Everyone expected this presidential campaign to be an acrimonious one, but few thought it would sink to the level of blaming the President for the September 11 attack on America. It seems apparent now that the Democrats believe they can only win in November if they characterize Bush's leadership before and after 9/11 as feckless. In addition, they must make it appear that Bush secretly wanted to go to war with Iraq, resulting in less attention to Osama and al—Qaeda, which, according to their rhetoric, made our country less safe.
Of course, the fact that we haven't had another attack on our homeland since that dreadful day doesn't seem to register with those who want to win power in Washington. For more than a year after 9/11 the President had the unwavering support of a great majority of Americans. It is now apparent that the opposition party decided it had to do everything possible to erode that support if they were to have a chance of defeating Mr. Bush this year. Once again, it's not about the future security of our nation, the economy, or any other substantive issue; it's about winning back the White House, no matter what it costs.
Ultra—liberal publications like the New York Times hammer away daily with a persistently bitter drumbeat against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al, as they paint a glowing portrait of John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and other assorted leftist soul mates. Mr. Kennedy, appearing on Meet the Press, told Tim Russert that the US should not be in Iraq. When Russert asked if he felt we should "cut and run," the hero of Chappaquiddick, an expert on running away, mumbled more meaningless bursts of air as he dodged the question and took another pathetic swipe at someone whose shoes he's not fit to shine.
The best thing that can happen to Dubya is for Teddy to continue criticizing him, because every time the public looks on the hateful countenance of the Massachusetts mountebank, the president grows in stature. When Russert questioned him about Kerry's flip—flops on his votes for the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, and the money for the troops, the visibly shaken "profile in cowardice" changed the subject again by launching another vitriolic salvo against the man who is what he can never be.
Another ally in the Marxist march toward Pennsylvania Avenue is that hour—long adjunct to the Democratic Party, also known as "60 Minutes." Last Sunday's episode featured, Dick Clarke, the former counter—terrorism tsar during the Clinton administration who was held over, albeit demoted, when George W. Bush took over. After resigning about a year ago, Mr. Clarke, embarked on a tell—all tome about his experiences before, during, and after 9/11. Like so many other career bureaucrats who become embittered when a new chief executive cleans house and installs his own staff, Mr. Clarke seems to be struggling for relevance. What better way to get your fifteen minutes of fame than by accusing the leader of the free world of failing to protect the country before a devastating attack, and employing personal pique in his "invasion" of another country? According to this latest Bush—basher, he "got the impression" that the President wanted to find a link between Iraq and al—Qaeda. Well, I suppose that's all one needs to accuse the President of being a warmonger. I guess all those violated UN resolutions during a 12—year period, the brutal rape and torture of countless thousands of innocent people, and the Iraqi plot to assassinate Bush 1 doesn't count for much.
Leslie Stahl, emoting like a trained thespian, expressed shock and awe when Clarke said that Bush had done a poor job of battling terrorism, as if she didn't already know it was part of the interview. What she wasn't shocked about is the fact that Clarke re—scheduled the release of his book for Monday, the day after getting nationwide exposure on television, and right before the 9/11 hearings. Yet, this recently defrocked terrorism expert had nothing but compliments for the Bush Administration while he was accepting his substantial paycheck. Why didn't he say something publicly during his tenure? Or resign, if he were being pressured to distort the truth?
Perhaps because it's much more lucrative to write a book assailing a Republican President, and wait for the money to come pouring in, after the media cooperate in making your accusations the leading story of the week. Despite Democrats' constant whining about the Bush Administration's economic record, Dick Clarke has certainly proven that we remain the land of opportunity.
Bob Weir writes the syndicated column Weir Only Human, and has published 7 books. He is a retired New York police sergeant, living in Flower Mound, Texas. He may be contacted at BobWeir777@aol.com