“Recall that not long ago, the first item on the bill of indictment against the Bush administration was that it was ‘exploiting’ 9/11 to enact its agenda,” Jonah Goldberg writes in the Los Angeles Times.
“Al Gore shrieked that President Bush ‘played on our fears’ to get his way. In response to nearly every Bush policy proposal, from the Patriot Act to the toppling of Saddam Hussein, critics would caterwaul that Bush was taking advantage of the country’s fear of terrorism,” Mr. Goldberg said.
“The Bush administration always denied this, and rightly so. If the president admitted that he was using a national calamity for narrow partisan or ideological advantage, it would be outrageous. Indeed, every time Karl Rove or some other administration official said anything that could be even remotely interpreted as using the war or 9/11 for partisan or ideological gain, the editorial pages and Democratic news-release factories churned into overdrive with righteous indignation.
“Well, now we have the president, along with his chief aides, admitting — boasting! — that they want to exploit a national emergency for their pre-existing agenda, and there’s no scandal. No one even calls it a gaffe. No, they call it leadership.”