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Repeated GOP Failure = Loss of Public Confidence

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The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be:

…U.S. borders don’t stop people who shouldn’t get in. Buses and subways are vulnerable to bombings. Few cargo containers are inspected. Detection is inadequate for nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Intelligence and law enforcement agencies are still troubled by rivalries and poor communication.

Republican Thomas Kean, who was chairman of the 9/11 commission, said the United States is gradually moving in the right direction to fix the problems but he still worries.

"At top levels, it wasn’t taken seriously enough. It wasn’t on top of the priority list. … And that’s what I see happening again," Kean said. "It shouldn’t be a political issue. It should be something that everybody supports."

But with Americans souring on the war in Iraq, the fight on terrorism is a divisive issue for the November elections that will determine which party controls Congress. Unhappiness over the war was a major factor in the primary defeat of Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn.

Many Democrats accuse Bush and the GOP-led Congress of mishandling Iraq and the broader war on terrorism. "As a result of mismanagement and the wrong funding priorities, we are not as safe as we should be," said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid.

National security traditionally has been an issue that favors Republicans. Bush won re-election with a tough-on-terrorism argument and the promise that the United States was better off confronting terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq than battling them at home. In Bush’s view, Iraq and the war on terror are one and the same.

But Americans appear to be tiring of that argument after more than three years of fighting in Iraq, a death toll of nearly 2,600 U.S. troops and a price tag of more than $320 billion.

Public approval of Bush’s handling of foreign policy and terrorism has slumped to 40 percent, near the lowest levels of his presidency, according to AP-Ipsos polling in August. Approval of his handling of Iraq, 33 percent, is at the lowest level yet.

Democrats were favored over Republicans by 46 to 38 percent in an ABC-Washington Post poll early this week when people were asked whom they trusted more to handle the fight against terrorism….

The fact that the American public no longer trusts Republicans to handle much of anything is telling, isn’t it? That’s what happens when you repeatedly distort the facts and don’t back up your words with actions that are effective. It’s called failure.  Heckuva job, Bushie.

Are you feeling more secure than you did five years ago?  Had enough?

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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