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Mitch McConnell's New 9/11

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The Uses of "Terror" -- McConnell Plays Police State Politics with Boston Bombing

By William Boardman    Email address removed  

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Isn't It A Good Thing Boston and 9/11 Have Almost Nothing In Common?

Talking about the Patriots Day Boston bombings in a 500-word statement on the Senate floor April 16, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell did what he's paid to do, he played politics with a terrible event about which he has no special knowledge. 

He began reasonably enough:  "Today, the thoughts of every American are with the people of Boston, but especially with the many victims of yesterday's horrendous attacks, and their families." 

That's hyperbole, of course, and there's no way he can know if it's true, which it likely isn't, but the sentiment is within the range of accepted rhetorical decency in the wake of events about which there's little meaningful to be said, unless you have some evidence, or some role in gathering it. 

McConnell continued in this textbook method that public officials use to imitate a sense of caring for strangers to whom bad things happened.  He enumerated the victims and re-capped the events, ending with a call for prayer "in a special way," without suggesting what that might mean. 

Then he started getting more slippery: 

 "As the President said yesterday, the two parties stand united today in our deepest sympathy for all of those who were affected first-hand by these heinous attacks"." 

McConnell, famous for his failed commitment to make Barack Obama a one-term president by almost any means necessary, can't bring himself to say anything as simple as that he stands with the President.  He doesn't even say the two parties stand with the President.  He doesn't say anyone stands with the President, because he certainly doesn't stand with the President and never has. 

Instead, McConnell refers to what he says the President said, which he characterizes as being united "in our deepest sympathy for all those who were affected first-hand"" -- wait, say what?  No sympathy for those not affected first hand?  And what does "first-hand" mean, anyway?  Dead, wounded, related to the dead or wounded, in the same political party as the dead or wounded"?   He doesn't say.   

And it turns out that McConnell's paraphrase of the President really isn't very close to what the President actually said in his matter-of-fact comments that were free of emotional fawning: 

"I've updated leaders of Congress in both parties, and we reaffirmed that on days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats -- we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens.   

" I've also spoken with Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino, and made it clear that they have every single federal resource necessary to care for the victims and counsel the families.  And above all, I made clear to them that all Americans stand with the people of Boston." 

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Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)

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Thanks for directing some needed attention to a go... by Philip Zack on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 4:37:25 PM
and it never ceases to amaze me how manipulat... by William Boardman on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 6:02:33 PM
This is the Republican mantra and has been ever si... by William Cormier on Monday, Apr 22, 2013 at 7:59:02 PM
Four dead and hundreds horribly injured. Sounds li... by Simon Leigh on Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 6:00:34 AM
Yes, there is no dearth of politicians ready to le... by Maxwell on Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 9:01:48 AM
perhaps, is to be drawn from the relatively p... by William Boardman on Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013 at 10:57:10 AM