(T)he gulf oil spill is not Obama’s Katrina. It’s his 9/11 — and it is disappointing to see him making the same mistake George W. Bush made with his 9/11. Sept. 11, 2001, was one of those rare seismic events that create the possibility to energize the country to do something really important and lasting that is too hard to do in normal times."Wow," I thought when I read that. "Have I been getting Tommy wrong all these years? I thought his response to 9/11 had been to advocate for killing Muslims -- any Muslims -- to send a message. Maybe I was confused. When he talked about invading Muslim countries and going door-to-door with a two-by-four and telling Muslims -- whether they had anything to do with 9/11 or not -- to 'suck on this', maybe that was Tommy-speak for raising the gas tax."
President Bush’s greatest failure was not Iraq, Afghanistan or Katrina. It was his failure of imagination after 9/11 to mobilize the country to get behind a really big initiative for nation-building in America. I suggested a $1-a-gallon “Patriot Tax” on gasoline that could have simultaneously reduced our deficit, funded basic science research, diminished our dependence on oil imported from the very countries whose citizens carried out 9/11, strengthened the dollar, stimulated energy efficiency and renewable power and slowed climate change. . . .
Had we done that on the morning of 9/12 — when gasoline averaged $1.66 a gallon — the majority of Americans would have signed on. They wanted to do something to strengthen the country they love. Instead, Bush told a few of us to go to war and the rest of us to go shopping.
So I went back and checked. And lo and behold, Tommy did call for a a $1-a-gallon “Patriot Tax” after 9/11 . . . on October 5, 2003. So what was Tommy writing about in the intervening 25-months during the time that horrible President Bush "told a few of us to go to war and the rest of us to go shopping."
- On 9/13/01, Tommy's first column after the attacks, he did not propose a gas tax. He wrote a column called "World War Three".
- The next day, he wrote that the U.S. must "retaliate ferociously".
- Two weeks after the attacks, the man who now mocks Bush for telling Americans to shop, bravely taunted Osama Bin Laden from his Bethesda home with this ode to western consumerism:
I went to the ballgame Friday night, took in Dvorak's ''New World'' Symphony at the Kennedy Center Saturday, took my girls out to breakfast in Washington Sunday morning, and then flew to the University of Michigan. Heck, I even went out yesterday and bought some stock. What a great country.
I wonder what Osama bin Laden did in his cave in Afghanistan yesterday?
- On September 18, 2002 -- a full year before the gas tax he actually proposed (and a year after he now claims he proposed it) Tommy wrote that he was for invading Iraq to help spread democracy in the Middle East. And from there, of course, Tommy was off and running as he became one of the prime "liberal" cheerleaders for the invasion.