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Why Would Election Fraud in Afghanistan Make People Think the Government Is Illegitimate? « The Washington Independent

More from today’s funtime White House presser. Jake Tapper of ABC asked Robert Gibbs about the Afghanistan election:

TAPPER: President Obama last month in Pittsburgh said, of the Afghan elections and the aftermath, “What’s most important is that there’s a sense of legitimacy in Afghanistan among the Afghan people for their government.” Is there a sense of legitimacy in Afghanistan among the Afghan people for the Karzai government?

GIBBS: Well, I have no reason to believe there’s not.

Gibbs’ answer actually gets worse from there!

To be clear: there’s a good meta-point here, but it’s slathered underneath this nonsense. Americans should not substitute our judgments about the election for Afghan judgments. It’s the Afghans’ perspective that matters when it comes to the crucial question of governmental legitimacy, not ours. But at the same time, Gibbs has every reason to believe there isn’t a sense of legitimacy about Karzai among the Afghan people, because a full third of his votes were thrown out due to fraud concerns. Hundreds of thousands of ballots!

It will help to have a credible poll taken in the coming weeks to determine what Afghans think about Karzai’s legitimacy. That will actually determine the issue. But please — let’s not act like we’re without common sense.

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