Off With Her Head!

Sullivan continues his jihad:

I am relieved that Obama has now promised “accountability at every level.” I’d say firing Napolitano would be a start. Show you’re different from the Bushies. Actually hold someone you know and like accountable.

Accountable for what? What did she do wrong? Napolitano didn’t change any procedures which then led to the bomber getting through security. She didn’t shift the DHS budget in a way that impacted security. She didn’t botch the response. And her statement is factually correct, and only wrong if you completely distort what she said?

Is Sullivan operating with a different definition of accountable than I am? Because his definition of “accountable” looks a helluva lot like my definition of “scapegoat.” He wants her fired not for her job performance, but for giving Republicans (with yet another assist from the liberal media) a sound bite that is easy to demagogue. That is not how adults operate.

We’re all mad here.

*** Update ***

And another thing- If Obama fired Janet or forced her to resign for no reason whatsoever, who in their right mind would ever accept another appointment from him? Seriously- would you go to work for someone who would scapegoat you for things beyond your control, fire you, ruin your reputation and destroy your political career just because a couple wingnuts demanded it?

More here.



Double Standards

The Politico, today:

Eight years ago, a terrorist bomber’s attempt to blow up a transatlantic airliner was thwarted by a group of passengers, an incident that revealed some gaping holes in airline security just a few months after the attacks of Sept. 11. But it was six days before President George W. Bush, then on vacation, made any public remarks about the so-called “shoe bomber,” Richard Reid, and there were virtually no complaints from the press or any opposition Democrats that his response was sluggish or inadequate.

That stands in sharp contrast to the withering criticism President Barack Obama has received from Republicans and some in the press for his reaction to Friday’s incident on a Northwest Airlines flight heading for Detroit.

Democrats have seized on the disparity and are making it a centerpiece of their efforts to counter GOP attacks on the White House. “This hypocrisy demonstrates Republicans are playing politics with issues of national security and terrorism,” DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan said. “That they would use this incident as an opportunity to fan partisan flames…tells you all you need to know about how far the Republican party has fallen and how out of step with the American people they have become.”

The Politico yesterday:

There is a sense of déjà vu in the Obama administration’s response to the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas Day. A by-now familiar pattern has been established for dealing with unexpected problems.

First, White House aides downplay the notion that something may have gone wrong on their part. While staying out of the spotlight, the president conveys his efforts to address the situation and his feelings about it through administration officials. After a few days, the White House concedes on the issue, and perhaps Barack Obama even steps out to address it.

***

After delivering his first public remarks Monday about a Nigerian man’s attempt to blow up a Northwest Airlines jetliner over Detroit, the president motorcaded to the golf course at a nearby country club. Optics aside, it had taken Obama three days to issue a statement on the incident, and the administration was left struggling to control the message.

By the time Obama addressed the public with a brief televised statement, his critics had made such headway that the White House was left with this lede in the New York Times: “President Obama emerged from Hawaiian seclusion on Monday to try to quell gathering criticism of his administration’s handling of the thwarted Christmas Day bombing of an American airliner as a branch of Al Qaeda claimed responsibility.”

The rules to Calvinball change so quickly, the folks at the Politico don’t even have time to read themselves.

*** Update ***

More here from Joan Walsh.








Their Motto: Barackalypse Now

Chris Good, riffing off David Corn:

It is fair to say that the Republican Party is being tugged to the right. With the party in the minority, conservatism has become a self-driven thing, willing to turn on the GOP establishment. It probably makes Republicans in D.C. nervous; conservatives have shown their willingness to support a third-party candidate, and there’s a looming threat that credible Republican politicians will face brutal primary battles backed by conservative activists, FreedomWorks, and the Club for Growth.

