't post actual html code.)

Posted by: Dave of Maryland at October 3, 2004 03:20 PM

"Bush's take on Ken C.'s sentiments comes down to paraphrasing Daffy Duck:"

Has it ever occurred to any of you TeeVee babies that the source of your disdain for Bush may be entirely based on how well he performs on television? Just curious.

:jackson

Posted by: jackson zed at October 3, 2004 03:32 PM

"Are you saying that Jefferson's reasons are weak, and insufficient proof?"

You really had to work overtime to miss his point, didn't you. He means something like this:

http://flyunderthebridge.blogspot.com/2004/10/gentlemen-meet-real-thomas-jefferson.html

Posted by: Patrick R. Sullivan at October 3, 2004 03:46 PM

Why should Bush think he should need to explain his actions in a way that exhibits a "decent respect to the opinions of mankind"? He's said that the interesting thing about being president is that he doesn't have to explain his decisions to anybody.

Posted by: Robert at October 3, 2004 04:56 PM

Juan Cole discusses Kerry's "global." juancole.com

Posted by: Jackie at October 3, 2004 05:32 PM

You've gotta read - and consider fairly - the whole phrase. Yeah, the DOI states in part, "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind....," but it continues with, " ...requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation..."

Jefferson - and the other Founding Fathers - indeed felt that the world should be informed as to the justification of the Revolution, so they gave "decent respect" to informing them. They also used the DOI to "declare the causes which" impelled them to declare Independence.

GWB was/is concerned that the world be informed as to the causes that impelled us to go to war with Iraq. The U. S. of A. gave plenty of notice and opportunity for others in the world to participate. Just as did the Founding Fathers.

Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin would have been sadly disappointed in their chosen brotheren, the French..........

-gdr-

Posted by: gdr at October 3, 2004 05:51 PM

Perhaps the two quotes come together better if you consider whether Kerry's test was a test on the validity of our argument. Since Vietnam (at least) the argument that a President shouldn't take his country to war without being able to first explain it to the American people. Isn't Kerry really saying that one test for whether that explanation is valid is our ability to convince foriegn governments?

That is to say that much of Europe did not buy into the reasons for this war. Sure some of them had some financial relationships that would be damaged, but they each had serious and credible points as to why we shouldn't attack. Those reasons should have been a red flag to more than just the President.

Posted by: Fr33d0m at October 3, 2004 06:20 PM

If Bush doesn't believe in the "global test", why did he send Colin Powell to bear false witness at the United Nations?

Posted by: FlamingModerate at October 3, 2004 06:27 PM

Global analysis (as opposed to local analysis)
Global variables in a program (as opposed to local variables)
Global condition (as opposed to a local one) etc.,etc.

Trying to further illustrate that global does not necessarilly mean international is a waste of time. During the debate, the drifting Bush latches on to something he clearly has failed to understand, thinking he has saved himself by finding something with which to get Kerry nailed (see, see, I told ya, he wants approval of the French - they're on the globe here ya see). When do we get to ignore this moron. Ugh.

Posted by: CSTAR at October 3, 2004 07:01 PM

Look, this whole issue is a lie and smear by the Bush campaign, and it should be explicitly labeled as such. Read what Kerry said. First, he said that he would not give a veto to any foreign country or organization to the US's right of self defense or a preemptive strike. That means any attempt to read the contrary into what he said next is a distortion. How could one be more plain than Kerry in his introductory statement?

Second, when Kerry talked about a "global test" the first thing he mentioned was presenting the case honestly and convincingly to the nation's own population -that is, US citizens. Then he obviously talked about having the evidence to back up one's reasons for the military action afterward to both your own people and the world. Where is the veto? There is none states or implied, in fact, he obviously rejected any idea of a veto.

So, this whole issue is a Bush lie and smear. So, you don't need to look up quotes by the founders. You simply have to repeat what Kerry said, and ask why the Bush campaign feels that it is OK to engage in a bald faced lie.

