We live in different universes, the media and me.
The media remember Bush's bold leadership on that awful day.
I remember how he sat in a class of schoolkids, reading, as more and more death and destruction unfolded, then fled to a safe bunker, leaving the rest of us to wonder whether Armaggedon had begun.
The media remember how 9/11 brought the nation together.
I remember how Republicans began a campaign of hate directed against level-headed, thoughtful people who pointed out how the Republicans used 9/11 to loot the Treasury and concentrate power into their own hands. The late and, by me unlamented Michael Kelly said, "The American pacifists...are objectively pro-terrorist.".
One wonders what he thought Jesus's opinions on war were.
Indeed, in his speech to Congress and the nation
, George Bush led the hate campaign by declaring that anyone who was not in lockstep with him was with the terrorists.
The media remember George Bush's one-liner ("I can hear you, the rest of the world can hear you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.") with the bullhorn on the rubble of the World Trade Center.
I remember George Bush failed to capture Osama bin Laden and that at least four more mass murders have been committed as a consequence.
I remember that Bush said he heard the police and firefighters, then systematically shorted them on promised funds.
The media remember George Bush's wonderful, so they say, speech to Congress and the nation.
I remember that he promised war without victory and victory without sacrifice. I remember how he cynically
used the shield of a fallen policeman to shield himself from accountability.
George Bush has benefited from the soft bigotry of low expectations. The Republicans have told Americans for years that government can't do anything right.
In dealing with the very real issue of terrorism and now again in New Orleans, George Bush has certainly made the case that Republicans
can't do anything right if they're allowed to serve in government.
And so, I choose this day to remember the real heroes of 9/11, among them:
* Richard Clarke and John O'Neill, who did their best to prevent it; John O'Neill paid with his life.
* The police and firefighters, and the many civilians who were brave and compassionate.
* The people who dared to speak against embarking on war without setting goals and limits, against concentrating power in George Bush's hands, against looting the Treasury in the name of bipartisanship.
* A special mention for the widows and orphans, the bereaved parents, and the extended families of those who fell on 9/11 who insisted and continue to insist that America be told the truth.
* Former and especially active intelligence officers who have exposed the lies of the Bush Administration.
* Honorable mention to Senator Bob Graham, who led the only effective investigation into intelligence failures. While it takes no hero to do what Senators do, Graham was one of the very few leaders in the American government.
These, among others, are the ones I remember.