Sunday, May 30, 2010

On "Keeping Us Safe"

Republicans are missing a really good opportunity to portray Obama as “failing to keep us safe” by using the wrong arguments regarding the right terrorist incident.

They have been making that case since he took office, of course, and I have yet to see them use a reason, excuse or rationale that came even close to making sense. They tried that he was threatening to close Guantanamo, that he wasn’t spying on Americans sufficiently, that he’s trying terrorists improperly and, of course, the ludicrous canard that he was cutting overall defense spending.

Now, with this attempted bombing of Times Square, they are presented with a chance to make some logical arguments, and they walk right past the logical arguments to make the usual illogical and ridiculous claims of manners in which it represents Obama making us less safe. First that he is making us less safe by giving the guy Miranda rights and not torturing him, and then that he is making us less safe by bringing the guy to trial in a civilian court of law.

The Obama Administration’s best defense of their actions seems to be, “Well, Bush did it too,” rather than saying that it is the right thing to do because we are a nation of laws and that this is what our constitution requires that we do. But that’s another issue.

If the Republicans have a working brain cell and wanted to damage Obama, they would be screaming at the top of their lungs about two things; the guy is Pakistani, and he was trained for the plot by the Taliban.

In all the years under Bush we had plots against us fomented by Iraqis, Saudis, Afghans, Yemenis, and Americans, but Pakistan was an ally and we never had a plot against our homeland plotted by a Pakistani and planned in Pakistan. Now Obama comes into office and widens the war into Pakistan, and look what happens.

Secondly, in all the years under Bush, the enemy was al Queda and all of the attacks against our homeland were planned by al Queda. The Taliban were local forces who were not interested in foreign adventures. Now Obama has made the war in Afghanistan specifically a war against the Taliban, and now the Taliban are planning attacks against our homeland.

I know, I’ve never used the term “our homeland” before, and I promise I won’t do so again. I was speaking as a surrogate for Republicans.

The problem for Republicans, of course, is that if they use these lines of attack they will be criticizing Obama for widening the war, and that would never do. They would love to attack Obama, that goes without saying, but to do so on the grounds that he widened a war would just stick in their collective craw. The Republican Party is the party of war, and they could no more be critical of increasing the scope or intensity of a war than they could advocate widening abortion rights.

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