9/11 Over, Time to Pay Tribute to 9/12 "Spirit"


Arianna Huffington's 9/11 summation is not as aggressively bipartisan as what Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote in Politico, but in it, too lies the familiar question: Where's the 9/12 love?

Schumer believes the post-9/11 terrified togetherness on subjects like the PATRIOT ACT and the Iraq War were superior to people having different opinions about economic policies. (Schumer had some doubts about USA PATRIOT and Iraq, but he compromised because that's the kind of guy he is. After all, back then even politicians "[A]sked, "What can we do to help?" Then we went out and did it. We were pragmatic and nonideological in our approach.")

Huffington, meanwhile, starts with descriptions of people donating money, donating blood, and just generally seized with the desire to do something after 9/11. But then she dissolves into wondering why we can't all be, non-selfish, non-frivolous, and non-partisan all the time.

To her credit, Huffington at least mentions some of the civil liberties violations of the past decade, but then it's back to bemoaning the shallow, partisan culture of America. And then she writes:

Thankfully, however, not everyone has lost the spirit of 9/12. Indeed, all across the country there are countless examples of people and organizations dedicating themselves to helping those in need.

Then she highlights some charitable, commendable reactions to the horrible losses on September 11. But she doesn't bother to explain why political unity is an essential part of reacting to tragedy. There's something distasteful about the rhetoric of "missing" 9/12, which Glenn Beck was very excited about for a while there.

Americans donated $2.8 billion after September 11. But they donated $5.8 billion after Hurricane Katrina. And they broke new records for total yearly giving in 2007 by donating $295 billion dollars. They apparently don't need to agree on the security state to realize it's nice to donate money or time.

Some reaction to the 9/12 idea from around the web: Julian Zelitzer at CNN paints the partisan hugs with a misty picture, but he at least acknowledges their rarityAl-Jazeera and Antiwar.com seem a little less than excited (the latter used Reason.tv's video on 19th century political bickering to underline the point that the newness of partisanship is a bullshit idea.)

Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons user Jesslee Cuizon.

NEXT: The Truth and Lies About Social Security

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  1. I’ll take a hug from her. I likes teh ashun girrllzzz

    1. I think that’s just the come-on. After that, it’s “hey, Joe, love you long time, sucky, sucky, only 2 dolla”.

      1. Not unless you marry her. I grew up in a community with a large Korean population, those girls embody traditional virtue and motherhood.

        1. That’s what Chiun says.

          1. “Your reflexes are pitiful; the seasons move faster.”

            (told he is a pain in the ass) “That is because that is the fastest route to your brain.”

  2. underline the point that the newness of partisanship is a bullshit idea.

    Lucy, does you mother know you use that kind of language?

    Also, if they’re free I’ll take two.

  3. http://www.reuters.com/article…..GT20110912

    Al Gore to broadcast 24 straight hours to climate skeptics.

    1. I believe that “Al Gore” is actually a sophisticated bit of performance art that has been going on for a couple of decades now, which is about 19 years to long.

      1. Performance art isn’t usually that lucrative.

  4. Reminds me of the bagel story in Freakonomics where a man discovered that after 9/11 people stopped taking bagels without leaving a dollar.

    And yeah, I’ll take a hug too.

  5. Fuck 9/12.

    I’d like to see some of that 9/10 mindset. You know, like back when sending F-16s to shoot down a commercial airliner because somebody was getting frisky in the lavatory would not have made people feel “safer”.

    1. I’m with you.

    2. This. You can relax the rest of the week, P Brooks. You did good.

    3. From now on, all bathroom breaks will require an in-flight cavity search by TSA personnel prior to entry being granted to the lavatory.

      1. The TSA graciously announced that we are allowed to take shits that are 8 ounces or less.

  6. We were pragmatic and nonideological in our approach.

    When we needed a law which said, “Two plus two equals five,” by golly, they rolled up their sleeves and got the goshdarn thing passed, for the good of the nation.

  7. Arianna Huffington’s 9/11 summation

    Why should I care?