OK?

Even poor old CBS radio news, which I blasted in a previous post, couldn't help but point out this evening that Bush was engaging in distortion. After reporting Bush's slanderous lie, the White House correspondent added "but that was not what Kerry said." Everyone who can read English should see why that statement is true, and start the discussion there.

Posted by: jml at October 3, 2004 07:09 PM

Indeed, one just has to read the whole line Kerry said. His very next phrase talked about explaining war properly to your countrymen and people. He also said clearly that he would never give any other country a veto on the actions of the United States.

This is just the wingnuts desperately trying to grab onto an issue to save a disasterous performance for the Chimperor. But, hey, we have the 'can't pay for homeland security' meme to respond with. That would be devastating to Bush.

Posted by: erg at October 3, 2004 07:36 PM

Brad,

No I am not saying that Jefferson's reasons are weak. I was not talking about Jefferson's reasons, but about your own attempt to defend Kerry by appealing to Jefferson's statement. You asserted that "Jefferson thought that the United States's actions needed to meet a global test" and quoted that text from the Declaration in support. You thus implied that when Kerry said that US actions must pass a global test he was merely reiterating something Jeffersion had said, or thought.

But Jefferson does not say in this passage from the Declaration that US actions must meet a global test. He says, at most, that when the US acts it should declare the causes for its actions. (Actually he only says that when one people separate themselves from another, they should declare the cause; but I'll grant the broader claim that Jefferson would say the same thing about declarations of war.) "Declaring the causes" just does not mean the same thing as "passing a global test," in any reasonable sense of the latter phrase, including the sense that Kerry gave to it.

Ken C.

You say:

"Kerry's "global test" is a "proof" that only the U.S. needs to find entirely convincing. Otherwise, we would always be constrained by world opinion, which Kerry specifically ruled out: "No president, though all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America. "

Such a "proof" amounts, then, to a well-formed declaration, a means of preserving (or now, restoring) the credibility of the U.S. Such credibility serves our interests, in the long run."

But Kerry says more than that the proof is one that only the US needs find fully convincing. If that were the case, then it wouldn't be a "global" test, but a national one. Here is what Kerry actually said:

"But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons."

So, Kerry clearly says that not only must your countrymen understand the reasons for the action, but the action should be such that "you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons."

Now I think it is pretty clear that it is possible to produce a well-formed declaration of the reasons for your action, even in situations in which you can not prove to the world that you acted for legitimate reasons. For example, here is a well-formed declaration:

"We chose to invade Iraq so that our own domestic oilfield development companies could get the major piece of Iraq's oil action, and French and Russian companies would have their deals cancelled and not get any of that action."

But it's unlikely that this particular declaration would prove to the world that we acted for legitimate reasons. Declarations are not always proofs, even in a weak sense of "proof". (I'm not saying the above declaration is actually the reason for the invasion. I'm just making the logical point that a declaration, well-formed or otherwise, need not amount to a proof.)

Kerry knows the Bush campaign has been trying to pin the idea of a "foreign veto" or "UN permission slip" on him, and he has taken pains not to allow them to do so. Thus, given the message Kerry was trying to convey, he used a poor choice of words. Yes, Bush is probably distorting Kerry's intention, but Kerry should have known better, and been more careful not to use a phrase that is so easily distorted in this way. I know that when Kerry said it, my own internal alarm went off, so I'm not surprised Bush pounced on it.

Of course, Bush made many, many more mistakes in the debate than Kerry. But using the "global test" language was a mistake on Kerry's part. Given the position he had staked out before, I think he should probably have said something more like this: "Obviously, it is true that a President must act in the best interest of the United States, as he sees it. But it is also true that we live in a world in which our own interests are affected by the opinions of other nations. Thus, in weighing the effect of some action on the national interest the President must give due consideration to the impact the action will have on global opinion, and the possible harmful consequences for us of negative global opinion."

