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White House Defends Rove’s Ridiculous Statement on Democrats’ Reaction to 9/11

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White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan yesterday defended comments made Wednesday by Karl Rove, in which Rove suggested that Democrats’ reaction to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was to “offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.”

Rove, President Bush’s chief political adviser, said in a speech Wednesday to the New York (state) Conservative Party that “liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.” Conservatives, he said, “saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war.”

McClellan, when asked whether President Bush would seek an apology, said: “Of course not.”

But Democrats are seeking a response from the President nonetheless.

“Karl Rove should immediately and fully apologize for his remarks or he should resign,” Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, D-NV., said in a statement. “I hope the president will join me in repudiating these remarks.”

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean called on Mr. Bush to “show some leadership and unequivocally repudiate Rove’s divisive and damaging political rhetoric.”

***

Conservative leaders will no doubt follow Bush’s lead, thus following a recent history of hysteria when a Democrat says something questionable, and hypocrisy when a Republican says something similar.

Conservatives were quick to jump on Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) after a June 14 speech on the Senate floor, in which he quoted from an FBI agent’s report on the deplorable conditions at the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba, then said: “‘If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings.” Durbin later apologized.

By comparison, conservatives did not roar after Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), speaking on the Senate floor May 19 said that Democratic complaints about the “nuclear option” to ban judicial filibusters are “the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying: I’m in Paris, how dare you invade me, how dare you bomb my city. It’s mine.”

Santorum never apologized. Nor did Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who when discussing his opposition to stem cell research last October said: “We certainly have all seen the rejections of Nazi Germany’s abuses of science. As a society and a nation, there ought to be some limit on what we can allow or should allow.”

And there was no uproar before, and no apology thereafter, when conservative leader Grover Norquist said in an interview earlier last year with the Jewish newspaper The Forward: “The Nazis were for gun control, the Nazis were for high marginal tax rates. Do you want to talk about who’s closer politically to national socialism, the Right or the Left?”

***

For their part, the White House press corps showed rare guts yesterday during McClellan’s press conference, pressing him on the Rove comments. McClellan showed no similar guts. He was given a key line to deliver — I’ve noted how many times he calls Rove’s comments a review of “different philosophies” — and like a good soldier in the Bush propaganda machine, didn’t waver.

Here’s part of the transcript:

Q Last night Karl Rove, in a speech, accused the Democrats of trying to send the terrorists into therapy and not responding appropriately to 9/11, whereas the Republicans, he felt, responded appropriately. He’s been called on to make an apology. Will Karl Rove will apologize, and is this elevating the discourse, the way you said the President will do?

McCLELLAN: Talking about different philosophies and different approaches? That’s what Karl Rove was talking about. He was talking about the different philosophies and our different approaches when it comes to winning the war on terrorism. And I don’t know who is even making such a suggestion.

Q Harry Reid.

Q Nancy Pelosi.

McCLELLAN: Well, I would think that they would want to be able to defend their philosophy and their approach. I mean, I know that the Democratic leadership at this point is offering no ideas and no vision for the American people, but Karl was simply pointing out the different philosophies and different approaches when it comes to winning the war on terrorism.

Q He said the Democrats wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. That’s not injecting politics into the tragedy of September 11th?

McCLELLAN: I think it’s talking about the different philosophies for winning the war on terrorism. The President recognizes that the way to win the war on terrorism is to take the fight to the enemy, to stay on the offensive, and to work to spread freedom and democracy to defend the ideology of hatred that they espouse, and the ideology of tyranny and oppression.

Q So will the President ask Karl Rove to apologize?

McCLELLAN: Of course not, Jessica. This is simply talking about different philosophies and different approaches. And I think you have to look at it in that context. If people want to try to engage in personal attacks instead of defending their philosophy, that’s their business. But it’s important to point out the different approaches when it comes to winning the war on terrorism. And that’s all he was doing.

Q So you’re suggesting that Rove’s approach to discussing the philosophy that Democrats — is to say that they want to prepare indictments and seek counseling. That’s their philosophy, is that what you were saying?

