As I dropped in on a few conservative radio shows on Monday I was struck by the degree of anger there was over the New York Times front page story regarding the clashes within the Bush White House and administration on fighting terrorism, and Al Qaeda. The first reaction from the conservatives is always shoot the messenger. Callers on these radio shows wanted an investigation as to who was talking to the newspaper, and others wanted to know how the press could print such a story in wartime. Never mind the details of the story that outlined how the Bush Administration botched the mission of bringing Al-Qaeda to its death, instead of having its rebirth take place in Pakistan.
How far we have come from the good old days when Republicans could not get enough lurid detail in print about Monica Lewinsky and the blue dress, or where each sexual act was committed in the Oval Office. There was not enough ink to match the conservative ‘need to know’ when President Bill Clinton was in office.
But when a President commits himself to a ‘war on terror’ and uses our national resources to achieve it, while the end result is proved to be a shambles of bad ideas built on a pile of political promises, those same Republicans want to shut the presses down. How convenient. Never mind the never-ending fear mongering to win another election that is so famously used by the GOP while the real war on terror is a mess.
I am never one to be shocked, as I have seen too much over the past eight years to even pretend that there is any level of shame or embarrassment that these conservatives will not hurdle in an effort to further their cause or cover their flawed policies.
But I think most Americans are like me. We think our government should work on our behalf, and be open with how the process is evolving on issues that effect our daily lives. The fact that President Bush and his GOP allies like to call (or strongly infer) that Democrats are soft on terrorism or military policy should not be allowed to just lay there as a fact when quite clearly this conservative republican White House dropped the ball on fighting those who actually attacked us on 9/11. The New York Times demonstrated that today.
Our nation survives because of intrepid reporters, such as those who reported the NYT story. These reporters keep the government accountable to the public. The same public who pay the taxes and cast the ballots to even allow these people to serve us in the first place.
How dare anyone then think they have the right to hide, distort, or conceal the truth of a wretched and highly mismanaged plan when it comes to the issue of terrorism. The very conservatives who love to talk of law and order and personal responsibility are the very ones hoping to make the messenger the villain in this episode.
As I said, I am beyond shock with Bush and Company.