Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Deadly Politics in Iowa and New Hampshire

In today's world, very little can be called "unseemly," but the candidates' reaction to the death of Benazir Bhutto might give pause to even the most jaded observer.

It's hard to tell tone from news reports, but the responses of Obama and Clinton seem unfeeling at best, while Giuliani's New Hampshire co-chairman is right there to 9/11 her death with the claim that only his man has "the knowledge and judgment to attack one of the most difficult problems in current history. And that is the rise of the Muslims...(W)e need to keep the feet to the fire and keep pressing these people until we defeat them or chase them back to their caves, or in other words, get rid of them."

Par for the Giuliani course, but the Washington Post headline reflects no credit on the Democrats: "Clinton, Obama Seize on Killing."

Politics ain't beanbag, but neither is it prissy to be repulsed by the rush to tie an assassination to experience and womanhood on the one hand, and an opponent's vote to go to war in Iraq on the other. Even George Bush had the restraint to limit his first reaction to shock and a determination to track down the people behind the killer.

"While aides said Clinton was anxious not to appear to be politicizing Bhutto's death," the Post reports, "they nonetheless saw it as a potential turning point in the race with Obama and former senator John Edwards."

Edwards meanwhile was touting his phone call to Pakistan President Perez Musharraf, urging him "to continue on the path to democratization."

What to do about Pakistan is going to be high on the next President's agenda, but a little mourning might be in order before seizing on a violent death to turn the issue to political profit in Iowa.

1 comment:

nolocontendere said...

I enjoy the Huckster's sieze the day reaction - a fence! a fence!
Have to keep the Pakistanis out!