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 January, 2010


 More Mock Republican Outrage Over the Underwear Bomber

You Can’t Hear if You Don’t Listen

I can’t wait until healthcare reform becomes law. As soon as it does, it’ll open the door for rightwingers across the country to run out and get themselves some hearing aides.

They need them badly.

The political tone-deafness of America’s conservatives has reached an all-time low. That’s after Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab’s (the BVD Bomber) failed attempt to blow-up an airliner.

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) claimed, among other things, that Barack Obama doesn’t use the words terrorist, terrorism or terror.

“Even when the president gave his speech at West Point, about the troops going to Afghanistan he didn’t use the word terrorism,” King told CNN on December 27th.

King must not have heard that speech. Or even worse, he heard it, but wasn’t listening to it.

You don’t have to be Woodward or Bernstein to find the president’s West Point speech. And it doesn’t take a computer genius, once you’ve found it, to discover Obama used the words terrorist, or terrorism six times.

If King had listened, perhaps he would’ve known that.

So would ultra-conservative South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint. He appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” on January 3rd and declared Obama has, "downplayed the risk of terrorism since taking office, to the detriment to Americans' safety. It begins with not even been willing to use the word."

Testing, 1-2-3. Can you hear me Jim DeMint?

He’d made his statement about Obama’s unwillingness to use the word terrorism exactly one day after he’d used the word six times during his weekly message to the nation.

Somebody should’ve told DeMint that claiming the president doesn’t use the word terrorism doesn’t work, because he does, in fact, use it.

But the following morning DeMint repeated his falsehood on MSNBC.

“We hesitate to call acts of terror and if we don’t realize we’re in a war that’s going to constantly come at us, we let our guard down,” DeMint said with all of the straight-faced sincerity of a man who simply ignores the reality that the facts clearly betray him.

Then there’s Dick Cheney. Oh, Dick. You’re at it again.

I’ve always known you were hard-of-hearing. Too bad, though, you’re not hard-of-talking.

On December 30th, and apparently without being asked, Cheney proffered his latest misinformation for Politico.com. "As I’ve watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war," Cheney said. “Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war?”

Those grizzly old facts keep getting in Cheney’s way. The president wasn’t five paragraphs into his inaugural speech when he said, “Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred."

In fact, even when he accepted his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo last month, Obama said, “we are at war.”

The president, as it turns out, has used the word “war” (as in we’re at war) a number of times during his first year in office.

Cheney just won’t admit it.

But the World Champion Rightwing Non-Listener must be Missouri’s Republican Sen. Kit Bond.

He not only doesn’t want to hear what Obama has to say, he doesn’t hear himself.

There’s a silly controversy being generated about the legal fate of that BVD Bomber.

He’s headed to a federal courtroom, where he’ll be tried in criminal court.

That’s exactly what happened to the “shoe bomber” – Richard Reid - in 2002.

Back then, when Bond was asked about Reid being tried as a criminal instead of in a military proceeding, he said, “I believe that the Department of Justice is observing constitutional guidelines and safeguards, but they’re going after people who come from areas of the world which might spawn terrorists, and I think that’s appropriate.”

But he obviously didn’t hear himself, because he was asked the same thing about the BVD Bomber on Fox News Sunday, and he claimed, “We should have held him as an enemy combatant – tried him under the enemy commissions.”

Somebody please tell Bond to, at least, listen to himself.

Edward A. Owens is a three time Emmy Award winner and 20 year veteran of television news. E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net