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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

GOP Soft on Terrorism

Has any political party in history been as hypocritical as the modern GOP in terms of paying lip service to principles they undercut with policies?
Republicans say they are all about supporting our troops, and then they slash veterans benefits. They loudly proclaim their religious devotion to gatherings of evangelicals, but their philosopher queen is the faith-hating atheist Ayn Rand (see video in Noteworthy box above). Turns out they have two faces even for matters of critical national security, as yesterday’s editorial in the New York Times, “Budgeting for Insecurity,” makes disturbingly clear. An excerpt:

House Republicans talk tough on terrorism. So we can find no explanation — other than irresponsibility — for their vote to slash financing for eight antiterrorist programs. Unless the Senate repairs the damage, New York City and other high-risk localities will find it far harder to protect mass transit, ports and other potential targets.
The programs received $2.5 billion last year in separate allocations. The House has cut that back to a single block grant of $752 million, an extraordinary two-thirds reduction. The results for high-risk areas would be so damaging — with port and mass transit security financing likely cut by more than half — that the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Peter King of New York, voted against the bill as “an invitation to an attack.”

The Times editorial goes on to explain that the “Republicans made clear that budget-cutting trumped all other concerns…One $270 million cut, voted separately, would eliminate 5,000 airport-screening jobs across the country, according to the Transportation Security Administration.” They also fought to cut more than half of funding for first responder training, but the Democrats were able to restore most of it.
As the Times editorial asks, “Are these really the programs to be cutting?” Not if we put national security before politics.

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