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August 31, 2004

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9/11 was unspeakably awful, but "the worst crisis in our history"? Worse than, oh, the Civil War?

Edward: So the true sign of great leadership is that you're mocked? In that case, the entire Republican National Convention is one, long testament to John Kerry's greatness.

To be fair, his point is really that being mocked does not preclude greatness. What he leaves out, of course, is that incompetence does.

Just curious, what are your theories as to why the post 9/11 unity became so non-unified?

Guiliani's the luckiest SOB on earth.

It takes a lot of guts to defend an appointed administration that cut NY's homeland security by 50%; terrorist targets like North Dakota, Wyoming, and Nebraska now receive several times more funding per capita than NY.

And, frankly, Guiliani's performance on 9/11 wasn't all that hot. It just seemed like it was because our national leader was in a bunker in Nebraska.

Let's not forget it was Guiliani who chose to put the city's emergency response center in the WTC. And it was Guiliani who failed to enact any changes to the city's command, control and communications which had failed so badly during the '93 WTC bombing. Not only couldn't the FDNY communicate with the NYPD on 9/11, it was found some FDNY radios could communicate with other FDNY radios. Anybody who saw the CBS documentary shot by the two French filmmakers could plainly see FDNY on-scene commanders had lost tactical control of the situation.

Just curious, what are your theories as to why the post 9/11 unity became so non-unified?

Easy--because Bush chose to use 9/11 to push an extremist agenda and to engage in crony capitalism. What he should have done is reach out in a gesture of mutual purpose and sacrifice and fully prosecuted the war in Afghanistan and the subsequent rebuilding of that nation. Instead, when bin Laden wasn't found "dead or alive," it's as if he lost interest. Then he moved on to the quagmire of Iraq.

I don't think I've ever heard those talking points crammed together so compactly.

BTW, the usually pro-Bush Wa Po has a rather surprising takedown of Giuliani's red meat speech last night.

the usually pro-Bush Wa Po

Are they? I'm not a frequent reader, but my impression was that while the editorial board tilted conservative, the news division (from which your cite is drawn) was pretty balanced.

What was with Giuliani? He looked awful; like a bad actor trying to play Rudy Giuliani. Only thing I can think of was that Rove was going to hurt his children if he didn't read the speech ...

"Easy--because Bush chose to use 9/11 to push an extremist agenda and to engage in crony capitalism. What he should have done is reach out in a gesture of mutual purpose and sacrifice and fully prosecuted the war in Afghanistan and the subsequent rebuilding of that nation. Instead, when bin Laden wasn't found "dead or alive," it's as if he lost interest. Then he moved on to the quagmire of Iraq."

Or alternatively because Democrats have lost their nerve in dealing with external threats and realized that their only chance of winning domestically is found in carping and obstructing.

Nah, both are a little over the top.

Nah, both are a little over the top.

Would you care to explain exactly what's over-the-top about:

"Easy--because Bush chose to use 9/11 to push an extremist agenda and to engage in crony capitalism. What he should have done is reach out in a gesture of mutual purpose and sacrifice and fully prosecuted the war in Afghanistan and the subsequent rebuilding of that nation. Instead, when bin Laden wasn't found "dead or alive," it's as if he lost interest. Then he moved on to the quagmire of Iraq."

Or alternatively because Democrats have lost their nerve in dealing with external threats and realized that their only chance of winning domestically is found in carping and obstructing.

This is not so much "a little over the top" as what we call an "outright lie", but I'll let that pass if you can explain why you consider a list of Bush's actions since 9/11 to be "a little over the top".

Personally I thought the analysis

"Easy--because Bush chose to use 9/11 to push an extremist agenda and to engage in crony capitalism. What he should have done is reach out in a gesture of mutual purpose and sacrifice and fully prosecuted the war in Afghanistan and the subsequent rebuilding of that nation. Instead, when bin Laden wasn't found "dead or alive," it's as if he lost interest. Then he moved on to the quagmire of Iraq."

was right on the mark....

"Unity" also implies working with the opposition. We heard so much about how Bush was great at doing this in Texas, but after the 2002 election, the GOP took on an increasingly haughty attitude, setting up the K Street Project and other equally powermongering initiatives.

Unity is only good, it seems, when it suits the GOP's needs. When others might benefit from it, well, as Rudy's constiuents would say "fuggedaboutit."

"We heard so much about how Bush was great at doing this in Texas..."

That was more spin than reality during the 2000 election... Considering the context of the political environment that is the state legislature in Texas any consensus building done with democrats there would not be the same as building consensus with Democrats in DC...

"'Unity' also implies working with the opposition."

As if democrats would consider doing that with those who oppose them.

It takes two to cooperate. Democrats have made it absolutely clear since the very first moments after Bush was sworn into office that they weren't willing to work with him. They have done so with unprecedented games over the judiciary and with specific memos on how to pervert Congressional Intelligence oversight to attack the administration. They have publically entertained smears about Bush 'knowing' about 9-11 while trying to maintain plausible deniability on the issue. They have attacked him on foreign policy relentlessly without having a realistic vision of their own.

And you know what, I don't care. I don't expect the Democratic Party to have a coherent policy vision, and as a result I don't expect them to cooperate well with it.

But don't [email protected]#%% pretend that Democrats were oh so interested in working with him. That is completely, utterly, false on almost any topic you want to discuss.

And you all know it.

It takes two to cooperate. Democrats have made it absolutely clear since the very first moments after Bush was sworn into office that they weren't willing to work with him.

You might want to tell his wife that. She was touting how he worked with Democrats (who clearly must have been willing) in her speech last night. You can't have it boht ways.

"boht," of course, is the liberal spelling for "both"

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But don't [email protected]#%% pretend that Democrats were oh so interested in working with him. That is completely, utterly, false on almost any topic you want to discuss.

Not false. The Democrats, being absolutely out of power, would have been very happy to work with Bush, since that would mean that they would have had more say in the policy than otherwise. It's easy for the party out of power to ask for unity, because it's only the party that's in power that has to actually give something up.

Myself, I enjoyed Rudy's speech.

Myself, I enjoyed Rudy's speech.

How truly shocking! ;-)

Well, he is America's Mayor!

"The Democrats, being absolutely out of power, would have been very happy to work with Bush, since that would mean that they would have had more say in the policy than otherwise."

Nice in theory. Care to talk specifics?

Out of curiosity, Navy, which part did you like most in Rudy's speech?

Care to talk specifics?

Actually, no. I think the whole discussion of "who killed the unity" is pointless, because the unity was superficial and bound to be short-lived. Dems and Repubs have different ideas about how to govern the country -- why would they all of a sudden decide to discard them? And even if they thought that was a good idea, how could they ever trust the other side not to stab them in the back?

In this case, the Repubs were in control of both relevant branches of government. Eventually they were bound to pursue a course of action that the Dems didn't agree with, thereby "breaking the unity" but for what they would understandably think were good reasons. If the situation were reversed, the Dems would do the same.

ISTM that most people who mourn the loss of "unity" are really saying "why can't we all just get together and follow my plan?"

Edward: you want NY attitude? Check here. Sample:

"Overheard in a hotel lobby: "I get the feeling these New Yorker liberals just don't understand how 9-11 changed things. It's like they don't even remember it." (no, (posting policy forces me to delete this word) you)."

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