Posted by: Dan Kervick at October 3, 2004 08:26 PM

Yes, that is correct erg. And note that Kerry referred to honestly informing US public under the rubric of "global test" I just read Juan Cole's comment referred to by a poster above. Everyone should check it out. Cole even went and read an English dictionary! Wow! Clearly global means "comprehensive" or "overall" in this case.

Of course, this opens up another line of attack: Kerry didn't use the first simplet definition in the dictionary: so Kerry is very obscure, very... French. Very... superior and snotty, and vaguely unstrustworthy. Maybe... Kerry is speaking in code to Jane Fonda and Ho.

Look, the Prof should "get it" by now. It makes no difference at all what Kerry does or says... the other side will find something to twist or distort or lie about to make a fake issue. Kerry can sit or stand or lie down, he can turn left or right, or walk straight ahead, turn around, back up, dig, swim or flap his arms and fly. He can respond or not respond, he can respond by getting angry or be philosophical, or matter-of-fact, or dismiss it contemptuously, or turn it into a joke a la Reagan or Clinton... it makes no difference. There will be some smear. The GOP must have a reference manual, or some collection of algorithms for this. Sort of like a field guide with an identification key for which smear to use, or like you use to figure out what kind of nail to use for carpentry. "The Big Golden Book of Campaign Smear Protocols" or something like that.

You know they have one. However Kerry responds, you'll read in the newspaper tomorrow how five or six GOP big shots all used exactly the same response tomorrow. Is it just by chance the Dole's comments on the Swift Boat thing matched their attacks perfectly? What are the probabilities. Some blogger should keep score.

Posted by: jml at October 3, 2004 08:35 PM

Dan Kervick:
No, I disagree. Given the GOP smear method, if you try to do the impossible (be careful to preempt the inevitable smear that is coming no matter what you do or say) then you end up having to watch every word, and end up censoring your thoughts and natural mode of speech so much, that you won't be able to act like a normal human being unless perhaps in deep sleep at 4 AM. That won't get any votes.

If we must talk Jefferson, he wrote someplace, and I think wrote it more than once, that a nation's foreign policy must be moral, and that morality for a nation in foreign affairs should meet the same test as for an individual in his personal affairs. I cannot imagine Jefferson thinking it would be OK to go attack a person and then be unable to explain to your neighbors convincingly why you did so.

Here's one place in the Second Inaugural Address:
"We are firmly convinced, and we act on that conviction, that with nations, as with individuals, our interests soundly calculated, will ever be found inseparable from our moral duties; and history bears witness to the fact, that a just nation is taken on its word, when recourse is had to armaments and wars to bridle others."

I think this quote clearly places Jefferson with Kerry. Of course, one could interpret it differently. Bush could say that it means that if you declare yourself moral and good, then Jefferson says you don't have to give no stinking explanations to nobody. But that is obviously not what is meant, since the quote implies that the nation is so just and upright that its word is taken, that is, accepted, not merely self-righteously asserted.

Posted by: jml at October 3, 2004 08:49 PM

I love Cole's blog, and read it every day.

But I have read his comments on Kerry's statement, and cannot see at all why a fair-minded person would select Cole's interpretation of the intended meaning behind Kerry's use of the word "global". Cole argues that in the passage from the debate the word cannot mean "worldwide", and therefore must mean "complete". But his reasoning in support of the claim that it does not mean "worldwide" is very strained, to put it mildly. In fact, it is a jumble of confusion.

The "worldwide" reading is both the most obvious one, and the one that makes most sense in the context. Kerry explains his meaning in the very same sentence by saying that an action passes the global test when your countrymen can fully understand what your're doing *and* you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons. Surely the reference here to both "your coountymen" and "the world" indicates the obvious: that by using "global" in this context Kerry meant "worldwide"!

