Over the weekend, the television airwaves were inundated with conservatives calling for unity in response to the London terror plot. “No one should use this event or this war for political advantage,” Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) said on Fox News Sunday. “[M]y goodness,” Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) said yesterday, “if we can’t get national unity and take politics out of this in terms of an attack like this, I don’t know what’s going to happen to us.”
Much remains to be done to improve homeland security. For example, the administration has “yet to comprehensively improve sharing of counterterrorism information.” But rather than focus on policies to prepare against future terrorism, conservatives spent last week politicizing news of the London plot:
- “US President George W. Bush seized on a foiled London airline bomb plot to hammer unnamed critics he accused of having all but forgotten the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. ["¦] ‘Weeks before September 11th, this is going to play big,’ said another White House official.” [Agence France Presse, 8/10/06]
- “This week’s dramatic new terrorism threat may help remind voters Republicans have provided ‘strong leadership on that issue that won’t vacillate,’ Sen. John Thune of South Dakota said Friday. ‘People will focus on that issue this November,’ Thune said.” [Lincoln Journal Star, 8/12/06]
- “‘Defeatocrats!’ declared a statement issued by office of the House majority leader, John A. Boehner of Ohio, capturing the tone of Republican rhetoric as the news unfolded.” [New York Times, 8/11/06]
- “Today, President Bush faces a similar challenge. In the middle of a war on terror, we need to remain focused on furthering Republican ideas more than ever before. We can’t turn back now. [...] That’s why I am emailing to ask you for a favor: will you click here to make a contribution of $500, $250, $100, $50, $35 or $25 to show your strong commitment to our Party and our principles?” [Rudy Giuliani Fundraising Email, 8/10/06]
Apparently the right wing is not yet unified around the concept of national unity in the face of terrorism.