George W. Bush pulled off some serious political jujitsu when he turned 9/11 into a political advantage for himself. Even Joe Scarborough was talking this morning about how Bush had looked like a frightened rabbit that day. After shrugging off the warnings by telling his CIA briefer, “Okay, you’ve covered your ass,” Bush should have resigned in shame. Instead, he turned every anniversary into a chance to bully Democrats. I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now when Democrats use the day to blast Republicans for not catching and killing bin-Laden. The president deserves full credit for tracking down bin-Laden, but today should be about the victims. I was living and working in the New York suburbs at the time, and no one I knew was more than two degrees separated from someone who died. My mail center was targeted with anthrax and closed for more than two years. I had to wave my mail around in the wind before taking it inside. My secretary lost a friend, and a co-worker lost his brother. One of the pilots went to my parent’s church. The “Let’s Roll” guy lived about four miles from me. The 9/11 and anthrax attacks were attacks on me, my community, and my people. And I still take those attacks very, very seriously. It’s personal.
Unfortunately, the worst part of 9/11 came after the attacks. The worst part was how we reacted. We had terrible leadership. We had really terrible leadership. Our elites totally failed us. In both parties. If Barack Obama had not been more level-headed than average, he would not be president today. But he still perpetuates some of our overreaction to that day. No one party should seek, and neither deserves any political credit for anything having to do with 9/11.
The president attained a degree of justice, which is praiseworthy. But today is not the day to toot that horn.