For all of those reasons this has been a bad week at The Dish. But it is his PTSD flashback-to-9/11 reaction to the Underpants Bomber that has him at his worst.
We all remember the "fifth column" reference in 2001, and the bootlicking of Bush and Cheney in the wake of the attack. Sullivan burned a LOT of bridges with that behavior. But he has come a long way since then. Andrew now properly recognizes Bush as the utter, contemptible failure that he was, and Cheney as the monster that he is...but throw the slightest dash of botched death by undergarments into the mix and it's full-blown bed-wetting panic and craven grasping for the worst behavior of the Bush Era.
It's fucking pathetic, and shows that despite all his seeming rehabilitation, Sullivan remains a toadie at heart.
Let's start with his unrelenting and preposterous call for Janet Napolitano's head on a platter, as if she is somehow responsible or accountible for what happened. To wit:
One of the federal government's core responsibilities is public order.
They've had eight years to figure this out and they are still clueless. Sure, Bush was president for much of that time and bears the bulk of the responsibility, but Obama is now president. When officials screwed up under Bush, they were defended, backed up, told they were doing great, etc etc. [...]
Obama needs to prove he is not Bush. Hold a thorough investigation and fire everyone in the chain of command who let the Jihadist onto a plane. Every single one. But before then, fire Napolitano. The buck stops with her.
First, let's point out that public order seems to be doing just fucking fine, Andrew. The only people I see or hear who's diapers need changing are Republicans looking to score cheap terror points and you. Everyone else is going about their business as usual. You know, an actual hallmark of British resolve. One that held during WWII, the IRA and the subway bombings.
And as for Napolitano? How about actually figuring out what the hell happened first before scapegoating someone to make it look like you've done something about the problem in absence of real action—like Bush would have done. And as for "everyone in the chain of command who let a jihadist onto a plane," I'm not sure what Obama can do to fire airport screeners in Nigeria and Amsterdam. John Cole's got this covered.
Then there's this:
Should We Israelify Airports?
A question worth asking.
Okay, Andrew. You asked so, I'll answer. No. I don't particularly want to model ANY behavior on Israel's. And it wouldn't work anyway. Israel is the size of New Jersey, has one major international airport, a population subject to mandatory military service, no problem racially profiling and discriminating against the majority of it's population and a statistical need to maintain that level of vigilance. None of that applies here.
What's most maddening about this is the fact that Sullivan is capable of extremely good, thought-provoking writing, and at the moment a lot of interesting year-end retrospectives. But needing to filter through this garbage just makes you question why you ever clicked over there.