Boondoggle

One blogger’s personal bridge to nowhere

Safety…except for bridges and hurricanes

It’s not what he meant to do, but I think Eugene Robinson here gives a little too much credit to the Bush-Cheney legacy, even as he argues that, while he can understand the administration’s gut keep-America-safe-at-all-costs reaction, history will not forgive the Cheney-led refusal to ever veer from these instinct-driven principles in favor of cooler rational reflection.  Robinson cites Cheney’s stubborn mantra:

In an interview broadcast Sunday, [Cheney] invited Fox NewsChris Wallace to “go back and look at how eager the country was to have us work in the aftermath of 9/11 to make certain that that never happened again.” People have since become “complacent,” he said, but the administration’s actions have “produced a safe 7.5 years, and I think the record speaks for itself.”

Safety courtesty of the Bush administration

Safety courtesty of the Bush administration

He then duly dismantles this fiction with the reality of torture, extraordinary rendition, warrantless wiretapping, and, of course, the invasion of Iraq.  Tellingly, though, he includes the overthrow of the Taliban in Cheney’s positive “record,” a piece of casuistry that is about as clear-cut as saying that the Iraq war is a net benefit because the world is without Saddam Hussein (a claim that, I would wager my house, Cheney fully embraces).

But what is most disturbing is that the meme of the “safe 7.5 years” seems to be so ironclad that it can roll right over things like Katrina and the Minneapolis bridge collapse without a second thought.  These were not terrorist attacks, no; but responding to nature and maintaining serviceable infrastructure are fundamental parts of keeping America safe, and the administration’s failures in these exponentially more straightforward responsibilities are even more egregious indices of its utter worthlessness.  Even if one can “understand” the sickeningly obsessive motivations to torture, wiretap, and murder every terrorist or potential terrorist out there, we can in no way even comprehend the unconscionably lax oversight of the most basic domestic security and protection systems, and criminal lack of response to some of the worst disasters ever to befall this country.

(image of I-35 bridge collapse from flickr user Poppyseed Bandits under a Creative Commons license)

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December 23, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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