December 30, 2009
Plenty of Partisan Rhetoric to Go Around: After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the country put aside its partisan differences and came together to confront the challenge posed by Al-Qaeda. Those days are long gone.
The attempted terrorism attack on Christmas Day has only heighten the partisan rhetoric. U.S. Representative Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) placed the blame for the attempted bombing on the Obama administration and has been using the incident in a fundraising letter for his gubernatorial campaign.
U.S. Representative Peter T. King (R-NY), the leading Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, went on national television and criticized the Obama administration's plans to prosecute the suspect in federal court. King said Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab should be tried by a military tribunal rather than a civilian court. King said it will be more difficult for authorities to get useful information from the suspect if he is given the legal rights afforded to defendants in civilian courts, including the right to a lawyer.
Democrats have also been using the incident to score political points. They note that the position of administrator of the Transportation Security Administration has been vacant because U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) has held up President Obama's nominee in an effort to prevent the TSA workers from joining a labor union.
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