McCLELLAN: I think the comments were saying — the conservative approach and the liberal approach is what he was talking about.

Q He was saying that that’s the comparison in their philosophies?

McCLELLAN: He was speaking to a political organization. There are many who have looked at the war on terrorism and said it is a law enforcement matter, that we should prosecute people. The President recognizes that it is a war and that we must stay on the offensive, we must take the fight to the enemy. The best way to defeat the enemy is to fight them abroad and bring them to justice before they can carry out their attacks here at home.

Q And the therapy? What about the therapy?

McCLELLAN: I think that’s what he’s — and I think that’s what he’s talking about …

Q Scott, going back to Jessica’s question. So are you saying that it’s completely appropriate the way Karl Rove invoked 9/11? And what would you say to those who say that the comments were simply partisan and hurtful?

McCLELLAN: I think that Karl was simply pointing out the different philosophies when it comes to winning the war on terrorism. That’s what he was doing. The President of the United States — you bring up something that’s very important — has worked to elevate the discourse in this town and reach out to get things done, and that’s what he’s done. Now, Karl was simply pointing out the differences that exist in how we approach the war on terrorism and how different people view it in a different way.

Q Continuing on with this then, Scott, are you suggesting that it was not Karl’s intention to belittle that philosophy, merely to illustrate it?

McCLELLAN: Look, you have his remarks, you can go back and look at his remarks for yourself.

Q Scott, you ask us oftentimes for specifics — does Karl have in mind a particular Democratic leader who suggested therapy for the folks who attacked on 9/11?

McCLELLAN: I think you can look at his remarks, Mark.

Q He didn’t mention any names, and I’m asking you if you know.

McCLELLAN: I know, so you should go look at your remarks.

Q So in other words, there are no —

McCLELLAN: Clearly, there are people who have taken a different approach, and I don’t think we need to get into names.

Q But someone who specifically has suggested therapy?

McCLELLAN: Mark, if you want to make more than it was, then you’re welcome to, but I think you should go back and look at his remarks. I didn’t see his remarks.

Q He didn’t name any names, which is why I’m asking you.

McCLELLAN: Yes, and you can go back and look at his remarks and see for yourself what it says …

Q Was Karl Rove speaking last night as a Deputy White House Chief of Staff?

McCLELLAN: He is the Deputy White House Chief and Senior White House Advisor, and I would encourage you to go look at his remarks and what he said.

Q Especially given the venue, being in New York, where there is, obviously, a very strong personal connection for many people to what happened on 9/11 and the immediate bipartisan support the President enjoyed right after those events, does the President think the tone of what Mr. Rove was saying is fair and appropriate?

McCLELLAN: I think you bring up a very good point. It was in New York, it was to the New York Conservative Party. So he was talking about the different philosophy between conservatives and liberals and different philosophy for approaching the war on terrorism. That is a very important priority for all Americans and it’s very important that the American people know what we are doing to win that war on terrorism. And that’s why he was talking about it and telling it like it is when it comes to the different approaches for winning the war on terrorism.

Q You think that was perfectly appropriate?

McCLELLAN: Again, I just said that he was talking about the different philosophies. The President has talked about the different philosophies when it comes to winning the war on terrorism. And he was speaking to a specific audience about those philosophies and talking about the philosophy that we stand for and the approach that we stand for …

Q But others don’t think the characterization of how liberals approach …

McCLELLAN: Who are the others?

Q Well, you’ve got Nancy Pelosi today, Harry Reid were talking about the fact that the use of the words was not appropriate for the way, especially in the New York area …

McCLELLAN: Do you disagree that he was simply talking about the different philosophies and different approaches?

Q What I’m talking about is word choice.

McCLELLAN: Well, I think that they are just trying to engage in partisan attacks. Karl was simply talking about different philosophies, and we should be talking about what we stand for and how we want to move forward. We should be talking about what the different visions are and what the different ideas are, and that’s what he was doing.

