Steve Benen writing at the Washington Monthly says what I’ve been thinking for the past week or so:
Two years ago on this date, in the midst of a heated presidential campaign, the two major-party candidates pulled their television ads and appeared together in New York. It was a reminder that, as recently as 2008, the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks was still considered unique—a day on which politics and divisiveness were simply out of bounds.
As you may have noticed, that’s no longer the case.
Beck and Palin are “commemorating” 9/11 with an expensive event later today; Ralph Reed has his event in D.C.; Newt Gingrich is unveiling some kind of right-wing movie he made; some conservatives are rallying in lower Manhattan to prevent a clothing store from being converted to a community center; and all kinds of candidates are holding campaign events and fundraisers today.
Dave Weigel considered the transition from a solemn 9/11 to the crass politics of today, and asked how we got this point The answer, he explained, is “with a lot of hard work.”
For nine years, supporters of an aggressive approach to terrorism as a response to 9/11 worked to make sure that they owned the anniversary. For nine years they got brushback from the media and from the political actors who had the most to lose if 9/11 was seen as proof that ultra-tough conservatives were right and that ultra-tolerant liberals were wrong. And the conservatives won.
The political rage and anger in so intense in this nation that folks can use 9/11 to raise money, sell books, launch a movie, protest a mosque, and even using the images of that faithful day to slam opponents in political ads. I mean have I lost my mind or would just a few shorts years things like this just be considered unacceptable across the entire political spectrum?