In his attempt to escape from this obvious reading Cole first says that since the "countrymen" clause of the sentence comes first and the "world" clause comes second, this somehow indicates that Kerry means the test applies to one's own countrymen "first and foremost". He then notes that convincing your own citizens is not a worldwide matter. And thus, "global" does not mean "worldwide" here. Thus is a pretty laughable argument.

Suppose I said "Sven is a bachelor in that he is unmarried and he is male." Cole's argument is analogous to this:

"Kervick's reference to maleness comes only in the last clause in this sentence. The reference to being unmarried comes in the previous clause. So when he says Sven is a bachelor, he means *first and foremost* that Sven is unmarried. But being unmarried is not sufficient for being a bachelor in the usual sense, so Dan must mean something else by "bachelor" here. By a process of elimination, I conclude that he means Sven has a bachelor's degree."

Isn't it obvious how ridiculous this argument is? But it's structure is the same as Cole's argument.

In dealing with the troublesome second clause that says the action which passes the global test is such that you can prove to the world that it was justified, Cole says "It is only in the last clause of the sentence where the rest of the world comes up. Kerry is not suggesting that it be asked its opinion *beforehand*. He used the *past tense*. He is saying that only by first passing the global test with Americans could the US hope, after the fact, to prove to the world that what had been done was legitimate."

But what the tense has to do with whether Kerry means "worldwide" by "global" is perplexing. For whether the proof to the world of the action's legitimacy comes before or after the action in question, the key factor is surely that Kerry says it is a proof "to the world". The tense used here is entirely irrelevant to whether "global" means "worldwide."

"Global" clearly does mean "worldwide" in Kerry's sentence, Cole's humorous sophistry notwithstanding. Here, then, is the obvious meaning of Kerry's statement:

"US actions should pass a worldwide test in that they should be both comprehensible to US citizens and capable of being defended to the rest of the world."

Posted by: Dan Kervick at October 3, 2004 09:53 PM

JML,

Watching every word, especially in a debate, is what politicians do. They try to anticipate every possible question and craft their answers beforehand, selecting their words very carefully. They attempt to stay on message, and attempt to avoid using phrases that detract from that message - even if they detract only by being vulnerable to cheap shots and distortions.

I would be willing to bet that if, in preparing for the debate, Kerry actually said US actions should pass a global test, he would have had a dozen advisors saying: "Don't say 'global test'! We know what you mean, but the Republicans will jump all over that and say it means 'global veto' or 'UN permission'. Say something like 'the action should be one we can defend to the world'. Then if Bush takes issue with you, you can confuse him with something like this: 'Are you saying our actions don't have to be defensible? Are you saying that when Colin Powell spoke to the UN before the war, he *didn't* give a solid defense of the war?'"

Of course, no politician is ever perfect, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't try.

Posted by: Dan Kervick at October 3, 2004 10:17 PM

Dan Kervick:
Sorry, I'm still not buying. As a matter of strict logic, you might be right. But I think you miss the poltical point, and this is politics and political rhetoric we are talking here, not truth trees in logic class.

