You know, I was going to tone it down today. I was prepared to move on, to write that long overdue piece
on new Hall of Famer Jackson Browne.
But too many things from yesterday something are nagging at me. In fact, the whole subject of the 9/11 widows and the Bush ads kept me awake most of the night. Words, thoughts, comments, quotes; they were all like little fleas nipping at my skin. I brushed one away, another one took its place.
So I sit here with the imagery of September 11, 2001 on my mind, fingers poised at the keyboard. Instead of writing about making out with some hot French Canadian at a late 70's Jackson Browne concert, I'm rehashing yesterday's news. Call it a compelling tug at my brain.
Yesterday, I once again addressed the issue
of the Bush ads. Towards the end of the comments, someone named Wally wrote these words:
bq. Two questions:
1: Are the The Families of September 11th actually family members of victims of those who died on 9/11? And,
2: If they are, how is this attack on them any different than Ted Rall's "Widows" cartoon, other than the ideology of the attacker?
bq. But you can't have it both ways. You can't call someone out for an attack on one group, and then mirror that attack on a similar group. Family member's motivation is irrelevant.
And today I saw this
Mr. Tooney expands on Wally's thoughts, to grandious proportions. Oh, he makes a veiled reference to yours truly:
bq. Of course, the Rall-Hatin' Punk Rock Queen of the 9/11 Repub Set (guess who) has her "Cheney's Vault" panties twisted up over the response to the ads as well.
He links to McGehee's post
in which he links me, rather than linking to me himself. Whatever. Then he does this Rall parody
, in which he is parodying people like myself, not Rall. And further up, he addresses the issue yet again, basically calling Debra Burlingame a stooge for Republicans because she was able to lobby - using her Republican connectins, I presume - to get her brother [the pilot of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon] a hero's burial in Arlington Cemetery.
Wow. That certainly proves that she's in the pocket of the Republicans! Tooney all but accuses Burlingame of being prompted by the secret undeground Republican cabal in what to say during interviews.
But that's neither here nor there for now. Allow me to address both Wally's questions and Tooney's assumptions.
When I talk about the 9/11 widows am referring to a very specific, small group of widows who claim leadership of The Families of September 11th. I believe I made that clear yesterday. Also, I accused the women in question of having a political agenda, not a monetary one.
Let's has this out (and some of this is reprinted from the comments I left Wally).
Six months after 9/11, Ted Rall prints a comic that depicts the firemen's widows as money hungry women who are reveling in the deaths of their husbands because it's going to make them rich. I speak out against that vile comic.
Two years after 9/11, I
write about a tiny group of family members who are casting themselves about as representative of all the victims' families when they clearly are not. It is -fact- that their agenda is to get John Kerry elected president. It's pretty much out in the open and they admit it in all their interviews.
All their posturing and bitching about the ads is not because of grief, it's not because of loss; it's because it gave them an excuse to knock Bush and to do it in the name of people who do not feel the same way.
Are we seeing the difference yet? Wally? Tooney?
I don't have a Republican agenda. When I vote for Bush in November, I won't be doing it in a flag waving, cheerleading kind of way. It's the "least worst" choice for me.
I don't have a Right Wing agenda, because I am not a right winger.
Simply put, I have a personal agenda. And that is to separate the wheat from the chaff. In my eyes, there is a difference between the family members who have taken it upon themselves to speak on behalf of every family member of every victim of 9/11, regardless of whatever political or monetary issues they are agonizing about.
There is a difference between those who have seized this opportunity to use 9/11 as a political tool - something they have accused Bush of doing - and those who use 9/11 as a tool for betterment.
Rall's original cartoon was despicable in that it lumped hundreds of women together and portrayed them as blood-sucking vampires of the almighty dollar. It was just six months after 9/11. He was crucifying people who were recently widowed in a most horrific way, people who were still in the grips of devastation. And that's why I thought it was ugly and cruel.
My gripe with the women and men who are lambasting Bush's use of the images of 9/11 is this: Their cries of being used and abused by Bush's campaign are dishonest. They actively campaign for Kerry. The head of the IAFF is co-chair of the Kerry campaign. Can we expect them to be honest in their assesment of the ads? Can we really expect them to say the imags don;t bother them, that they think it's ok? That would negate any political gain they could get by showing anger towards the campaign and Bush.
I have never called these people un-American. I never said they didn't have the right to bitch and complain. It's America, they have every right to stand up at a podium and curse the world if they want to. But they cannot and should not do that while under the guise of Families of September 11th. By doing that they purport to speak for all family members and they give the impression that they are speaking for all widows, widowers and relatives of the dead. If they called themselves something different, like The Fearsome Foursome or Kerry's Kids, I would have no problem with their posturing.
cannot see the difference between my indignation and Rall's comic, you are not looking hard enough.