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An Acceptance Speech At Ground Zero? Talk About Poor Taste

According to a GOP insider, President Bush may well be giving his acceptance speech during the 2004 Republican National Convention at Ground Zero.

And Republicans say the Democrats have no shame.

As reported on The Hill (and discussed on Calpundit and Columbia Political Review), the September GOP convention in New York City could include a number of off-site activities outside Madison Square Gardens including a possible Bush acceptance speech at Ground Zero. This is sure to infuriate survivors of the attack and 9-11 victims’ families.

It is nothing new for politicians to capitalize on their defining or greatest moments for political gain. And 9-11 was certainly a defining moment of the Bush presidency: It gave him sky-high approval ratings and a brief bout of bi-partisan support. Given that, it is understandable why the people behind this hair-brained scheme think it is a good idea. After all, the image of Bush standing before the two gaping holes would move Americans to tears and conjure up great and heroic images of our President, right?

Wrong.

Giving a political acceptance speech at the site of the worst terrorist attack on American soil is in poor taste and disrespectful to the memory of those that perished in the attacks.

It is in poor taste because it is capitalizing on death, destruction and our collective national memory of the worst terror attack in our nation's history for political gain. While Team Bush may be depending on the nation's memory of "rally 'round the leader," and the unprecedented national unity following 9-11 to help catapult Bush to another term, such a stunt is disrespectful to each victim and their families. It's akin to giving an acceptance speech in a cemetery standing on a grave with a gravestone as your backdrop.

For Bush to give an acceptance speech at Ground Zero would be the ultimate display of disrespect to those who perished considering his own National Security advisor won't even testify in public before the bi-partisan commission investigating 9-11, and that the Bush White House has fought disclosure of many documents concerning 9-11, some of which have only now been disclosed to the entire commission.

Capitalizing on historically and militarily significant sites is nothing new in television-age politics. However, in even considering such a stunt, the GOP has crossed the line from simple political gamesmanship to bad taste.

Ground Zero is not a site for a convention speech, just as a cemetery is an inappropriate place for a pep rally.

After all, some things are sacred. The site of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks is one of them.

It's a memorial, not a stage.

Posted by at February 28, 2004 1:50 AM