Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Republican Double Standard: Shoe Bomber/Underwear Bomber Edition

Conservatives want us to believe that Bush deserves credit because "he kept us safe"...after, y'know, that one thing. (And note that it is fairly rare for liberals to argue that Bush deserves much blame for 9/11.) As I've long maintained, things would be very different had a Democrat been president on 9/11. It is very unlikely that a president Gore would have received the unqualified support of Republicans after such an attack. In fact, I have little doubt that he would have likely been the target of a concerted impeachment effort. Republicans certainly would not have praised him because there were no major, successful attacks after 9/11. And had Democrats been so bold as to suggest that he should receive credit for keeping us safe after that, they would have been laughed out of D.C.

Of course Republicans have always denied that they apply such a double standard--but we've got an extremely clear test case now. The case of Richard Reed, the shoe bomber, and Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, the underwear bomber. The attempted bombings were extremely similar, as were the responses of the Bush and Obama administrations. There was no Democratic criticism of the Bush administration's response; there has been significant Republican criticism of the Obama administration's response. (Here's Politico on the similarities in the cases and the differences in GOP and Democratic responses. (Wow--bad enough that Politico noticed!))

Of course it's always possible to nitpick insignificant differences, but history rarely provides us with such a clean experiment as this. Here we have significant confirmation of what has long been clear: that, though Republicans demand that we rally 'round Republican presidents after such incidents, they employ them as opportunities for political criticism. Were Democrats to act like Republicans, Republicans would call them unpatriotic...or traitorous.

This is just one aspect of the pervasive Republican double standard, and that double standard is just one aspect of the pervasive irrationality of the contemporary Republican party.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Jimmy Doyle said...

Yes, but Winst? Avatar?

3:49 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Jeez, I guess I should see
Avatar...haven't yet, tho...

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Jimmy Doyle said...

Just make sure you see it in 3D dude

4:01 PM  

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