The Bush attack is that Kerry announced a new "doctrine" that Kerry would give other countries a veto over US preemptive action before the fact. Kerry clearly asserted a Presidents' right to take preemptive action, and the past tense there would imply a retro-active veto, which doesn't mean much after a country has started military action, and is just as humorous and far-fetched as anything you say Cole did.
Cole's interpretation of global makes pretty good sense in the context of whether other countries would have a veto *before* the fact.
Even if your argument is correct, the GOP interpretation is still inconsistent with Kerry's denial that he would give any foreign or international power a veto before the fact. Therefore they are commiting a distortion and smearing.
And we are talkig about rhetoric here, so global could have more than one meaning at a time (if you don't mind me waxing poetic). Or there may be ambiguity, in which case, as in law and theology, and other fields, you take the text as a whole and apply the most reasonable interpretation in context. The Bush line doesn't take "global" to mean the whole world, it is meant to be interpreted as spineless, amoral, wimpy Frenchies and Krauts and pinko Swedenians, and Norgies, or whatever they are, that is, other countries, among which, we, thank the Lord, are not included. Now, I have no valid deduction for that, no proof theory, just a common sense feel for *political* semantics.
In any case, however you slice it, the recently discovered "Kerry doctrine" is a smear and a lie.
You are of course correct: a politician should try not to make any slips. But with the current GOP crowd, you can try all you want and it won't get you very far -maybe half an hour tops while they figure their way through their political smear manual. If you don't quite make a slip, or make half a slip, it will be turned into a big slip. If you actually don't commit one at all, they will manufacture one and see how high it flies for at least one morning talk show cycle.
So, maybe we should all send an e-mail to JohnKerry.com and suggest he be more slightly careful in the future. But for public discussion I will stick with the bottom line: GOP smear, distortion and lie.
If the Kerry campaign thinks like some of the commenters here, as I said, he won't be able to say much of anything at all spontaneously, he will look as weird and clumsy and inarticulate in the future debates as Bush did in the first one. And then the voters will think that they might as well stick with the weird clumsy inarticulate guy we have now, and Kerry will lose for sure.

Posted by: jml at October 3, 2004 11:12 PM

jml,

I can't disagree with you about the likelihood of Republican smears, no matter what. All I'll say is that this is one particular smear that easily could have been anticipated.

Posted by: Dan Kervick at October 4, 2004 05:43 AM

So clueless, Brad. The whole international law fetish breaks down on one slender thread: in order for it to have any meaning, there has to be a body that can enforce it.

Liberal faith in the corrupt, impotent, anti-Semitic UN, most of whose members don't even have civil rights, is psychologically interesting but impractical, dangerous, & so Sept 10th. Now you're stuck with a candidate who even opposed the Gulf War, which was sanctified by the UN! (I mean, before he supported it.)

Posted by: jeff at October 4, 2004 07:44 AM

From JML, 8:49 PM: "I cannot imagine Jefferson thinking it would be OK to go attack a person and then be unable to explain to your neighbors convincingly why you did so."

Fine. How about explaining it to the friends and relatives of the man attacked? How about explaining it to people who are not your "neighbors", but could care less about the motives of the attacker, and dislike him for other reasons?

How about ephemeral proof, such as "I thought I saw a knife but it's just a cellphone - my bad." What if the "neighbors" reject that story?

Look, if you convince yourself that when Kerry said "prove" and "test", he just meant, make sure you have good reasons, and try to gather domestic and international support, then there is no disagreement.

Jefferson wanted to offer reasons to the world; Bush addressed the UN in September, and later sent Powell to do the same.

The question Kerry's supporters cannot answer is, what happens if you fail the global test? And to say, well, he used the past tense, so it will be retrospective, is not an answer - what if the President looks at the situation and concludes that he can reasonably expect that, after acting, he will fail the global test - does he act anyway?

Look, we all know the real answer - Kerry was just enjoying the sound of his voice while delivering words intended to be meaningless. Evil Reps will just torture him on this until either Kerry flip-flops (with a clarification explaining that "prove" does not mean prove, and "test" does not mean test), or we all get bored.

Posted by: Tom maguire at October 4, 2004 09:03 AM

Tom maguire, from what you write, it would be prudent to assume that the USA are never to be trusted on anything.

DSW

Posted by: Antoni Jaume at October 4, 2004 10:03 AM

An attention to the judgment of other nations is important to every government for two reasons: the one is, that, independently of the merits of any particular plan or measure, it is desirable, on various accounts, that it should appear to other nations as the offspring of a wise and honorable policy; the second is, that in doubtful cases, particularly where the national councils may be warped by some strong passion or momentary interest, the presumed or known opinion of the impartial world may be the best guide that can be followed. What has not America lost by her want of character with foreign nations; and how many errors and follies would she not have avoided, if the justice and propriety of her measures had, in every instance, been previously tried by the light in which they would probably appear to the unbiased part of mankind?

