The Republicans are seizing this moment of reckoning with something approaching glee, while Democrats are handling it gingerly. For Republicans there are the persistent scenes of destruction and the ongoing misery of lives upended, handy backdrops for criticism of Democrats in Congress.
Democrats are furious, claiming that Republicans and the President have used 9/11 as a campaign day to further their political cause.
Ted Kennedy said the president “should be ashamed of using a national day of mourning” to justify his Iraq policy. Chuck Schumer called the address disappointing and said, “You do not commemorate the tragedy of 9/11 by politicizing it.”
One can debate whether Bush’s speech was a political one. He did defend the War in Iraq, which is a controversial political issue to be sure. He did, however, say that to defeat Islamofacism, “we must put aside our differences, and work together to meet the test that history has given us.” Just as it was on Sept. 11, the same is true today – we can defeat terrorism only as a united country against this enemy.
But I find it odd that no Democrat was opposed to using August 29, the one year anniversary of Katrina, as a time for political speeches. That day it was perfectly justifiable to use the memory of a horrible event to score political points. No liberal blogger was concerned that the media was making that day all about George Bush’s handling of the tragedy.
The quote from the top is from the New York Times about the Democrats (swap all references to Democrats and Republicans) approach toward that national day of mourning, about their reaction to commemorating the tragedy. They spent the day and the weeks surrounding it to trumpet how Bush failed the American people and how his policies were responsible for the disaster. I’m sure someone somewhere mentioned global warming.
After seeing the Democratic grandstanding during the Katrina anniversary, Ace boldly predicted the sudden swing in acceptable campaigning:
Yup… can’t have any political party exploiting a national tragedy for partisan purposes. No sirree Bob, we just can’t have that.
That would be wrong.
Well, today it’s okay, and for this week.
But starting around, oh, let’s say September ninth or so, it becomes the worst thing a person could possibly do.
Update: I wonder if this is wrong, too.