Q Can I ask it in this way, Scott? Then if this is an issue, is this an expression in some manner that the White House is concerned that with the popularity of the war diminishing, the anti-war liberalism is beginning to take hold so the President and Karl are confronting it directly?

McCLELLAN: No, he was speaking to the New York Conservative Party, and he was talking about different philosophies — the conservative philosophy and the liberal philosophy and how we’re approaching different priorities for the American people. That’s all it is.

***

This article first appeared on Journalists Against Bush’s B.S. (JABBS)

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About David R. Mark

  • http://jonsobel.com Jon Sobel

    Rove’s comments are no worse than the filth we have come to expect from the hideous monstrosity of an administration that is running the country. The fact that he was speaking in New York City makes it only symbolically worse.

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Smoke and mirrors. Rove spoke, the Dems responded predictably. I’ve got to hand it to Karl. Once again he’s trumping the liberals and Dems.

    Message to Howard Dean: Tell your members to stop the damn whining and start coming up with ideas to turn this nation and the world around. Finger pointing gets us nowhere. Throw out some concrete ideas and let the opposition scramble in shock. The Democrat Party has to stop playing victim here. They did it to themselves.

  • http://jonsobel.com Jon Sobel

    Registering outrage is not playing victim. We’ll see who’s a victim after the midterm elections. I’m certain the beginning of the backlash will be evident.

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    It’s ridiculous to look at Rove’s comments and not be outraged. Only the “true believers” could honestly look at Rove’s comments and not be either incensed (if they are a Democrat) or embarrassed (if they are a Republican).

    And Silas, are you really suggesting that it was not hypocritical for the conservatives (and as a result, the mainstream media) to pounce on Durbin, but to skip over Santorum, Sessions, Norquist, etc.?

  • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

    Is Rove wrong?

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    well Matt, can you find all the democrats quotes about “therapy”

    he did use it as a broad generalization, NOT “some” or even “most” or “many”…but just “the Democrats”

    so make with the Quotes, or he is a liar, by definition…and thus wrong

    hope that helps

    Excelsior!

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    Yes, Rove is wrong. Unless you can find a single example of a Democrat suggesting that Osama needs therapy.

    It’s a ridiculous comment. Red meat for the faithful. It’s designed to capture everyone’s attention, so that we don’t have to talk about a host of other things, from the dead in Iraq to the abuse at Gitmo to the $2.25 I have to pay for regular unleaded.

    The fact that conservatives are defending what Rove says flies in the face of McClellan’s statement on Bush: “(he) has worked to elevate the discourse in this town and reach out to get things done.”

  • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

    I’m not saying Rove’s right or wrong. I know shit about this topic. I was just asking for proof.

    Sheesh. Bloggers.

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Well, David, hypocrisy is something that is rampant at both sides of the spectrum unfortunately. I’m starting to feel that the name calling has got to stop and talking rationally has got to begin. Politicians thrive on rhetoric and maybe it’s time for mainstream media and the American public to stop giving in to the rhetoric.

    No, Matthew, Rove isn’t entirely wrong. Neither was Dick Durbin. I am no fan of Karl Rove and view him as a modern day Rasputin; however, I respect the man in that he executes his job brilliantly. As I teach my children, there are two sides to every story and then there is the truth. It’s up to us, as the electors, to disseminate the information presented and cast our ballots in a well thought manner. Unfortunately, in our culture, we spend more time deliberating what brand of toilet tissue to buy than we do deciding what person shall speak for us in the halls of government.

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    It’s a very easy answer to say “well, everyone is doing it.”

    The problem is, if a Republican does something, unless it’s as outrageous as what Rove said, it gets overlooked. Then when a Democrat does something similar, there’s an uproar.

    Watch how the MSM reacted to Howard Dean’s recent comments on the Republican Party. You’d have thought he said something treasonous. But when that Indiana congressman, Hostettler, suggested the Democrats were an anti-Christian party, it barely got a mention anywhere. Yes, Dean is more important to his party that Hostettler is to his, but still … Dean’s comments were blunt but technically accurate. Hostettler’s?

