The Blame Game

03.23.04

I’m breaking my promise not to mention the American election until September – but only tangentially – because I want to highlight this post by Debbye:

I’ve been watching the hearings of the independent commission of Sept. 11 on CNN, and it is frustrating. Did the administration under FDR have to face a similar inquiry about lapses of failure after Pearl Habour? (That is strictly a rhetorical question, okay?)

There is so astounding a lack of common sense and humility in these proceedings that it begs the questions Are you more interested in winning this war or this election? In what way does what did or did not happen before Sept. 11 actually pertain to the post-Sept. 11 period?

Honestly, just when did The Blame Game become the second American pastime?

[ . . . ]

I can’t summon up outrage against the Clinton administration. I can’t summon up outrage against the Bush administration. The somebody should have known mindset is all very well and good if you actually believe the technology in The X-Files is online and available to our government.

[ . . . ]

Ooh, brainstorm! Why don’t we just blame the terrorists for Sept. 11?

Because, Debbye, people are more interested in pinning catastrophes on their political rivals than on those really at fault. Left blames right. Right blames left. And the cycle continues.

I’m tired of reading endless attacks and character smears on Kerry from right-wing sites, and just as tired of hearing them about Bush from left-wing sites. Yes, it’s an election year. Yes, passions run high and there are certainly people out there who are party-loyal and view the other guys as the devils-incarnate. And yes, maybe it’s easier for me, with my outsider’s perspective, to roll my eyes and remark that it doesn’t matter.

That’s right. I said it doesn’t matter.

Because the terrorists don’t hate Americans because they have a Republican president. They hate Americans because they’re Americans. September 11th would have happened even if Gore won the Florida battle… and the terrorists wouldn’t have batted an eyelash when the whole world tried to make him out to be the devil incarnate.

Would Gore’s team have attacked Iraq? Unlikely. And yeah, that changes things somewhat on the world scene. But would the terrorists have capitulated or given up with a Democrat in the White House? Not a chance! Most of the planning for 9/11 took place during Clinton’s term.

So vote for Bush. Or for Kerry. Or for Nader. Or for Mickey Mouse. Or for the Purple People Eater. The terrorists aren’t going to start loving the U.S. no matter who Americans elect as their President… unless it’s Bin Laden. (Hmmm, I figure he could probably dominate the election in San Francisco…)

The “Great Satan” of America is a myth that’s believed by a large portion of the world… and they don’t care who the Americans vote for as their President – they just care that Americans can vote at all.

I’m so sick of seeing this basic truism being turned into a finger-pointing election issue that I felt it necessary to break my promise and rant about it. Now I’m done, and we’re back to our regularly-scheduled programming. But 9/11 wasn’t Bush’s fault, or Clinton’s fault, and it’s certainly not Kerry’s fault or Gore’s fault or Rice’s fault or Rumsfeld’s fault. Like Debbye said, it’s the terrorists’ fault. And somehow I doubt that the families of the 3,000 people who were murdered in the WTC would grant anyone the right to cheapen their lives as an election issue.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Debbye 03.23.04 at 10:35 PM

Thanks for the link, segacs, and you are right on target about the Dems and Reps indulging in negative campaigning instead of focusing on issues.

The here and now. That must be our focus.

Many of us are trying to send this message to both parties. We’ll see if it works and with whom.

Reply

2 Pierre 03.24.04 at 1:29 PM

I fully supported the invasion of Iraq, even though I had serious doubts Saddam had WMDs or was in in cahoots with Al Qaeda. It was the right thing to do even if it may have been for the wrong (stated) reasons. And I seriously doubt that Gore would have had the balls to have gone into Iraq especially after the flak that Clinton had taken from both the left and right on Kosovo (yes, just reread the crap from prominent Republicans about how Clinton was putting American pilots in Kosovo in harm’s way purely as a diversion from his domestic troubles). [Part 2 of this comment follows…]

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3 Pierre 03.24.04 at 1:32 PM

[Continued…] But re 9/11, let’s not pretend that the bitterness over Bush’s handling of Al Quaeda would be nearly so great had he not immediately used the opportunity to remake himself as the “war president” (do we need to list all the disgusting ploys?). Even his tax cuts were somehow conscripted in the “war on terror”! When countries are at war (use any of the classic examples), true leaders explain the harsh facts to their people, ask their nations to endure sacrifices (a tax cut for billionaires?!) and reach out to their political opponents (i.e. the Democrats, not the Buchanan rabid right or the loony left) to join in combatting the common foe. [Part 3 of comment follows…]

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4 Pierre 03.24.04 at 1:36 PM

[Continued…] Was this done? For five minutes, maybe. After that it was a full-court press to get the Bush administration identified with patriotism and “American values” and anyone who sincerely and politely questioned its decisions as being “objectively” pro-Bin Laden or pro-Saddam. Of course 9/11 wasn’t Bush’s fault (it was almost certainly in the works well before he took office), but had he used the occasion to create a truly bipartisan coalition in what is indeed a “war”, and had he shown himself to be what he promised in the 2000 campaign — a uniter, not a divider — there would never have been this level of acrimony or “blame”.

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