So now we know how Rudy Giuliani will run his presidential campaign. He's not just playing the 9/11 card (his only card, IMHO), but picking up the Bush/Cheney fearmongering approach.
This week, Mr. G. (I refuse to be so familiar with politicians as to call them by their first names) flat out said that if a Democrat is elected in 2008, we'll have another 9/11. If a Republican is elected (Mr. G., in particular), there won't be any attacks. So whom would you choose?
The proper response to this is one word: "Bullshit." This sort of fearmongering worked in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, but it doesn't play anymore. Vote for a Democrat and we'll get attacked? No one's buying that.
Of course, it would be nice if the leading Democratic contenders responded in this kind of plain language. Instead, we get typical politician-speak, where the point (if it is one) is buried in copious amounts of cover-your-ass verbiage, sure to inspire the average American to tune out and turn off.
For example, here's how Senator Clinton responded to Mr. G's outrageous claim:
"There are people right now in the world, not just wishing us harm but actively planning and plotting to cause us harm. If the last six years of the Bush Administration have taught us anything, it's that political rhetoric won't do anything to quell those threats. And that America is ready for a change.
"One of the great tragedies of this Administration is that the President failed to keep this country unified after 9/11. We have to protect our country from terrorism -- it shouldn't be a Democratic fight or a Republican fight. The plain truth is that this Administration has done too little to protect our ports, make our mass transit safer, and protect our cities. They have isolated us in the world and have let Al Qaeda regroup. The next President is going to be left with these problems and will have to do what it takes to make us safer and bring Democrats and Republicans together around this common mission of protecting our nation. That is exactly what has to be done and what I am ready to do."
Two paragraphs where one word ("bullshit") would do. This is why I don't like Ms. C. -- too much business-as-usual politics, not enough straight talk. Where's the beef? If it's there (and I'm not sure it is), it's well-buried.
Senator Obama's response was a little more direct:
"Rudy Giuliani today has taken the politics of fear to a new low and I believe Americans are ready to reject those kind of politics. America's mayor should know that when it comes to 9-11 and fighting terrorists, America is united. We know we can win this war based on shared purpose, not the same divisive politics that question your patriotism if you dare to question failed policies that have made us less secure."
And, just in, here's how former Senator Edwards responded:
"Rudy Giuliani's suggestion that there is some superior 'Republican' way to fight terrorism is both divisive and plain wrong. He knows better. That's not the kind of leadership he offered in the days immediately after 9/11, and it's not the kind of leadership any American should be offering now.
"As far as the facts are concerned, the current Republican administration led us into a war in Iraq that has made us less safe and undermined the fight against al Qaeda. If that's the 'Republican' way to fight terror, Giuliani should know that the American people are looking for a better plan. That's just one more reason why this election is so important; we need to elect a Democratic president who will end the disastrous diversion of the war in Iraq."
I like Edwards' response better than Clinton's or Obama's (Mr. G. is "both divisive and plain wrong"), even if it could be a tad more concise. That said, I'm longing for that aspiring public servant to give the appropriate one-word response, and put the fearmongering to rest.
But that's just my opinion; reasonable minds may disagree.