GOP Hits National Security Breaking Point With Latest Ad

05/25/2011 11:55 am ET
  • David Sirota Newspaper columnist, radio host (AM760), bestselling author

I saw this new ad by the shadowy 527 group that helped President Bush in 2004, and all I could think is, I've really just about had it, and I think most Americans have also just about had it. The idea that the Republican Party can run around telling people with a straight face that it is serious about national security is just too hard to swallow anymore.

This is the party that, according to the GOP-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee, lied us into the Iraq War - a war that counterterrorism officials have repeatedly said took our focus off the War on Terror, a war that removed special forces from the hunt for bin Laden in Afghanistan, a war that has served as one giant recruiting advertisement for radical Islamic jihadists.

This is the party that has refused to implement the 9/11 commission recommendations; a party that was trying to slash counterterrorism funding before 9/11 at the very same time it was receiving critical warnings about an imminent terrorist attack; a party that has cut taxes while refusing to fully fund basic homeland security priorities at our airports, ports and vulnerable infrastructure.

This is a party filled with the worst forms of armchair chickenhawks - pundits, politicians, operatives and pseudo-intellectual think tank staffers who avoided their chance to serve in the military and yet who now sit comfortably in their well-guarded Washington offices, talking tough about terrorism, prancing around at Beltway symposiums telling everyone around they are really gutsy hawks, applauding national security leaks as acts of "virtue," screaming "bring it on" from behind a security detail, corralling millions of dollars to air ads against those who raise questions about Iraq, and demanding more American troops be sent off to die in more wars.

This is a party that has absolutely no reservations about using the Homeland Security Department's terror warning alert system for its political goals - ultimately relegating the warning system to late-night comedy show punchline.

This is a party whose top leaders see nothing wrong with cashing in their senior positions directing the War on Terror and moving immediately to jobs as corporate lobbyists for companies looking to profiteer off the same war.

And yet this is a party that fields candidates who behaved like yes-men on the Intelligence Committee before 9/11 and now air ads attacking their opponents for trying to fix the intelligence system. This is a party that somehow believes it is credible for them to air an ad that essentially says that if we want the country to be safer we have to vote Republican. Worse, they think they can convey this message not with any substantive proof of their accomplishments (because they have so little), but instead with a non-sequitur-ish horror-film-like montage of burning buildings, Osama bin Laden photos, and live-action footage of a plane flying into the World Trade Center - a disgusting display of fearmongering that happily defiles the memories of the victims of terrorism and turns them into cheap tools for Republican Party campaign propaganda.

I, for one, have confidence in the American people. I believe people are nauseated by this kind of crass behavior coming from Washington. We've hit a breaking point where - to the Republican Party's dismay - people are finally getting over a very understandable bout of mass post traumatic stress disorder from 9/11 which in the past led many to unquestioningly trust our leaders to be serious about securing our country. And come November 7th, Karl Rove, Ken Mehlman, Bill Kristol, Dan Senor and the entire GOP clique laughing it up at their cocktail parties in Washington is going to run square into a brick wall of American voters who know its time for a change.