TRAITOR-MONGERING, SPECIAL 2006 ELECTION VERSION….Jon Chait responds to Karl Rove’s laughable suggestion that Republicans are more serious about terrorism than Democrats:

So how exactly was Bush transformed by 9/11 in a way Democrats were not? Rove listed three ways in his speech. One is the Patriot Act. “Republicans want to renew the Patriot Act, and Democrat leaders take special delight in proclaiming they’ve killed it,” Rove said. Rove is referring to a controversy over the efforts by Democrats, and some Republicans, to modify some of the more overreaching elements of the Patriot Act while keeping in place its core.

Rove’s account is actually close to the opposite of the truth. Democrats have proposed extending the law temporarily ? beyond the five-week compromise hastily agreed to before the holidays ? until the two sides can work out their disagreements. Bush has opposed an extension, so that he can say the act was killed altogether by Democrats. Apparently the law is a vital tool in our national defense, but not so vital that it can’t be suspended in order to give the GOP a campaign issue.

In the Bush White House, nothing is more important than a campaign issue. Nothing.

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