Saturday, January 02, 2010

What Would Be Republican Response to a 9-11 Attack Today?

On September 11, 2001, the United States suffered a horrible attack under George W. Bush's presidency. Over 3000 Americans died. Democratic politicians in the House of Representatives and the United States Senate publicly supported President Bush. They didn't criticize him for the hours it took him to respond; for the fact that he flew around in Air Force One most of the day before returning to Washington, D.C.; they didn't call for investigations into what his administration knew before the attack; and they certainly didn't send out fund-raising letters in an attempt to raise campaign contributions from the death of thousands of Americans.

Nor did former Vice-President Al Gore issue denunciations of the Bush Administration's strategy for dealing with terrorists. Vice-President Gore did not emerge from some dark lair to say that all that mattered to the Bush Administration was getting tax cuts for their rich contributors and that this preoccupation had led to lax security for Americans. Indeed, given the fact that Al Gore had lost a presidential election because of a United States Supreme Court that was dominated by Republican appointees, two of which were appointed by his opponent's father, Gore's response was incredibly generous, at least by today's standards.

Now, contrast the Democratic response to 9-11 with the Republican response to the attempted attack on the airliner over Detroit. We have heard Republicans use the attack to try and score cheap political points at the President's expense and we have seen the sickening sight of Republicans using the attempted attack to raise campaign funds. We have seen the propaganda arm of the GOP, otherwise known as Fox News, criticize Obama for using words like "allegedly", as if using that word was somehow in itself a weakness.

And, of course, we have seen former Vice-President Cheney give at least one interview in which he claimed that Obama's pre-occupation with "transforming" American society had somehow led to the Detroit attack.

So here is my conclusion, and it was difficult for me to come to, but I believe that if a 9-11 attack took place under Obama, we would see a much different reaction from the GOP than we saw from the Democrats on that fateful day. We wouldn't see statements invoking national unity or calling for support for President Obama. We wouldn't see former Bush administration officials calling on Americans to support President Obama. Instead we would see Republicans Representatives and Senators rush to the studios of Fox News to denounce Obama. We would see campaign consulting firms grinding out fund-raising letters for Republicans even as Americans were burying their dead.

It pains me to come to this conclusion. I hope that we never have to find out if I am right, and if such a horrible tragedy occurs again, I hope that I am wrong about the Republican response. But given their actions over the last week or so, what other conclusion can I come to?

No comments: