To say Frank Rich is a better writer than his nauseating counterpart Maureen Dowd is to damn with very faint praise, indeed. In fact, it may make Rich the more disgusting of the duo, as he wastes his talents by phoning in columns far too often. For once, his latest does not focus on cheap shots at religous conservatives. That's the good news. The bad news is that Rich instead turns to his second favorite obsession, those devious ol' Bushies.
Rich gets off to a strong start criticizing the interminable, and frankly infuriating, delays surrounding the rehabilitation of our sacred ground in lower Manhattan. Best of all is his reminded that more days have passed since the signoff on the final design of the Freedom Tower (of course, it wasn't a signoff at all, we know now) than were spent constructing the Empire State Building.
Frank quickly loses momentum, though, by not only veering off into a rant on Bush, but a false one at that. Frank, when Bush stood at Ground Zero with that bullhorn, he didn't say we would get the terrorists 'dead or alive'. That was at a Cabinet meeting with the press present. Instead, he said 'Can you hear me in the back?', then 'I can hear you...and the people who knocked down these people will hear all of us soon!' to great applause. How can anyone forget that, or any of the other events of those few days?
Worse is Frank's recital of the Left's canard that the Bush administration tried to tie Saddam Hussein's Iraq to 9/11 itself. Regardless of how many quotes liberals may find from lower-level officials, Bush himself made it abundantly clear on numerous occasions that no evidence tied Iraq to 9/11. What Bush did say (and he was quite correct), is that Saddam's Iraq did harbor terrorists, pay money to Palestinian suicide bombers, and look the other way when al Queda members needed a place to lick their wounds.
Rich and other prominent liberals have an astonishingly low level of patience with the War on Terror and the recovery of Iraq. These things take time, and lots of it, and Americans and our allies understand this. Sure, we're all frustrated that things are moving so slowly, but that doesn't translate into a desire to just leave and give up. Now, Ground Zero, that's another story entirely...and a shameful one, at that. Too bad Rich didn't stay on that subject - I might have found a column of his I could actually endorse.