  8. After all, back then even politicians “[A]sked, “What can we do to help?” Then we went out and did it.

    That was a bug, not a feature. That’s how we got the fucking PATRIOT act, dumbass. By politicians asking “what can we do to help” then “going out and doing it” in a bipartisan way.

    1. Also, well said, and I concur thoroughly.

      No more help needed here, Pols!

    2. Schumer is undoubtedly a dumbass. However, the PATRIOT ACT was a grab bag of goodies that the FBI, BATFE, NSA, CIA, etc. had wanted for years. To the Schumers of the world, that is a feature.

      1. That’s exactly right. Many of the measures had been defeated during the Clinton years (the administration was on the wrong side, of course) and had less to do with terror concerns than with domestic crime (especially that involving various ingestibles).

      2. Schumer is undoubtedly a dumbass. However, the PATRIOT ACT was a grab bag of goodies that the FBI, BATFE, NSA, CIA, etc. had wanted for years. To the Schumers of the world, that is a feature.

        Right, politicians like Schumer going to the FBI, BATFE, NSA, CIA etc., and asking, “How can we help?”

  9. Oh yeah, that “9/12 spirit”: when most folks just bent over every time El Presidente had a hard-on. Yeah, I can see why liberals want to bring that “spirit” back, what with their man being El Presidente.

    1. If I had any business sense, I’d make a disaster calendar just like Catholics have for saints.

      Hurricane Katrina (8/29), Black Thursday (10/24), 9/11, Pearl Harbor (12/7), …[fill in the calendar].

  10. I am soooooo over 9/11 AND “NINE TWLEVE LOVE AMERICAN STYLE!” Give it ALL a fucking rest, already.

    1. Of course we have some underlying unity when the crap hits the fan. No surprise at all. But do we really want to be in a perpetual state of crisis? Because that’s what it takes to have that sort of unity of spirit.

      1. We *are* in a perpetural crisis – an economic one. I’m sure we’ll be seeing the unity any time now.

        Also, I have been offering free hugs, too, but I can’t even give them away. And the person I *did* hug just turned out to be running for a bus.

  11. I’ll take any idea so long as I don’t have to hear the nonsense from POTUS about turning 9/11 into a day of service. Nothing strikes at the heart of terrorism quite like working in a soup kitchen or habitat for humanity. Then, that’s what you get with an organizer-in-chief.

  12. I wonder if it occurs to Huffington that scolding the tight-fisted cranks and curmudgeons for not being more generous to “those in need” only galvanizes their disinterest in opening their hearts and checkbooks. I know that’s the effect it’s having on me.

  13. Dear Republicans,

    Remember when we had that problem that one time, and you had an idea of how to fix it, and I just said, “yeah, sure,” without even really thinking about if I really agreed or not, you know? That was awesome, right?

    Well, now I’ve got a problem, you know, my buddy Barry wants to like keep the cushy job he’s got, and it would be awesome if you would just agree to everything I want to do to save Barry’s job, without really even considering if you really agreed with me on my idea of how to fix Barry’s problem, or even if you don’t care about Barry’s problem, or even if you hate Barry. OK?



    1. Consider it done, old pal! Mustn’t let The Spirit of September 12 pass!

      Oh, wait . . . THAT Barry? Fuhgeddaboutit.

  14. The “free” hugs from creepy robot girls are never really free. Broken spines can cost 10s of thousands of dollars to fix.

  15. I remember 9/12/2001 being completely filled with anti-Middle East hatred. I remember trying to drive home that evening and my typical route passes through a small Indo-Pak community (probably a mile long, tops) and the police had the street closed because there were a lot of “incidents”.

    If this is the kind of love she wants to re-live, please include me out.

  16. But then she dissolves into wondering why we can’t all be, non-selfish, non-frivolous, and non-partisan all the time.

    That’s all very well for some rich old broad who has nothing constructive to do so she takes up punditry as a hobby. I’m gonna have to be a little selfish for a while; I just had to cut a big fat property tax check for my car…the one that I won’t even own until the bank note is paid off.

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