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Napolitano Assailed For Not Showing Sufficient 'Emotion' In Response To Flight 253 Incident

First Posted: 03/18/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 04:05 PM ET

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Raw Story pulls out another objectively idiotic statement from the frantic Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.):

In the wake of the attempted bombing of a plane bound for Detroit, Rep. Peter King (NY-R) criticized Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for appearing "bored."


"What I was critical of here was that first of all we went almost 48 hours before anyone from the administration came out and even spoke about what happened," explained King Monday.

"Finally, Janet Napolitano comes out and the first thing she said was everything worked well. And she seemed almost like she was bored to be there. There was no intensity. There was no show of emotion," he said.

First off, let's mark this moment in terms of progress. Seems like not long ago the knock on women, as far as their leadership qualities were concerned, was that they were as a gender too filled with hysterical emotion. Now, Janet Napolitano is criticized for not being emotional enough. Ladies, you just can't win, I guess!

But more to the point, what does "intensity" or "shows of emotion" actually achieve, in terms of practical outcomes? The answer is: it does not amount to a hill of beans. What's more, Peter King does not actually believe that it does, either. On the matter of the administration's practical response to the Christmas Crotchfire attack, King said: "Let me make it clear, I think they are doing the right thing as far as their policies. Since this attack occurred, the FBI and, as far as I can tell, Homeland Security and all the agencies of the United States government are doing the right job."

There's supposed to be virtue in keeping your head while everyone around you is losing theirs, but time and again, we see supposedly serious people making the case that the only way to properly respond to security threats is to very quickly demonstrate one's capacity for losing one's mind completely.

Senator Joe Lieberman is talking about military invention in Yemen, on the teevee, for Pete's sake. What sort of military intervention? What strategic goals would we set? What troops would be used? How would we pay for it? Lieberman doesn't know and he doesn't care, all that matters is that we step up and put on some pointless, preening display of "steadfastness" and "willpower." I guess the only reason al Qaeda hasn't been cowed into submission is because we haven't given them the gasface hard enough.

And that's how it comes to matter to people that the president didn't say the word "terrorism" enough times in a speech, or didn't immediately call for Iranian dissidents to rise up and overthrow the theocratic regime with some sort of powerful, melodramatic show of triumphalist fervor. That is precisely the way men like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad behave, and all he earns is mockery and diminishment in the eyes of anyone with a brain.

The only thing that matters, going forward, is whether or not the administration continues to implement sensible policies that help to curb threats to our national security. These policies will not succeed if Obama yells louder and they won't fail if Janet Napolitano goes about her work in a calm fashion.

Naturally, anyone who wants to go out and try to out-emote a gang of religious fanatics with Semtex pasted to their balls is free to give it their best shot. Just please please step away from the national security apparatus.

RELATED:
GOP Rep. King: 'Bored' Napolitano needs to show 'emotion' [Raw Story]
Gee-Oh-Pee-Mo [Rumproast]
The Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics [TPM]

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