Rove Should Apologize
It is understandable that many Democrats are upset by what Karl Rove had to say about their response to the 9/11 attacks. It is true that most of them did in fact support Bush's call for war against Afghanistan in the immediate aftermath of those savage attacks.
Karl Rove: "Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." Conservatives, he said, "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."
I do not think this is an accurate characterization of the view most Democrats had immediately after the attacks. I, for one, am grateful that they did support Bush's actions, and Rove should not take credit away from them. The nation was quite united at the time behind the President's strategies. It was the last time this nation was united, in fact.
On the other hand, if Rove was talking about the entire time frame from the invasion of Afghanistan to the present, his charge is correct. The Democratic party in general does now favor legalisms both for captured and non-captured terrorists over the get-tough approach. And right now at Ground Zero, liberals are lobbying for displays that call for an 'understanding' of the causes of 9/11, which is code for an attempt to blame the victim right at the very scene of the crime.
But, lumping the original Democrat zeal to wipe out the Taliban in with their later deterioration into Vietnam-haunted cowardice is a mistake. Karl Rove should clarify, make a non-waffling apology and move on. Not much damage will come of it I think - what Rove said still pales in comparison to Durbin's hideous remarks last week. And notice how the Republican outrage over Durbin's statements is on behalf of the men and women fighting for our country overseas, while the Democrat's outrage over Rove's statements is on behalf of themselves. Democrats are rather thin-skinned about the weak-on-defense charge (methinks they doth protest too much?)
Chuck Shumer (D-NewYork) said that" Rove "took something that is virtually sacred to New Yorkers" -- the tragedy of the September 11 attacks -- "and politicized it for political, opportunistic purposes."
Rove was not referring to the 9/11 attacks, he was responding to the very lame approach some Democrats advocated to handling terrorism in the wake of that tragedy. And don't forget, there were some Dems and liberal commentators arguing for pacifism even toward the Taliban.
Saying that Rove was 'politicizing' 9/11 is off the mark.
Update: Captain's Quarters has a good selection of wimpy Democrats that actually did call for complete cowardice directly after 9/11. I still think such folk represent a small minority opinion.