Thursday, December 31, 2009

On Politicizing An Attack

The Republican response to the underpants bomber attack has been nothing short of obscene.  Rachel Maddow put together a wonderful presentation on this.  Although I covered a mot of this Tuesday and Yesterday, she does such a wonderful job of connecting the dots that it’s well worth the time to watch


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In addition, Rachel also called out Democratic leaders for their failure to challenge these GOP lies.


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On a more positive note, she must have prepared the second piece, before the White House released this statement:

WhiteHouse There has been a lot of discussion online and in the mainstream media about our response to various critics of the President, specifically former Vice President Cheney, who have been coming out of the woodwork since the incident on Christmas Day.  I think we all agree that there should be honest debate about these issues, but it is telling that Vice President Cheney and others seem to be more focused on criticizing the Administration than condemning the attackers. Unfortunately too many are engaged in the typical Washington game of pointing fingers and making political hay, instead of working together to find solutions to make our country safer.

First, it’s important that the substantive context be clear: for seven years after 9/11, while our national security was overwhelmingly focused on Iraq – a country that had no al Qaeda presence before our invasion – Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda's leadership was able to set up camp in the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan, where they continued to plot attacks against the United States. Meanwhile, al Qaeda also regenerated in places like Yemen and Somalia, establishing new safe-havens that have grown over a period of years. It was President Obama who finally implemented a strategy of winding down the war in Iraq, and actually focusing our resources on the war against al Qaeda – more than doubling our troops in Afghanistan, and building partnerships to target al Qaeda’s safe-havens in Yemen and Somalia.  And in less than one year, we have already seen many al Qaeda leaders taken out, our alliances strengthened, and the pressure on al Qaeda increased worldwide.

To put it simply: this President is not interested in bellicose rhetoric, he is focused on action. Seven years of bellicose rhetoric failed to reduce the threat from al Qaeda and succeeded in dividing this country. And it seems strangely off-key now, at a time when our country is under attack, for the architect of those policies to be attacking the President.

Second, the former Vice President makes the clearly untrue claim that the President – who is this nation’s Commander-in-Chief – needs to realize we are at War. I don’t think anyone realizes this very hard reality more than President Obama. In his inaugural, the President said “our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred.” In a recent speech, Assistant to the President for Terrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan said “Instead, as the president has made clear, we are at war with al-Qaida, which attacked us on 9/11 and killed 3,000 people. We are at war with its violent extremist allies who seek to carry on al-Qaida’s murderous agenda. These are the terrorists we will destroy; these are the extremists we will defeat.” At West Point, the President told the nation why it was “in our vital national interest” to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to fight the war in Afghanistan, adding that as Commander in Chief, “I see firsthand the terrible wages of war.” And at Oslo, in accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, the President said, “We are at war, and I am responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land.”

There are numerous other such public statements that explicitly state we are at war. The difference is this: President Obama doesn’t need to beat his chest to prove it, and – unlike the last Administration – we are not at war with a tactic (“terrorism”), we at war with something that is tangible: al Qaeda and its violent extremist allies. And we will prosecute that war as long as the American people are endangered.

Dan Pfeiffer is White House Communications Director [emphasis added]

Inserted from <The White House>

Normally, this is where I run off at the mouth, but I have nothing else to say, except that’s it’s about time the Obama administration started to fight back against these horrid Republicans.


ivan said...

When will both Republicans and Democrats get it?...Even the canny Mr. Obama! They have the wrong paradigm on where the terrorists are and what they're up to. They just want us to get the f*ck out of there. It's that simple!

Jack Jodell said...

I agree with ivan. Cheney and his far right GOP have nothing to offer but fear, repression, and lower taxes for the rich. They are badly misreading the current Lslamic "mence," and are trying to transform it into an all-powerful, highly organized, well-armed, monolithic ideological military force, which is patent nonsense. This is the same mistake the far-right GOP made about communism in the 1950s and 1960s, and today, just like then, they are bullying and brainwashing a lot of moderates and Democrats into going right along with their misperceptions. Will this militaristic madness ever end?

Sue said...

Rachel was awesome last night and I could not wait til the video was up so I could post it too! Cheney and the GOP are dispicable evil liars and manipulators and need to GO AWAY and let our president do his job, which he will do just fine thank you....

Middle Ditch said...

I'm still trying to clear my mind of the image of an underpants bomber. How does that work and how on earth was he discovered? Bizarre!!

A very happy and political inspired 2010 Tom

Vigilante said...

Republicans, and maybe the ACLU, are against full-body scanners at airports. But I'm not.

Leslie Parsley said...

I don't know about the ACLU, but when it comes to Republicans, I have a feeling they're really against full body imaging is because the women don't want their sagging upper anotomy visible and the men don't want their sagging lower anatomy visible.

Sue said...

leslie! LOL!
Thats why we call Limbaugh, Limpballs!! Not only sagging private parts but rethugs probably have teeny weeny weenies!!

TomCat said...

Ivan, that was a large part of my argument in Tuesday's article.

Jack, that's up to us.

Sue, as Commander-in Chief, he deserves an opportinity to lead without interference, unless and until he demonstrates that he is not capable of doing so, as Bush did.

Monique, he caught on fire in the plane. Passenger and crew subdued him and put out the fire.