    The Durbin thing is annoying, because there was no uproar in the MSM, let alone on the Hardballs or the world, when Santorum invoked Hitler’s name. There was no uproar when Session’s made a comparison to Nazi-ism.

    Durbin didn’t even do what most conservative simplistically suggested. He didn’t compare our troops to Nazis. He made an if/then statement: if you had read this not knowing it was coming from an FBI observer, then you probably would have assumed it was a report from some horrific regime, such as the Nazis or Pol Pot. And in truth, that’s not an unreasonable thing to say. Blunt, perhaps, but not unreasonable.

    But dealing with the truth has never been a strong point for the current conservative leadership. So instead of presenting it as is, it became: DURBIN CALLS U.S. TROOPS NAZIS. That’s easier to digest, it’s easier to explain. It’s easier to spread rampantly through the conservative noise machine. It’s less sylabbles for all the mega-dittos in the Limbaugh universe. It makes for an easier rant for Michael Savage.

    Long story short, what Rove said is offensive. Any conservative who suggests otherwise loses credibility in my book. Any Republican who doesn’t stand up — the way, say, that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi distanced themselves from Dean — can’t claim to be an “independent” or a “moderate” when the 2008 election cycle begins.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Well stated, David — I agree.

  • Matt

    First, I would not rely on Brock. I refer you to a column written by Timothy Noah of ‘Slate’, a liberal on-line magazine, under a column called Chatterbox. The article is titled, ‘David Brock, Liar: A lifelong habit proves hard to break.’ Dated March 27, 2002. Here are some excerpts from the column where Noah is reviewing Brocks book, ‘Blinded by the Right’:
    “Whiny, histrionic, and so factually unreliable that Chatterbox practically gave himself a migraine trying to figure out which parts of Brock’s lurid story were true, and which parts were false.”….But Blinded by the Right offers plenty of evidence that for Brock, lying has been a lifelong habit.” “…How can we trust a writer who won’t even summarize his own book truthfully?” (You can read the entire column at: http://www.slate.com/id/2063759/)

    Rove did NOT say anything about Democrats, he said liberals…and here, David, are the quotes:

    Moveon.Org Petition 1 9/13/2001: “We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of the United States of America and of countries around the world, appeal to the President of The United States, George W. Bush; to the NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson; to the President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi; and to all leaders internationally to use moderation and restraint in responding to the recent terrorist attacks against the United States. We implore the powers that be to use, wherever possible, international judicial institutions and international human rights law to bring to justice those responsible for the attacks, rather than the instruments of war, violence or destruction.”

    Or did Rove mean these quotes:

    Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), 10/1/01, Roll Call: “I truly believe if we had a Department of Peace, we could have seen [9/11] coming.”
    Al Sharpton, 12/1/02, New York Times, on the 9/11 attacks: “America is beginning to reap what it has sown.”

    Rep. Marcy Kaptur, 3/1/2003, Toledo Blade: “One could say that Osama bin Laden and these non-nation-state fighters with religious purpose are very similar to those kind of atypical revolutionaries that helped cast off the British crown.”

    Senator Joe Biden, 10/22/01: ‘How much longer does the bombing campaign continue?’ Biden asked during an Oct. 22 speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. ‘We’re going to pay every single hour, every single day it continues.’ (Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 10/26/01)
    Senator Joe Biden, 10/22/01: “The Bombing Campaign, [Biden] Said, Reinforced Existing Stereotypes Of The United States As A ‘High-Tech Bully …’” (Ibid.)

