Friday, June 29, 2007

Rudy has Picked his Running Mate

[Crossposted at WTWC & linked @ The Salon Blog Report]

He hasn’t made the announcement yet – but every time he takes to the stump, no matter what he is there to talk about – right there at his side – is Terrorism.

In a speech in Des Moines, where he was scheduled to speak about fiscal responsibility (giggle – chortle – LMAO – snort) it took him a whole 2:14 to change the subject to terrorism and make with the fearmongering:

"I will continue to keep America on offense in the terrorist war against us, because I think that's the overriding issue of our day," he declared. Then he leaped into a detailed discussion that wound its way through earmarks and out-of-control federal budgets to the threat of Democratic tax increases and — as always — back to terrorism.

While talking tax policy, he shifted the focus to a debate of the Democratic candidates:

"They never mentioned the word 'Islamic terrorist' during the debate…. Maybe they think they're going to be insulting somebody if they say it. I'm trying to figure out who would be insulted — other than Islamic terrorists."

But the most surreal segue to terror might have been while he was pandering to Cuban voters in south Florida:

Others might "romanticize" Castro and his ilk, but Cuban Americans know better than anyone else, he said, how important it is "to be strong in the face of dictators and terrorists…. America can't show weaknesses to these Islamic terrorists. Because, if we do, we're going to be in a lot greater danger."

He inflates and overstates his record – a lot of those firefighters on September 11 didn’t have to die. If Rudy had standardized the communications system when he had the chance, instead of giving the comms contract to a buddy, maybe some of them would have been able to hear the radio messages that the police broadcast, that the buildings were going to come down. But they missed the messages and kept climbing the stairs, because the radios were not compatible.

He attacks President Clinton for his record on terrorism, saying with scorn and derision that Clinton approached terrorism like a police matter. (The 9/11 Commission agrees with President Clinton's approach.)

Newsflash, Sylvester Rudy! It worked! McVeigh was caught, convicted and executed, and the perpetrators of the first WTC bombing are sitting in prison and will never be free again. No Patriot Act, no Constitutional abrogation and no Gitmo required.

On the other hand, with all those enhancements, Osama bin Laden remains free 2118 days and two shooting wars after September 11, 2001.

But wait – there’s more. What he says now is precisely the opposite of what he was saying a year ago:

The idea of trying to cast blame on Clinton [for the 9/11 attacks] is just wrong for many, many reasons, not the least of which is I don’t think he deserves it.

Of course, there is also that bit about Clinton being the first Chief Executive to treat terrorism as a national security issue…in 1995. “[we will treat] terrorism as a potential threat to national security as well as a criminal act and will apply all appropriate means to combat it.” In every major speech he gave the last three years of his presidency, Clinton raised the issue of terrorism and national security, in conjunction.

What pisses me off about the whole deal is this: He’s like the boy who cried wolf. Terrorism is a very serious issue, one that deserves sober assessment and cogent analysis. When he works it into every answer, no matter the question, it can not possibly advance our ability to deal with a very real problem. In fact, it is bound to do just the opposite. By selecting terrorism to be his running mate, the probability of desensitizing the electorate and making a mockery of an issue we should be talking about approaches one.

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