That accounts for Inhofe's recent verbal gymnastics. Just yesterday, for example, the senator had to pull out his best "weasel" words to blame the media for "mischaracterizing" the reasons the Bush team decided to launch the ill-fated Iraq war.
It wasn't about weapons of mass destruction, Inhofe said Friday. "The whole idea of weapons of mass destruction was never the issue, yet they keep trying to bring this up," Inhofe said.
We disagree. Indeed, we think his friend Dick Cheney has a long and very public record of disagreeing with that statement. After all, Cheney went on national television repeatedly in 2002 and 2003 to emphasize Iraq's threat to the U.S. To Bush and Cheney, Saddam's threat most certainly was about WMDs.
Inhofe knows this. When a reporter asked him yesterday why Secretary of State Colin Powell made WMDs the key part of his now-infamous UN speech, this was Inhofe's non-answer:
I can't answer that. In fact, I've never been one of the real strong fans of General Powell.
This is classic "weasel" talk. Not only did Inhofe fail to address the question, he attacked a former member of the administration he claims to support.
Nor is this smart politics in Oklahoma. Powell, after all, is much more popular than Dick Cheney, who (as we have noted in the past) is the most unpopular vice president since Spiro Agnew.