- Madison, The Federalist 63

Posted by: Nate at October 4, 2004 02:22 PM

Sheesh, who let the door open? Look at all these trolls!

Posted by: NotSoFast at October 4, 2004 06:02 PM

Tom Maguire wrote: "The question Kerry's supporters cannot answer is, what happens if you fail the global test?"

What makes you think that none of us can answer this, Tom? This Kerry supporter has an answer for you: you don't act. Now, was that so difficult?

The reason I can state this with confidence is that the Kerry test is not as limiting as Bush (and apparently, you) would like us to believe. It actually is rather easy to pass it. If you can't pass that fairly limited hurdle, then there is something significantly wrong and you need to stop and re-evaluate.

Posted by: PaulB at October 4, 2004 09:31 PM

Tom Maguire wrote: "The question Kerry's supporters cannot answer is, what happens if you fail the global test?"

What makes you think that none of us can answer this, Tom? This Kerry supporter has an answer for you: you don't act. Now, was that so difficult?

The reason I can state this with confidence is that the Kerry test is not as limiting as Bush (and apparently, you) would like us to believe. It actually is rather easy to pass it. If you can't pass that fairly limited hurdle, then there is something significantly wrong and you need to stop and re-evaluate.

Posted by: PaulB at October 4, 2004 09:34 PM

Bush is all style and no substance. He latched on to the 'global test' bit because it allows him to assert his lone cowboy image. It was the only part of the debate he could take away, using it to appeal to the common man's sense of inherent rightness. 'Get back in the kitchen woman, I don't need to hear no lip from you.' The woman in this case, is France.

Posted by: chickensoup at October 4, 2004 09:57 PM

Bush is all style and no substance. He latched on to the 'global test' bit because it allows him to assert his lone cowboy image. It was the only part of the debate he could take away, using it to appeal to the common man's sense of inherent rightness. 'Get back in the kitchen woman, I don't need to hear no lip from you.' The woman in this case, is France.

Posted by: chickensoup at October 4, 2004 09:59 PM

mortgage leads

Posted by: mortgage leads at October 4, 2004 10:37 PM

why is everybody confusing Global with International? The two are hardly synonymous and yet, that is how everybody is interpreting them.

A 'global search' in a document for the term 'Bush Lied' does not involve France.

Kerry used the term perfectly - global in the sense of 'comprehensive', not global in the sense of International.

Bush did not understand the difference and now everybody is arguing over Kerry's word as though he meant 'International'.

Posted by: Suresh Krishnamoorthy at October 5, 2004 07:56 AM

Frankly, I don't see how one gets anything close to a "global test" standard from the text of the Declaration.

Fine, then how about this?

An attention to the judgment of other nations is important to every government for two reasons: the one is, that, independently of the merits of any particular plan or measure, it is desirable, on various accounts, that it should appear to other nations as the offspring of a wise and honorable policy; the second is, that in doubtful cases, particularly where the national councils may be warped by some strong passion or momentary interest, the presumed or known opinion of the impartial world may be the best guide that can be followed. What has not America lost by her want of character with foreign nations; and how many errors and follies would she not have avoided, if the justice and propriety of her measures had, in every instance, been previously tried by the light in which they would probably appear to the unbiased part of mankind?

Posted by: Phoenician in a time of Romans at October 5, 2004 02:18 PM

Globull.

When will America grow up?

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Interesting that Colin Powell invokes a "global test" and "international standards" when criticizing the Ukranian election.

Aside from whether the criticism is justified, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones....

"We cannot accept this result as legitimate because it does not meet international standards and because there has not been an investigation of the numerous and credible reports of fraud and abuse.

"If the Ukrainian government does not act immediately and responsibly," Powell said, "there will be consequences for our relationship, for Ukraine's hopes for Euro-Atlantic integration, and for individuals responsible for perpetrating fraud."


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