Friday, July 01, 2005

Bush & "9/11" - The well run dry

E.J. Dionne makes an excellent point about President Bush's repeated references to 9/11 in his speech the other night:

Democrats are no longer afraid to criticize Bush, as they were for much of the two years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Indeed, the reaction to the president's repeated mentions of the attacks underscored the dissipation of national unity over the past four years.

In the past, the mere mention of that galvanizing day would unify the country. Bush and his lieutenants gave it another shot, but his five mentions of Sept. 11 brought jeers, not cheers, from Democrats. "It shows the weak ground that they're on that they would mention the sacred ground of 9/11," House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in an interview.
This is all true, but it is actually worse than that for the president.

Tuesday night's speech was, I think, the last time Bush will be able to play the 9/11 card to justify his actions. It had the feeling of a bad joke whose punchline we have heard too many times even to give a courtesy chuckle anymore. It was so transparently desperate and dishonest that it had the word "ploy" stamped all over it. This was W's version of "Message: I care."

If the president ever tries to invoke 9/11 to defend himself or his policies again, everybody but the cheerleaders at FOX "News" will roll their eyes right out of their heads.