After Rudy Giuliani's asinine statement this morning about how 9/11 will happen again unless we elect a Republican President in 2008, Kevin Drum had a lot of criticism for what he saw as the tepid response of Hillary and Obama. I didn't feel as strongly about it as he did, and frankly, I was glad that they said something rather than being afraid to go after "America's Mayor" (Obama referred to Rudy by this nickname in his statement, although from the context it seemed as though it was sarcastic at best). Here's Kevin's take on what should have been said:
Whining just reinforces the message that Democrats are wimps. The real way to be "hard hitting" is to explain why Giuliani is wrong and what Democrats would do instead — and why the average Joe and Jane would be safer and better off without guys like Giuliani bumbling recklessly around the globe leaving a stronger al-Qaeda and a weaker America in their wake. Until they do, Rudy and the Republicans are going to win every round of this fight.
I share Greg Sargent's skepticism on whether that's entirely true, but Kevin does have a point. If this is the kind of combative rhetoric that we're to expect from now on from the Republicans, then we shouldn't be afraid to use strong language in return. In that regard, Sargent noted Edwards' response to Giuliani's idiocy. Here's the money quote:
As far as the facts are concerned, the current Republican administration led us into a war in Iraq that has made us less safe and undermined the fight against al Qaeda. If that's the 'Republican' way to fight terror, Giuliani should know that the American people are looking for a better plan. That's just one more reason why this election is so important; we need to elect a Democratic president who will end the disastrous diversion of the war in Iraq.
Good. Hit him on the substance of the statement, rather than on being too divisive. I feel like nobody wants to hear, at this point, divisive arguments about who's being more divisive. It's like having an argument about whether we're having an argument.
As a post-script, I enjoyed the DNC's official response to Rudy, as well:
How can the man who failed to prepare NYC for a second attack after the first one, quit the 9/11 commission because he was too busy raking in money from sketchy business deals, can't assess if the surge is working or if Iran and North Korea have nuclear weapons claim that he will keep America safe?
I like that they're not ceding 9/11 to Rudy anymore. Hit him where he lives.