March 4, 2004

Tom Cole: Right-wing Punk

This election is going to suck.

Republican Congressman Tom Cole claims a vote against the re-election of President Bush is like supporting Adolph Hitler during World War Two.
There really isn’t much to say about this except that Tom Cole appears to be the right-wing equivalent of an anarchist punk. For those who can’t see what’s wrong with his statement, well, there isn’t anything I can say to help.

He later said his quote was mischaracterized.

Who knows? He was bound to say so whether his quote was mischaracterized or not. And since his original words aren’t published online, I can’t check.

But he did say this. Quote.

If George Bush loses the election, Osama bin Laden wins the election.
Osama bin Laden is not on any ballot.

I’d say Osama, if in fact he’s still breathing, would probably prefer a John Kerry victory. After all, the Bush Administration, as Christopher Hitchens put it, “wakes up every morning wondering how to take the war to the enemy.” John Kerry sees this sort of thing as "the most arrogant, inept, reckless, and ideological foreign policy in modern history.” So, yeah, Osama bin Laden might prefer a US president who is a little less…enthusiastic about taking the war to the enemy.

But boy oh boy is that a different statement from what Cole said. He said, in a roundabout way, that John Kerry is Osama bin Laden. Perhaps I'm splitting hairs, but Cole said this in a prepared speech. It wasn't an off-the-cuff slip-up.

He turned around and said Kerry is a “patriotic individual.” Well, that’s good. At least he knows the First Rule of Holes.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Robert Matsui responds:

Congressman Cole's comments are disgraceful and must be repudiated by Republican candidates from President Bush on down the ticket…Congressman Cole should apologize to Senator Kerry and the millions of Americans whose patriotism he has impugned.
In a country where Ann Coulter sell millions of books peddling Cole’s brand of shtick, I’d say Mr. Matsui is right on the money.

(Via Kevin Drum.)

Posted by Michael J. Totten at March 4, 2004 11:43 PM
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