Thursday, December 31, 2009

New GOP Reign of Terror

It didn't take long for Republicans to politicize the attempted act of terror Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab aboard a Delta Air Lines plane on Christmas Day, even though it was due to a foreign security failure and it was stopped by the passengers, and even though President Obama - vacationing in Hawaii - has expressed anger over the warnings about Abdulmutallab that could have been heeded. One Republican congressman from Michigan is using this to raise money for his gubernatorial campaign for next year in his home state, former Vice President Dick Cheney said that it showed how clueless President Obama is about the fight against terror, and some Republicans have voiced dislike of the fact that Abdulmutallab is being held and given his rights as any criminal suspect and that Obama is on vacation.
The Democrats could point out that Richard Reid, the British "shoe bomber" was similarly treated by the Bush administration in 2001, while Bush was on vacation during the Christmas season in his home state of Texas, and that Republicans hadn't objected. Except for Representative Eric Massa (D-NY), they have so far chosen not to. True, the White House did put out a blistering counteroffensive against Cheney's remarks - but in the form of a press release that took too long to read.
The Democrats try to act fair and civilized, even though American politics is neither of those things, and it never ceases to amaze me how the party demonstrates a chronic inability to play hardball, and as a result, its base has been getting sold down the river for thirty years. And the Republicans haven't made America any safer or stronger. Some Democrats apparently believe that the Republicans' past rhetoric speaks for itself and, so, they don't need to dignify the Republicans with a comment. Yes, the Republicans' past record speaks loudly, but the Republicans' present rhetoric speaks louder.
Not that the Democrats are given any fair shake by the media. One pundit actually said that Obama can't point to Bush's vacation during the shoe bombing attempt as an act of hypocrisy because Bush was vacationing in Texas - considered a part of "the real America" - while Hawaii seems foreign and exotic, even though it's been a state for fifty years. Well, it had been a foreign country at one time and it's a state in which non-Hispanic whites are the minority, not like Texas.
Oops! Correction: Texas was an independent republic between 1836 and 1845, and non-Hispanic whites slipped into minority status sometime between 2000 and 2004.
Well, Hawaii is certainly not a state that conservatives feel comfortable in - fancy food, exotic art, large concentrations of Asian-Americans . . . just ask Sarah Palin. No right-winger would be caught there.
Except Rush Limbaugh, who has been vacationing there this past week and suffered chest pains that required him to go to the hospital.
Wonder if he was hanging out on the beach with Obama?

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