    Representative Dennis Kucinich, 9/30/01: Sitting In His Capitol Hill Office Last Week, Near A Window Where He Could See The Smoke Rising From The Pentagon On Sept. 11, Kucinich Insisted He Is More Optimistic Than Ever That People Worldwide Are Ready To Embrace The Cause Of Nonviolence.” … “Afghanistan May Be An Incubator Of Terrorism But It Doesn’t Follow That We Bomb Afghanistan …” [Cleveland, OH] Plain Dealer, 9/30/01)

    Senator John Kerry, 4/19/04: “I will use our military when necessary, but it is not primarily a military operation. It’s an intelligence-gathering, law-enforcement, public-diplomacy effort,” he said. “And we’re putting far more money into the war on the battlefield than we are into the war of ideas. We need to get it straight.” (Washington Times, 4/19/04)

    Bill Clinton 11/7/01 speech: “Those of us who come from various European lineages are not blameless. Indeed, in the first Crusade, when the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with 300 Jews in it, and proceeded to kill every woman and child who was Muslim on the Temple mound…with blood running up to their knees. ..This country once looked the other way when significant numbers of Native Americans were dispossessed and killed to get their land or their mineral rights or because they were thought of as less than fully human and we are still paying the price today… So terror has a long history.”

    Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) “(Osama bin Laden) He’s been out in these countries for decades, building schools, building roads, building infrastructure, building day care facilities, building health care facilities, and the people are extremely grateful. He’s made their lives better.”

    Susan Sontag:“Where is the acknowledgment that this was not a ‘cowardly’ attack on ‘civilization’ or ‘liberty’ or ‘humanity’ or ‘the free world,’ but an attack on the world’s self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions?”

    Michael Moore: “We abhor terrorism – unless we’re the ones doing the terrorizing. We paid and trained and armed a group of terrorists in Nicaragua in the 1980s who killed over 30,000 civilians. That was OUR work. You and me.…Let’s mourn, let’s grieve, and when it’s appropriate let’s examine our contribution to the unsafe world we live in.” (Michael Moore Website Archive, “Death, Downtown,” Posted 9/12/01, http://www.michaelmoore.com)

    Are these not liberals? Didn’t they say these things? Seems to me Rove should not be apologizing for the truth.

  • http://jonsobel.com Jon Sobel

    I agree with David too, but the problem is, Republicans as a rule have not been willing to stand up against extreme statements like Rove’s or Santorum’s. In Silas’s initial comment, he wrote, “finger pointing gets us nowhere.” But that’s just a cover for what the vast majority of Republicans are doing with their own fingers: putting them in their ears because they’ve already made up their minds about everything.

    Since we’re discussing Nazi comparisons, how about this one: no one (or no one with any influence, anyway) pointed fingers at Hitler in the 30s, or during the war, and some 11 million people were murdered. Without finger pointing, the whole world must burn in order to defeat evil. Without finger pointing, evil escapes, unpunished, to ride again.

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Hey, I’ve got a really wild idea. How about the administration, both sides of the aisle in Congress, BlocCritics users, and the entire human race stop demonizing each other. Hyperbole in the end simply backfires–it deadens people so when something really bad happens, no one listens.

    On the other hand, forget it. You conservative, Republican, flag waving, America-firsters are all weinies.

    Gosh, I feel better already.

  • http://jonsobel.com Jon Sobel

    Matt has obliged with quotes. Let’s take them one by one:

    – The MoveOn petition urged the use of judicial institutions and human rights law instead of war, WHEREVER POSSIBLE. How could anyone possibly disagree with that?

    – The Abercrombie quote is an idealistic generality with no relevance to the matter at hand.

    – Al Sharpton? Come on. His quixotic run for president aside, inflammatory statements are his bread and butter. Does anyone take Michael Savage seriously on the right?

    – Marcy Kaptur: I never heard of this person before, but without knowing the context, I’d agree that hers is a pretty dumb and/or ignorant statement. What was the context, though?

    – Joe Biden was objecting to the bombing of innocent civilians – “collateral damage” in the coldhearted terminology of the Age of Bush. That’s what we will “pay” for in terms of increased anti-Americanism. Don’t see how any thinking person could disagree with this.

    – Kucinich is another pie-in-the-sky idealist. The world needs its Kuciniches. His statement, however, said nothing whatsoever relevant to the matter at hand. Nothing about using law where war was needed, or “therapy.” Just a suggestion that bombing isn’t necessarily the answer to every international problem.

