"We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11th attacks."
George W. Bush -- September 17, 2003
To the extend that George Bush had retained the slightest shred of dignity through the whole ugly Iraq imbroglio, it was found in his refusal to fully embrace the biggest of the Big Lies told by his aides: The claim that the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein had played a role in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
As you all have heard, Karl Rove said liberals wanted to offer the terrorists therapy after 9/11. I know a lot of liberals. None of them were talking about counseling Osama bin Laden in that terrible time. But there is one person liberals would like to see in therapy: Karl Rove. How else to understand the enemy?
I'd like to know what terrible childhood trauma caused an Episcopalian from Utah to believe establishing a permanent Republican majority was his life's calling. Was he abused by a homeless man? Did feminists burn his American flag notebook at a pro-choice rally? Was he humiliated by a member of the liberal elite during graduate studies at the University of Texas?
I'd like to see Rove take a word association test. How does Karl feel when he hears the phrase "push pull polls" or "merge/purge" or "dirty tricks"?
In his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, then-President Thomas Jefferson made it clear that the intent of the founders was to maintain a "wall of separation between church and state." It was for that reason, Jefferson explained, that the First Amendment to the Constitution barred the government of the new nation from engaging in the promotion of a particular religion.
Jefferson and the other founders had no doubts about the need to prevent any mingling of the affairs of church and state. They had seen the damage done to government and religion by the state religions of Europe -- particularly, though not exclusively, King George III's Church of England -- and they wanted to assure that the United States would avoid the patterns of hatred, discrimination and violence that arise when one faith is officially sanctioned. They also recognized the advantages that came with keeping politicians out of pulpits and preachers out of policymaking. Though many of the founders were Christians, they held dramatically different views regarding the practice of religion. And, as George Washington and others made clear, they respected the contributions made to the new Republic by Jews and other non-Christians.
History has proven the concerns of the founders to have been well placed. When Jefferson's wall has been maintained, the American experiment has been at its best: welcoming, tolerant, open to new ideas and respectful of science, reason and progress.