Let me get this straight: "Islamic fascism" is the greatest world threat since Nazism, Bin Laden is its Hitler ... and yet chasing him is not a priority. What's going on with the GOP's leadership? Do they want Al Qaeda to remain a threat to the US and its allies?
Think about it: Al Qaeda's actions saved an already-failed Bush Presidency and gave the Republicans total political control in 2002, and in return we've given it great publicity and a new recruiting grounds in Iraq.
With their heated rhetoric, our leaders elevated Bin Laden from a vile and desperate criminal to the de facto leader of world Islamic radicalism. It's just what he wanted - and they gave it to him.
They've also given him a free pass, time and time again - first at Tora Bora, later when they disbanded the CIA Bin Laden unit (reinstated by Democrats), and now with their most recent statement on the topic.
Yet Republicans like John Boehner continue to accuse Democrats of treason, despite their own party's pattern of being "soft on terrorist crime." (Thanks, John Kerry, for putting him in his place and pointing out the GOP's hypocrisy on the topic of civil discourse.)
District attorneys always ask cui bono - who benefits? - when investigating a crime. Who has benefited more from the actions of Al Qaeda than the GOP? The world was united against Bin Laden and radical Islam after 9/11.
Now, surveys indicate that the US is considered more dangerous worldwide than the extremists we're fighting. But the strategy that put us in this position - a position that greatly weakens our national security - has also created Republican political hegemony.
And what is that strategy? It's to heat up rhetoric against the Islamic world, then declare war on some Islamic states. Those states had nothing to do with the attacks against us, but attacking them serves two purposes: 1) It fits with a longstanding neoconservative agenda for the Middle East, and 2) it keeps Americans in a perpetual state of war-mindedness and fear. That's good for the GOP, bad for America.
And what if there is another attack? That's certainly possible, if not likely, given the GOP's ineptness abroad and its failure to aggressively pursue security measures here at home. Republican thinkers no doubt assume that another strike would work to their advantage, and they may well be right.
But here's the thing: I'm not going to stoop to their level. I don't think Republicans and conservatives are traitors. I think the vast majority of them are patriotic, loyal citizens who love their country and would do everything they can to protect it - just like Democrats and independents.
But as for Rove, Bush, Cheney et al? I have my genuine doubts. Do I think they're secretly funding and directing Al Qaeda? No. I'm not a conspiracy theorist about 9/11 or Bin Laden. (For one thing, they're such incompetent managers that they could never have gotten away with it.)
I will repeat what I said, however: The Republican party is soft on terrorism. Strong on attacking nations that had nothing to do with our terrorist attacks, but soft on actual terrorism. What did they do with Libya, the only state that's been directly linked to a terrorist act that killed Americans?
They endorsed a deal with its leader, Qaddafi, so that they could get a few minutes of good press. That deal had been on the table since well before 9/11 and the Bush Presidency, but they "spun" it as a Libyan change of heart as a result of the Bush "war on terror."
I think that blank look on Bush's face, and the seven minutes of paralysis, meant that he was thinking this: "Oh, my God. That memo that I blew off ... the one where I told the guy 'you've covered your ass, now get lost' ... the one I ignored ... it was true. And 10,000 people may be dead. I'll be impeached."
The confident Bush we saw a couple of days later was the one who had met with Rove and Cheney and been told, "We'll work with this. We'll spin this so that you come out a hero." No conspiracy there, except the conspiracy to put selfish interest over the needs of the country.
So is the Republican Party actively aiding and abetting Al Qaeda? No, but it's looking the other way while its leadership fails to take the action needed to protect us. Why? Because Republican politicians - at least most of them - care more about being re-elected than about keeping us safe.
And for that, John Boehner and the rest of them don't just deserve to lose. They deserve to be driven out of Washington in disgrace. Future generations will remember them with contempt - if they remember them at all.
(thanks to Atrios for the Bin Laden-Hitler and "not a priority" links)