Monday, August 16, 2010

Trauma Queen

William Kristol likes to think he’s the grown-up in the room; that he’s the one with the measured response, and that now that they let him wear long pants, he’s the voice of reason.

For Obama, 9/11 was a “deeply traumatic event for our country.” Traumatic events invite characteristic reactions and over-reactions–fearfulness, anger, even hysteria. That’s how Obama understands the source of objections to the Ground Zero mosque. It’s all emotional. The arguments don’t have to be taken seriously. The criticisms of the mosque are the emotional reactions of a traumatized people.

But Americans aren’t traumatized. 9/11 was an attack on America, to which Americans have responded firmly, maturely, and appropriately….

Except, as Steve M points out, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on more than one occasion that 9/11 put us through “traumatic times,” “traumatic circumstances,” and it was a “traumatic experience.”

Then again, Mr. Kristol’s idea of a firm, mature, and appropriate response to the attacks on of September 11, 2001 was to go to war against a country that had nothing whatsoever to do with the attacks in the first place, so I guess you have to put that into perspective.

(PS: If you’d like to see a more vocal response to Mr. Kristol, check out TBogg.)