The Moose comments on the rhetorical roots of the ports controversy.
The Moose does not necessarily think that the UAE ports deal is a good idea. However, it is not the end of the world. There are other pressing issues in the war on terror that are far more critical - such as the deteriorating situation in Iraq, Iran acquiring nukes and the cartoon jihad.
However, you would not know that from the rhetoric surrounding the port deal. One would conclude from the hyperbole that we are actually replacing Michael Chertoff with Osama bin Laden as Homeland Security Secretary and hiring Al Qaeda stevedores on the docks at major American ports.
Clearly, the President was blindsided by the deal and is now concerned that we will betray a Johnny-come-lately ally in the war against terror. That is a legitimate concern.
And there is some hypocrisy in the opposition to the deal. Politicians who previously and adamantly opposed racial profiling are doing just that - the truth is that there would be no one up in arms if the Dutch were operating these ports. Yes, the Democrats are joining many Republicans in piling on - but who can blame them?
The Bushies created the climate for demagoguery on homeland security back in 2002 when they manipulated the Homeland Security Bill for their political purposes. After first opposing the creation of the Department, the President exploited a labor provision to hammer Democrats suggesting that they were soft on security. Scurrilous ads were run against Max Cleland questioning his loyalty to America. It was a disgraceful campaign.
Now, the Administration is suffering from the political blowback from that episode on the port deal. The Bushies divided the nation in 2002 on Homeland Security, and now they are enjoying no reasonable benefit of the doubt on the port issue.
This dynamic is truly unfortunate. Now, more than ever, we need national unity in the fight against the Jihadists who are clearly on the offensive. At this moment of weakness, however, the Administration cannot find a safe harbor in this political storm.
They should blame themselves. --