There’s no parallel pressure from moderates to tone down the messaging. The backlash over Sarah Palin’s “death panels” claim is the only mitigating lesson on blowing out the putative effects of Obama’s policies as far as humanly possible, and establishment Republicans will be left to gleefully and grimly warn that health care, cap-and-trade, and stimulus spending will mean the end of everything. (And who’s to say it won’t? If the movie 2012 taught us anything, it’s that particles can start fluctuating at will.) In 2010, we won’t yet know whether health reform will work as intended, so all these accusations will simply hang in the ether, untethered to verifiable fact.

But if Republicans don’t strike those notes, the conservatives will be left a little disappointed, and that’s not what the GOP wants right now.

Personally, I think this is a dumb strategy. If they were smart, they’d get all David Broder/Mitch Daniels budget scold on our asses. Not that that would be any more honest, it would just make them seem less frightening. The Khmer Rogue scares people and that’s not a good thing.

But the key phrase here for me is “untethered to verifiable fact”. Good says (not incorrectly) that this may be exacerbated by the fact that HCR won’t have kicked in yet, but there’s something bigger than that going on: everything about our public dialog is untethered to verifiable fact, whether it’s climate change, the economy, national security, even to some extent the president’s place of birth.

I don’t know what the right description is here: “post-reality”, “post-truth”?



I Guess Harriet Christian Was Unavailable

CNN just had a lengthy piece with No Quarter’s Larry Johnson as one of their “experts,” where he used the phrase “Obama bin Laden” instead of Osama bin Laden and never caught himself. He had to be corrected by the bobblehead.

He was not asked about the Whitey Tape.








Open Thread

What better way to start the day than with coffee and an open thread?








Some sanity

Finally, and from Politico of all places:

Eight years ago, a terrorist bomber’s attempt to blow up a transatlantic airliner was thwarted by a group of passengers, an incident that revealed some gaping holes in airline security just a few months after the attacks of September 11. But it was six days before President George W. Bush, then on vacation, made any public remarks about the so-called “shoe bomber,” Richard Reid, and there were virtually no complaints from the press or any opposition Democrats that his response was sluggish or inadequate.

That stands in sharp contrast to the withering criticism President Barack Obama has received for his reaction to Friday’s incident on a Northwest Airlines flight heading for Detroit.

[….]

Democrats do not appear to have criticized Bush over the delay. Many were wary of publicly clashing with the commander-in-chief, who was getting lofty approval ratings after what appeared to be a successful military campaign in Afghanistan. The media also seemed to have little interes in pressing Bush about the bombing, or the fact that the incident had revealed a previously unknown vulnerability in airplane security – that shoes could be used to hide chemicals or explosive devices.

I have to be honest: I disliked and distrusted Bush from quite early on and it would never have even occurred to me to criticize him for taking a few days to address a failed terrorist attempt. I just don’t get the mindset of going ballistic because the president isn’t wetting his pants about something like this.



People it’s bad

I now know that some Nigerian guy trying and failing to set off a bomb in his pants is the equivalent of Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. It might be worse.

I hate to keep saying the same thing over and over, but it’s hard to see how a medio-politico system as out of whack as this one won’t end in disaster.

I’m not going to link, but this bit of lunacy from Post Partisan is telling:

By staying in Hawaii, the president has sent the message that the situation really isn’t all that serious, that things can proceed just fine until he’s back. And isn’t it that kind of reasoning that emboldens our never-vacationing enemies into thinking Christmas Day is the perfect time for them to strike?

Where do you even start? By mentioning that teh terrorists aren’t likely to be deterred by a presidential press conference? I don’t know anymore.

Let’s be frank: at this point, there is no real difference between Michelle Malkin and the Washington Post editorial page, none between Marc Ambinder and Matt Drudge, none between the Republican Congressional delegation and RedState.

We have Jim DeMint holding up the confirmation of the head of the TSA while simultaneously acting as the point man for Republican criticism of the TSA…and he’s getting a lot of traction in the very liberal media.

Maybe there is no value in saying this over and over again, but our public dialog really, really sucks.