You know, the emotions over this day are still somewhat raw for most people. But I am ashamed to say that, like hype surrounding some new movie or product, the packaging of this horrific event has made it so much less… important. Aside from the incessant media marketing – “in-depth” coverage, the re-broadcast of all that terrifying footage, maudlin commentators – is the incredible exploitation of this tragedy for political gain by a one-note president:
Usually his reminder is more subtle, but Bush is invoking the terrorist hijackings frequently as he ramps up his reelection campaign and tries to defuse the political risk posed by persistent joblessness, setbacks in Iraq and accusations that he exaggerated evidence on the road to war.
In the past six weeks, Bush has cited “9/11” or Sept. 11, 2001, in arguing for his energy policy and in response to questions about campaign fundraising, tax cuts, unemployment, the deficit, airport security, Afghanistan and the length, cost and death toll of the Iraq occupation.
… Democrats argue that Bush uses terrorism as a refuge when he is uncertain about an answer or in trouble on an issue. They say that in his speeches and exchanges with reporters, Bush relies on the attacks as justification for much of his foreign and domestic policy and — perhaps most of all — as a reason to reelect him.
Republicans chose to hold next year’s national convention in Manhattan, and at an unusually late date, Aug. 30 to Sept. 2. The traditional post-convention bounce will take Bush right up to the third anniversary of the hijackings.
“A lot of Americans have been apprehensive, and through this constant talk, the Bush administration has been shameless in using 9/11 for partisan political gain,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Terence R. McAuliffe said.
… as recently as July 24, Bush called Sept. 11 “a date I will not forget so long as I’m on this Earth.”
And while I’m at it, can I just say that I detest the neatly packaged and branded term “9/11”? To me it just sounds like a new brand of soda or a 24-hour convenience store. I prefer to speak of that day as “September 11th” – it takes more time to say and gives one an extra moment to reflect on the seriousness of the day.