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Thursday, June 23, 2005 

Just Hypothetically...

Just imagine something for a moment.

Pretend that an important Republican waltzed into the state and city of New York, and said:
"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers."


"Has there ever been a more revealing moment this year? Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals."
Pretend that, in response, an important New York Democratic official delivered the only immediate response, saying:
"In New York, where everyone unified after 9/11, the last thing we need is somebody who seeks to divide us for political purposes."
If it were only in our heads. Karl Rove really did say that last night, and Sen. Chuck Schumer really couldn't think of any better way to respond. Paul Waldman (via Atrios) gets it exactly right.
Chuck, you don't respond to slander like that by talking about how we shouldn't be divided. This is how you respond:

"Karl Rove's comments are even more despicable than what we've come to expect from Republicans. There is no depth to which they will not sink, no tragedy they will not exploit for political gain. The next time Mr. Rove wants to come to New York to lecture us about what September 11 means, he'd better hope this New Yorker isn't in the room."

I think I'd put it even more strongly, but that's entirely correct. I, for one, am sick and tired of having a Democratic party that constantly takes it on the chin and never punches back. When we let men like Karl Rove say things like the above without a swift, strong, and vociferous response, we implicitly surrender to it. Compare Rove's statement to Sen. Durbin's. What Rove said is at best completely unproven, at worst an outright lie. Sen. Durbin's floor speech asserted that many Americans, when read some of the conditions at Gitmo, would believe it to be a Nazi, Soviet, or Pol Pot-era Cambodian prison camp, and in this he is almost certainly correct. Sen. Durbin, under immense pressure from the right, was forced to apologize. It's safe to bet the farm that Rove won't be saying sorry any time soon. One of the Democratic party's biggest issues is an electorate that sees it as weak, or at the very least weaker than the GOP. If we show some spine, the American people will surely reward us for it.

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