Yesterday morning I was having breakfast with my friend Ben and we got talking about where we were and what we were doing when the first plane hit the towers some eleven years ago. This led to a discussion about the mythologies of the Republican Party, in particular the line "Bush kept us safe..." to which Ben responded, "except that one time." The reality is that one of the largest attacks on US soil happened under his watch.
Shortly after the event, there were stories that claimed the Bush administration had intelligence which had been ignored which may have enabled them to stop the attacks. An op-ed in yesterday's New York Times indicated that the degree of negligence was greater than previously reported. Of course, the right wing talk radio world has become apoplectic, yelling that liberals are blaming Bush for 9/11.
Yet, they give Bush praise for no attacks on his watch... other than the one, the only one since Pearl Harbor... but that doesn't count. It does count. And worse than that, while there may not have been another attack on US soil after that, the reality is that the Bush administration's policies destroyed any sense of security that we had as a people. They played on our fears. They curtailed our rights. And perhaps worst of all, they destroyed our economy by rushing into two unnecessary wars which consumed incredible resources while at the same time cutting taxes. They presided over the destruction of our economy, in large degree the results of their policy choices. Losing one's job, one's home, one's future is anything but being "safe."
The Republicans want us to forget all of that. They want to go back to the same economic policies that got us into this mess. They are rattling sabres at Iran and threatening yet another protracted and expensive war while at the same time talking about more tax cuts. They say that after creating one of the largest messes the country has ever experienced, because a Democratic administration has not cleaned it all up in four years while dealing with a congress that was/is of the least interested in actually solving problems of any congress ever, we should allow them back into power.
Was Bush responsible for 9/11? No. Could he have stopped it? Maybe. Are the Republicans responsible for what happened afterwards which led to one of the largest recessions we've known and the slowest recovery, the loss of more lives than have been counted, and the virtual destruction of two countries on top of allowling ours to go down the toilet? Absolutely.
So, if you want to protect America and to help keep it safe, do not vote for the party that has been working to destroy it since 9/11.