Pedal To The Metal

Steven Robert Allen
3 min read
David Brooks
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A couple nights ago, I planted myself on my couch to watch “The News Hour” on PBS. The show regularly features an “analysis” segment where Jim Lehrer quizzes conservative David Brooks and liberal Mark Shields about the news of the day. This segment isn’t your typical polarized shout fest. Both Brooks and Shields are civil types. Brooks is one of those rare conservatives who most liberals actually like. He’s friendly. He’s smart. He’s thoughtful. He’s polite.

The other night, though, he said something really outrageous. He told Lehrer that the reason why people should vote for Republicans in the upcoming midterm election is because the GOP is the “pedal to the metal” party when it comes to fighting terrorism. He said this multiple times, like it’s some kind of valid argument for the Republican Party’s superiority on national security issues. I’ve been hearing variations on this ever since 9/11, and I think it’s time to acknowledge the patent absurdity of this line of so-called reasoning.

Look, when you’re faced with a problem, the best solution is rarely slamming the pedal to the metal, hoping and praying you’re headed in the right direction. This is what Republicans have been doing from the start. Brooks unwittingly pointed out the entire problem with the Republicans ridiculous strategy for fighting terrorists. Their speed and recklessness is obviously not working. It’s like we have a drunk 16-year-old at the wheel. Yes, Bush has pressed the pedal to the metal, but is he driving in a straight line? Is he running over pedestrians? Is he so speed happy that he doesn’t notice that he’s headed straight for a brick wall? Most Americans are starting to think so.

Maybe we should remove the foot from the pedal entirely for a moment. We’ll have a golden opportunity to do this in November. Maybe we could use that time to think about the very real enemy we’re fighting. Maybe we could even look at a map! Then we might finally figure out that the single best argument for voting Democrat in November is that the donkey party at least has a shot at keeping this careening machine on the road. The last thing we need is to let these crazies keep driving us forward in random directions till we find ourselves upside down in a ditch in the middle of nowhere.
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