Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Republicans Go Bonkers Over Obama and Flight 253

5 years ago
  0 Comments Say Something  »
Text Size
As 2009 comes to a close, it seems that some Republicans are looking to reach new heights of rhetorical excess. The bumbled-and-thwarted Christmas Day terrorist attack has caused many GOPers to become hysterical, as they crassly seek to exploit this near-tragedy to bash President Barack Obama. Ex-Veep Dick Cheney, no surprise, has led this dishonorable charge, issuing a statement:
As I've watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low-key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won't be at war.
And Representative Tom Price, the head of the House Republican Study Committee, followed suit:
As our nation was once again targeted by extremism, this is a time for great resolve and strong presidential leadership. The slow trickle of troubling information, bizarre statements from administration officials, and a staggered response from the President, however, do not instill confidence that the White House appreciates the gravity of this situation.

There's no way to be polite about this: these guys are going bonkers--and they're hypocrites. When Richard Reid -- now infamously known as the al Qaeda shoe-bomber -- was arrested on December 22, 2001, after failing to ignite his home-made bomb on a Miami-bound flight, then-President George W. Bush, took no public action. He didn't even mention this failed terrorist attack for six days, and then all he said, at a press conference, was that the episode demonstrated the need for vigilance:

The shoe bomber was a case in point, where the country has been on alert. A stewardess on an American Airlines flight -- or a flight attendant on an American Airlines flight was vigilant, saw something amiss, and responded. It's an indication that the culture of America has shifted to one of alertness. And I'm grateful for the flight attendant's response, as I'm sure the passengers on that airplane. But we've got to be aware that there are still enemies to the country. And our government is responding accordingly.

Related: Debating the President's Hawaii Vacation: Should Obama be in Washington?

Bush made no separate statements on the episode. He publicly ordered no review of security procedures. The White House held no press briefings on the attempted bombing. A few days later, during a December 31, 2001, Q&A with reporters, Bush didn't refer to any actions taken in response to the incident. He merely said, "We're now giving [Reid] a chance to tell us what he knows about terror and about al Qaeda."

Let's compare Bush's lackadaisical holiday-season response to what the current commander in chief has done.

* On December 28, Obama issued a statement, noting that he was consulting his top officials and that he had ordered "enhanced screening and security procedures for all flights" and "added federal air marshals to flights entering and leaving the United States." He also said that he had ordered two reviews -- one focusing on the terrorist watch list, the other on air travel screening procedures.

* On December 29, Obama signed and released presidential memoranda establishing guidelines for these two reviews.

* That same day, he issued another statement, noting that a "systemic failure has occurred" and that "a mix of human and systemic failures . . . contributed to this potential catastrophic breach of security." He added that he will "insist on accountability at every level."

* Also on December 29, the White House conducted a background briefing, providing reporters with the latest information on the attempted attack. It also held an on-the-record briefing with National Security Council chief of staff Denis McDonough.

Ordering enhanced security measures, initiating two reviews, conducting detailed press briefings, issuing presidential statements -- how can anyone look at this and say Obama wasn't responding in a vigorous manner? Especially when compared to how his predecessor reacted to a similar terrorist plot?

I don't recall Democrats jumping on Bush for his thin response to the shoe-bomber caper. Yet GOPers, so keen to portray the guy who's expanding the Afghanistan war as weak on national security, are willing to say anything to score political points. For them, the war on terrorism is not about reasonably and calmly crafting the best actions to thwart terrorists; it seems to be about finding the best means to undermine the man responsible for protecting Americans from these terrorists.

You can follow David Corn's postings and media appearances via Twitter.
Outbrain - The Most Trusted Content Discovery Platform

Get Your Content Discovered.

Promote your content on premium websites

Learn More ›

Outbrain Amplify:
Get your content discovered

Your content will be promoted on the web's largest and most respected media properties, including CNN.com, Slate and ESPN. We make sure it's seen precisely when people will find it most interesting.

Learn More

Outbrain Engage: The solution for a modern publisher

Outbrain Engage is a full stack software solution that empowers an entire media organization to more effectively manage its online content and programming experience.

Learn More

The world's largest content discovery platform

We bring together premium publishers and marketers of all sizes (including many of the world's leading brands) into the world's largest and most vibrant content marketplace. Learn more about Outbrain ›

561 Million

The global audience reached by Outbrain each month*

190 Billion

The total recommendations we serve consumers monthly

80%

Of the world’s leading brands use Outbrain

* Audience reach according to comScore, September 2014. Leading brands via Ad Age DataCenter / Kantar Media, 2014.

Andy Blau
We selected Outbrain not only because the revenues were higher than others, but because its engine drives better recommendations than others.
Andy Blau
Senior Vice President, Group General Manager
Time Inc.
Dan Horowitz
It's less about buying traffic than it is about reaching the right people with relevant headlines to get them to your content.
Dan Horowitz
EVP and Senior Partner
Fleishman-Hillard Digital
Katrina Craigwell
Our goal is always to deliver content that adds value to the conversations being held by the end user. Outbrain allows us to do just that.
Katrina Craigwell
Global Manager of Digital Marketing
GE
Bailey Foote
The fact that we’re able to drive these kinds of transactions with consumers at scale and with increasing efficiency has made Outbrain paramount to our marketing strategy.
Bailey Foote
E-commerce Manager
The Line
Neal Moore
You cannot leave it to chance that someone will find and engage with your content. Outbrain can put your content in the midst of the world’s most prestigious publications.
Neal Moore
CEO
Click2View
Zach Zavos
Having links to our content appearing directly on premium publisher sites helped us establish our brand.
Zach Zavos
Co-Founder
Conversant Media
Mike Brito
Outbrain is one of those [critical] components helping us deliver the right messages to the right contingent at massive scale and in real time to counter a crisis.
Mike Brito
Group Director
WCG

A global footprint of service

We operate offices in 11 global territories and we partner with publishers and marketers in over 55 countries, including the U.S., UK, France, Brazil, India and Japan. Come join us ›

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum Comment Moderation Enabled. Your comment will appear after it is cleared by an editor.

Follow Politics Daily

  • Comics
robert-and-donna-trussell
CHAOS THEORY
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>