Vig, I'm for it if there is a choice: a gynecologist for gals (proctologist for guys), or the scanner. But this guy had a US Visa and was on a list.

Leslie, I guess anything turns Republicans on. ;-)

TomCat said...

LOL, Sue!!

Lisa G. said...

I wish that Cheney would go back to his undisclosed location and stay there. Or we could conveniently drop his ass in the mountains of Pakistan (without a parachute, let's see if his ass can fly) so he can find Osama Bin Laden himself. Then maybe, just maybe, he'd have some credibility. But that would still be pushing it.

I think the Dems should just let the Repubs rant; that's all they are doing by listening to both of Rachel's fine commentaries. (I just love her!) She's always on point, articulate and is fair to both sides, unlike Faux News. I say we just run her commercial on all the major networks and let that speak for the Dems. There is no need to answer such ridiculous commentary from the right, since they had 8 years to get it right and totally f'ed up the whole thing, including letting OBL go so they could use him as a boogey man to hold over scared Americans' heads.

They're on their own express elevator to a new special hell, and that gives me great solace. Especially, right before they get on the elevator and Jesus smacks them around a bit and say "You totally twisted my words and used them against people. We've created a new special hell, just for you."

Pauline said...

at this point, I am equally as frightened by Republicans as I am al Qaeda. There is great danger in allowing ourselves to be manipulated by fear mongers...

Holte Ender said...

Obama or the White House shouldn't give Cheney the time of day, but there's a whole slew of Democratic Congressmen who should. Makes you wonder why they don't defend their President against attacks from a previous administration heavy-hitter.

Lisa G. said...

TC - did you see this:

The second to last paragraph is the best part.

Lisa G. said...

Oh, this is even better: the Fat Fuck (aka Douche Limpballs) is in the hospital. It's ok to wish evil on the evil, just like I hope OBL's dialysis machine runs out of power some day. (Really, we can't find a 6'2" Arab guy in the mountains attached to a dialysis machine? Really, with $650B+ a year in military expenditures? Really? I'll audit that myself and start crossing shit out...)

Happy New Year!

TomCat said...

Lisa, it would certainly seem that Dems should not even have to answer such obvious tripe, but the Republicans have demonstrated over and over again that if they repeat the lie often enough, long enough, and through enough talking heads, people who aren't paying that much attention believe it unless it is challenged every time it is repeated. Consider the swift-boating of John Kerry. The war hero lost to the deserter, because people believed that the war hero was a war criminal and that the deserter is a hero. I read that article on HuffPo this morning and found it interesting, but too speculative to use as a source. On your other link, the red pill sounds good. As for Limbarf, I'll chose not to wish him ill. God/Karma, whichever you prefer, is a far better judge than I could be.

Pauline, I have long said that Al Dubya is a far greater threat to the US than Al Qaeda will ever be.

Holte, see my reply to Lisa.

Anon-Paranoid said...


Wish you all the best in the upcoming year.

Happy New Year buddy.

God Bless.

Oso said...

I've often felt that OBL has been hiding in plain sight for many years on the end of the LA Clippers bench.

Nobody goes to Clippers games anyway, so OBL could be sitting there with a camel tied behind his seat and we'd be none the wiser.

Hill said...

Crotch bomber..

What a dipshit.

Bet the richard was going, "You're gonna do what?!?!?"


Anyhoo, Happy 2010, TomCat.


TRUTH 101 said...

Tomcat: I absolutely agree the Obama Administration should fight back. And they shouldn't hold back their punches.

I've worked on campaigns since I was thirteen years old. The ones we beat the opponent down we won most of the time. The others, unless we were running an incumbent, if we ran a positive, polite campaign, we lost. And lost big.

All politics is local. Negative works at all levels and it's easy. The base loves it. It keeps the dollars flowing from the base.

I never once had a post election meeting and said I wished we'd been more positive. Cheney. Rush. DeMint. All these assholes need to be beaten down at every opportunity. They're not "statesmen." Thet're not honorable, patriotic Americans. They are scum who's only agenda is making government work for them and their wealthy benefactors.

Steping on a cockroach is nothing to be ashamed of.

RealityZone said...

Happy new year to you and your readers.

gabrielle said...

A joyous, healthy and peace filled new year to you, Tomcat and to all who gather here.

TomCat said...

Thank you and same to you, AP, Glenda, RZ and Gabrielle.

Oso, I know nothing about the Clippers, but I thought he played football for the Seattle Seachickens.

Crotch bomber, Hill? Love it!

Truth, let the cockroaches beware.

rjs said...

i dont know if someone posted this under another thread or not (i didnt follow this attack) but this is the first ive heard of it:
Mailman to Deliver Aid in Case of Anthrax Attack - NYtimes - If the nation ever faces a large-scale attack by a biological weapon like anthrax, the U.S. Postal Service will be in charge of delivering whatever drugs and other medical aid Americans would need to survive.
In an executive order released Wednesday, President Barack Obama put the Postal Service in charge of dispensing ''medical countermeasures'' to biological weapons because of its ''capacity for rapid residential delivery.''
hows that for inspiring confidence?

TomCat said...

I read it this morning, RJ, but did not post it, because I felt other items were more important. While provision needs to be made to deal with their mistakes, I can't think of a better way to distribute emergency supplies quickly.