The Media

A Republican Exploiting the Dead of 9/11? No!

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I get so confused by the Republican party these days. It’s as if they lack a cohesive moral core, and just make things up in order to get elected. I’m sure there is another explanation, but I can’t think of one. Recently, Republicans have been upset about the "revolting" and "shocking" exploitation of soliders killed in Iraq–in a DCCC ad that shows the consequences of George Bush’s policies. In fact, Tom Reynolds, the Republican chair of their Congressional Campaign Committe, said this:

"It makes my stomach turn to see National Democrats so blatantly exploit the sacrifices made by the men and women of our Armed Forces…Furthermore, I am shocked that Rahm Emanuel would authorize the release of such a revolting display."

On the GOP web site, Jeb Hensarling, a Republican representative from Texas, said:

The families of the fallen heroes of the War on Terror deserve our utmost respect and compassion. They do not deserve to see the deaths of loved ones exploited by Rep. Emanuel and the DCCC."

I can only assume that Republicans will be similary outraged by Mike Dewine’s latest ad, which the Columbus Dispatch describes like this:

Using vivid images of smoke pouring from one of the towers of the World Trade Center, Republican Sen. Mike DeWine unleashed a commercial yesterday that charges Democratic challenger Sherrod Brown with casting votes in Congress that could have weakened America’s response to terrorism.

So, if I am understanding this correctly, it is revolting, shameful, and exploitative to show the coffins of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afgahistan, but acceptable to exploit the pain of the families who lost their loved ones during the World Trade Center attack. It’s wrong to remind American voters that Donald Rumsfeld and George Bush’s failed military strategy is killing American men and women, but morally justified to exploit the fear of voters by reminding of the deaths of thousands of innocents, none of whom signed up to to be props for Republican campaigns, nor authorized these ads?

The DCCC ad was foolish, because the Republican response and media OUTRAGE was predictable, but that doesn’t excuse the Republican hypocrisy on this issue. Of course, Republicans don’t want the public to be reminded that our soliders are still dying in Iraq, because they don’t want to be held accountable for their failure to better protect the brave men and women serving there. But to feign outrage over the exploitation of the war dead while they have planted campaign flags in the bodies of those slain on 9/11 in every campaign since 2001, is beyond the pale.

I’m just thankful that our great Senator, Conrad Burns, doesn’t try to exploit 9/11 every time he speaks.

Update: You can see Mr. Dewine’s clearly tasteful ad here.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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