Sen. Rockefeller's Controversial Comments

Let's have a little contest: Who produced today's best "Did they really say that" quote?

The contenders today: the venerable Andy Rooney, Sen. Jay Rockefeller and The Boston Globe editorial board.

First, Sen. Rockefeller. In an interview with CBS TV, Rockefeller said the world would be better off today if the United States had never invaded Iraq — even if it means Saddam Hussein would still be running Iraq.

CBS asked the follow-up: Did Rockefeller stand by that view, even if it meant that Saddam Hussein could still be in power if the United States didn't invade? Answer from the senator: "Yes."

You gotta admit, imagining Saddam out of his jail cell and back in charge of Iraq, that has to be a contender today.

But so is The Boston Globe editorial board. Today it said: "In the long run, the reaction of the Bush administration may prove more harmful to the national interest than even these horrific attacks."

Ahh, Bush is worse than bin Laden? That's what one is left to conclude.

So why don't they just come out and say that? Answer: It's too embarrassing, even for The Boston Globe. So for lack of courage, The Boston Globe is out as a serious challenger.

Then there is Andy Rooney, whose curmudgeonly style sometimes leads him into the rhetorical briar patch.

Rooney said last night at the end of "60 Minutes" with Katie Couric it "might be better if we figured out how to behave as a nation in a way that wouldn't make so many people in the world want to kill us."

Ahh, so it's our fault?

These are tough contestants and we can argue endlessly. But I think the winner of my little contest today has to be Sen. Rockefeller.

After all, The Boston Globe editorialists and Andy Rooney are just media hacks. Nobody elected them to anything.

But the senator, he represents his state, West Virginia, and an august body, the U.S. Senate. He really did say that, and he really should know better.

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