Monday, May 07, 2012

Celebrate, Celebrate....

I read something over the weekend that made me shake my head in amazement. The EPA, a creature of the Nixon administration, had been doing some studies in Wyoming. The aim of their research was to see if the practice of chemical "fracking" in the search for natural gas had caused any changes in local water quality. The Agency was set to report their findings last fall, but were persuaded to hold off the announcement because of objections from Wyoming state officials.
Do you catch what's happening here? The state bigshots are so worried that something could threaten the flow of money from the oil and gas industries that they are willing to take sides with the frackers against the health of THEIR OWN CITIZENS. And the citizens themselves, if past results are any indication, are so accustomed to having their state treated like a third world resource that they'll continue to vote Republican. Lots of tough, independent cowboys there - at least, until someone gets sick.

It was a decent week for news, but I'm always looking for things that reveal, often by accident, the newsmakers as they really are. The GOP was fussing about the Democrats, who noted that the successful raid on the bin Laden compound had taken place one year ago. As I recall, the White House was originally pretty low key about it, although they didn't intervene to stop anyone from dancing in the streets. I felt that it was the correct way to handle it.
But it's another year, and an election looms in the fall. The Mittstir decided to weigh in. To no one's surprise, he found this anniversary stuff to be in bad taste, as though it would have slipped Al Qaeda's minds if those darn Democrats could have just kept their mouths shut. Of course Mitt was also on board with the decision to conduct the raid - after the fact. A SLAM DUNK, though not described with that particular phrase.  Anyone would have done it, even, in what sounded like a gratuitous sneer, Jimmy Carter. Finally, there was the comment that such successes just shouldn't be used as fuel for our political campaigns.   
So, there they go again, hoping that we're too dumb to remember certain events from the not-too-distant past. Whose idea was it, for instance, to land the president on an aircraft carrier from which he made the big announcement that we had kicked Iraq's uh, behind? The big banner didn't say "Round One to Us" or "Years of Expensive Occupation Coming" or even "Time to Buy Stock in Military Contractors". It said "Mission Accomplished". During the same time you would never hear a speech from a Republican anywhere that didn't start "9-11, 9-11, 9-11". By the time 2004 rolled around, Dick Cheney had the inside dope claiming that Al Qaeda was all for a John Kerry win, because it would allow another, bigger attack on a US target. Four years later, McCain was saying roughly the same thing about Obama. And Romney? He tossed his jeans into the presidential ring in 2007, but his comments about bin Laden THEN seem much less gung-ho than now - after it's all been done.
The Democrats' hands might not be completely clean in having the president in Kabul exactly a year after taking out bin Laden, but please, PLEASE don't try to make us believe that a foreign policy success can't be a campaign issue. It's only off limits, it seems, when the OTHER guys were the ones who got it done.


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