Hoekstra's Contradictory Reasoning

Let's play dueling quotes. First off is a statement on the 2009 anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks:

It´s no accident that our homeland has not been attacked in the years since 9/11, nor has it been a lack of desire on al-Qaeda´s part, it´s because we have prevented it. The pain and suffering we felt on that tragic day led us to act to prevent such attacks from happening again.

Now, a Christmas twitterpation on the attempted Detroit attack:

Administration says attempted terrorist attack. No. It was a terrorist attack! Just not as successful as they (AQ) planned.

These contradictory statements were both made by Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra. It took me maybe five minutes to dig up the first quote. It's been an article of faith among the GOP that there were no terrorist attacks after 9/11 under Bush, so I knew that Hoekstra had to have said it -- never mind that it isn't true. By Pete's revised reasoning, it's doubly untrue now. It's been doubly untrue since 2002, when shoe-bomber Richard Reid failed to carry off a similar plan.

It may have been easy to find Hoekstra's self-contradiction, but that doesn't mean it's going to get a lot of play in the media. If the media ever bothered to look back in time, they'd quickly conclude that he's a clown. Not only has he made an ass of himself here, but in 2006 he joined then-Senator Rick Santorum in claiming that stale chemical weapons found in Iraq qualified as weapons of mass destruction. At that time, few in the media pointed out that a WMD actually has to cause mass destruction. Chemical weapons degraded by time don't count. That is, unless you want to call a headache "mass destruction." In any case, if someone had made the case that we had to invade Iraq because Saddam had headache bombs, I really doubt the public would've backed it. In trying to justifying the invasion after the fact, Santorum and Hoekstra made fools of themselves.

The point I'm getting to here is that Pete Hoekstra isn't the brightest bulb in the box. To put it bluntly, he's kind of a dope. Shooting down his arguments isn't all that hard to do, because they're already in a tailspin as soon as they're made.

Which begs the question; why isn't anyone shooting them down?

[Greg Sargent, Plum Line:]

Why aren’t Democrats backing up Obama at a time when he’s under fire from the right?

Yesterday, I posted on how conservatives like Rep. Pete Hoekstra, Rep. Pete King, and Newt Gingrich were using last Friday’s attempted bombing in Detroit as a hook to attack Obama’s approach to terrorist attacks and the campaign against Islamic extremism.

And, yet, Democrats have been silent in the face of these broadsides. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, the Chairman of the House Intelliegence Committee, has been effectively AWOL from the news. Rep. Bennie Thompson and Senator Jay Rockefeller have called for investigations, but have not made any real attempt to articulate a defense of Obama’s unwillingness to escalate. No one else seems willing to step up.

As I've just demonstrated, it's not like it's especially hard to do. It doesn't take a lot of effort to make a fool look like a fool. Other criticisms have been just as dumb. Some have made a lot of noise about the fact that the would-be bomber -- Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab -- had been reported by his father as a potential terrorist, but the fact is that authorities determined that the evidence was too thin to act on. If the accusation makes you guilty, then anyone can get you on the no-fly list by simply saying you might be a terrorist.

But Democrats seem to be unaware that the object of the game is to get the puck in the other team's net. Say what you like about Obama's poll ratings, he's still the most popular politician in Washington. He's also the leader of the party. Not only would backing him up be pretty much effortless, it'd be smart politics. You can make Republicans look like fools without working up a sweat.


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