One Nation Divisible by Zero

A State Department employee recalls how liberals reacted after the 9/11 attacks:

I remember President Bush coming to our agency to make a speech about three weeks afterwards. Although, as is common with federal workers in DC, many people were Democrats and liberals who had voted against him, you would not have known that from the tumultous applause he got. He was the Commander-in-Chief, and we put aside politics to support him.

Some conservatives are cynically proud of Rove for exploiting 9/11 as a wedge issue, such as Glenn Reynolds.

I believe that Rove did this on purpose, of course, but the idea that it demonstrates his intelligence beggars the imagination. Telling a wide swath of America they wanted therapy for the architects of 9/11 is making a lot of people madder than hell, including normally calm moderates like Joe Gandelman.

To understand why, look no further than President Bush's speech to the nation on Sept. 20, 2001:

Tonight we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.

I thank the Congress for its leadership at such an important time. All of America was touched on the evening of the tragedy to see Republicans and Democrats joined together on the steps of this Capitol, singing "God Bless America." And you did more than sing; you acted, by delivering $40 billion to rebuild our communities and meet the needs of our military.

Speaker Hastert, Minority Leader Gephardt, Majority Leader Daschle and Senator Lott, I thank you for your friendship, for your leadership and for your service to our country.

The 2004 presidential election was the most polarized in at least 32 years, according to exit poll data. Republicans chose Bush 93 percent to 6 percent and Democrats chose Kerry 89 percent to 11 percent, both new highs.

At a time when President Bush needs every supporter he can get to stay the course in Iraq, Rove's robbing him of the one moment in which his reputation as a uniter wasn't a punchline.

Comments

Well, I'd be lying if I said I didn't hear or read any Blame America rhetoric in the fairly immediate aftermath, and former lefties like Gerard Van der Leun and Charles Johnson seem to have been driven right by such things, but I don't see it the way Rove appears to from his comments. Then again, I'm almost sure he doesn't really see it that way either. It may be a topic that is too emotionally charged for clear vision of such comments to be possible, but one thing's for sure: Rove is no dummy. There must be some reason he thinks this is a good time to say such a thing.

I think the war support issue should be viewed less as a function of your personal liking for Bush than as a continuation of what seemed to be everyone's initial support for making it harder for another 9/11, among other bad things, to happen in the future. You may not agree with Karl Rove's plan to fix any of that, but that shouldn't have anything to do with your opinion of his opinion of what some people said after 9/11.

People can cherry-pick idiots of any ideology. A lot of conservatives wouldn't want to be tarred with Ann Coulter's statement that we should "invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." I bristle at being compared to Michael Moore, whose Nader advocacy in 2000 was an in-kind contribution to the Bush campaign.

I believe that Rove did this on purpose, of course, but the idea that it demonstrates his intelligence beggars the imagination

Roves core alliance like the rest of BushCo is not old school republican conservative fundamentals, it's purely corporate. The genius (such as it is) behind the divisiveness created by Roves words here and elsewhere is that with half the countries hands arounds the throats of the other half, the necks of those who are really the problem are un-wrung.

Be Well.

Hey, with that hair you bristle at everything. Is this thing on?

When the Bush Administration talks about going to Mars,
what they're really talking about
is going to War.
This administration worships
the god of War.

George Bush is the most corrupt President this nation has ever had,
except for Ronald Reagan,
The very Beast himself.

I meant to say George W. Bush in my last
posted comment.

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