As the Bush team sorts out its internal mechanics, it will press the advantage of incumbency. Administration sources tell TIME that employees at the Department of Homeland Security have been asked to keep their eyes open for opportunities to pose the President in settings that might highlight the Administration’s efforts to make the nation safer. The goal, they are being told, is to provide Bush with one homeland-security photo-op a month.
Well, I sure feel safer now, knowing how employees at DHS are being asked to spend their time.
A recent article on Alternet, “Cashing in on Tragedy,” also points out the inherent hypocrisy in tactics like these:
While the White House now says Bush “has every right” to politicize 9/11 and the War on Terror, it was President Bush and Vice President Cheney who reassured Congress after 9/11 that national security would never be used for political purposes. On 1/23/02, President Bush said, ” I have no ambition whatsoever to use [national security] as a political issue.” On 5/17/02, Vice President Cheney even said legitimate questions about the White House’s failure to better defend America before 9/11 were “thoroughly irresponsible and totally unworthy of national leaders in a time of war.” On 3/4/03, Senate Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) was asked if his party should use the war for political gain and responded, “Absolutely not. And as a Republican, I would deplore such tactics. I think that what we’ve got to do in a bipartisan way, as Americans, is win this war.”