"Bipartisanship works best to prevent a situation, and not clean up the mess that has occurred when warning signs were neglected. As we go further into pushing for such an investigation, we must keep the focus on the victims. As in any murder case, and this is such a case, those questions must be asked and they must be answered. We must connect with the voters as to why we are doing so - out of justice for the many victims who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001." So writes Mary MacElveen.
We Investigate To Find Justice - It's That Simple
On September 11th, 2001, we Americans witnessed on our television sets an event that was so horrific, we could not believe our eyes. In many states that was primary day, and most of us thought that the big news of that day would be who were the winners and who were the losers. But, on that day we lost our innocence as a nation. We witnessed for ourselves what other nations have been going through for far longer than we have. We witnessed the systematic murder of thousands of people.
On that horrific day, every station was must see TV. We were all hurt, angry, but most of all numb. But there comes a time where the numbness, hurt and anger must end, and we must find out - as in all murders - who was responsible. We wanted our vengeance and we wanted it quick. So, we entered into a war on terrorism, and our Democratic leaders gave their support to George W. Bush. Because, as Americans when push comes to shove, and we are threatened, we do stand united.
None of us at that time even dared to think that there were warning signs. Our Democratic leaders entered into a bipartisan effort, and swallowed a bitter pill for the good of our country. The American public should congratulate them for doing this. Because of this reason: They all checked their political egos and philosophies at the door and did what was correct for a nation still hurting.
The night that George Bush came to the Capital to give his speech of his plans to enter this war, those egos and philosophies were not in that room. Our Democratic leaders were seen on national television hugging their fierce opponents. But they did this selfless act for those murdered. We must all remember that this is the reason they did this. After all the last person they would wish to unite behind is George Bush. They were not elected in the first place to support policies that were so diametrically opposed to the ones they had and still have. We all witnessed Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle embrace George Bush in a hug that will forever be a Kodak moment.
As time wore on, the spirit of bipartisanship began to show cracks. To me that is also a healthy thing. In any said democracy, you must have debate to show the voters both sides of the issue, and let them decide. Last November as American went to the polls, we Democrats by showing our side of so many other issues, that were opposite of George Bush's won some incredible races. We took our message to the people, and they responded. If we had backed Bush on everything, I do not think we would have won most of those races. Because those voters would vote Republican if they saw our message was the same. People have always been told that partisanship is a negative thing. It is far from being negative. It is about standing up for one's beliefs, showing the differences, and acting upon those differences. Our elected Democratic leaders by pushing their beliefs are participating in the democratic process. So, if they are being accused of partisanship, they should wear that as a badge of honor. After all, the Republicans are just as partisan as we are. To me a true leader pushes through his or her beliefs even if it is not popular at that moment. We only have to look at Senator Russell Feingold who cast the lone dissenting vote in the US Patriots Act. He was scorned, but voted his conscience. The voters of his state did not send him to Washington to rubberstamp, but to make a difference, and to promote their ideals.
Now we fast forward to the present. A few days ago, revelations came to light that George Bush received warnings prior to September 11th. Some in this country are shocked while others say he could not have known. Our country has become polarized in it's thinking and our beliefs. So, little by little as these days have progressed, some on our side are asking some tough questions. It is important that they do so. Because, those that were murdered deserve those questions asked, and most importantly have answered. We must keep in focus that September 11th is not about George Bush, but the thousands murdered. Those that voted for our Democratic leaders put them there to govern, and not to follow. We must be bold and negate Ari Fleisher's message of "watch what you say". The victims deserve it, the survivors deserve it, those hurt financially from this event deserve it, the servicemen and women who are risking their lives deserve it, and America deserves it. The truth might not always feel good, but if we as a nation are to heal, the truth is our medicine.
To those who are now starting to try to blame this on President Clinton, this horrific event did not happen on his watch, but George Bush's watch, and he must accept the responsibility. While you accuse our side of playing partisan games, just remember you did the very same thing during the Clinton/Gore administration. Where was your support for President Clinton when he needed it? His administration did not have a press secretary who said, "Watch what you say". If a land deal warranted an eight year investigation, where millions of taxpayer dollars were used for it, why not an investigation now? Lives were lost here.
Fact One: President Clinton tried to put an anti terrorism bill together during his administration, where he made the following statement, "We need to keep this country together right now. We need to focus on this terrorism issue," Clinton said during a White House news conference. But, then Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott had this reaction - he doubted that the Senate would rush to action before they recess this weekend. The Senate needs to study all the options, he said, and trying to get it done in the next three days would be tough. Maybe if he had rushed, September 11th might not have happened? Also why the rush on putting Bush's terrorist bill through?
Fact Two: While we have heard of the freezing of assets under this administration, President Clinton wanted to do the very same thing, but was met with grief over doing so by the Republicans. It was strongly opposed by the banking industry and Mr. Gramm. "I was right then and I am right now" in opposing the bill, Mr. Gramm said yesterday. He called the bill "totalitarian" and added, "The way to deal with terrorists is to hunt them down and kill them." What changed your mind, Senator Gramm? And yes we are doing the latter now, but we should have done the former back during the Clinton administration.
Fact Three: Yes, President Clinton tried to get bin Laden but sadly the mission failed. Which brings me to a question of this present administration, have you? Whatever happened to that "dead or alive" remark?
Fact Four: We had a way of making our airlines a more secure and safe way of getting from one place to another. But the man who chaired that commission is not where he should be. That being Al Gore. Had those who want to blame Clinton now supported putting these suggestions into play, September 11th would not have happened. Because if Al Gore was at the seat of power, he would be looking for any of these signs in any terrorists warnings. White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security
Fact Five: Had you, Mr. Bush paid attention to the Hart/Rudman report, I highly doubt we would be in this position today, and those that lost their lives on September 11th, would have had a vacation.
I could go on with other things on how bipartisanship was not expected under the Clinton/Gore administration. My feelings are that bipartisanship works best to prevent a situation, and not clean up the mess that has occurred when warning signs were neglected. As we go further into pushing for such an investigation, we must keep the focus on the victims. As in any murder case, and this is such a case, those questions must be asked and they must be answered. We must connect with the voters as to why we are doing so - out of justice for the many victims who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001.