I would be shocked if much, if not all of this diary (or one similar to it) hasn't been written over the past 4 years. While I for one am beyond disbelief that the “republicans are strong/Democrats are weak” line took hold in the first place, I am nothing short of floored that this has not only stuck, but has been the biggest obstacle to the American public waking up and realizing just how outrageously amazingly ludicrous beyond any possible measure this total lie really is.
Hat tip to fellow kossack huntsu for pointing out Mike Lupica’s comment about the republicans keeping us safe. And thank-friggin-goodness we are seeing this in print (even if it is the sports section). And while Lupica’s was a one line comment buried in the middle of his column, it points out that absolute absurdity (and a tremendous opening for the Democrats) of the “only republicans can keep us safe” or “if Democrats will be elected, there will be another 9/11” memes.
While I can’t believe it worked in 2004, I can believe that there was still an enormous percentage of the American public were still completely and utterly in the dark and still whipped into a “they’re gonna kill us all if we don’t kill ‘em all first” frenzy – due in large part to the massive lying and covering up by this administration, the right wing noise machine and lazy (to say the least) nature of the press and media.
But now? Now??? This is all the republicans have left in their arsenal. They have lost everything else. Sex scandals? Check. Politicization of the Justice Department? Check. Lying to Congress by the Attorney General? Check. Lying to Congress by the Secretary of State? Check. Suspicion of obstruction of justice by the President’s top advisor? Check. Another republican Congressman under investigation? Check. Did I mention sex scandal?
That doesn’t even involve the latest disasters and spiraling out of control violence, bombings, torture and mass murders going on in Iraq since the latest national security failure in what is becoming a never ending list of national security failures that just so happened to ALL occur while the republicans have been in control of the situation of events.
Republicans are strong on national security? This statement should be laughed at with complete dismissal and the utmost of mockery. Strong HOW? Strong WHEN? Strong WHERE? And just for shits and giggles, strong WHO?
Once this meme dies the death that it should have died before it even took hold in the first place, so too will the republicans’ credibility with a larger-than-you-think portion of their remaining support (or as Stephen Colbert calls them, “the backwash”).
How have the republicans kept us safe? Are the ports secure? Are an adequate number of cargo containers being inspected? Are the air cargo holds in our planes being monitored? Can a large number of weapons or explosives be carried onto airplanes? Do we have more friends around the world than 6 years ago? Or do we have far less friends? Are our nuclear plants secure? Haven’t there been some strange situations at some plants?
When have they kept us safe? Who was the President on 9/11/01? Who ignored warnings by the French as well as their own briefings? Who was the mayor and leader of NYC on 9/11/01? Whose decision was it to put an emergency response center in 7 World Trade Center, and was mayor right after the 1993 attacks did nothing to prepare the city for another such attack on the World Trade Center? When the entire world was on our side right after 9/11, who held control of the entire Congress and the White House as bad decision after bad decision after bad decision after bad decision was being made about how to defend this country and make it safer?
Where exactly are we safer? Americans are looked more poorly upon in foreign countries now as a result of the pig headed and half-assed national security direction that the republicans (NOT just Bush) have taken us. Our friend Pakistan has been harboring the Taliban and al Qaeda. Iran, who reached out to us in 2001, 2002 AND 2003 certainly isn’t as welcoming. Here in the US, there has been a complete failure to take any true measures to keep us safe (see the “how” above). Our dependency on foreign oil is higher than it has been in the past, our economy was run into the ground by the republicans in Congress and the White House. We are at an economic and strategic disadvantage because of the billions of dollars borrowed for the completely failed foreign policy the republicans have pursued. And of course, the republicans have broken our entire military in every conceivable way (to the point that we can barely defend ourselves if need be) that it will take decades to rebuild.
Who can say they have done anything to keep us safer? Certainly not any of the republicans who have voted against armor and equipment for our troops. Certainly not those who blew off the 9/11 attack warnings. Certainly not those who didn’t keep New York City safe either. That includes you, Mr. “if I say you won’t keep us safe, maybe you will forget that I have already failed to keep you safe” Giuliani. That won’t look too good as you gear up for a Presidential run.
And we can’t forget those “strong” republicans who bravely avoided military service when called upon to actually be strong on national security. That means you, Dick Cheney, Rudy Giuliani, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Dennis Hastert, Mitch McConnell and Rush Limbaugh. That also means you, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, John Ashcroft, Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, George Will, William Kristol, Pat Buchanan and Saxby fucking Chambliss. And I didn’t forget you too Mitt Romney, Fred Kagan, Trent Lott, Tom DeLay and Sam Brownback.
Of course, one need only point to the past six years to show just how horrific a job the republicans have done with national security. Or what the republicans have done with Homeland Security dollars. Or who they wanted to put in charge of National Security after 2004.
This will be very important – VERY important to keep in the foreground. It is all they have left in their “debate” about Iraq. That the Democrats are “defeatists” and don’t have the “strength”. It is all they have left in their campaign “strategy”. This is a complete farce. And a lie. A lie so big that it is laughable.
Which is EXACTLY how we should respond every single time it is brought up.