Thursday, October 14, 2004

Friedman Green Tomatoes

Thomas Friedman writes what has to be his most forceful, confrontational column during the entire 4 years Bush has been in office. There's some really great stuff in here:

The Bush team's responses to Mr. Kerry's musings are revealing because they go to the very heart of how much this administration has become addicted to 9/11. The president has exploited the terrorism issue for political ends - trying to make it into another wedge issue like abortion, guns or gay rights - to rally the Republican base and push his own political agenda. But it is precisely this exploitation of 9/11 that has gotten him and the country off-track, because it has not only created a wedge between Republicans and Democrats, it's also created a wedge between America and the rest of the world, between America and its own historical identity, and between the president and common sense.

It doesn't stop there:

By exploiting the emotions around 9/11, Mr. Bush took a far-right agenda on taxes, the environment and social issues - for which he had no electoral mandate - and drove it into a 9/12 world. In doing so, Mr. Bush made himself the most divisive and polarizing president in modern history.

I want a president who can one day restore Sept. 11th to its rightful place on the calendar: as the day after Sept. 10th and before Sept. 12th. I do not want it to become a day that defines us. Because ultimately Sept. 11th is about them - the bad guys - not about us. We're about the Fourth of July.
This is a great column, but I also resent the hell out of it. This was a column that should have been written two months before the 2002 mid-term elections. By then it was obvious that Bush and his minions were going to use 911 for political purposes. It didn't take 3 years to blow the goodwill and unity created by 911, it took about 6 months. If Friedman had written this column, oh, let's say after the first of the commercials that came out using Osama Bin Laden in smear ads against Georgia Senator Max Cleland in his failed senate race , it might have awakened a few more people to what Bush was doing. Great column, but if Bush wins, it's too little, too late.



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