The events of the last week have made it crystal clear: it is not just the President, but his entire party that is oblivious, in denial, and dangerous.
We now know that the top GOP leadership was warned about Congressman Foley's inappropriate behavior years ago. Instead of conducting an investigation, instead of demonstrating some semblance of concern over the possibility of criminal and immoral behavior, Speaker Hastert, Congressman Reynolds, Majority Leader Boehner and an untold number of Republican staff members choose to brush the issue aside. They knew Foley was dangerous. Sure, perhaps they didn't know every little detail, but the GOP leadership was cognizant that there was possibly a child predator in their midst. The result? Republican inaction. And Congressman Foley remained free to continue preying on the young pages, day after day, month after month, year after year. They knew, and chose to ignore. Because being in the majority means power. And power--not people--is what the GOP is about.
In lights of this revelation, Rice's actions in the months proceeding the September 11th attacks become that much more reckless and reprehensible. Despite warning after desperate warning about al Qaeda's imminent plans to kill Americans, for two months before September 11th, Rice simply could not shut up about Iraq. On July 29, 2001, less than three weeks after receiving the "10 out of 10" briefing, she was vigorously defending the President's right to pre-emptive war in Iraq, stating that "the world can be certain" that "Saddam Hussein is on the radar screen for the administration."
Was al Qaeda on the radar screen? Or did the administration's reckless and myopic vision in the summer of 2001 endanger our nation as a whole?
That summer, two US aircraft carriers began to move into the Persian Gulf--just a "routine rotation", the Pentagon assured us. Just days after the President and Rice read a Presidential Daily Briefing on August 6, 2001 entitled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US", their attention was focused on US air strikes in Iraq, in selling the inevitable Iraq war to the public. Their unrelenting focus on Iraq did not take place in a vacuum; their Iraq obsession occurred in the face of emergency terror briefings and alarming PDBs. They didn't know the details, the why, the how, or the when, but they knew that terrorism was a greater threat than Saddam Hussein. They knew, and chose to ignore. Because war meant power. And power--not people---is what the GOP is about.
During a recent series of speeches, the President unveiled how he plans to help his imploding party retain that power. Voters, the President claimed, cannot trust Democrats to run the federal government.
Does the President really want to make the last five weeks of the campaign about trust?
Whether it's one citizen or 300 million citizens, one young page or 100 pages, one soldier or over 100,000 of them, what we have over the last six years is a pattern of reckless endangerment. The GOP has proved itself to be a party so hell-bent on retaining and augmenting its power that it is willing to put each and every one of us, young or old, Democrat or Republican, in harm's way.
It is a party that is oblivious. In denial. Dangerous.
It is a party unworthy of any trust, unworthy of any deference, unworthy of any forgiveness for the tragic consequences of its inaction ...and it is utterly unworthy of re-election by the citizens it has betrayed.