There have been a couple tragic accidents involving conservative aristocrats of spin. Glenn Beck for the third time in less then a year accidentally super-glued his mouth to the exhaust pipe of his Mercedes. Subsequently babbling some theory about Hurricane Katrina and former Obama administration green jobs advisor Van Jones, On 9/11, Beck tries out new conspiracy theory: ACORN, Van Jones to blame for Katrina?
On Sept. 11, 2009, he produced what may be his most confusing, conjecture-filled tirade yet. This time, he has somehow “connected” the dots, tying community organization ACORN, an international employees union, the City of New Orleans and former Obama green jobs director Van Jones into the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
One could even infer from Beck’s trailing, incoherent suggestions that he wants listeners to think ACORN and elements of the Obama administration are responsible for the complete lack of federal aide immediately after the storm: A scandal which will forever rest at the feet of the Bush administration.
No one knows for sure, but Mr. Beck’s craving for tail pipe fumes may be a genetic disorder. Fortunately for Beck lunacy pays well and he is reported to have round the clock nursing care.
Meanwhile former drug addict and for all intents and purposes, the head of the Republican Partay, Rush Limbaugh tripped over his tongue. When he fail one of his Cuban cigars jammed into Limbaugh’s brain and he began an incoherent rant,
Rush then moved back to politics. He said the manner in which Obama chose to remember 9-11 today “is an outrage” and an “insult” to the memory of the Americans who died eight years ago, and an insult to the passengers on Flight 93. Rush was appalled by the way Obama was commemorating 9-11: “This could be the most outrageous moment yet of the Obama presidency,” said Rush. “Twisting 9-11 into a nationalist day of service to the state.”
Every American not suffering from Limbaughary knows the idea of commemorating 9-11 as a day of service was the result of the work of a group of people that included everyone on the political spectrum. I finally understand what it really means when people say “no good deed goes unpunished.”
About seven years ago, the 9/11 community came together to support the wonderful idea that the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks on America ought to become a federally-observed, national day of service and remembrance, rather than become just another day on the calendar. Most would say it was a no-brainer.
I guess not.
This past August, a few months after the 9/11 community finally secured passage of bipartisan legislation that established 9/11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance, a writer for the American Spectator published an article entitled “Obama’s Plan to Desecrate 9/11.”
The opening sentence read this way:
The Obama White House is behind a cynical, coldly calculated political effort to erase the meaning of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks from the American psyche and convert Sept. 11 into a day of leftist celebration and statist idolatry.
An awful lot of people who read that article concluded that the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance was hatched by President Obama, not the 9/11 families at all, and furthermore, that our group, MyGoodDeed, was a front for “pinko commies.” In an instant, what we had spent years building from scratch with the help of conservatives and liberals alike, not to mention very senior members of the Bush Administration, was transformed into a leftist political conspiracy to trick Americans into supporting President Obama’s socialist agenda. Holy crap!
Not being one that reads the political media all that much — I prefer the sports pages — I had no idea what was about to happen next. First, a bunch of other blogs picked it up. And then Fox News got ahold of it. I’m sitting at home with a pizza watching TV one night, and all of a sudden there’s Laura Ingraham blasting us for cavorting with guys like Van Jones and some other “commie” guy I never met or talked to in my life. What the heck?
Then our website, meant to be a peaceful place for well-meaning people to post their good deeds for the day and other service projects in tribute to the 9/11 victims, starts getting hammered with pretty scary comments from more than a few angry conservatives… things like:
“You BASTARDS. How Dare You!”
“This is so disrespectful to the thousands of people who died on September 11th. How dare you try to co-op 9/11 from a National Day of Mourning to some cheesy Obamabot service day.”
Up until that point, most of the posts were things like, “The Boys & Girls Clubs of Augusta will make cards of appreciation for the local veterans and distribute them on September 11th,” and “I will be displaying two flags containing the names of the civilians that died on 911 along with the names of the firefighters and rescue workers…” Wow!
Now everyone is entitled to their opinion — this is a free country. And we don’t mind it if some people think that establishing 9/11 as a day of service and remembrance is the worst idea in the world. Although our view is that the 9/11 families themselves ought to be able to decide what the observance should be, people certainly can disagree. That’s what makes America great.
But more was going on here than that. The real problem was that 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance had become somebody’s political ammo, in this case aimed at the Obama Administration. I felt a little like I’d walked into convenience store in the middle of a freakin’ hold-up.
Apparently, we were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I talked to the writer later and he explained what he was trying to do — bring to light information that he said indicated that the president was orchestrating a plan to manipulate 9/11 for political gain. (We’ve been there before, BTW.) Later, in a subsequent post, he clarified his position and provided excellent and accurate information on our group and the 9/11 family origins of the observance, which thankfully stopped some of the more vociferous attacks.
But I sure learned that it’s not a good thing to get into anyone’s political cross-hairs these days.
Which is exactly why this observance is so important and right.
The whole idea is to encourage all of America to remember the way we were immediately after the attacks — we weren’t red states or blue states. We were Americans, and we were powerful. Because we were unified. Today, we are anything but. Ordinary citizens who might find themselves sharing coleslaw at a weekend BBQ are throwing punches at one another in the middle of town hall meetings on health care reform. Geez!
I’m not saying there aren’t serious issues at hand. And people are going to disagree. But if 9/11 taught us anything, it was that we need to remember that we have so much more in common as human beings than we have differences. We have to find ways to debate our views, and solve our problems with the 9/11 spirit of unity in mind.
For the record, the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance is widely backed by the Left, Middle and Right and is not, in any way, a government led or funded initiative created by President Obama or any government agency. It was started by the 9/11 community eager to leave a lasting and positive legacy honoring their lost loved ones, and is supported by respected nonprofits such as the Points of Light Institute, founded with the help of former President George Bush Sr., AARP, America’s Promise Alliance, City Year, ServiceNation, and many other wonderful and nonpartisan groups listed on our Web site at 911dayofservice.org.
Mr. Paine must not be very political because if he had be keeping up he would know that Republicans think they own 9-11. That the tragic events of that day happened to Republicans, not the United States. 9-11 has become a Conservative trade mark like the golden arches. You have to check with them first before you’re allowed to pray about 9-11, much less speak about it in public. To designate it as a day of doing what ever service individual Americans might feels honors those that died or the memories of the survivors that has not been checked and thoroughly vetted with Limbaugh, the American Spectator and the rest of America’s right-wing extremists is the new heresy.
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff to Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell, said in response to an interviewer’s question Thursday that he believes Cheney has gone a bit farther than too far.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that the man truly is — whether he was that way when I knew him before, when he was Secretary of Defense, I don’t know, that’s not at issue with me any more — the man now is just crazy,” Wilkerson said.
With all genuine respects to Col. Wilkerson, Cheney is probably wrapped tighter then a mummy. That narrative is at the same time a little too convenient for letting George “The Decider” Bush off the hook. Remember Bush governed under the concept of the unitary executive. His powers basically ended where he decided they should end.
Chuck Hagel, Republican senator from Nebraska, says:
There’s a very clear pattern of aggressively asserting executive power, and the Congress has essentially been complicit in letting him do it. The key is that Bush has a Republican Congress; of course if it was a Clinton presidency we’d be holding hearings.
Cheney’s campaign to paint himself as the malicious villain does two things. It perpetuates a role that Cheney has always enjoyed playing and it makes George look better for sake of history. How could Bush 43 end up not being one of the worse, if not the worse president in our history. Up until Bush 43, Ronald Reagan was considered one of the worse, yet conservative revisionists have managed to to give Reagan’s abysmal record something of a facelift.