    – John Kerry was talking about the “war on terror” in general. No one has proved him wrong. No one currently in power has actually given peace a chance.

    – Bill Clinton was giving a history lesson and attempting to put present conflicts in historical perspective. He was making no specific statements about the matters at hand. Santayana said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” I guess that’s just loony liberal-speak, though.

    – Patty Murray was explaining bin Laden’s popularity among certain populations in the Middle East. Useful information, I’d say.

    – Susan Sontag simply states her perfectly valid opinion that America’s arrogant and aggressive side seems to have had more influence, in certain areas of the world, on attitudes towards it than have its cultural and political contributions. She is engaging in a form of realpolitik, in fact. If we don’t acknowledge our own flaws and mistakes, we eventually become the monster that some already take us for.

    – Michael Moore – couldn’t you have found something more inflammatory from him? This is one of the his most cogent and reasonable quotes. “Let’s mourn, let’s grieve, and when it’s appropriate let’s examine our contribution to the unsafe world we live in.” Isn’t that better than sticking our heads in the sand and firing our weapons willy-nilly at anyone with a black moustache?

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    Of course, the David Brock reference is from that in-between phase of his life, when he was trying to distance himself from his 1990s persona as a “right-wing hit man” and evolving into the liberal watchdog he is today.

    Brock, by his own admission, has burned a lot of bridges.

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Very poignant, Jon, in your assessment on my finger pointing comment. I have to agree with you to a point. The reality is that there is a basic underlying truth to what the conservatives or liberals say if you look at their perspective. This nation was built on the backs of slaves and terrorism in its primitive form was used to drive the Native Americans from their lands. As an American, I have their blood on my hands. It’s not an easy thing to admit, but it is the truth nonetheless.

    So, rather than finger pointing, maybe you’re right. We need to pull the fingers out of the ears of those who refuse to listen. We need to remove the blinders from those who choose to be blind. It all sounds so poetic but it’s true. We don’t need the television pundits to show us what we should react to. We’re basically an intelligent bunch. We can read these things for ourselves. We can make informed decisions and execute a reaction if we so choose. Unfortunately most of us are so busy trying to survive and keep up with the Joneses that we don’t have the luxury of time to actually do something proactive and get these dman politicians to react to US instead of their own petty crap.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Yes, Rove is wrong. Unless you can find a single example of a Democrat suggesting that Osama needs therapy. <<

    Actually, numerous Democrats advocated 9/11 ‘grief’ therapy in schools, workplaces and community centers as part of federally funded programs. That’s likely what stuck in Rove’s head when he made his statement, which is basically correct. The Republican response to the attack was to look for someone to hit back at. The Democrat response was mixed. Some went with the Republicans, but many looked for ways to blame the US and do nothing.

    There’s no comparison between what Rove said and what Durbin said, because Rove’s statement was basically true and Durbin’s was a gross exaggeration. That said, both of them were engaging in hyperbole and pure rabble-rousing rhetoric and you have to expect some of that and give it a pass. Making every contentious statement into some sort of national crisis is ridiculous.

    Dave

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Rhetoric by any other name remains propaganda. By the way, what happened to brown shirt?

  • http://jonsobel.com Jon Sobel

    “Making every contentious statement into some sort of national crisis is ridiculous.”

    Dave N., I totally agree with you there. When people get emotionally offended, on either side, they react with anger and, if so inclined, fiery rhetoric. I’ve been guilty of it myself – as someone who experienced 9/11 very close at hand, I resent its use for political purposes, and react accordingly.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Yeah, as a native New Yorker with friends and family all over New York City, 9/11 is a particularly touchy topic with me.

    The more I think about, the more I realize how calculated Rove’s statement was as a way to move the topic of national discussion from “Bush’s Approval Ratings Down Amidst War, Stalled Agenda” to “Liberals Hate America.”

