The Right Coast

April 01, 2004
The Politics of Victimhood
By Mike Rappaport

The New York Times has a puff piece on four 9/11 widows who have lobbied for the establishment and expansion of the 9/11 Commission. While the piece portrays the women as nonpartisan -- two voted for Bush, and two for Gore -- it appears to be typical New York Times misrepresentation. Consider two points:

First, the Times writes:
    Three of [the widows] were married to men who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald, but the women were strangers until after the attacks. Ms. Breitweiser, 33, and Ms. Casazza, 43, voted for Mr. Bush in 2000. Ms. Van Auken, 49, and Ms. Kleinberg, 42, voted for Al Gore. All insist they had no political agenda, then or now.

    But they had a burning question. "We simply wanted to know why our husbands were killed," Ms. Breitweiser said, "why they went to work one day and didn't come back."
Well, if that is all the women wanted to know, they could have saved themselves the trouble. Their husbands died because Radical Islam, led by Osama bin Laden, hates American freedom and wanted them dead as part of his war.

Second, the Times writes:
    The families have spent months pressing for Ms. Rice's public testimony; when the White House failed to send her to last week's hearings, they walked out in silent protest. On Tuesday, two Democratic senators, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Charles E. Schumer of New York, suggested that the families think about asking Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to testify publicly as well. Ms. Van Auken said that had always been their preference. "Of course we would like them to testify publicly," she said Wednesday.
No political agenda here. And, of course, when one of these women "criticized the Sept. 11 images in a Bush campaign advertisement," politics had nothing to do with it.