Paul Krugman’s first two paragraphs state the importance of Bush’s National Guard “service” as plainly as can be:
It’s the dishonesty, stupid. The real issue in the National Guard story isn’t what George W. Bush did three decades ago. It’s the recent pattern of lies: his assertions that he fulfilled his obligations when he obviously didn’t, the White House’s repeated claims that it had released all of the relevant documents when it hadn’t.
It’s the same pattern of dishonesty, this time involving personal matters that the public can easily understand, that some of us have long seen on policy issues, from global warming to the war in Iraq. On budget matters, which is where I came in, serious analysts now take administration dishonesty for granted.
As for the authenticity of the CBS documents, that’s a sideshow. The critical questions raised this week are:
1) Did the president receive a direct order to obtain a physical examination?
2) Did he obey that order?