Sunday, February 26, 2006

Cynthia Tucker in AJC: US reaps grief Bush has sown "President Bush turns out to be a great professor of politics. His lessons --- he teaches through example --- have become essential political wisdom.

He taught Americans that all Arabs are alike by toppling Saddam Hussein, who had nothing to do with the terrorist atrocities of Sept. 11, 2001.

Bush taught us that in the pursuit of power, politics trumps principle. So you never risk alienating the part of your base that's loony and hateful --- the Ann Coulter chorus --- by publicly criticizing their xenophobia.

And the president taught us that a war on terror can cover a lot of ground. No programs, no policies, no answers? No problem. When you're waging a war on terror, you don't have to make sense, and you don't have to explain yourself.

Having led so well, Bush should not be at all surprised that Democrats and Republicans are trampling each other to get to the microphones to denounce the deal allowing an Arab-owned company to manage seaports in New York, Philadelphia, Miami and other cities. Isn't this Karl Rove's playbook?

While Bush doesn't have to face re-election, his GOP allies in the House and Senate do. They want to be able to claim they were keeping the nation safe from Middle Eastern terrorists who might easily use our ports to smuggle in the means of our doom. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, after all, needs some national security bona fides for his presidential campaign. So does Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), who was among the first to challenge the deal."


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