Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 8, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH....Tom Ridge on Tuesday: "We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security."

As a patriotic American, I believe him. That's why I think Bob Harris is being shamefully irresponsible over at This Modern World when he implies base political motives behind Homeland Security's declaration of September as National Preparedness Month. Here is Bob's cynical take on the official announcement date of September 9th:

Why September 9th? That's awfully late, if it's supposed to be the entire month. My guess, thinking like Karl Rove: this year's 9/11 anniversary falls on a Saturday, so an announcement on the date or even Friday would only get a burst of free media on a weekend. But by timing it for the 6 pm news on Thursday, it'll reach the Friday papers, and thus be fully-injected into all of the emotion-laden anniversary coverage, plus the Sunday morning talk shows.

The idea, obviously, is to throw a large amount of focus, possibly for weeks on end, on the only issue on which Bush outpolls Kerry.

Typical liberal blinkery. Let's set the record straight, Bob. The United States has had many preparedness months in the past. We've had Earthquake Preparedness Month, we've had Disaster Preparedness Month, and we've had Earthquake and Disaster Preparedness Month. We've also had Disaster Preparedness Month for Animals. And Severe Storm Preparedness Month.

So what's the big deal? It's just another Preparedness Month, OK? Sure, it's being rolled out in red-state friendly Parade magazine and at a red-state friendly NASCAR race. And, yes, the kids are being treated to duck-and-cover training, just like at the height of the Cold War.

And, um, it's true that we haven't done this in any of the previous 35 months after 9/11, and that this comes exactly two months before a very tight presidential election. But that's just a coincidence, Bob. Honest.

How do I know? Because Tom Ridge says, "We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security." You'd do well to remember that.

Kevin Drum 12:37 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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