    Sounds about the game plan, doesn’t it?

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Ah, Eric, you looked beyond the hyperbole to see what it was that Karl Rove was doing! Why can’t more poeple see through all that?

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    So offering the idea of “grief therapy,” to victims, if that was indeed a Democratic initiative, is the same as offering therapy to terrorists?

    C’mon, Dave, you’re on the wrong side of this argument.

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    I’ll take this a step further.

    If I were president, I’d publicly ask for an apology. Bush did that a couple of years ago, don’t forget, when Cheney overstepped what we knew about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda with regard to the terrorist attacks. Bush publicly called Cheney on it.

    Unfortunately, Cheney continued to say the same thing in speeches to partisan groups, but that’s beside the point.

    Another thing — when Dean made his blunt comments about Republicans, some Democrats took offense and distanced themselves. I’m waiting for some Republicans to do the same.

    When Dean made his comments, the cable gabfests, both conservative and confused (like Hardball) went after Dean. Will they go after Rove with the same vigor? We’ll see. So far, the answer (from the Fox News All-Stars) is no.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Dave N., I totally agree with you there. When people get emotionally offended, on either side, they react with anger and, if so inclined, fiery rhetoric. I’ve been guilty of it myself – as someone who experienced 9/11 very close at hand, I resent its use for political purposes, and react accordingly.<<

    The key is that when people react emotionally they stop thinking, and that’s what the rhetoric is all about.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    I think it will be fascinating to see where the national mood / discussion heads over the next week. Will it be off on this next of a series of sideshows — after all, the MJ trial is now over, the circus has left town — or will it finally settle on real issues, as it has over the last few weeks.

    Is it any wonder that Bush’s and Congress’ approval ratings are tanking?

    Is it any wonder that Bush’s Brain is trying to do anything to divert Divert DIVERT?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>So offering the idea of “grief therapy,” to victims, if that was indeed a Democratic initiative, is the same as offering therapy to terrorists? <<

    No, but I think that the therapy advocates are what put the idea into Rove’s head.

    Dave

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    “The Democrat response was mixed. Some went with the Republicans, but many looked for ways to blame the US and do nothing”

    From here.

    Senate Joint Resolution 22 stated in part: “[Congress] supports the determination of the President, in close consultation with Congress, to bring to justice and punish the perpetrators of these attacks as well as their sponsors…” — Passed 100-0 on September 12, 2001

    House Joint Resolution 61 — the House Version of SJ Resolution 22 — Passed 408-0 on September 13

    House Joint Resolution 64 — “To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.” Passed the House 420-1 on September 14, 2001

    Senate Joint Resolution 23 (the Senate version of HJR 64) — “To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.” It was sponsored in the Senate by noted liberal Sen Tom Daschle. And Passed the Senate 98-0. The two Senators who didn’t vote were both Republican

    Senate Bill 1426 committed $40 billion to the War on Terror — Passed 96-0 on September 14. Four Senators failed to vote, three of them Republicans, one a Republican turned Independent

    So, in what way is that a “mixed” response?

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Eric, the national discussion next week will be Tom Cruise and Scientology. The foundation was laid in his little show with Matt Lauer this morning. Perhaps by Monday some celebrity will commit rape, shoplift or, better yet, murder somebody. The news channels get boring when there’s no real news. Anybody know what’s going on with Chuck and Camilla?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Scott, it says that the folks elected to office don’t represent the extreme left of the Democratic party.

    Dave

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    unlike those elected representing the extreme right of the GOP?

    i’ll buy that for a dollar…

    Excelsior!

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    Dave – Then how is your initial comment relevant at all? That those who aren’t elected officials and have no say in policy making didn’t want to go to war?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    There are a lot of very outspoken Democrats – like the moveon.org crowd – who opposed any action against Afghanistan or Iraq. They aren’t elected, but they do have a voice and it’s a loud one. How is that not abundantly clear?

    Dave

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    Well, obviously, it didn’t matter how loud their “voice” was because the elected officials voted to go to war.